We use steam for everything from ridding clothes of wrinkles to prepping the skin for a facial. But how does steam help hair? Haiya Eliza, curl guru and owner of salon HerCurls, tells us, “[Steam] helps open the cuticle of the hair so that the conditioner penetrates deeper.” And it’s important to note that hair steamers are helpful for any hair type.
However, adding a hair steamer into your routine is an especially strategic step for anyone with low-porosity hair, as steam can help ensure the water and the nutrients from a conditioner don’t just roll down the hair without actually penetrating. You can also use steam pre-wash and during the cleansing process. If you’re dandruff-prone, this can be especially helpful, as steam can increase blood flow to the scalp.
Now, I can’t be the only one who keeps their conditioner on far longer than the 20-minute directive on the jar. But with the addition of steam, Eliza says you only need five to 15 minutes of marination for your curls to benefit. So that means less time walking around conditioning (a benefit I’m personally very excited about).