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Do Steam Flat Irons Cause Hair Damage?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether or not a steam flat iron damages hair, you’re probably wondering: what exactly is a steam flat iron?

They’re the same style and have all the same features of a regular flat iron, but they release steam as they straighten the hair. The steam is thought to add moisture and prevent hair from over-drying. If you’ve never tried one, there are a few things you should know about the hot tool first, specifically whether or not it will damage your locks.

First, the way a steam flat iron works is by filling a small canister on the flat iron with water. After securing it back onto the flat iron, you turn it on and let it heat to your desired temperature. Then you proceed to use it like a regular flat iron. The thing you’ll notice about a steam flat iron is the visible steam-like smoke billowing out of the flat iron as you run it through your hair.

Check out the best flat irons for damaged hair


What Makes a Steam Flat Iron Potentially Damaging?

How Steam Flat Iron Damage Hair

  • For as well as they straighten hair, the results don’t last long. This means you might end up over-straightening or repeating the process multiple times per day.
  • They don’t grip your hair as well as regular flat irons meaning you will need to use higher temperatures to achieve straight locks. Higher temperatures mean prolonged exposure to high heat.

As significant as these two points might be, steam flat irons actually have a good reputation. Because conventional flat irons use the natural moisture from oils in your hair to straighten locks, this means it can make your hair dry and damaged more easily. A steam flat iron is made to banish this problem. The steam retains and adds moisture to hair while straightening it.

Oil is important to hair because it lubricates the cuticle and acts as a bonding agent so the hair doesn’t split. In the long run, if you use a conventional flat iron and don’t make a point of using products that will add oil to your hair, you could likely end up with unhealthy hair or even hair loss.

So the short answer is no, a steam flat iron is not damaging. It’s a healthier option than conventional flat irons.


Things to Remember About Using a Steam Flat Iron

  • You’ll still need to use a heat protectant spray – professional stylists recommend spritzing each section of hair before straightening it.
  • The water reservoir on steam flat irons typically needs to be refilled every 15 minutes, maybe more depending on how much hair you have and its thickness.
  • Steam flat irons work best when the hair is completely dry. Just out of the shower in the morning and can’t wait? Use a blow dryer for a few minutes!
  • Using the steam flat iron every day isn’t as damaging as using a conventional one each day, so straighten away!

Overall, if you want healthy-looking hair with lots of shine, definitely pick up a steam flat iron. They range in price from $20-$50. If you need help making the decision, consult your stylist. And remember to read the reviews of each one to see what others’ experiences have been.

Ultimately, you should end up with a product you love and a hairstyle you love even more!