Does Steam Straighteners Damage Hair?

Last Updated on April 5, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

Ever since straighteners were first invented, companies have constantly been working to make them better and safer to use.

We have come a long way from regular metal-plated straighteners to flat irons with comb attachment and now the latest, Steam Hair Straighteners.

If you have been researching straighteners, you might have heard that you can protect your tresses from heat damage up to a greater extent by switching to steam straighteners.

But is that really true? And if so, how do they do that?

Well, we were also a little dubious about this claim. So, we decided to dig in deeper and find the truth about whether steam flat irons are better for your hair or not.

Why a Steam Straightener?

You must be wondering that “My regular flat iron does the job pretty good, then why should I opt for a Steam Straightener?”

That’s because regular straightening irons, like other hot tools, use dry heat to style your hair. This heat takes away the moisture in the cuticles, leaving them damaged.

But when you use a steam straightener, that’s not the case!

Steam straighteners infuse moisture into the cuticles while styling them. Therefore, when you use a Steam iron, your hair looks healthier and frizz-free instead of dry.

On top of that, the results last much longer as compared to regular irons. 

So, why would you ignore it?

How Do Steam Straighteners Work?

While Steam Straighteners look pretty much similar to regular straighteners (except for the bristles and water tank), their functioning differs highly.

A steam iron has a water tank that holds water and converts it into vapor (steam) when heated. It then uses this steam to straighten the hair. So, you get much shinier, silkier, straight tresses in comparison to regular flat irons.

Unlike traditional straighteners, where your hair directly comes in contact with the hot (metal, ceramic, Titanium, or Tourmaline) plates, these ones infuse water vapor into your hair and use nano-ceramic or nano-tourmaline technology to style the hair.

In this manner, the moisture is sealed into the cuticle, protecting your hair from heat damage.

Further, these straighteners keep the hair healthy for a longer time by deeply conditioning it with nourishing oils (like Argan Oil).

Does Using a Steam Straightener Damage the Hair?

No matter what hot tool (or type of hot tool) you use to style your hair, it’s going to damage your hair in one way or another. And that’s a fact, which stands true for a Steam Straightening iron as well.

However, the damage caused by these Straighteners is relatively less. 

And the great news is that you can reduce the chances of damage to a greater extent by being careful yourself!

Is your mind thinking: “How can I do that?”

Here’s your answer!

When you hold the steam iron on one part of your hair for a longer period, your hair will get burnt. That is because both the water vapor and heat (of the plates) are hot. And when you apply them on the same part for a longer time, they will suck out the hair’s moisture!

As a result, the hair will burn! 

So, avoid holding the straightener on the same section for a long time.

Another reason that may cause harm to your hair is skipping to apply a heat protectant.

Though steam irons are gentler on the hair than other straighteners, using them without applying a heat protectant will damage the hair. Thus, never miss applying a good heat-protective serum or spray on the hair.

Besides, when you use a Steam iron at extremely high temperatures (say above 375F), your hair may get severely damaged due to the heat. Hence, before placing the straightener on your hair, ensure that it’s set to the optimum temperature.

Now you know there are not bad, Let’s check out some of the best steam straighteners of 2021.

Do You Still Need It?

Having discussed the basics of a Steam Straightener, let’s talk about whether you need it or not?

As mentioned above, steam irons don’t leave your hair dry by sucking out the moisture in it. They instead infuse moisture and save your hair from getting frizzy.

That actually reduces the chances of hair breakage or split ends (which occurs in dry hair).

Additionally, steam flat irons are gentler on the hair. Thus, they are great for all hair types and specifically excellent for sensitive or damaged hair.

In a nutshell, the vapor infusion technology used in these irons will keep the hair safe from heat damage. And give you fabulous results. Hence, by switching to a steam hair straightening iron, you will only be doing good to your hair!

Steam Straightener Vs. Regular Flat Iron

Steam Straighteners

By now, you are aware that Steam straightening irons are straighteners that use steam to straighten the hair. And they are much convenient and safe to use. So, let’s have a look at their benefits and drawbacks.

The Benefits:

  • Steam irons are gentler on the hair as they use steam to straighten the hair. However, they are capable of straightening the hair in fewer passes.
  • Steam irons eliminate frizz from the hair by sealing the moisture in the hair cuticles.
  • The bristles help in managing the hair while styling.
  • Steam irons are suitable for all hair types, including colored, damaged, and dry hair.
  • The water vapor protects hair from heat damage.
  • They make the hair shinier and glossier than regular ones.

The Drawbacks:

  • These straighteners are heavier and bigger due to the water tank.
  • The water in the water tank usually lasts for 15 to 25 minutes. So, you will have to refill it after that. That means if you have long hair, styling with these straighteners might cost you more time.

Regular Flat Irons

You need to place a hair section between the two plates (Ceramic, Titanium, or any other type) and style them by pressing and pulling the plates from roots to tips in regular straightening irons. Hence, these straighteners’ plates come in direct contact with the hair and style the hair by applying heat to the hair. Besides, unlike steam straighteners, they don’t have bristles or steam.

But, what are the benefits of using them? Check them below!

The Benefits:

  • Regular irons are lightweight and often small enough to pack and carry in a bag.
  • These straighteners are ideal for Keratin treatments and silk press.
  • They work faster even when used for styling longer tresses (as you don’t need to fill any water tank).
  • They are cheaper than steam ones.

The Drawbacks:

  • Regular straighteners cause severe damage to the hair, mainly when used at higher temperatures.
  • The ceramic plates used in most regular hair straighteners wear out faster.

Which Hair Straightener Should I Choose?

There is no doubt that Steam Hair Straighteners offer mind-blowing results on most hair types. And they keep your hair hydrated and frizz-free.

Plus, the results you get with a steam iron last longer and are higher in quality than regular ones. 

These straighteners are ideal for daily use, as they not only give you softer, shinier locks but also protect them from heat damage.

Nevertheless, if you have long hair or very stubborn curls, you might find them less effective. However, they will also be less damaging as compared to regular straightening irons.

All in all, we would simply say that if you don’t want to damage your locks even when you use a straightener daily, you should opt for a Steam Straightener. It will make your life way easier and make the hair look fabulous!

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