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Does Handheld Hair Steamer Really Work?

Unlike salon hair steamers, handheld steamers are much more compact and cheap, which is why they’re rising to popularity so quickly. However, with the influx of people using this hair care product, some have stepped forward to question whether they’re worth it.

So, does handheld hair steamer really work? Apart from their workable size and price in comparison to regular steamers, handheld steamers differ a lot from the steamers used in salons.

In the following article, we compiled some of the advantages and disadvantages of handheld steamers to determine whether they really work.


Benefits of Using a Handheld Steamer

Handheld steamers are quickly making their mark on the self-care and hair health industry as the best alternative to salon hair steamers. They are significantly smaller and cheaper than professional steamers, which makes them useful when people are spending more time at home than outside.

Here are some of the benefits to expect when using a handheld hair steamer –

Deep Moisture


Steam helps to open up pores to allow strands of hair to absorb moisture. In this case, people with low porosity hair struggle a lot as the pores are stubborn and take a lot to open up and let moisture in. With a handheld hair steamer, it’s easier to open hair cuticles from root to end.

When these cuticles are finally opened, conditioners, oils, and creams can be set and reach deep into the strands. On un-steamed low porous hair, the products sit on the strands’ surface and wash off without leaving any noticeable results.


Wider Reach

Benefits of Using a Handheld Steamer

Because a handheld steamer is so compact, it’s easier to maneuver it around your head. This lets the steam reach every section of your hair so that each strand receives moisture. Unlike handheld steamers, salon steamers sit on top of your head and wrap around it, which doesn’t help a lot for the hair on the back of your head or nape.

Moreover, salon steamers can put a lot of stress and heat on your scalp, which can damage your roots. A handheld steamer eliminates these issues, and you get to distribute the heat and steam evenly according to your hair type.


Reduced Damage

Since the steam from handheld steamers evenly spreads the moisture to every part of your hair, the hair cuticles open up and make it easier for products to penetrate the strands.

Products such as oils, creams, conditioners, hair masks, and more work best on medium to high porosity hair. So, using a handheld hair steamer will make your hair more compatible with these products and therefore reduce a lot of damage.

Conditioners are more likely to reach into the hair strands to repair breakage and dryness with steam. Handheld hair steamers also help to clarify your scalp so that the roots become strong and the pores only produce healthy natural oils. This leads to less coarseness, increased moisture, and rapid growth.


Disadvantages of Using a Handheld Steamer

There are reasons why handheld hair steamers are considered as an alternative to salon steamers and not their own product. They might be cheaper and more user-friendly, but they don’t deliver salon-like quality hair at one go.

In fact, it takes some practice to use handheld steamers to get the desired results. So most people prefer to go to a professional instead. Here are a couple of disadvantages users have faced while hair steaming at home –


Heat Damage

Disadvantages of Using a Handheld Steamer

Hairstyling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, etc., have constantly been disliked by hair care professionals for their heat damage-causing properties. Because of the high temperature, these products expose to hair that kills the proteins of hair strands and eventually cause roughness.

Steamers of any kind are also included here. Hairstylists are aware of which extent of heat your hair can endure, but without the proper information, you can end up damaging your hair if you do it by yourself. If you want to steam your hair at home, it’s best to use minimal heat and not steam the hair for too long.


Not for All Hair Types

Just like with any styling tool, the method of use differs between hair types. In general, handheld steamers are more beneficial for low porosity hair than medium or high porosity hair.

Low porosity hair has stubborn pores that need heat to open up, while medium/high porosity hair already has manageable pores that don’t need much heat.

Medium/highly porous hair absorbs products much quicker and easier than low porous hair, so they are less prone to damage and therefore don’t require steam most of the time.

Even with low porosity hair, stylists recommend going to a professional instead of steaming at home because they are harder to manage. Since this hair type is the most prone to damage, it can easily suffer more dryness from handheld steamers without proper knowledge.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is steaming good for your hair?

Yes, steaming is good for your hair if it lacks moisture. Damaged and rough hair is a sign of low moisture. Depending on your hair type, handheld hair steamers can effectively deliver moisture to all hair parts, including inside the strands, to repair it.


Can I use a fabric steamer on my hair?

You should not use any tool on your hair outside of its intended purpose. Fabric steamers are meant for clothes and can put excessive heat and stress on your hair to eventually damage it. Instead, opt for a reliable hair steamer or consult a hair care professional.


How long should you steam hair?

How long you should steam your hair usually differs between low, medium, and high porosity hair. Stylists recommend not going over 30 minutes on low heat, but if it’s your first time steaming your hair at home, use the lowest heat possible for no more than 10 minutes.


Things You Should Note About Handheld Hair Steamers

Are these hair steamers really that bad or effective for the health of your hair?

  • Less powerful than hooded hair steamers, so it may not be of great benefit for you.
  • It takes 5 minutes to heat up the water for steam coming out, it doesn’t work consistently.
  • Small water chamber means you have to refill the chamber in the middle of your conditioning sessions. Sometimes it gets loose.
  • Going over your hair section using a handheld steamer is very time-consuming, and you have to press and hold the button to keep steaming.
  • Holding a bulky and heavy hair steamer is not comfortable


So handheld hair steamer work after all. To concise the answer, yes, to some extent, and depending on your hair type, handheld hair steamers work wonders for damaged hair.

We hope we were able to provide you with helpful info on hair steamers. Remember to keep our advice in mind while considering hair steaming for yourself.