If you’re a fan of using heat to straighten your hair, but you’re concerned about the potential damage this is doing to your locks then steam straighteners could be the way forward. In this article, we will look at the benefits of steam straighteners vs how they compare to conventional hair straighteners.
So, what are the benefits of steam straighteners vs hair straighteners?
Steam emitted from a steam hair straightener not only styles and straightens hair gently, but also returns hydration to the hair as it does this. The steam also supports products formulated to nourish your hair so that it can penetrate deeper.
How Does a Steam Straightener Work?
A steam straightener looks like a conventional straightener with bristles inside which are attached to the top and bottom plates.
It is devised to hold water and use the steam from that to straighten hair. The use of steam produces a shinier silkier look compared to traditional hair straighteners.
Regular straighteners straighten your hair as a result of direct heat contact by flattening sections of hair between the plates.
These can be made from titanium, tourmaline, or ceramic.
Steam straighteners, however, use nano-ceramic and nano tourmaline technology to straighten your hair with added water. This means your hair can retain moisture through the steam straightening process.
Moreover, vapor infusion technology is used in steam straighteners which is more efficient in straightening hair and goes further in preventing heat damage.
Some steam straighteners use nourishing oils and heat protectants to condition hair as they straighten.
The heat from the straightener converts the oil into a conditioning vapor which is then emitted through the holes in the plates.
Benefits of Steam Straighteners
Used correctly, steam straighteners have lots of benefits for your hair:
Good For Coarse Hair
Using a steam straightener helps straighten coarse hair that can be harder to style and manage, and the results last longer.
If you relax your natural hair, using a steam straightener can be a safer alternative to chemical relaxers.
Reduce Heat Damage
The hydration from the steam helps prevent heat damage to your hair.
Instead, you are left with healthy, sleek, and shiny tresses. Moreover, the steam function makes flat irons very gentle on hair that has been processed or damaged meaning it is less susceptible to damage and breakage.
The steam from the steam straighteners will ensure the straightening effects last longer than the effect of conventional straighteners. Your hair will remain straight all day.
As a result of the steam mist, you will be left to enjoy hair that is smooth and shiny.
It is a little-known fact that frizz can be your hair’s way of searching the atmosphere around it for hydration.
This is why dry hair tends to be frizzier than healthy, nourished hair.
Vapour Infusion Technology provides a barrier to humidity while enriching the hair with moisture, meaning hair is less susceptible to frizz.
Some steam irons use ingredients like argan oil or macadamia oil to condition hair while straightening.
The hair shaft is infused with a nutrient-packed treatment to replenish dryness and damage. Hair is left silky and free from frizz.
Main Differences Between Steam Straighteners and Conventional Straighteners
So, we know both of these appliances give us smooth, straight hair but what are the main differences?
1. Plates Vs Brush
Steam straighteners work in a similar way to regular straighteners in that the hair is placed between two plates and the tool is gently pulled through the hair. The plates on steam straighteners, however, are covered in bristles which act like a brush.
2. Water Vs Ceramic Plates
Rather than heating the plates (be that ceramic, titanium or tourmaline), steam straighteners use the technology of steam derived from the water in the inner chamber to produce heat. This is safer for hair.
3. Ease Of Use
The chamber in steam straighteners where the water is held needs to be topped up every 15-20 minutes.
4. Time Spent
It is a little more time-consuming to style hair with steam straighteners as you can only place a small amount of hair in between plates each time.
5. Heat Distribution
You are unlikely to find ‘hot spots’ on the plates of steam straighteners where parts of the plates have started to wear away, as you would with conventional straighteners.
Are There Any Downsides to Using Steam Straighteners?
Although it has plenty of benefits, the use of steam straighteners does come with a few downsides:
Any tool that uses heat to style hair has the potential to damage it.
While warm steam held to a section of hair for a reasonable amount of time results in glossy hair, if the hair is subjected to the steam between the plates for too long, it can become damaged and split.
To combat this, ensure your straighteners are at a safe temperature and that none of the hair is held between the plates for too long.
You should also use a good-quality silicone-based heat protectant to minimize damage to your hair.
Technique Can Be Difficult To Master
It can take a little time to perfect the technique of using steam straighteners.
As you learn, it can be all too easy to burn your hand, face, or neck if you’re not careful.
You also run the risk of burning your scalp when trying to get close to the roots if the tool is not held at the proper angle.
As previously mentioned, the water to produce the steam from the straighteners needs to be refilled approximately every 15 to 20 minutes.
Moreover, you have to wait until the unit has cooled down before you can take off and refill the water reservoir. This can all add time to your routine.
How To Use A Steam Straightener
For best results, follow the instructions below to get the most out of your steam straighteners:
1. Wash your hair with a good quality shampoo and condition thoroughly.
2. Towel dry hair or speed up the process using a hairdryer to ensure your hair is free from tangles.
3. Make sure hair is completely dry.
4. Apply a heat protectant product to your hair.
5. Split hair into sections (depending on how long your hair is, the number of sections will vary, and the thickness too).
6. Wear a burn glove while using the steam straightener to protect your hand.
7. Add water to the reservoir attached to the straightener then plug in and switch on.
8. Let the unit heat to your desired temperature.
9. Turn on the ‘Vapour’ button to activate the steam function.
10. Take the first section at the back and place the steam straightener over the part at the root. Pull the straightener through to the bottom gently.
11. Complete this process around the rest of your hair.
12. Finish by applying a little serum or oil to add extra sheen.
Remember, you can add a little oil to the water to nourish the hair.
So, there you have it- steam straighteners use heat to style your hair in a less damaging way than conventional straighteners. It is up to you to decide if that little bit of extra time and effort is worth it.
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