Tip 1: Be Smart
Safety first!! Beautifully soft hair is great, but not at the cost of your health. Always follow the instructions of your steamer and read your labels thoroughly. DO NOT use clothing steamers, steam mops, or steamers not intended for hair/skin contact! Using such may result in severe burns and other injuries.
Tip 2: Use Distilled Water
Steamers are delicate creatures, they need tender loving care just like the rest of us. Using distilled, purified, or demineralized water will help keep your steamer free of deposits and bacterial growth. Mineral deposits may clog your steamer, blocking the release of steam and causing your machine to sputter. Additionally, water deposits can corrode the working parts of the steamer, causing your investment to fall apart more quickly. Long story short, avoid tap water and mineral water at all costs.
Tip 3: Don’t Over Do It
Too much of a good thing, is bad! We want moisture but not too much moisture. Too much moisture can make your hair gummy, and weak. Think over-boiled mashed potatoes– sticky, mushy, and limp…and nobody likes limp…hair.
In the warmer months, when moisture is in the air, I steam once a month for 30 minutes. In the colder months, when moisture is hard to come by and Mother Nature deprives us of our God-given right to warmth and sunshine, I steam every other week (every 2 weeks) for 30 minutes.
Tip 4: Protect Ya Neck
Hot water can drip on your neck…this is not pretty or comfortable. Place a towel around your neck to avoid burns and dripping water.
Tip 5: Get a Big Hood
There are a number of hand-held steamers on the market. In my modest, yet experienced, opinion, hand-held steamers do not deliver the powerful moisture punch that hooded steamers deliver. Imagine the amount of steam your receive when your hood is delivering consistent, continuous, copious amounts of steam while you are relaxingly reading a book or watching television. Now, imagine the extended amount work and effort you’ll exert if you use a hand-held steamer.
Tip 6: No Plastic Caps
Using a plastic cap defeats the purpose of steaming. With conventional hooded dryers, using a plastic cap improves the conditioning process by trapping moisture and prevents direct contact with dry air. But, with steamers we want the steam to directly contact our hair. We want all that steamy goodness to penetrate our hair shafts and deliver immediate moisture. Plastic caps will prevent your hair from receiving maximum steam benefits and maximum benefits from your conditioner.
Take note from Joan Crawford “no
wire hangers plastic caps ever!”
Tip 7: Cool it Down
Be like New Edition and cool it
now down after your steam treatment. Steaming opens your pores and opens the cuticles of your hair; please seal them closed when you are done. Rinse your hair with cool water after you steaming session to add shine and seal in the lustrous moisture your conditioner added to your strands.
Steaming is your friend!! Do it regularly and consistently and you will get softer and healthier hair.