Hair steaming is the perfect way to elevate your wash day routine and help hydrating conditioning treatments penetrate your dry hair.
Before we go any further, here are the top 3 conditioning products that we will go into further detail later:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with having dry, brittle hair. Whether my hair is straight or in its natural coily state, it seems to repel moisture of any kind. No matter how consistently I apply tried and true hydration treatments to my locks, my hair doesn’t feel hydrated for more than a few hours. Recently, I discovered the wonderful world of hair steaming, and I’m happy to report that my desert strands are on the road to revival.
After spraying my hair with water and noticing water beads sitting on top of my strands, I had a revelation about a characteristic of my hair that I’ve ignored—it’s porosity. In case you’re wondering, porosity (as defined by the dictionary) is “the quality or state of being porous.” In regards to hair, porosity levels determine your hair’s ability to both let moisture in and retain it. I discovered that my hair is low porosity, meaning the cuticles on my hair shaft tend to be fairly closed, not allowing water or moisture to penetrate. After doing a ton of research, I was pointed in the direction of hair steaming to solve my dry hair issues.
What exactly is hair steaming?
Hair steaming is a treatment that uses moist heat to open up hair follicles, allowing moisture to penetrate your hair and scalp. It also helps treatment products such as conditioners to penetrate deeper. According to LA-Based Celebrity Hairstylist and Cantu Ambassador Angela Stevens, hair steaming also helps add elasticity, shine, and softness to brittle hair.
What hair types is hair steaming most beneficial for?
Though most stylists agree that low porosity hair can benefit the most from hair steaming, it can generally help all hair types, even those with “normal” or high porosity levels. Here’s what Maya Smith, Founder of The Doux and Owner of The Doux Salon’s shared with Cherie about the importance of hair steaming as it pertains to hair types:
“Steam hydration treatments use heat and steam to help to expand the cuticle layer of the hair, allowing water molecules to penetrate more deeply than with a traditional deep conditioner alone…steam treatments are beneficial for all hair types because steam increases penetration for low-porosity hair while eliminating frizziness most common in [higher porosity] hair.”
So, how should I steam my hair?
While I decided to order a hair steamer that you fill with water to create steam heat, that isn’t the most cost-effective way, let alone the only way to get a proper steam treatment at home. If you’re looking to DIY this treatment, follow these quick and easy steps.
- Apply your favorite moisturizing conditioner to freshly washed hair and put on a plastic conditioning cap.
- Grab an absorbent towel and pop it in the microwave (for up to 2 minutes)
- Wrap the warm towel around your head and let the steam do its thing.
With any treatment that you do on your hair, you should pay close attention to how your hair reacts. Generally, anywhere between 15-45 minutes is a sweet spot for a hair reviving steam treatment. Though carving out this time may seem complicated, treat it as self-care and just bast at the moment while your hair gets the TLC it needs. For those with dry, thirsty strands, Angela recommends hair steaming every time you shampoo and condition.
What kind of conditioners work best for steam treatments?
A hair steam treatment wouldn’t be complete without the perfect hair conditioner, and of course, Cherie has you covered with some of the best hair conditioners to try!
MOROCCAN OIL Intense Hydrating Mask
What It Does
You’re five minutes away from healthier, shinier hair with this nourishing blend of hydrating argan oil and linseed extract.
What It Is
A high-performance, argan-oil-rich mask formulated for medium to thick dry hair that improves hydration, texture, elasticity, shine, and manageability.
What Else You Need to Know
In just five to seven minutes, Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask helps hydrate and condition medium to thick dry hair. Featuring argan oil, linseed extract, and moisture-attracting glycerin, the rich and creamy formula nurtures and helps replenish moisture.
Amika: the kure intense repair Mask
Why It’s Special
Shea Butter – full of vitamins, minerals and five principle fatty acids, it smooths and softens damaged hair
Borage Oil – extracted from Starflower seeds, it contains the highest level ever found in a specialty oil of the essential omega-6 fatty acid, which makes hair shinier, softer and more manageable
Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil, petrolatum and artificial colors
Vegan and cruelty-free
Safe for color-treated, Brazilian-treated and keratin-treated hair
What It Is
An intensive, rich weekly treatment that instantly repairs and resuscitates dry, damaged, and overstressed hair.
What Else You Need to Know
This product is certified vegan and formulated without MIT/MCI, artificial colors, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban, aluminum, talc, and have less than one percent synthetic fragrances. It is safe for color-treated, Brazilian-treated, and keratin-treated hair.
Sea buckthorn berry (also known as obliphica) is included in all of Amika’s haircare and styling products. It contains over 190 biologically active compounds, including vitamin C (15 times more than an orange), vitamin A (three times more than a carrot), and vitamin E. It also has high concentrations of the rare omega-7, making up 40 percent of the berry. Typically only found in fish oil, omega-7 keeps free radicals at bay and promotes the production of collagen, a key building block for skin, hair, and nails.
Sea buckthorn has been thoroughly researched in over 130 modern scientific studies that have found that this berry promotes health. Women throughout the ages have used the obliphica berry to protect themselves against the ravages of the sun and the elements. Founded on tradition and now based on extensive scientific research, sea buckthorn is one of the biggest functional whole food rediscoveries of the 21st century.
AVEDA Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner
It instantly improves dry hair up to 63 percent. Patent pending deep moisture complex penetrates hair to deliver lasting, intense moisture. Powered by burrito oil, pomegranate and palm derived conditioners. Delivers intense hydration and damaged hair.
I got this product as part of my fall @fabfitfun box. This is a leave in treatment that protects the hair from heat styling. It also detangles the hair and is claimed to protect from breakage and damage caused by heat styling. I have very fine and damaged hair (I also recently dyed my hair) and though it has a sort of a weird natural wavy look (with years of dye and perms) I tend to straighten my hair on those “bad hair days” which honestly is every day for me haha RIP. This is the second Aveda product I have used and honestly I really do not like how it smells. But, the scent does go away for this product and/or it is quickly masked by my perfume so I’ve been able to use it without too much discomfort. The product itself is quite runny and feels like a serum. My hair absorbs this product very well when it is wet. It makes my hair very soft and silky. I don’t know if it is going to “repair” my very damaged hair but it is making my hair feel good so 👍🏻 I def recommend this if you heat style your hair everyday like me. 4/5 since honestly their initial scent throws me off.
Biolage HydraSource Aloe Mask
What It Is
Biolage Hydrasource Aloe Mask is your hair treatment for dry hair. Hydrate, soften, and repair your hair with this smoothing treatment. Inspired by the ever-hydrated, never-dry aloe plant, Biolage Hydra source moisturizing hair mask helps optimize moisture balance for healthy-looking hair. This gives your dry strands a chance to be revived for more shine and manageability.
Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
An intensive weekly treatment to restore essential hydration and enhance hair’s resilience and strength.
Research Results: In a clinical study, hair treated with the Deep Conditioning Mask showed a: – 75% reduction in breakage after 3 uses compared to untreated hair
What Else You Need to Know
Sweeten up your self-care routine with this limited-edition re-release of Briogeo‘s Don‘t Despair, Repair!™ Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask, which restores essential hydration and strength to dry, damaged hair. This mask collector‘s set also includes the cult-favorite, four-time Allure Best of Beauty Award winner Don‘t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask to repair and strengthen damaged hair. The new Be Gentle, Be Kind™ Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture makes an appearance in this set as well, providing a boost of protein-free hydration for softer hair.
Other notable mentions
- Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Restoring Conditioner
- Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-1 Conditioner
- Cantu Strengthen Restore + Moisture Mask
This article includes information from Cherie, credit to user @MikaJay