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I'm Verna,
Your Curly-Haired Friend.

Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It could be super-defined one day and a frizzy concoction the next day – and it's never exactly the same from one head to another. Our mission is to equip you with the necessary tools for restoring and maintaining healthy locks and celebrating the hair you were born with! 

The Best Hair Steamer for Curly Hair: What You Need to Know

August 24, 2023


Verna Meachum

Find out what you need to know about hair steamers and how to use them at home.

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Curl care

With extensive experience in the beauty industry, I specialize in writing for curly hair care brands, websites, and magazines.

Not only do I have curly hair, but my children, friends, family members, and even friends who are professional curly hairstylists, each with their unique curly textures.

 You get the point :) 

I also partner with a friend who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist, ensuring our content is scientifically accurate and help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. 

Hi,I'm Verna

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Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by Verna Meachum

Steaming your face during facials makes sense, but it always turns up to level weird when you think about someone’s steaming their hair. What does that consist of? Why do people use steamers on their hair? How do you use it? And what are the best hair steamers for curly hair to get?

A hair steamer for curly hair is a specialized tool designed to provide deep and targeted hydration to curly hair types. It helps to retain moisture in the scalp, reduce frizz, encourage hair growth through increased blood flow, and allow better absorption of products. It also helps to define curls, create more bounce, and provide shine while improving the overall health of your hair.

Everyone loves healthy, shiny hair, and using steamers can achieve this. While it is primarily used in salons, you can get home steamers to DIY the process. I have created this post to help you understand all you need to know about hair steamers, with a list of recommendations.

Hair Steamers: How Do They Work?

A hair steamer is a tool that emits moist heat onto your scalp and hair and is said to offer various benefits for your hair’s health and appearance.

Find out the benefits of steaming hair and what types are available on the market for at home use.

People with curly hair likely know the struggle of keeping it moisturized and frizz-free. And while there is a pool of products on the market that promise to help, hair steamers are said to be one of the most effective and natural ways to seal in moisture and keep your hair healthy.

Hair steamers work similarly to facial steamers. Steaming helps to “open” or lift the hair cuticle and allows your products and treatments to penetrate the hair fiber, providing maximum hydration, moisture, and nourishment.

Side note: hair cuticles don’t really open in the same way that doors do, but rather they experience a slight expansion or lift at the microscopic level, creating a temporary space that facilitates the absorption of nourishing products and moisture.

When moist heat is generated from the hair steamer, the cuticle gently lifts and swells. The nourishing products, treatment, and moisture are then infused, creating a much deeper absorption process. For curlies, it means more defined, hydrated, and manageable hair.

Types of Hair Steamers

It might sound unbelievable, but you get different hair steamers. Each type has its own pros and cons, so it is essential to understand how they differ and what they do to choose the one best suited for your needs.

Here is a breakdown of hair steamers:

Ionic Hair Steamer:

This type of hair steamer is said to be the most popular and widely used. It produces negative ions, which are beneficial for the scalp and hair.

The downside to this steamer is that it can be a bit bulky and heavy. It is also super expensive.

Ultrasonic Hair Steamer:

This hair steamer uses ultrasonic vibrations to emit microscopic water particles that penetrate deep into hair follicles. It can work as an effective treatment for hair damaged by perms and coloring.

The downside to this steamer is that it can be challenging to find replacement parts. It is also on the much pricier side.

Hair Dryer with Steam Function:

The advantage of this hair steamer is that it comes with a 2-in-1 function, which means more bang for your buck.

It is, as it says – a hairdryer with the added feature of emitting moist heat.

The con of this hair steamer is that it can be hard to find. It is more affordable than the other two types and a good option if you are still deciding whether to make a big purchase.

Travel Hair Steamer:

This type of hair steamer is perfect for those on the go. It’s small, compact, and can be easily packed in a suitcase or carried in your tote.

It is excellent if you have extremely dry hair or travel to places where it might dry out excessively.

The downside is that it produces less heat or moisture than other hair steamers.

The Best Hair Steamers for Curly Hair

Hair steamer for curly hair - tabletop model

Kingsteam Hair Steamer 2 in 1 Ozone Facial Steamer

  • This is a tabletop steamer.
  • It has a powerful atomizer to produce ultra-fine mist.
  • It can help prevent breakage and split ends and treats brittle and damaged hair.
  • It can increase moisturizes your scalp to prevent dandruff.
  • Its compact size allows you to take it with you wherever you go.
Image of my personal Kingsteam Hair Steamer for curly hair.
Here is photo of my own Kingsteam hair steamer.

Hair steamer for curly hair - standing floor model.

Professional Hair Steamer with Adjustable Height Hood

  • This is a standing steamer.
  • It can moisturize your scalp to help prevent dandruff.
  • It can deeply condition, detangle, hydrate, and revive dull and dry hair.
  • It is said to assist in bringing back natural elasticity.
  • It can improve the absorption of hair conditioners and moisturizers.
  • It has an auto-turn-off function when the water is below the required levels, which prevents injury and premature wear.
Image of my personal standing hair steamer for curly hair.
Here is a photo of my personal standing hair steamer. I really love this one and so will you!

Hair steamer for curly hair - Electric cap model.

Thermal Steamer Cap Electric Hot Treatment Cap

  • This is a portable steamer.
  • The Hair Steamer Cap is an electronic temperature control heating cap with flame-retardant material.
  • It is equipped with longer and broader sizes, which is excellent for deep conditioning thick and curly hair.
  • There is a high-quality, durable plastic lining double layer for a balanced temperature.
  • Easy to clean.
  • It has two temperature control modes to choose from. 15-20 minutes for optimal use.
  • When the temperature reaches 65 °C, the plug stops automatically and stops heating. If the temperature drops to 45, it will heat again to continue working, which offers maximum comfort and safety for you.
  • The compact size makes it easily portable to carry anywhere while traveling.

Image of the Felecia Leatherwood microwaveable cap.

Felicia Leatherwood Microwaveable Cap

  • High-quality Eco-friendly Materials.
  • High-quality flaxseed materials, which can retain moisture well and be re-warmed time and time again.
  • Outer material consists of microfiber cotton and nylon, soft, with natural stretch and comfy feel.
  • The natural flaxseed interior retains even heat.
  • It’s easy to use. No electricity needed, just a microwave.
  • It has an elastic rim and can maintain good efficiency and shape after continuous use.
  • Comes with plastic cap.
  • Fit all head sizes.
Image of my personal thermal cap by Hot Heads.
Here’s my personal thermal cap by Hot Heads. What I love about this cap is that it lasts for a long time.

Q-Redew Hair Steamer

  • This is a hand-held steamer.
  • It gently warms and softens locks, delivering hydrated and moisturized curls within minutes.
  • Its patent 120V design ensures multi-purpose steam technology that deeply moisturizes each strand, offering versatile restyling, detangling, and deep conditioning.
  • The device’s only drawback was its tendency to stop functioning after just a few months of use. In the span of a year, I’ve gone through three of them.

Benefits of Using a Hair Steamer for Curly Hair

Understanding what hair steamers do and having a list of them to choose from is helpful. But, like me, you may want to invest in something after you know the extent of its benefits. Hair steamers provide many benefits to your hair.

Here are some of those benefits:

  • Steamers can stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow.
  • The moist heat of a hair steamer can help promote hair growth by encouraging blood better circulation.
  • They can help to retain moisture in the hair shaft.
  • Steamers can reduce frizz and flyaway hairs.
  • They can help to define curls.
  • They can make your hair look shinier and bouncier.
  • Hair steamers can help raise the cuticle layer of the hair shaft, making it easier to infuse products into the hair. This creates maximum effectiveness of conditioning and deep conditioning treatments.
  • They are a fantastic tool for low-porosity hair. The cuticle layers of low-porosity hair are tightly packed and do not easily allow moisture or products to penetrate the shaft. Hair steamers can help to raise those cuticle layers and allow for better absorption.

How to Use a Hair Steamer

Now that you know more about the types of hair steamers and their benefits, let’s talk about how to use them for the best results.

These are tips for getting the most out of your hair steamer:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as all steamers are not created equal.
  • Start with freshly washed hair and apply your treatment.
  • Apply your favorite moisturizing product, treatment, or oil to each subsection of hair.
  • Start with the coldest setting and work your way up. This will help to prevent burns.
  • Allow 5 to 20 minutes for your hair to absorb the moisture and nutrients. You may want to do it for 30 minutes if your hair is excessively dry or damaged. But avoid overdoing it, or you can risk over-moisturizing your hair.
  • Rinse your hair with cool water and style as usual.

Can a Hair Steamer Damage Your Hair?

When a hair steamer is used correctly, it can take your hair-care game to the next level. That said, it’s important to know that over-using this device can adversely affect the look and feel of your mane.

Make sure to read the directions that came with your hair steamer carefully.

Steamers can cause damage if you over-steam because that can offset your moisture levels. This can cause limp and weak-looking strands to become a reality.

Always use a hair steamer only when needed or occasionally for a deep conditioning hair treatment.

Heat damage is possible if you use a steamer incorrectly. Over-steaming can offset your moisture levels and lead to damage.

This can make your hair weak, and it will lose luster and bounce. Too much exposure to high-temperature steam can damage your hair.


Can You Use a Steamer on All Hair Types?

Steaming your hair with a hair steamer is a welcome addition to any hair care regimen. Hair steamers can be used on all hair types.

How Often Should You Steam Your Hair?

Avoid using this tool every day. Always pay attention to your strands. If it’s always a struggle for your products to penetrate your strands and you want to shower your locks with an extra moisture boost, kick things off with weekly usage, then adjust accordingly.

How Long Should You Steam Your Hair?

To get the most out of a hair-steaming device, try steaming your hair between 5 to 30 minutes, but let it guide you to what it needs. Also, follow the instructions on the product you apply to your hair and the hair steamer tool.

How Can I Pass Time While Steaming My Hair?

You could read a book, watch a show, or use the time to relax. If you want a spa day at home, apply a face mask, soak your feet, and apply nail polish. This way, you can maximize your time.

Should You Steam Your Hair Dry or Wet?

You should steam your hair while it is wet. When you’re done, rinse with cool water to seal the moisture. But if you’re using the steamer for hot oil treatment, you can do it on dry hair.

Does Steaming Stop Hair Breakage?

If your hair breakage is due to a poor diet, medication, or deeper underlying health issues, steaming may not help. If your breakage is from mechanical damage, heat styling, lack of hydration, or using the wrong type of products, steaming can help reduce breakage.

Can a Steamer Cause Heat Damage?

These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions about hair steamers. Be sure to do your own research to find out more about this helpful tool.


Hair steaming can be highly beneficial to your hair’s health. The types of steamers you use will depend on your budget and what your hair needs. The above suggestions are a great place to start. And now you know that steaming is not just for food and facials!

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