Hair Dryer vs Hair Steamer

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dear Nia B,
In the post about the steamer you said, "The warm steam will help open up your hair's cuticle which will allow your hair to receive all the beneficial ingredients found in the conditioner."  Is this the same thing that occurs when you sit under the hair dryer?  Is one method more effective than the other?
Iesha J

Hi Iesha,
The dry heat from a hair dryer, the heat from your head  - coupled with the moisture contained in a plastic cap, when used with conditioner, will create an environment similar to a hair steamer since the goal is to create a warm, moist environment to help open up the cuticles and receive the benefits from the conditioner being used.  When using a hair steamer,  a plastic cap is not needed; you simply fill the steamer up with water and sit under it.  With the steamer, you are getting direct and constant heated moisture to your strands and scalp.  With the hair dryer and plastic cap method, depending on how much moisture "lives" within the plastic cap (and the heat setting on the dryer), it too will provide the necessary heated moisture.

  If you place conditioner on your hair and sit under the hair dryer without a plastic cap, this will not produce the same effect.  The dry heat does not contain moisture and you basically would be drying the conditioner onto your hair.  For some types of treatments this may be necessary, but if you're looking for added moisture and for your hair to receive the benefits of the conditioner, the previously mentioned method will not do.  

If you're using the hair dryer and plastic cap method, you're receiving moist heat, cuticles being opened and the benefits from your conditioner.  I believe the hair steamer is a wonderful treat and a preference;  it is a bit different than the hair dryer and plastic cap method due to the direct and constant heated moisture.  I personally like sitting under my steamer -  plus with the steamer I have,  I get to do a mini facial steam at the same time as I steam my hair.  If you are not in the market to purchase a steamer, I do not think it is a necessity for you to do so (there are other options).  However, if you ever have the chance to use one, do a comparison and determine if you feel it to be an investment or not.
 Xs and Os
Nia B


  1. Nia what brand of steamer do you use or suggest?

  2. Hi Msesh, I have a salon grade steamer that I purchased from eBay. I've heard great things about the Huetiful steamer. It's a table top style that can easily be stored away.

  3. How do you like your salon grade steamer and what brand did you purchase? I have the Huetiful, which I find a bit awkward to use. After investing in a Pibbs dryer, I'm sold on using salon equipment for home use. Makes life SOO much easier :-)

    1. I really like it and it's convenient which was the main criteria for me. There isn't a brand name on my steamer; I brought it from a salon equipment store on eBay. Mines can get pretty hot and sometimes I'll poke a few holes in a plastic conditioner bag and sit underneath it as opposed to doing so without anything on my head.

  4. Hey! Could you provide the link or eBay name item of the salon grade steamer you bought. I'm not sure whether to buy a salon grade one off eBay or the Huetiful one.

    Do you recommend a steamer over a hooded dryer for deep conditioning? I guess the advantage of the hooded dryer is that you can also use it to do other things, such as roller-set curl your hair and stuff.

    Let me know :)

    1. Hi Silenzi,

      Here's the link to the seller I purchased my steamer from (I've had mine for some years):

      When I purchased my steamer I went back and forth on which to get. The reason I chose the salon grade on was because the tabletop version was not convenient for me.

      I personally prefer the steamer over the hood dryer, but as I mentioned in my post, getting one isn't a necessity if you are not truly in the market for one.

  5. Hi,
    Do you use the steamer to process color or on;ly conditioning treatments?


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