Woman with towel on her hair holding conditioner

Like a facial for your hair, steam treatments infuse both natural hair and weaves with precious moisture, essential for healthy locks. Whether your hair is relaxed, color-treated or simply dried out, steam aids in stronger, suppler hair that's easier to style and detangle, while the warm vapor opens up the cuticle allowing your conditioner or oil to deeply penetrate strands. A simple plastic cap stands in for a professional steamer and works just as well.

Step 1: Start with clean hair

Use a clarifying shampoo or a homemade clarifying treatment to help get rid of buildup and ensure that your treatment is better absorbed.

Step 2: Apply a hair treatment

Apply conditioner, oil or a protein treatment throughout your hair prior to steaming to allow the product to deeply penetrate, giving your strands added moisture.

Step 3: Put on a plastic cap

Make sure your hair is completely contained within a tight-fitting plastic cap to prevent any steam from escaping.


Use plastic wrap instead of a plastic cap or over the top of a loose-fitting cap to keep hair tightly sealed.

Step 4: Wear plastic gloves

Protect your hands with gloves and moisten a towel or turban with hot water. Thoroughly wring out until just damp.

Step 5: Wrap the towel around your head

Place the towel or turban around your head and cover with another plastic cap over top of the towel to help keep it warm and lock in the steam.

Step 6: Process for 20-30 minutes

Leave on for 20-30 minutes, re-wetting the towel with hot water as necessary, to allow the moisture from the steam to penetrate the hair and scalp, while activating the conditioner or oil.


Keep a dry washcloth handy to catch any water that drips down from the cap or wear an absorbent headband.

Step 7: Unwrap hair and let cool

Let your hair cool to allow the cuticle to close and keep your treatment sealed in. Once hair is cool to the touch, rinse thoroughly.

Step 8: Repeat weekly

Steam hair once a week. Regular steaming has a cumulative effect on locks, ensuring that your hair looks and stays healthy. Conversely, over-steaming can have the opposite effect and lead to weakened strands.