researches for africaresearches for africa
12 / 2023

Natural Hair Steaming Therapy

You probably think you’ve exhausted all your go-to hair treatment options and are not seeing the change you think you should. But before you give up rightly and choose to hide your beautiful natural hair, let’s talk hair steaming therapy. Hair steaming is an amazing way to retain moisture in your scalp and a great deep conditioning treatment to inculcate into your regimen that is needed to boost hair growth and health.

Steaming Combines heat, and moisture treatment keeps your hair in the best shape. Hair steaming is undoubtedly one of the best deep conditioning and moisture retention therapies if you’re dealing with dryness or looking to correct the damage. It’s not just for the natural-haired girlies. Still, people with relaxed hair, color-treated hair, low-porosity hair, and generally all different textured hair can benefit from this treatment.

Steam produces moist heat that lifts hair cuticles gently, allowing water and products to seep into the scalp and its essential ingredients to reach every single strand for maximum hydration. Sounds exhilarating. When it’s that time of the year that the air becomes dry because of the cold, your hair will thank you for this.

No dry and brittle hair this time around, thanks to hair steaming. Trust Me! A steam treatment is a must for your regimen, and here’s why.

 Why Steaming Is Good For Your Hair

The steam helps open up the hair’s cuticles, allowing hair treatment to seep deeper into the scalp and reach the hair follicles themselves. The therapy also absorbs moisture and the entire contents of whatever your desired treatment product might be, thereby ensuring that your hydrating products give you their maximum benefits.

Steaming is a nourishment therapy from the inside out. It is rather funny how heat application would help retain moisture, right? The magic is in the steam. It reaches deep into the scalp, and hair steaming spreads that moist goodness straight into the hair follicles. The fuss about the heat application shouldn’t be a concern if rightly done.

Texturized hair has the most difficulty maintaining moisture because they prevent oils and moisture from easily going into the scalp and reaching hair strands. This amazing treatment is a Godsend, especially to all curly-haired girlies (of which the 4C community is a huge part), as moisture retention can become challenging.

Steaming is a great way to ensure a protein-moisture balance in your hair. It improves the flow of natural oils and blood circulation, which not only improves new hair growth because of tissues in the scalp but also improves elasticity in hair for easier stretching and lesser shrinkage and tangles. Again, Steaming helps reduce breakage by hydrating your dry, brittle, and thirsty hair, leaving them healthy.

Hair steaming allows for a super easy and effective deep cleaning which helps remove hair product build-up, dirt, and dead skin and takes care of dandruff. Steam opens up the follicles so pores can be easily unclogged. It also serves as a great detox for your scalp, giving your hair that needed a reset.

Steam is refreshing to your curls and coils, allowing you to maintain those curls beautifully defined while reducing shrinkage. Happy curls at best! Steaming helps build your hair’s volume as well. Regardless of your curl pattern, Steaming could be the fix you need. With all these benefits, I do not see why you will hesitate to incorporate hair steaming therapy into your natural hair growth regimen.

Hair Steaming Process

Hair steaming is easy to implement into your regimen without adjusting so much. Here’s what you need to do to get this right, even as a newbie! You are not looking to include dirt in your treatment, are you? First, you must clean your hair and remove that old product build-up and dirt, remembering to keep it slightly wet!

It would be best if you did this. Thus, wash your hair with hydrating shampoo, rinse, and dry gently but not completely. Drying out your hair completely rather undervalues this whole therapy. Now you’d want to give your hair some of that goodness you hope it will absorb with the Steaming. Be generous with those products!

Follow your existing scalp treatment or conditioner regimen, or consult a stylist on what might work best for your hair type. Using good products is so important because the whole point of Steaming is that they reach your hair follicles directly. You wouldn’t want the wrong things down there now. Use products rich in fatty acids, such as shea butter, castor oil, and essential oils.

Pre-steaming conditioners should be the basic product to apply to your hair. Massage that gently into your scalp, and wait for the magic that comes next! Now you can get that steam in. The most common method for natural hair steaming is with hooded steamers near the saloon. Or you could invest in the handheld steamer or tabletop steamer, which doubles down as a facial steamer for use in the comfort of your own space.

Perhaps, another option is a cost-efficient DIY hack. You could also easily pop your towel into the dyer or microwave for a few minutes. Then, use it as a head wrap over your hair in a shower cap, or consider the rather conventional deep conditioning cap by heating it with a dryer or microwave and fixing it onto your head, ensuring it’s encapsulating your hair.

The duration of your steam session is everything! Do this for about 10 to 20 minutes. Or, at most, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how badly your hair needs that moisture. Hair can be sectioned with equal time using a handheld steamer. Ensure that you pay attention to the ends of your hair while doing this.

For thicker and longer hair, a relatively long time frame would be required, which is still within the given range, and for shorter and thin hair, a shorter steaming period would be advised. Avoid using plastic shower caps as a cover for your hair when using the hooded, handheld steamer, or tabletop steamer for treatment, but rather allow for direct contact with heat.

For the hooded steamer, you could hold up hair into a bun so heat might also reach hair tips and the nape. Although Steaming is healthy, excessive heat application can damage hair and leave it limp, thus necessitating time limits. It is also important to have a washcloth in hand during the process. This is because water and some product may drip down your face while you steam.

Use the washcloth to clean that immediately because once they get into your skin cells, they could cause skin issues. Let’s not make our haircare disrupt skincare. Preferably wear a headband to absorb moisture straight away. Steam from the shower can be used for hair steaming. That is done by blocking the underside of the door after or while you take a warm shower.

This prevents steam from escaping, and once steam builds up, leave hair uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes and allow it to bask. Prepare to deep condition hair right after. This method, however, isn’t the most effective method to be considered. There are other cheaper and easier ways to get your effective Steaming done. One could use heating caps.

If you’re using electric caps, best be sure that the towel you use isn’t completely wet to prevent electric hazards. Post-steaming, you should avoid using styling equipment that uses heat to prevent hair damage because of the heat already involved in the steaming process. Once the time has elapsed, deep clean to remove those unclogged dirt particles we discussed.

Then, rinse your treatment with cold water to close the open hair cuticles, and finish with a regular conditioner and some essential oils. Closing the hair cuticles is so important because open cuticles outside treatment would be an open door for further bacteria and dirt. If using the hot towel technique, wrap hair in a towel after washing and conditioner application.

Knowing What Steamer You Should Use

Hair steamers, like your rudimentary steamers, heat water and release that burst of steam unto your mane. When shopping for a steamer, there are a few factors to consider. One of them is space. Some options range from the hooded dome steamers in the salons, which take up more space. There are also handheld ones, which look like blow dryers and are cheaper and less space-consuming.

Aside from space, one’s hair needs also need to be considered. Using handheld steamers would be great when focusing on giving moisture to different parts of your hair specifically or if your hair has an uneven texture (different curl textures in different places). Handheld steamers are preferably for light-focused treatment when there may be a few thirsty patches in your hair. 

But especially with hair with low- porosity, it would require a full-head steamer.


1.   Are hair steamers the same as hair misting machines?

Unfortunately not. Although both involve some moisturized air and can help hydrate the hair, misting uses smaller mist particles and is more commonly used in hair coloring than steaming. The steamer, however, has its purpose to solely hydrate and rejuvenate your scalp with adequate moisture.

2.   How many times do you need to steam?

As the name suggests, Steaming involves a bit of heat through steam, which could do more harm than good in excess. It could be done once or twice a month, depending on hair texture, or even weekly if your hair is that parched. Overdoing it is damaging because of the supply of excessive heat and even excessive moisture to one’s hair.

3.   What are the best hair steamers for volume in 2022?

The Kings team 2-in-1 Ozone Facial steamer is the most widely preferred. It is a quality tabletop steamer best known for its multifunction as a hair and facial steamer, including its aromatherapy functions. The ELQ portable Nano Steam Gun is preferred for its functionality in portability, and for professional use, Munsinn Micro Mist Salon Styling Hood is best.

The Nano steam gun can be used for a bit more than steaming. It can double down as a fragrance shooter or disinfectant sprayer and is known for its good work in ensuring that enough steam reaches all parts of the hair, wherever you aim. It, however a rather noisier option and heats quite slowly. Although it requires an outlet for connectivity, the ELQ steam gun is a ready-to-go device and a fantastic replacement for your traditional hooded steamers.

More affordable options with fair-quality hair steamers include EZBASIC 2-in-1 Ion Facial Steamer, which also has the same multifunction as the Kingsteam Steamer but does not take in distilled water but rather tap or mineral water. However, users have complained of a few hot drips, which have caused slight burns because of the heat intensity and inadequate hooding.

4.   Is steaming suitable for you?

Aside from how amazing hair steaming can be, its use should be adopted based on consultation. Otherwise, it should be avoided completely if one has extremely sensitive hair or scalp that may not stand the heat or certain hair conditions like eczema, psoriasis, folliculitis, or dermatitis. Your hair should not feel irritated or uncomfortable during steaming.

If this happens, consult your dermatologist or a hair professional. Steam can overstimulate skin cells underneath sores on the scalps of people with these sensitivities, thus delaying healing and further scalding the scalp. Then again, steam can contribute to bacterial or fungal growth due to moist conditions. It is advisable to seek dermatological advice before proceeding.


The natural hair journey requires intentionality. That means being deliberate about your haircare journey. Steaming is one deliberate act any naturalista can incorporate into the natural hair growth regime. Steaming is undoubtedly a great way to ensure the best direct deep conditioning and adequate moisturizing of hair follicles.

It is, however, just one of the many ways, although one of the most flexible. If you find that this is the best and most affordable option for you, go for it! Join the hair-steaming team now. And if you’re unsure about how to start this journey, contact your hair treatment professional or consult a dermatologist.

Start here...
An award-winning African blog featuring business advices, travel ideas, African hair guides, health and beauty tips for African women around the world