Hair Steaming 101: Everything You Need To Know According to the Pros
Hair steaming is the perfect way to elevate your wash day routine and help hydrating conditioning treatments penetrate your dry hair.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with having dry, brittle hair. Whether my hair is straight or in its natural coily state, it seems to repel moisture of any kind. No matter how consistently I apply tried and true hydration treatments to my locks, my hair doesn’t feel hydrated for more than a few hours. Recently, I discovered the wonderful world of hair steaming, and I’m happy to report that my desert strands are on the road to revival.
After spraying my hair with water and noticing water beads sitting on top of my strands, I had a revelation about a characteristic of my hair that I’ve ignored—it’s porosity. In case you’re wondering, porosity (as defined by the dictionary) is “the quality or state of being porous.” In regards to hair, porosity levels determine your hair’s ability to both let moisture in and retain it. I discovered that my hair is low porosity, meaning the cuticles on my hair shaft tend to be fairly closed, not allowing water or moisture to penetrate. After doing a ton of research, I was pointed in the direction of hair steaming to solve my dry hair issues.
What exactly is hair steaming?
Hair steaming is a treatment that uses moist heat to open up hair follicles, allowing moisture to penetrate your hair and scalp. It also helps treatment products such as conditioners to penetrate deeper. According to LA-Based Celebrity Hairstylist and Cantu Ambassador Angela Stevens, hair steaming also helps add elasticity, shine, and softness to brittle hair.
What hair types is hair steaming most beneficial for?
Though most stylists agree that low porosity hair can benefit the most from hair steaming, it can generally help all hair types, even those with “normal” or high porosity levels. Here’s what Maya Smith, Founder of The Doux and Owner of The Doux Salon’s shared with Cherie about the importance of hair steaming as it pertains to hair types:
“Steam hydration treatments use heat and steam to help to expand the cuticle layer of the hair, allowing water molecules to penetrate more deeply than with a traditional deep conditioner alone...steam treatments are beneficial for all hair types because steam increases penetration for low-porosity hair while eliminating frizziness most common in [higher porosity] hair.”
So, how should I steam my hair?
While I decided to order a hair steamer that you fill with water to create steam heat, that isn’t the most cost-effective way, let alone the only way to get a proper steam treatment at home. If you’re looking to DIY this treatment, follow these quick and easy steps.
- Apply your favorite moisturizing conditioner to freshly washed hair and put on a plastic conditioning cap.
- Grab an absorbent towel and pop it in the microwave (for up to 2 minutes)
- Wrap the warm towel around your head and let the steam do its thing.
With any treatment that you do on your hair, you should pay close attention to how your hair reacts. Generally, anywhere between 15-45 minutes is a sweet spot for a hair reviving steam treatment. Though carving out this time may seem complicated, treat it as self-care and just bast in the moment while your hair gets the TLC it needs. For those with dry, thirsty strands, Angela recommends hair steaming every time you shampoo and condition.
What kind of conditioners work best for steam treatments?
A hair steam treatment wouldn’t be complete without the perfect hair conditioner, and of course, Cherie has you covered with some of the best hair conditioners to try!
Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
MOROCCAN OIL Intense Hydrating Mask
MOROCCANOILIntense Hydrating Mask
Cantu Strengthen Restore + Moisture Mask
Amika: Triple Rx Mask
amika:Triple Rx Mask
AVEDA Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner
Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-1 Conditioner
Biolage HydraSource Aloe Mask
Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Restoring Conditioner
Carol's DaughterAlmond Milk Restoring Conditioner
Gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin 👌🏻
DERMAFLASH - Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬: A two-in-one skincare device that uses ultrasonic waves at 33,000 Hz per second to unclog pores and infuse your favorite skincare products. Dermapore offers 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐬 for a customized treatment experience: 𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 - cleans your skin by removing dirt, oil, and blackheads. 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 - enhances the penetration of active ingredients. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞: 1. Press the Power Button once to activate Extract Mode which is indicated by a steady vibration and white light. 2. Apply gentle, yet firm pressure as you glide the device over your face and neck. Pay particular attention to congested areas. 3. After using Extract Mode, wipe the device clean with alcohol or soap and water to prepare the device for use in Infuse Mode. 4. Apply your favorite serum or moisturizer. 5. Press the Power Button twice to activate Infuse Mode which is indicated by a tapping vibration and blue light. 6. Using the flat portion of the spatula, glide dermapore over your serum or moisturizer—the ultrasonic vibration enhances penetration of the active ingredients in your skincare to help them work more effectively. I have been using Dermapore for months now, and I absolutely love it. It took 2-3 runs to figure out how to use it effectively. I was honestly quite surprised by how effective this product was at unclogging my pores. I have a congested and very oily T-zone and this little charm cleans out 90% of the gunk from my nose with ease. I don’t steam my face and straightly just wet my face and it still works great. I keep a small spray bottle at hand and spritz my face to keep my skin wet throughout the process. I like to use a little pressure with the spatula as it helps push the water into the skin and in turn pushing excess dirt/oil buildup out of my pores. It’s kind of gross but incredibly satisfying and gives you the results you’d expect from a professionally done facial. If you have very minimal blackheads or whiteheads, this may not be that worth it. But if you’re someone who has oily skin that constantly deals with comedones, this can be a game-changer for you.
Expensive💰=Effective✅? For Chantecaille, my answer is...
Anti-aging is always my concern.The Chantecaille Diamond Series features anti-aging ingredients including hexapeptide and plant extracts. I've tried several products for a long time and some of them really surprised me. CHANTECAILLE - Bio Lifting Serum+ Besides peptides and plant extracts, it also contains hyaluronic acid, so besides tightening and restoration, it also helps in moisturizing and trapping water. It has a gel-like texture and is easily absorbed by the skin when one whole dropper is used each time. It's also lightweight but moisturizing, which might be a little sticky for oily skin but suitable for dry skin in spring, summer, and fall. It does a great job at maintaining skin stability, and since using it, my skin has remained radiant even when I stay up late or the seasons change. If you need an SOS serum, this might not make the cut, but if you want a product providing you with a comprehensive anti-aging effect, you won't go wrong with this. CHANTECAILLE - Bio Lifting Cream+ This upgraded version of the lifting cream has a higher concentration of its active ingredients, enhancing the lifting and tightening effect while providing an anti-inflammatory and recovery effect, so even people with sensitive skin can use it. It has a soft, lotion texture with a runny consistency. A small amount is sufficient for the entire face, but it's slightly oily, so people with oily skin might find it a little greasy and it can't be easily absorbed. I could visibly notice its tightening effect after finishing a whole bottle, and it did reduce my expression lines and dry lines, especially smile lines. My skin looks plumper now and my smile lines have also been filled out, so I'll definitely repurchase it. CHANTECAILLE - Stress Repair Concentrate+ Eye Cream Its ingredients include hexapeptide and wheat protein for fighting wrinkles and reducing fine lines, caffeine for reducing puffy eyes, and finally plant extracts for reducing pigmentation. It has an average texture which spreads easily, but it's nothing special. It's oily, and feels like it balls up when first used, also creating a warming sensation around the skin of my eyes which irritates my eyes a little. Besides reducing puffy eyes, I don't see it doing much else so I don't think it's worth its price and I won't repurchase it. CHANTECAILLE - Bio Lifting Mask Directions: After cleansing, apply it evenly on your skin for 10-15 minutes, then wipe it off (no washing required) and follow-up with your usual skincare routine or just use it as the last step of your skincare routine. The most visible effect of this lifting mask is the brightening of skin complexion. It can be used as an SOS mask after staying up late, allowing you to wake up to smoother and more delicate skin. The skin radiance and tenderness can last for up to a few days. When there are signs of inflammation of your skin, such as swollen pimples, this lifting mask helps to soothe your skin and get rid of acne while effectively reducing dry lines. It's suitable as a regular anti-aging treatment or an SOS face mask. It is more easily absorbed compared with a normal face mask and it doesn't stain pillows. CHANTECAILLE - Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask The lifting mask focuses on anti-aging but this healing mask focuses on moisturizing and soothing, and is more suitable to use in dry weather, during season change, and for repairing sunburned skin. If you have sensitive skin and are not looking for anti-aging, but rather moisturizing, maintaining skin stability, improving skin redness, etc., then it's good value for money. The Chantecaille Diamond Series is not cheap, but most of its products can be used by people with sensitive skin, balancing anti-aging and skin restoration. Are you a fan girl for Chantecaille? What's your fav anti-aging skincare products?
Charlotte Tilbury’s Setting Powder Can’t Hang?
**I’ve only used this product once so this is my first impression of it I have been an admirer of Charlotte Tilbury’s products for quite some time now and have been dying to try its Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder. As its name suggests, it has a reputation of making the skin look airbrushed and free of shine, which I need in my life. More deets about the powder: This breathable, micro-fine powder technology gives you an immaculate complexion that acts like a luxe, micro-fine cashmere veil on top of your skin for a bright, perfecting finish. Rose wax and almond oil hydrate the skin throughout the day and enable the powder to blend on flawlessly, while reducing shine. Nourishing actives work to soothe and restore skin, while light-reflecting ingredients diffuse light as it hits your face for a luminous complexion and even finish all day. The powder costs $45 which i think is a lot so I’ve always been hesitant to try - but I got as a gift for my bday and was so excited to try. I haven’t really found a powder that I truly liked or that has actually kept my makeup locked in/prevented shine. My review: The airbrushed effect is no joke. When I first applied it, I was in awe of how smooth and radiant my skin looked. But as the day progressed, my T-zone got a bit oily and I noticed the product had caked into some dry spots — also does anyone have suggestions for hydrating primers/how to not make my foundation/powder cakey? Since I started using prescription retinol it’s been so hard to figure out!! I have to keep using this product to see how I feel about it. I really want to love it. As anyone tried it?!
Honest thoughts on Curology 🧐
𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 is a customized skincare subscription service - i’m sure we’ve all heard of it! Ever since I learned about prescription tretinoin, I knew I had to try it. I like that Curology can prescribe Tretinoin through an online consultation so it saved me a lot of money. I signed up and I received my first bottle in the first week of 2020. 𝐌𝐲 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞 & 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬: I have combination, sensitized, acne-prone skin with PIH 𝐌𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 & 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐈 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐭: I used two formulas: First month (January): Tretinoin 0.01% , Clindamycin 1%, Azelaic Acid 4% Next two months: Tretinoin 0.018%, Clindamycin 1%, Azelaic Acid 8% *NOTE: I specifically asked for tretinoin and azelaic acid * I have been using Adapalene for two months before I started Curology and was at the purging stage. 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡: My free trial arrived the first week of January and I tried it right away. As per the instructions, I washed my face with a gentle cleanser, applied moisturizer then the cream. I used it 2x a week. I was alternately using it with Adapelene. For the first month, the effects weren’t super obvious - other than my skin becoming smoother and softer feeling than it ever had before. 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡: I think my skin was at its worst in my second month of Tretinoin (4th month adapalene). I had more cystic acne and I was literally red all day -- I like to call it my full-on purging stage. I just stuck to it anyway. By this time, my skin was also feeling dry and I had slight peeling. My routine was: cleanser, thick moisturizer, and tretinoin. I was using my formula 3x a week. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡: The last weeks of the third month was when I saw the big changes in my skin. I was able to use the cream nightly by this time. Only word I can use to describe it is - shocked. I went from having cystic, red acne and rough patches to having smooth and completely calmed skin. Though left with hyperpigmentations, my skin was better than ever. 𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐰: After 3 months with Curology (with simplified skin care routine and adapalene) almost all of my cystic acnes were gone. Something I had thought months ago never would be possible. In April, I started my Triluma journey (tretinoin 0.5% + hydroquinone +mild steroid) to treat the hyperpigmentations left behind. I finished my tube last May and from then on used another brand of tretinoin (0.5%) for maintenance and to treat PIH. 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬: All I gotta say is that Curology is a great service, for most people. Unfortunately there are some of us for whom the base and/or certain ingredients simply won't work, and I believe that's no fault of Curology. I thoroughly recommend Curology. It’s a great option to get our hands on prescription strength products, like Tretinoin cream, without paying for an expensive private consultation.
Thoughts on Drunk Elephant B-Hydra💧💧
DRUNK ELEPHANT - B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐬: B-Hydra is a cool glass of water for your thirsty skin. An ultra-hydrating, anti-aging Vitamin B5 gel that replenishes nutrients and visibly brightens and improves skin texture and tone, while delivering intense skin moisturization throughout the day. To start off, I’m not a big fan of the brand Drunk Elephant. Cherie has sent gift cards and there’s really not many good options in Sephora so I ordered B-Hydra and Protini (I have also tried them before). I made a mistake using them both in the same routine once, it felt really clogging so I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive acne prone gals like me. However, using one DE product at a time really worked. I got to know they include Marula oil (and plant oils) in almost all of their products which got a comedogenic index of 4 that means it can actually clog pores and cause blemish/acne. B hydra so far hasn’t caused me any breakouts, I don’t really use it on an everyday basis tho. I specifically really like its texture. It has a thick gel consistency but sinks in easily and gives that luxurious feel - like all other DE products. It does kind of make my skin more oily during the day but overall, I still like it. I wouldn’t call it amazing but I think it does a decent job. It’s a good basic hydrating serum for me, unless you’re really into plant oils and it helps your skin tremendously then I can understand why this could be a holy grail. I wish DE would put some niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides higher up the ingredients list but nonetheless, it’s still a great product. Overall, I would recommend B-Hydra not because it’s mind blowing, but because it does mostly what you would expect. If you have the money to spare, I think it’s worth the try.
4 No-Buy Ways To Create An At-Home Spa DayHack your skincare routine and turn it into a DIY spa day, worthy of your relaxation.Mar. 24
Working From Home? Keep Healthy and Productive with These TipsWorking at home, especially when you're not used to it, can be really tough. Here are some tips that can help make the transition easier — as well as some that may help take the edge off of staying in.Mar. 23
Top 6 Drugstore Dupes For High End Makeup Products That May Shock You!Treat yourself without breaking the bank with these 6 drugstore dupes for the trendiest high-end makeup products.Feb. 28