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Steam Flat Irons have revolutionized the game for natural hair. These innovative tools, specifically designed for natural hair, use steam technology to provide a gentle and effective straightening process. They offer a salon-quality finish at home while reducing damage and promoting hair health. The Steam Flat Iron for Natural Hair is indeed a game-changer.
Why Steam Flat Irons Are a Game Changer for Natural Hair
Any type of hot tool, no matter how much heat protectant you apply, can damage the hair when used for straightening or curling. For those of us who frequently style our hair with heat, we are always seeking ways to make the process more hair-friendly. The innovative solution lies in a steam flat iron for natural hair, which utilizes moisture to smooth out your strands.
Tippi Shorter, a professional artist with L’Oréal, explains the concept further. “Consider your hair as you would an expensive fabric,” says Shorter. Imagine a silk blouse; you wouldn’t use an iron on it, but a steamer instead. The introduction of steam to a traditional iron makes it more gentle on your hair, similar to how a fabric steamer is delicate on silk.
This revolutionary approach to hair straightening offers multiple benefits. Not only does it increase the shine and softness of your hair, but also it straightens and smooths out your hair with less direct heat and in lesser time. Thus, steam flat irons are truly a game changer for natural hair.
The ins and outs of using a steam flat iron
When using a steam flat iron, there is a distinctive hiss of steam, similar to a clothing iron, as you guide the tool through your hair. This steam plays a vital role in adding moisture to the hair, counteracting the moisture-stripping effects of heat styling. Tippi Shorter, a professional artist with L’Oréal, explains, “The steam significantly softens the hair and replenishes the hair follicles with moisture before they’re compressed with the plates. This makes steam flat ironing less damaging than dry straightening.”
In addition to reducing damage, the added moisture also eases the straightening process, as noted by Gregorio Ruggeri, a New York-based hairstylist and trichologist. He says, “Imagine a crinkly hair shaft. When you use a regular straightening iron on bone dry hair, it’s akin to burning it into shape. However, with a bit of moisture present and using an iron, it becomes easier to smooth through.”
If you don’t own a steam iron, you can mimic this process with any hot tool by ensuring your hair retains some moisture during styling. Ruggeri recommends ensuring your hair is about 95% dry before using any standard heat-styling tool.
There’s a crucial detail to remember when using a steam flat iron. You should never fill it with tap water. Shorter states, “Always use distilled water. If necessary, bottled water or filtered water can be used as alternatives, but tap water is not advisable. It contains minerals and metals which can damage the internal mechanism of the styler.”
Despite the health benefits of steam styling, it is important to remember that heat is always potentially damaging to your hair. You should always follow the golden rules of heat styling: avoid repeating passes over the same hair section, refrain from using hot tools multiple days in a row, and never skip the use of heat protectant.
What it’s like using the L’Oréal Professionnel Steam Pod
My initial experience with a steam flat iron was with the L’Oréal Professionnel Steam Pod, a salon trip that cost me $250. The setting was the vibrant L’Oréal salon in the heart of New York City, where professional artist Shorter skillfully straightened and curled my hair using the Steam Pod. The result was so impressive that I decided to bring one home and try to replicate the magic on my own.
The water holder does add substantial bulk to the tool. However, for someone like me who adores voluminous, bouncy curls, this isn’t a drawback. In fact, the bulkiness facilitates the creation of the kind of big curls that I typically achieve with a 2-inch curling iron.
There is a downside, though. The bulkiness makes it challenging to style my entire head of hair. The placement of the plates doesn’t allow me to get close enough to my scalp, making it difficult to straighten my roots as much as I would like to. I can’t help but think that this would make the Steam Pod a challenge for those with short hair as well.
Despite this, the Steam Pod excels when it comes to styling the lengths of my hair. The results I can achieve with this innovative tool are truly remarkable.
Additional steam flat irons to shop
Here is a selection of additional steam flat irons that you may want to consider when shopping for the perfect tool for your natural hair.
Solofish Salon Grade Ceramic Flat Iron
The Solofish Salon Grade Ceramic Flat Iron is a versatile steam straightener that features ceramic plates for even heat distribution. This ensures your hair remains safe during styling. The appliance comes with five steam vents, enabling your hair to be continuously enveloped in moisture. The steam settings can be adjusted to medium or high, or completely turned off if you wish to use the straightener like a regular one. An impressive feature of this flat iron is its heat-up time—it can reach 300℉ in just 15 seconds. The overall heat range lies between 300℉ and 450℉, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking.
InfraShine Original Medium Flat Iron
InfraShine Original Medium Flat Iron takes steam straightening a notch higher by combining infrared heat with steam. This combination ensures your hair is infused with moisture, minimizing potential heat damage. The rounded ceramic plates are a unique feature that allows for both straightening and curling with equal ease. The flat iron includes a digital LCD display, offering adjustable temperature settings between 250℉ and 410℉. This allows you to customize your styling experience based on your hair texture. However, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may need to refill the water tank every one to three styling sessions.
In conclusion, a steam flat iron for natural hair is nothing short of a game changer. It smooths and straightens while infusing your locks with much-needed moisture, minimizing potential damage. For those with natural hair, investing in a steam flat iron can significantly transform your hair care regimen, providing salon-like results right at home. Despite some challenges, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, making them an essential tool for natural hair care.