December 19, 2011

Hydrate Your Natural Hair | Huetiful Steamer Review

It’s been a long time coming for this particular review, but after coming home from an impromptu trip to the grocery store and mumbling under a few breaths about how truly cold it’s gotten in the past week or so…I just knew it was time.  Winter is finally here and I’m sure a lot of us are already searching for products and devices to help keep our natural hair moisturized, healthy and safe from the harsh weather.

The goal is to do a pretty thorough review based on my experiences using the steamer, though if you have any questions about usage, how to assemble etc., please reference the incredibly useful video posted below or the operational manual. Still have questions? Pop them in the comment section & I’ll do my best to answer!

And much like you guys, I’ve been following the rise of the hair steamer within the natural hair community over the past year or so, but decided to invest when the lovely folks behind Huetiful landed here in my backyard of Brooklyn, right at the Karen’s Body Beautiful Store. I scored the gem at a pretty discount, managed to bite fingers for a about two weeks before it was finally shipped!

So here’s what you get!

  • Main Unit
  • Hair Hood + Water Drain
  • Bracket (used to connect the hood to main unit)
  • Facial Steamer (comes at an additional cost of $19.95)
  • Huetiful Spa Band (used to trap condensation once under the steamer $4.95)

The assembly process is thankfully a no brainer, so onto the good stuff. What does the steamer actually do for the health of natural hair?  Like most heat treatments, this works to lift the top layer of the hair cuticle allowing deep conditioners to penetrate the hair shaft more effectively. The steam hydrates your coils, replenishes any lost moisture and according to the product claim’s, works 5 times more effectively than deep conditioners alone.

The entire process is fairly easy with a simple on/off switch along with what I think is the defining feature, the Ozone option. While purchasing the steamer at the KBB store, I had the chance to ask the President & Founder, Ken Burkeen how it benefits the hair. Now, if you’re a gal with sensitive scalp issues…time to perk up! The Ozone feature essentially targets the scalp more effectively for a deeper cleanse, riding it of any buildup, freeing the area of potential bacteria and allowing for a clean slate. This was the kicker for me, and honestly the only reason I would have invested in a steamer. Scalp health is sooo very important when you’re what I’d call an ‘at home natural.’ A lot of my hair care stays within the four walls of my apartment, therefore it’s a must for me to cover ALL bases, and the scalp is always the best place to start.

Things to consider:

Important not to overfill the max line. Slowly add your water to the top of the main unit, paying attention to the line mark. The steamer will not work if your cup runneth over for safety reasons. An overflowing boiling cup of liquid is not cute.

The steamer has it’s own built in self-timer which runs for 18 minutes, so grab a magazine, favorite book and chill for a bit. Once you’re done, wait a good 10 minutes before emptying the spout underneath the hood. If careful, the remaining liquid should not be too hot. Try to have a small cup or bowl underneath to catch

Tips & Tricks:

  1. Make sure your ends are able to fit under the hood of the steamer. Trust me, once the device gets going, there’s good enough coverage to cover the entire head. I find the best way to do this is to use duck clips to secure hair on top of the head.
  2. I’m a fan of the whole ‘spa process’ and always think, ‘why not go the extra mile?’ Adding in a few of your favorite essential oils like lavender, tea tree or peppermint  can be very beneficial to the scalp. Try just a few drops to start so the aroma is not too overwhelming. My favorite addition during each steam treatment is rose-water. Hair feels incredibly soft afterwards, and the smell is divine! So calming.
  3. **Important to make sure the cup is securely fastened and not lose. The best way to test this is to pay attention to how the steamer acts once it’s fully up & running. The only area where steam should be escaping is under the hood. Noticing steam coming from the main unit? Definitely want to start over for a more effective treatment.

What Kind of Conditioners to Use for a Steam Treatment?

The Huetiful line comes with it’s own deep treatment system, which is available for purchase through their site, though using some of your favorite deep conditioners work just as well. Favorites to use include the Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay treatment, Shea Moisture’s Balancing Conditioner or any cream based product that you can leave in the hair for 15-30 minutes.

Using the right DC can really make or break your steam treatment, so pick carefully and go with Holy Grails, tried & true’s or favorite at home mixes that always get the job done. The end result should be softer more manageable hair that’s easier to detangle. Long term results? You should see a decrease in breakage, split ends, dry hair & an overall increase in hair’s moisture.

Final Thoughts:

No doubt this is an investment for most naturals, but one I think makes a big difference in your hair’s overall health. Starting at $114.95 you get a 45 day money back guarantee, one year replacement warranty should certain parts go awry, and great customer support.

This video is an awesome intro to the steamer:

Click here for more videos on how to assemble the steamer & Trouble Shooting Tips. Itching for a sale? Stay up to date by visiting their Facebook Page which is where I scored my discount tip!

Overall I’ve loved the benefits of using the steamer. Because it’s table top, it fits right into the corners of my small BK apartment, & I’m able to pull it out about twice a month when FRO needs some extra love. I’d recommend the steamer to those who truly want to invest in their routine, or who simply enjoy the at home spa experience…seriously, nothing beats it!

  • http://www.shapelyalterations.com Icelae

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been debating whether or not to get the steamer and you have thoroughly convinced me that its a great idea! Its on the Christmas list :-)
    On a side note, I love your site and appreciate all the information you provide. Keep the great posts coming! ~ Icela

    • http://backtocurly.com Chai

      yay! thanks for the compliment Icelae;) Let me know how the steamer works for your hair…just used it yesterday & can tell you it’s very much worth it!

  • http://musicnerdery.com Ericka

    keep wondering about this. looks like it might be decent after all.
    Ericka recently posted..Video: Cat Power talks new album with Rolling Stone. This will be cool.

    • http://backtocurly.com Chai

      decent…when used consistently. the fro behaves a ton better after a few treatments, retains moisture better;)

  • http://www.newnaturalista.com Tonya NewNaturalista

    Thanks for this! I just got the steamer for Christmas. My first experience was not a good one. The the back middle portion of my head got so hot – specifically my scalp. At one point i jumped out wincing in pain and when I looked in the mirror that portion was smoking (the steam rising from my head.)

    I figured out I should have the little holes in the top completely open. I was wondering if anyone else had this experience?
    Tonya NewNaturalista recently posted..Week 1: Weight Loss Progress!

    • http://backtocurly.com Chai

      yep! took me about 3 tries to get a good steam…had extra moisture dripping from spots, and the ‘plug’ wasn’t settled into it’s nook all the way so the initial steam escaped the top. I can’t even keep my head in all the way for the full 18 minutes…gets a tad too hot, but make sure to get in a solid 15 minutes!