Steamers are bonnet dryers that produce moist heat instead of dry heat. They basically create a humid environment similar to a hot shower or a gym sauna. The warm, moist air from a hair steamer gently lifts the hair’s cuticle layers to help reconstructing and moisturizing conditioners absorb faster than they would on their own. Hair steamers are more beneficial because they use moist heat, as opposed to dryers/heat caps which use dry heat. The moist heat offers an added benefit to your hair by infusing moisture into your strands. Here are some other benefits of using steam:

*Increased scalp circulation, which aids hair growth,
*Helps deep conditioners to penetrate hair faster and better,
*Reduces dryness and breakage,
*Faster hair color treatments, and
*Makes the hair softer and reduces tangling.

Always use the steamer before you shampoo, not after. The point of the steamer is to gently lift the cuticle and make it easier for strengthening ingredients to penetrate into the strand.Wetting your hair beforehand will cause your hair shaft to swell and prevent your hair from getting the full benefit of the conditioner. Apply conditioner to dry hair, sit under steamer WITHOUT a plastic cap, and relax with Real Housewives of Atlanta....errr....I mean....CNN. Next, shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo or co-wash and condition as normal. 

A 20-30 minute steam treatment once a week is ideal to quench your thirsty strands. For my relaxed SoVAiN ladies and women with color, steam treatments are ideal to use prior to a chemical treatment to prevent the "crunchy" feel that typically follows after the chemical process. 

For super, extra, thirsty strands...try an overnight pre-poo prior to the steam treatment. 

There are several home steamers on the market. Personally I use the Huetiful Steamer and love the portability. I was even able to take it home with me while visiting family over Christmas! (Tripping if you think I'd go 2 weeks without steaming my hair, pfsht). 

Do you steam? 

Happy hair growing! Stay VAiN!

Written by SoVAiN Williams — March 03, 2012

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