Steam Treatments and Deep conditioning

The final installment of the deep conditioning panel is here. The questions

1. What do you think about steam treatments
2. Do you deep condition your hair, if so how?

Panel member
Steam Treatment
Deep Condition Own Hair?
Monique Since water is a great moisturizer, steam has moisturizing affects, and the addition of heat lifts the follicle, thus helps with penetration. As for steam as a DC, using steam alone does cause you to miss out on other awesome benefits from DC with other products. Yes. I deep condition my hair weekly, when I wash my hair. I deep condition with Aubrey Organic's Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner. I apply it to my dry hair before I wash it and leave it in for 15 minutes. I proceed to wash and condition again after that. This is the only conditioner that I have found smoothes my hair cuticle.
Laquita I've been very curious about this. I read steam experiences from several bloggers who have had great results. I would think it would be similar to sitting under a bonnet dryer while wearing a plastic cap with conditoiner in and/or wearing a plastic cap in a hot shower, but I would like to try it. I deep condition my hair about once or twice a month. I think I have blurred the lines of regular versus deep conditioning because I leave conditoner on my hair 30 mins or more every time I wash, and in doing so this has become a part of my regular wash/condition/style routine. I don't have a 'staple' conditioner. I pretty much grab anything from under the counter - which right now consists of Suave, Herbal Essence, Giovanni, Darcy's Botanicals, Cantu Shea-butter and my own. - I always mix oil (olive, almond, or castor) with my conditioner as well.
Noire Steam...well, I would say that when I used to used heat on my hair years ago for straightening (or pressing), sometimes a plastic cap in the shower didn't help, because the steam would overcome the "press." I guess it could work at some point. I deep condition once every couple months, sometimes once a month if I'm not too busy. I don't use any heat really, except I use relatively hot water to soften honey so it will mix with the olive oil (expeller pressed, extra virgin) and coconut oil (organic, cold-pressed, unrefined). I'll have this mixture on my hair for about 30-40 minutes and then I'll start to detangle with fingers mostly, and then a little with wide-tooth comb (usually to cut some bad ends). I (recently) rarely use product conditioner, and if I do, I currently use Giovanni Tea Tree Conditioner with the mixture. After detangling, I'll rinse out with cool water to seal in the "moisture."
Ktani I think steam heat can be great but that depends on whether it is dry or wet and how it is used. Steam can scald too. Dry and wet steam. I deep condition every time after I wash my hair with conventional shampoo. I deep condition my hair with catnip (Nepeta cataria) tea, which also stains my grey white hair a light blonde, applied to wet hair with the extra water gently squeezed out of it, and then I cover my hair with a plastic bag for an hour in total time. Catnip contains some oils, carbohydrates, protein, and other phenolics.It works best with body heat and time for me. I have found that it prevents split ends used this way.
Jc Water gets into hair much faster than steam, I think that steam treatments are hype No I don't deep condition intentionally. I do end up with conditioner for a prolonged time once a month when I detangle my hair (1-2 hours). I have a pretty large head and it takes time but I think I will try Laquita's oil mix with conditioner to see if I can make it go faster. I do not like how my hair feels after the prolonged time with conditioner. It feels unusually soft for upto 3 days after. I know some people may like this but I personally see it as weaker hair.

Catnip source: (
Wet and dry steam source:(

I would like to thank all the panel members for taking part in this series. I truly appreciate the time and effort you took to provide detailed answers!For everyone reading and commenting, thanks too for following the series, I hope that you will find some food for thought, I know I did!


  1. I am loving this series. It is nice to get different opinions all at once, to determine what to try out ourselves.

  2. Thanks LaNeshe. I loved doing this panel too. My idea was to have others express their own ideas because hair is so individual.

  3. Awesome series! Jc, you have done it again! I luv'd it and learned so much. This is why I luv your blog so much and tell anyone who will listen about it. :D

  4. Thank you to all who contributed. I've enjoyed reading and learning from this series!

  5. Thanks Milan and CallaLily :)

  6. When I was getting regular relaxer touch-ups, I received a series of steam conditioning treatments at one point. Combined with a reconstructor conditioner, I do think the treatments helped, but, I would not be inclined to purchase a steamer of my own. In fact, an effective repairing conditioner can be even more beneficial,and I have used such conditioners, without heat. If nothing else, they were more mentally therapeutic than having a real benefit for my hair, I think.

  7. Thanks to all of you. It was fun. We should have more of this.

    The last time i used oil in my hair under the shower, it got all slippery and dangerous and then i had to clean the whole bath tub . Ugh!

    @ JC

    Once a month ? I guess that is when you have braids in for the whole month ? Or do you comb detangle once a month... cuz i know you normally finger detangle. I can't imagine you finger detangling when your hair is wet due to shrinkage. Please explain

    I also will like to be able to make my hair that soft when i want to. I need to know more :). And last, i guess that is done after shampoo and rinsed out. Have you ever tried to use conditionner on dry hair for that long, without water, and see if the hair still softens that much ?

  8. I too loved the series and appreciated the time/detail every woman gave. I certainly appreciated hearing from each perspective.

    Nice job ladies!

  9. Thanks for the comments ladies.

    Mysskay is that a new picture? I love the sideswept hair.

    Kadiane, yep I keep my braids in for a month or so and then take them down and redo. I don't use a comb, I finger detangle. I take out my braids and then braid the hair into about 8 sections again. I shampoo my hair and then towel dry it gently. Next I undo one braid at a time and add alot of conditioner to each section then loosely braid it up again and move to the next section.

    I let the conditioner sit in my hair for about 10 minutes before I start detangling. I detangle with my fingers again proceeding section by section, undoing one braid, detangling then rebraiding.

    I am not concerned about shrinkage. I feel that the more you pull the hair to showcase its length, the more you stress it and the weaker you make it. My hair can easily shrink to an inch but by braiding it up it sort of hangs around the 5-6 inch mark.

    I think the reason for the odd softness comes from two factors.

    1. Conditioner touches every strand of hair depositing softeners
    2. Detangling process takes forever meaning the hair is surrounded by water for a longgggg time.

    I have not applied conditioner to dry hair but because it takes me 1-2 hours to actually detangle, I would probably think that the same two factors would still apply. Conditioner usually has well over 50% water, so it is like holding a cup of water on your hair.

    Next, I rinse out my hair, again section by section and rebraid as each gets washed out. I usually then air dry. I actually tried the paper towel thing but I have a large head and I would have to use at least 10 of those. I feel like it is misuse of paper (I am a bit of a treehugger). I think I'm going to buy a microfibre cloth I think which can soak up alot of water and is also a smooth fabric.

    I do not start styling my hair until it is 90% dry but not quite 100%. This is because it has some water and is still flexible but is not totally wet making it vulnerable to breaking (as Monique said in this piece, the point when you handle hair matters).

    The basid stuff for my method
    1. Patience in huge quantities
    2. Check fingernails before
    3. Never pull hair at any point including when braiding (you have to be very concious about this because hair when wet can stretch quite a bit but this can be damaging)

  10. @ JC

    Thanks for the explanation. I'm always happy to have tips from my very few vocal hair twins.

    My fear of shrinkage while under the shower was only due to resulting tangles. Like the wash and go tangle disasters. But i see that we have the same braiding practices under the shower minus the conditioning and detangling part.

    About the air drying, i found a new trick i did not know was possible for 4C. Now i can shampoo in the morning before a go to work. All i need is to unravel the braids after i shampoo and immediately pull the hair in a pony, band the pony, bend the banded pony ( don't want to look weird with a tail on the back of my head) ...and go! (3 minutes. Yes!)Didn't know that was possible. It dries very fast. The downside is, the hair is a bit matted when dry. If you plan on bunning your hair the whole week, that is fine. If not, you will have to spritz the hair and do 4 braids at night for the next day to have a more detangled hair. At least you don't go and splip with wet hair or you don't have to avoid washing you hair in the morning. For the summer, i'll usually bun my hair for the whole week and not even unravel to go to bed (hihi).No more braiding at night. Just redo the bun in the morning without detangling and it looks fresh. I'll be doing the bunn to swim in august. Don't know how it will turn out.

    Your warning about not pulling the hair too much while wet, makes me want to limit this bunning pratice to the summer or to a biweekly practice.

  11. JC, yes it is a new picture, I changed it some time ago but Google has been slow to update it. thanks for the compliment!

    I too have been thinking about getting a microfibre cloth or something similar to help dry my hair.

  12. Hi Jc: I know the series is over and reading the comments you bring up a question I recently had about detangling. You said you wait 10 minutes after you apply conditioner before you detangle. I've detangled my hair immediately after applying conditioner and also I've tried detangling my hair after I've given the condtioner a chance to sit on my hair for a while. Both ways it doesn't seem to change the time it takes to detangle my hair.

    So do you use this method because it makes it easier to detangle your hair or do you use this method because less damage is done to the hair shaft if the condtioner has a little time to saturate the strands? I'm just trying to find out if it is gentler on the hair to give it some time and wait as opposed to digging right into the detangling process.

  13. CallaLily, I let it sit just to give the conditioner a little extra time to reach any strands that I may have missed out. I found that if I started detangling immediately, I usually have to reload conditioner all the time but sitting it out for a little bit allows me to only add conditioner to ease out really difficult tangles.

    Honestly I do not feel it impacts at all on the time. I am going to try the conditioner oil mix and see if the oil actually gives extra slip to make the process faster.


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