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

Things You'll Need

Step 1: Start With Clean Hair

Use a clarifying shampoo or 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.

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 top of a loose-fitting cap to keep hair tightly sealed.

Step 4: Wrap a Warm Towel Around Your Head

Moisten a towel or turban with hot water and thoroughly wring out until just damp. Place the towel or turban around your head. Cover the top of the towel with another plastic cap to keep it warm and lock in the steam.

Step 5: Process for 20 to 30 Minutes

Leave everything on for 20 to 30 minutes, replenishing the towel with hot water as necessary to let the moisture from the steam 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 6: Unwrap Hair and Let Cool

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

Repeat Weekly

Steam hair once a week. Regular steaming has cumulative effects on locks, keeping hair healthy. However, steaming more often than that can have the opposite effect and lead to weakened strands.