What is steaming?
Steaming natural hair is a method of deep conditioning that improves the health of your hair and scalp, creates more defined curls, detangles, and restores balance. All these benefits prevent your hair from becoming a ball of frizz at the thought of moisture in the air. To prepare your hair for steaming as a pre-poo, massage your favorite oil(s) into your scalp and sit under the steamer for 20 - 30 minutes.
After you have thoroughly cleansed your hair, apply a generous amount of conditioner throughout your hair. Comb the conditioner through with a wide tooth comb. I recommend using this technique that I demonstrate in this video for maximum effectiveness. Once you apply conditioner correctly, turn on your steamer and relax for at least 30 minutes.
A steamer is just like a hooded dryer except it blows out warm moist heat. Steam. Steamers are available in handheld, tabletop, and free standing models. Steaming can be done at home without a machine. You can also heat a wet towel and carefully wrap it over your head. Then trap the moisture from the towel with a plastic cap and let it sit until towel cools, then repeat.
One of easiest ways to steam your natural hair is in the shower. When your style permits leave your hair uncovered while you shower or immediately after your shower while the bathroom is still full of steam. This is the best way to keep the moisture in your natural hair balanced to eliminate frizz.
When I think of steaming, my visual thought is "out with the old, in with the new." I like to think of it as a cleanse as well as a conditioner. Moist heat opens the cuticle layer of your hair making way for two wonderful things to happen to your crown. The pores on your scalp are opened making way for dirt, oil, and product buildup to escape. Second your conditioner and/or oils are absorbed better, well, now that there is room.
Make sure you are using good quality products when steaming. When done regularly, your hair is able to absorb moisturizing treatments that can keep your hair stay healthy, soft, and easy to manage. Regular steam treatments effectively stop dryness.
When should you steam your natural hair?
Steaming can be done prior to shampooing to loosen dirt and oil build up, especially on locs. Steaming can be done after shampooing for a deep condition.
It's perfectly okay to steam every two weeks after shampooing. Be sure to comb your conditioner along the strands of your hair to take full advantage. If your hair is too tangled to comb out, steaming will help loosen tangles making it easier to comb out. Even locs feel lighter after a good steam. Here is when you want to be sure to steam:
Can I get a steam at naturally you salon?
Oh I thought you'd never ask...
Steaming is a huge part of a healthy natural hair journey. I have been steaming natural hair in the salon for the past 10 years. A steam treatment is included with all service packages. It is also a highlight of Own Your Natural Hair Journey Workshop. After starting the day practicing o learning how to properly shampoo and condition your natural hair, you finally get to relax under the steamer for a while. Only to recharge for the second half of the day when we get to moiturizing and styling techniques. This workshop requires you to actually put in work while you learn to care of your natural hair in private group setting. CLICK HERE to learn more.
If you are suffering from dryness, then you should try one of the steaming methods. Drop me a comment below about how steaming is working out for your natural hair.
You can also join me at Curls Night Out next month. It's a monthly natural hair meetup online. CLICK HERE to get dates and SIGN UP.
Ebonee Shelton is a licensed natural hair stylist dedicated to teaching women how to grow and maintain healthy natural hair with loving lifestyle choices.