Combating dry hair is always a problem for me but more so in the winter. As soon as that cold weather hits - the heat in the house in turned on for the next few months, I ride around in the car with the heat on and the windows rolled up, hats and scarves can come in contact with my hair and I find myself indoors more than I normally would be leaving little in the way of moisture going anywhere near my head. Because of this I make it a point to keep my hair moisturized. A great method of doing this is by doing steam deep conditioning treatments.
WHY STEAM IS SO BENEFICIAL
Steam treatments open the cuticle layer of your hair which allows the conditioner to penetrate right into the hair shaft, as opposed to the traditional hooded dryers which use dry heat. Hair steamers use a moist heat which is much more beneficial in moisturizing the hair strand; which leaves hair softer, shinier and well conditioned after wards.
THE BASIC PROCESS
There are several methods that can be used to steam the hair. A Vertical Hair Steamer, table top steamer, a wet hot towel or the sauna at the gym are all ways of steaming your hair. Simply cover your hair with moisturizing deep conditioner i.e. Keracare Humecto Conditioner (hint: I add a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and warmed melted honey to the conditioner).
Once the hair is covered do not put on a plastic cap; either sit directly under the steamer or wrap the towel directly onto the hair. This allows the steam to thoroughly penetrate directly into the strands of the hair for optimum conditioning. Sit in the steam for about 30-45mins (depending on your hair's need). The next step is to rinse the hair in cold water. Cold water naturally closes the cuticles of the hair which smooths the appearance and reflects light leaving you with moisturized, smoother, shiner hair!
CHEAP AT HOME METHOD:
If you would like to try it a few times to see if its for you, its simple enough to do at home. You will need the following:
2 plastic caps
2 towels (hand towel size)
1 Gallon of Distilled Water (can be bought at Walmart for about $1.00)
1 Liquid Measuring cup
1 Deep Conditioner of your choice (I use Kera Care Humecto with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and warmed honey)
1 Hooded Dryer
1 Pair of heavy rubber cleaning gloves - used to squeeze the excess hot water from towels
- Pour about two cups of distilled water into the measuring cup and microwave for 2.5-3 mins into the microwave.
- once hot pour the water into the bathroom sinker with the stopper pulled up so that the water sits in the sink.
- Place one towel in the sink.
- Cover hair with deep conditioner. While conditioner is on hair use gloves to squeeze water from soaked towel and wrap towel tightly around the head.
- Cover with first cap.
- Put 2nd towel in hot water and again squeeze and wrap over the first plastic cap.
- Cover towel with 2nd cap.
- Sit under hood dryer on high for about 30 mins to keep towels hot.
- Remove caps and towels and rinse hair in cold water to close the cuticles.
- Style as you normally would have a normal deep conditioner.
If you don't want to go through all of this, check with your local salon to see if they offer steam treatments. They usually can run anywhere between $50-$65. If you find that you really like the treatments and would like to invest in a vertical or table top steamer, you can find them on Amazon or ebay but they are a little cheaper on Amazon.
Although I have only seen one version of the portable table top steamer, there are several models of the vertical available throughout the net - just keep in my that they are more expensive. I prefer the vertical models as I have had them used on my hair at the salon and have never used the portable version myself and therefore have a biased opinion. However, the portable steamer does have good reviews from Amazon users. Below are two models that I found on Amazon.com.