Steam curlers use moisture, rather than intense heat, to change your hair’s appearance. According to hairstylist Robert Vetica, and actresses Debra Messing and Salma Hayek, authors of “Good to Great Hair,” steam curlers are easier on your hair than curling irons or hot rollers, as these devices do not typically apply moisture to hydrate the hair. Using steam curlers is a simple process, requiring only 30 minutes to complete.

Things You'll Need

Wash your hair the day before you plan to use your steam curlers. Wet or dirty hair will not respond well to the curling process.

Plug in your steam curlers and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the curling equipment.

Part your hair down the center and brush it smooth so it is free of tangles.

Separate a 2-inch-thick section of hair at the top of your head, on one side of your part. Wrap the tips of the section of hair around a steam curler and roll it up the length of your hair. Use a curler clip to secure the hair.

Repeat with 2-inch sections of hair over your entire head, following the part. Charles Worthington, author of “The Complete Book of Hairstyling,” says it is easiest to work with the hair at the top of your head and work down to the hair in the middle, and then to the bottom of your scalp.

Allow the curlers to set for 15 minutes.

Unclip curlers beginning with the bottom of your head and gently unroll the hair. Continue this process over your entire head until all your hair is unrolled.

Gently brush the curled hair with a soft hairbrush to smooth the curls and make them appear natural.


  • According to Maria Neuman, author of “Fabulous Hair,” if your hair does not hold the curls, try spraying it with hairspray as soon as you take the curlers out.