Is the tool better for the hair than a flat iron?
Steam straighteners are said to be healthier for the hair than flat irons and have many other benefits. How good are steam straighteners really?
For years we’ve been told that we should never straighten our hair while it’s wet, and now there’s a straightening iron around the corner that makes use of just that: water. The steam straightening iron should turn our bad hair day into a good hair day in no time at all. You can read here how this can work and whether it is really harmless to our mane.
What is a steam straightener?
Externally, steam straighteners do not differ significantly from conventional straighteners. They have two narrow heating plates between which individual strands of hair are clamped. But now the special: There is a small water tank on the steam straightener. The water contained there is heated and converted into steam. When the plates are pressed together, the water vapor flows out of the straightening iron in the form of mist and envelops the hair. If the straightening iron, i.e. an iron, is for the hair, the steam straightening iron is the steamer.
How do steam straighteners work?
Steam straightening irons are said to be more time-saving than conventional straightening irons, as a maximum of two passes per strand are sufficient. In addition, the steam straightening iron not only conjures up straight hair, but also curls and beach waves. To do this, individual strands of hair are placed between the heating plates and pulled through the heating plates as usual or wrapped around the device. If the steam that escapes makes you think of drizzle and you can’t get the images of frizzy hair out of your head, you can rest easy. The hot steam smoothes the individual strands of hair and provides them with moisture at the same time.
Cool Mist vs Hot Steam: What’s the Difference?
Honestly, it took us a while to understand why exactly hot steam should be good for the hair. The answer lies in science. Cool mist consists of tiny droplets of water in liquid form. In other words: These particles are still in the water state and are not charged, which means that the mist is easily adsorbed by the hair – i.e. it remains on the surface of the hair. It is different with hot steam. Due to the gaseous state, the particles are charged and are not so easily adsorbed by the hair, but are absorbed – i.e. absorbed. And why exactly is a steam straightener good? Very easily: When the water content in the hair is increased, the cuticle relaxes, allowing for styling at lower, healthier temperatures. The result: A shiny finish without any frizzy hair.
Steam straighteners: These purchase criteria must be observed
A steam straightener is slightly more expensive than a flat iron. Therefore, the purchase should be well considered. The following criteria can help you with your purchase decision.
- heating plates: When it comes to heating plates, the wheat is separated from the chaff. While cheap models rely on metal-coated heating plates, higher-quality steam straighteners with ceramic plates are convincing. They ensure gentle treatment of the hair, as the heat is optimally distributed.
- warm-up time: Time is of the essence, especially in the morning. Five minutes are worth their weight in gold here. So make sure that the warm-up time is as short as possible. Most steam straighteners are ready to use within 90 seconds.
- water tank: The water tank should hold at least 10 milliliters so that you don’t have to keep pouring water while styling. Of course, this depends on your hair length and thickness.
- Cable: A cable joint that can be rotated 360 degrees is advisable for uncomplicated styling. In addition, the cable should be about 1.5 to two meters long. You never know how far away the nearest socket is.
- Automatic switch-off: The automatic switch-off ensures safety. In the morning we tend to be scatterbrained and forget to pull the plug. The automatic switch-off makes up for our mistake and deactivates the device if we don’t use it for around 30 to 60 minutes.
- Temperature setting: Different hair types require different styling temperatures. If you have a steam straightening iron with several temperature levels, you can adjust it optimally to the needs of your hair. Temperatures between 150 and 220 degrees Celsius are ideal.
Which steam straightener is the best? Three products in comparison
Of the L’Oréal SteamPod is so popular that there is now a third edition with the SteamPod 3.0. In our comparison, the SteamPod is the most expensive steam straightener, but it also comes with a hair cream and a hair serum, which should bring the result to the highest level.
- Three heat levels from 180 to 210 degrees Celsius
- SteamPod care products ensure optimal results: smoothing serum and smoothing cream
- Removable comb
- 360 degree rotating cable joint
BaByliss Steam Luster Styler
Of the Steam Luster Styler by BaByliss is also a bestseller and meets the most important criteria that a good steam straightener should have. Like the SteamPod, the BaByliss steam straightener has a detachable comb for particularly smooth gliding through each individual strand.
- Five temperature levels, 170 to 210 degrees Celsius
- Ceramic coated heating plates
- Two steam settings
- 30 milliliter water tank
- Detachable comb attachment
- automatic switch-off
- Cable length: 2.5 meters
- Warm-up time: 15 seconds
Remington Hydraluxe Pro
Another crowd favorite is this Remington Hydraluxe Pro steam straightener. It gives you supple, soft and shiny hair as well as protection against heat damage. In addition, the moisture-storing ceramic coating helps to maintain the perfect moisture balance in your hair.
- Ceramic coated heating plates
- Pipette for easy filling of the water tank
- Five temperature settings from 150 to 230 degrees Celsius
- Ready to use in 15 seconds
- Three meter cable
- Automatic switch-off after 60 minutes
For which hair types is a steam straightener suitable?
Basically, a steam straightener is suitable for all hair types. It doesn’t matter whether you have curly, wavy or straight hair – the straightening iron with steam conjures up exactly the look you want. Thanks to the modern steam technology, the device ensures that your hair for at least three days smooth or curly, and stay supple.
What are the advantages of steam straighteners?
- Gentle on the hair
- Prevents static charging of the hair
- Long-lasting straightening/curls/waves
- No moisture loss
- Gives more shine
- Fast and uncomplicated styling
Are steam straighteners better than regular straighteners?
So much can be said in advance: hair generally does not like heat. So the gentlest way would be to let the mane air dry or create curls without heat and not using styling tools. But if you can’t do without them entirely, there are actually less harmful alternatives to curling irons, straightening irons and the like. On the one hand, you can use a straightening brush or hot air brush – or you can use a steam straightener. The advantage here: You can create different looks with just one device. And because of the water vapor, the hairstyle will last for several days. Even if the steam straightener is a bit more expensive than other styling tools – your hair will thank you.