When your hair care involves heat and steam, it seems that you gain more than just the gleam. How about shiny locks with a side of good self-esteem and a successful life? Marianne LaFrance, professor of psychology and women’s and gender studies at Yale University, directed a study that linked good hair days with being successful.
Going by how much time and effort people spend on their hair, we can almost safely conclude that really good hair, or a really good life (or perhaps both), are quite important to people. It’s been seen that an average woman will spend the equivalent of 10 full days a year fixing their hair, and 70 percent of men spend one to three hours per month getting groomed at a barber or a stylist.
Whoever said that it’s love that makes the world go round surely must be pertaining to love of hair. Well, we’re talking about hair care today, specifically how you can steam your hair at the comforts of your home.
Hair Care 101: You must take the heat if you want to look neat
Hot oil treatment, thermal hair care, hair steamer – these are terms we’ve been hearing since the 60’s, when Vidal Sassoon was every “it girl’s” best-kept secret. Fifty years later, the same concept still applies to having gorgeous locks: heat and steam.
Hair steaming is important because the heat helps in hydrating dry hair, keeping your strands smooth and moisturized. Another bonus of this is that the heat helps encourage blood flow circulation in the head, so this promotes hair growth, too. Because the steam and heat opens or lifts the hair cuticle, it allows deeper penetration of the hair products and treatments in the shaft. This helps heal damaged hair, fixing split ends as well.
If you still need more convincing, think of your hair as a plant or a tree. If they don’t receive water (or moisture through steam and heat therapy), they might not exactly bloom, to say the least. How does hair steaming work?
The concept of hair steaming is quite simple: a hair treatment product is worked into the hair while steam or heat is applied so that the hair cuticles will open and “drink” the treatment to allow nutrients to penetrate it properly. After about 30 minutes, steam or heat source is removed and you rinse your way to soft, shiny hair.
What kind of hair treatment can be used?
Now the term “hair treatment” can be many things. It can be a hair treatment mask that you buy a tub or packet of from a pharmacy or a salon specialty shop. They come in a multitude of brands and variants. Samples of these are argan oil hair masks, keratin hair treatment or Moroccan oil treatment.
If you are making your hair steaming process at home, home-made hair treatment concoctions can be made, too. It can be any combination (or all) of the following:
Eggs are an incredible source of protein and biotin, two key nutrients for hair growth
Honey is a great kitchen staple that’s really good at hydrating hair. It’s the ingredient called hydroxypropyltrimonium that gives honey the property to hydrate damaged areas of hair without the feeling of stickiness.
Avocado is an excellent source of biotin, and if you incorporate this regularly in your diet, it may help with a healthier hair growth. As a hair mask, avocado oil contains minerals like potassium and magnesium that can seal cuticle cells, helping hair look smoother and shinier while preventing it from breaking.
Bananas are the bananas for hair and scalp care. They increase manageability and shine of your hair, preventing and controlling dandruff while your scalp is moisturized.
Natural yogurt is full of protein, offering nourishment which is essential for hair if it needs proper growth and health. Yogurt also has lactic acid which is great for cleansing the scalp.
Now before you start whipping up the above ingredients for a tasty brunch, let’s proceed to the next component of hair steaming, which is the heat source.
The following are ways to use steam and heat treatment on your hair at home:
Using a thermal heat cap
This is the closest you can get to having your hair heat-treated in a salon. Cordless hair steamers or heat caps are microwavable, portable and safe. After you work the treatment into your damp hair, put on a disposable shower cap then pop the heat cap in a microwave for one minute. Put on the heat cap for 15 minutes. You can either nap, do your nails, do chores or just relax while getting salon-quality hair treatment.
Remove the heated cap and shower cap. Rinse hair thoroughly.
Using a heated towel
If you do not have a heated hair cap, you can also make do with hot water and a towel. Work your hair treatment of choice into your damp hair, making sure you massage it evenly. Get a hand towel (or any medium-sized towel that you can comfortably wrap around your head) and run or immerse warm water in it. Do not use boiling hot water. Wring the excess water out, and wrap the towel around your head. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse your hair after.
This is a great alternative to thermal hair caps. However, just bear in mind that towels may not hold in the heat for long.
Using steam from the shower
Steaming your hair works best when your hair is clean, so you can hit two birds in one stone by doing this when you shower using warm water. Right after you shampoo, work the hair treatment in (instead of hair conditioner). Put on a shower cap and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. You can use this time to do some extra pampering whilst in the shower like doing an exfoliating body scrub. Rinse your hair as normal.
Using natural body heat
This does not require any heat or steam from external sources. It won’t be as effective as using a thermal heat cap, but if you do it often, it will still do the trick. After working the hair treatment of your choice on to damp hair, tie your hair in a bun using a clasp or put on a shower cap. You can leave this on a little longer, as there is no external heat or steam required. We recommend working out or doing any strenuous activity to encourage blood circulation, and also to raise body temperature naturally. This increase in blood circulation will help the products penetrate your hair better. Rinse hair thoroughly.
How often should you heat or steam your hair at home?
This depends on the condition of your hair. If you have normal hair, one to two times a month is great for maintenance. If you have dry or parched hair, you can do this at-home treatment once a week.
Have you tried steaming your hair at home before? If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please get in touch with us!