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The 10 Best Steam Straighteners for That Lustrous Look in 2021

The 10 Best Steam Straighteners for That Lustrous Look in 2021

Traditional straighteners can sometimes leave hair dry and frizzy. For those looking for straight hair without resorting to specialist treatments may consider investing in a steam straightener.

We’ve picked out the best steam straighteners on the market so that you can get that lustrous look you crave. Our full guide below also arms you with the information you may need on your mission to obtain beautiful and hydrated hair that is straight, silky, and shiny!

What Is a Steam Straightener?

As opposed to a traditional straightener, steam straighteners are equipped with a water tank that emits steam through the plates when you are straightening your hair.

This steam provides much-needed moisture to counteract the adverse effects of your hair being exposed to heat from a straightener, such as dryness and frizz. With steam coming out of the vents, your hair is receiving all the moisture it needs during the heating process, thus preserving the natural moisture in your hair.

Check out our section below on why a steam straightener is more beneficial than a regular hair straightener!

The best part? There is at least one steam straightener out there for every hair need and hair type imaginable! We’ll note in our reviews what hair type each straightener is good for.

Steam Straightener Factors to Consider

There are a range of factors that are important to keep in mind when choosing a straightener. We cover these in more depth in our full buyer’s guide.

Material

Steam Straighteners are made with three different kinds of material.

Ceramic Straighteners

Ceramic steam straighteners provide uniform heating, which means it straightens your hair from the inside out. No extra effort is needed on your end to go over each strand multiple times.

Titanium Straighteners

Titanium straighteners heat up super quickly and are lighter than ceramic straighteners, making the overall experience comfortable and quick.

Tourmaline Straighteners

These are the elite category of all hair straighteners. With a combination of ceramic and crushed tourmaline on the plates, tourmaline straighteners are perfect for reducing frizz and adding shine to your tresses. So if your hair is exceptionally wiry, frizzy, or rough, investing in a tourmaline straightener will be your best bet.

The only negative? It’s not very budget-friendly, so go for it only if a titanium or ceramic straightener does not yield satisfactory results.

Plate Size

The heating plate’s size will determine how much hair you can straighten at a time. With wider plates, you can go over a large section at once, making the process faster. Moreover, it is easier to tame coarse or wild hair with wider plates because of the larger surface area.

But if you a) are a beginner, b) have short hair or, c) are generally finicky with heated appliances near your face, buying a hair straightener with big plates might not be the best idea.

A steam straightener with smaller plates will reduce the probability of burning your fingers, even though it might take you longer to straighten your hair.

A majority of the plates come in the following standard sizes:

  • Around 2 inches: This is the broadest plate and perfect for long hair and quick sessions.
  • Around 1.5 inches: Also suitable for quick sessions, this size works well with medium length hair.
  • Any plate smaller than 1.5 inches is ideal for thin hair with no curls, hairstyles like a bob or pixie cut, or even bangs and flicks!

Other Key Considerations

The temperature the device can reach and its adjustability, its ability to shut itself automatically and the amount of vents and water tank capacity are other core things to consider, and we will cover these in our reviews. For a more in depth look at these, you can check out our full guide below the reviews.

Now, let’s check out some great steam straighteners on the market today.

Top 10 Best Steam Straighteners 2021

1. Best Overall Steam Straightener: Furiden Steam Hair Straightener

Furiden Steam Hair Straightener

Why we like it: This steam straightener can tame the wildest of manes with its broad temperature control.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Plate size: 1 inch
  • Heating Speed: 15 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: Enough for 30 minutes of usage.
  • Temperature range and control: 265-450 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable in 5-degree increments
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (within 60 minutes)

With this sleek straightener, there is no waiting time because it has super-fast heating. If you are in a hurry, this steam straightener will be your savior.

Further, it has 38 adjustable temperatures. You can make adjustments in 5-degree increments, so the probability of you finding your sweet spot of how much heat is needed will be high. This precision will ensure your hair is getting exactly the heat it needs, depending on your hair type.

This model caters to a wide range of hair types with its broad temperature range. So no matter how coarse or fragile your hair is, this steam straightener will give you the results you want.

It is perfect for tightly coiled hair, which is common among African Americans, making it stand out from other products that do not cater to this demographic.

The vents are positioned both within the plates and at the end of the plate. This means that there is a uniform distribution of steam, and each strand gets the love and care it deserves in the form of hydration. Uniform hydration ensures your hair strands don’t get frizzy, or worse, overheated.

It is easy to use for two reasons. Firstly, the large LED digital temperature ensures you are not squinting to figure out the steam straightener’s temperature. Secondly, the mechanism to remove, insert, or fill the water tank is simple.

Overall, this steam straightener leaves your hair healthy, soft, shiny, and smooth and is a great overall choice.

Pros

  • Versatile as it caters to all hair types
  • Easy to use
  • High-speed heating
  • 38 adjustable temperatures
  • Travel-friendly
  • Can straighten tightly coiled hair

Cons

  • Small plates, so if you have longer hair, it will take more time to cover all hair segments

2. Best Premium Steam Straightener: MKBOO Hair Straightener With Steam

MKBOO Hair Straightener With Steam

Why we like it: This steam straightener combines combing and straightening while also letting you curl your hair!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Nano titanium and ceramic hybrid
  • Plate size: 1.25 inches
  • Heating Speed: 30 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 40 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit, with 5 heat settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

Just like the Furiden Steam Hair Straightener, this one also has the perfect vent positions (both within and at the end of the plate for uniform steam distribution to prevent frizziness), an LED temperature screen, a paddle lock, and dual voltage.

With the combination of nano titanium ceramic plates, it provides both uniform straightening and swift heating. You won’t have to go over the same section over and over again to get a straight and glossy look.

40 ml is a substantial water capacity. Therefore, using this steam straightener is efficient since you won’t need to stop mid-session to refill the tank. However, the tank is not easy to fill because its opening is small. Thus, replenishing the tank is a fiddly task. Luckily, because of the size, you won’t have to fill it that often.

With its unique 3-D comb, you get the experience of combing and straightening your hair all at once, and it deals with knots and split ends without you having to tug and pull at them.

The plates are floating and equipped with seven steam holes. This feature makes it ideal for all lengths of hair, including bangs, because they will spread the steam uniformly, no matter the length and type of hair. With curved edges, these plates are versatile because they allow you to curl your hair as well.

There is an option to lock the temperature as well. This means you are not fiddling with the heat flow during the session. This feature eliminates any waiting periods stemming from the straightener becoming too hot or too cold and prevents accidental overheating.

Pros

  • Versatile and ideal for all hair types
  • Temperature lock option
  • 3-D Comb technology
  • Curved floating plates
  • Big water tank

Cons

  • Water tank is fiddly

3. Best for Fast Styling: Solofish Steam Hair Straightener

Solofish Steam Hair Straightener

Why we like it: It has big plates and a super-fast heating speed, so it’s perfect for quick and efficient sessions!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Plate size: 2.17 inches
  • Heating Speed: 15 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 10 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit, with 6 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 minutes)

With a heating speed at par with Furiden Steam Hair Straightener, this steam straightener comes with big plates as well, making it ideal for long and curly or coarse hair.

It has a unique anti-static technology that minimizes any damage from the heat. Your hair will not get stuck between the plates. Although its plates have sharp edges, which means you cannot curl your hair with it, it comes with 2 steam settings, which gives you control over the moisture penetrating your hair.

With a small water tank carrying only 10 ml, you will have to fill it multiple times if your hair is exceptionally curly.

This straightener has vents only on the bottom but not within the plates. This means that the steam will not get emitted uniformly, so you will have to go over the same section of hair multiple times to get an overall silky look.

It comes with the cutest accompaniments: a pair of gloves that you can put on while using it, a travel bag, and a bottle with water in it.

Pros

  • Speedy heating
  • Anti-static technology
  • Big plates
  • 2 steam settings
  • Comes with gloves, travel bag, and a water bottle
  • Suitable for curly and coarse hair

Cons

  • Small water tank
  • No vents within the plates

4. Best Budget Steam Straightener: Xtava Steam Flat Iron

Xtava Steam Flat Iron

Why we like it: Inexpensive and easy to use, this steam straightener is suitable for beginners or those looking for a last-minute hassle-free cheap buy.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic with tourmaline coating
  • Plate shape and size: Sharp; 1 inch
  • Heating Speed: 60 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 10 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit; with 2 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

This steam straightener is compact and easy-to-use. It has small plates and a little water tank that can be easily removed, refilled, inserted.

The temperature range is narrow and has only 2 possible heat adjustments. If you have short but dry and thick hair, this steam straightener is perfect because its ceramic-tourmaline plates can uniformly heat your hair. If your hair is thin and delicate, the high-temperature options of this steam straightener might damage your hair follicles.

What’s more, the small plates will make it time consuming to do your whole hairdo.

Despite the drawbacks, the product works exceptionally well for the price, and it’s main functions are perfectly adequate for most uses.

Pros

  • Compact and easy to use
  • Floating plates
  • Removable water tank
  • Ideal for dry and thick hair
  • Heat resistant rubber handle

Cons

  • Small plates, so if you have longer hair, it will take more time to cover all hair segments
  • Narrow temp range with only 2 heat settings that are on the higher side; not suitable for delicate/thin hair

5. Best Two-in-One Steam Straightener: DORISILK Steam Flat Iron

DORISILK Steam Flat Iron

Why we like it: It has both sharp and curved plates, so the range of hairstyles you can experiment with is broad!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic tourmaline
  • Plate size: 1.25 inches
  • Heating Speed: 60 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 17 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit, with 6 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

In addition to having anti-static technology and 2 steam settings like the Solofish Steam Hair Straightener, this steam straightener also has 3-D plates and 5 steam vents that are strategically placed so that they can hydrate and straighten the driest of hair strands.

Moreover, you can either curl your hair or keep it straight depending on your mood, courtesy of there being both sharp and curved plates in this particular model.

With the LED temperature screen, dual voltage, 360-degree swivel cord, and plate-locking technology, this straightener is exceptionally safe and can be comfortably used.

The water tank is small, which can be a problem for those with extremely curly hair, as they will have to do multiple refills.

Pros

  • 2 steam settings
  • Ceramic and tourmaline hybrid
  • Easy to use
  • Curved and sharp plates
  • Anti-static technology
  • Will fix even extremely curly or dry hair

Cons

  • Small water tank
  • Small plates, which means if you have long hair, it will take you longer to reach desired results

6. Best Multi-Purpose Steam Straightener: Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron

Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron

Why we like it: You don’t have to dry or comb your hair before using it because this straightener will do it for you.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Aluminium with Ceramic and Tourmaline coating
  • Plate size: 1.5 inches
  • Heating Speed: 30 Seconds
  • Water tank capacity: approx. 6 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 285-395 degrees Fahrenheit, with 5 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

With a hydro silk finish that will lock in all the moisture your hair needs to look shiny, this steam straightener comes with many unique features, including a 2-stage system for styling and 3 retractable combs which detangle your hair.

It first conditions the hair with steam and then lets the heaters do their magic, thus ensuring a frizz-free experience. The heaters and 2-step styling more than compensate for the limited temperature range. In addition to this, it also has 2 steam settings. All these put together make it ideal for a wide range of hair types.

More importantly, it has a 60-hour long effect, even in humid weather.

With a stylish red exterior, one central selling point of this steam straightener is that it can be used on wet hair or hair with dry shampoo/spray on it. You don’t need to spend time drying your hair before you start using this steam straightener!

The anti-static technology will be more effective than that of MKBOO Hair Straightener or DORISILK Steam Flat Iron because this steam straightener releases 2 million ions per cubic centimeter, thus making it the most advanced. This technology will take care of all the baby hair or flyaway strands that sometimes stick out no matter what you do.

Despite the long-lasting effect, there are some factors that you need to be wary of. Firstly, the plates are made of aluminum, and only the coating is ceramic and tourmaline, which means that if you don’t use it carefully, the coating is likely to fade in time, after which it is better just to discard the straightener.

If used with care, the ceramic and tourmaline coating will provide heat resistance even at the highest temperatures, so follow our pro tips on maintenance!

Other than this, just like Solofish Steam Hair Straightener, it has a tiny water tank, so you will have to do multiple refills in 1 session.

Pros

  • Advanced anti-static technology
  • Long-lasting effect (60 hours)
  • Can be used on wet hair
  • 2-stage styling
  • 3 retractable detangling combs

Cons

  • Aluminum plates
  • Tiny water tank
  • Not much scope for temperature adjustment

7. Most Compact: Huachi Steam Hair Straightener

Huachi Steam Hair Straightener

Why we like it: This steam straightener is the easiest to carry around because of its sleek and compact design!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic Tourmaline
  • Plate size: 1 inch
  • Heating Speed: 30 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 10 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 356-392 degrees Fahrenheit, with 2 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

This straightener is compact and sleek with a dual voltage, thus making it a convenient travel buddy. With fast heating, an auto-lock feature, and a plate-locking switch, this straightener is user-friendly. It has curved floating plates, giving you the option to curl your hair.

The ceramic-tourmaline combination makes this straightener perfect for addressing frizzy and wiry hair.

Akin to Solofish Steam Hair Straightener, this steam straightener also has 2 steam settings, giving you control over how much moisture goes into your hair.

Though the water tank is small, the straightener comes with 2 water tanks, so switching tanks in the middle of the session will not be that tedious.

With an extremely limited temperature range and only 2 heat adjustment settings, this steam straightener is the least versatile across different hair types. It will work only for hair that falls somewhere between thick and coarse and thin and fragile. Therefore, this straightener will be suitable for only a certain kind of hair type.

Moreover, with vents only on the bottom and not within the plates, you will have to spend some more time going over each section to ensure uniform steam distribution.

Pros

  • 2 steam settings
  • Ideal for wiry hair
  • Ceramic and tourmaline hybrid
  • Sleek, small, and easy to carry
  • Curved floating plates
  • Comes with a replacement tank

Cons

  • Caters to only a specific hair type due to an extremely narrow temperature range and minimal adjustment settings
  • No vents within the plates
  • Small water tank
  • Small plates, so if you have longer hair, it will take more time to cover all hair segments

8. Great Features for the Price: SWAN Star Steam Flat Iron

SWAN Star Steam Flat Iron

Why we like it: This steam straightener comes with so many fun things, making the overall package a complete bargain!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Plate size: 2 inch
  • Heating Speed: 60 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: Enough for usage up to 10 minutes
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit; with 6 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

This steam straightener can be used on wet hair, akin to Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron.

Due to the big plates, it takes less time to go over all the sections of your hair, and with 2 steam settings, you can experiment with the kind of look you want to go for.

The curved plates allow for curling of hair as well. Like MKBOO Hair Straightener, this steam straightener also has the option to lock the temperature after you have adjusted it as per your hair needs.

The best part about this steam straightener is that it comes with a sturdy comb, an extra water compartment, a water bottle, a glove, and a bag to store the steam straightener. The bag is made out of jute, which means you can stow away the straightener in the bag as soon as you are done using it; you don’t have to wait for the steam straightener to cool down. You also get 2 big alligator clips along with all of these items, and no one can say no to those!

The water tank has a very small opening, thus refilling it is quite fiddly and messy. The straightener itself is quite big, so it can get a bit difficult to handle, especially if you are trying to straighten the shorter strands closer to your head. Overall, it is not that easy to use.

Pros

  • Big curved plates
  • 2 steam settings
  • Can be used on wet hair
  • Temperature lock option
  • Plate lock option
  • Comes with a lot of useful accompaniments

Cons

  • It’s bulky, so it’s difficult to straighten hair at the roots
  • The water tank is small and fiddly

9. Best Mist Technology Steam Straightener: LumaBella Cool Mist Hair Straightener

LumaBella Cool Mist Hair Straightener

Why we like it: This steam straightener has a one of a kind technology that incorporates a Macadamia mist conditioning treatment that will make your straightening session a soothing and aromatic affair.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Plate size: 1 inch
  • Heating Speed: 30 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: 12 ml
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit; with 5 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)

The cool mist technology involves spraying cool water on your hair first, followed by an infusion of steam while you straighten your hair. It comes with Macadamia oil that can be added to the water tank to give you an aromatic mist.

The cool Macadamia mist will provide long-lasting hydration and protect your hair from any damage and frizz. The mist prepares your tresses for the heat while the floating plates spray the mist uniformly across your strands of hair.

The plate-locking tool makes this a safe device to use, and the temperature lock ensures the heat coming from the ceramic plates is consistent throughout.

Though this steam straightener promises to provide 68% more protection from hair breakage as compared to steam straighteners that don’t have cool mist technology, the result is highly dependent on the texture of your hair. Therefore it might not be as effective.

It has a tiny water tank and tiny plates. Hence, you will have to take out time to use this steam straightener effectively because if you have long/thick hair, it will take some patience to get through all the sections, and you will have to refill the tank a few times.

Pros

  • Mist technology
  • Floating plates
  • Temperature lock option
  • Plate locking option

Cons

  • Small plates, so if you have longer hair, it will take more time to cover all hair segments
  • Small water tank
  • Might not be value for money because of the weak effect of the mist

10. Best Oil-Based Steam Straightener: Cortex Professional Vapor Hair Straightener

Cortex Professional Vapor Hair Straightener

Why we like it: This steam straightener combines the process of straightening with an oil-based treatment that will leave your hair healthy and shiny!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Ceramic with Tourmaline coating
  • Plate size: 1.25 inch
  • Heating Speed: 30-45 seconds
  • Water tank capacity: Not water-based. It has an argan oil compartment
  • Temperature range and control: 300-450 Fahrenheit; with 6 heat adjustment settings
  • Automatic Shut Off: Yes (60 min)   

This steam straightener doesn’t use water at all. The technology doesn’t differ much from water-based steam straighteners, but you have to be extra careful because handling hot oil can be dangerous.

Cleaning the oil compartment and the vents requires more care and caution. The hot oil can clog the vents easily, or even break the tank. If you have never used a steam straightener before, it is advised not to start with an oil-based steam straightener. The oil chamber is not of stellar quality, so it will be difficult to handle.

The Moroccan oil that comes along with this straightener will leave your hair shiny and glossy and restore the nutrients in your hair. With 2 steam settings, you can experiment with the oil’s effect on your tresses combined with high temperatures, which you can lock after identifying the ideal heat level for your hair.

The rubber handle and heat resistant cord will protect you and the device from any mishaps with the oil!

Pros

  • 2 steam settings
  • Oil-based
  • Temperature lock option
  • Rubber handle
  • Heat resistant cord

Cons

  • Not beginner friendly - can get ruined if not maintained properly
  • Poor quality oil chamber

Getting the Ideal Steam Straightener for You


We covered the basics about steam straighteners in our MBG, but if you’re looking for more in depth information, we’re here to provide it – along with a quick style guide to your hair type and some pro tips for getting the most of your new steam straightener.

Ceramic Straightener Technology

Ceramic straighteners have something called far-infrared heating. Too science-y?

A far-infrared heating technology emits heat without heating the air around you. This is a beneficial feature for a hair straightener since it prevents your hair from drying out. The air around you is not being heated, so the moisture is not getting sucked out, so your hair retains the water, making your hair look fresh, shiny, and hydrated.

The other cool thing about ceramic straighteners is the use of negative ions. Though this seems like a throwback to middle school science, all you need to know is that the negative ions in ceramic steam straighteners interact with the positive ions in the hair.

As a result of the infrared technology and negative ions, the balance in the hair follicle is neutralized, making each strand healthier on a chemical level. This leads to an overall smooth look.

You need to keep in mind one crucial detail. Some steam straighteners on the market have ceramic-coated plates. This means that the straightener plates can be of any metal, with just a ceramic coating. Such a steam straightener will negate all the benefits of a pure ceramic straightener. The coating will chip away in time, however.

Titanium Straighteners and Thin Hair

Titanium straighteners are much hotter, and because the high temperatures of a titanium straightener can damage your hair while you are still trying to get the hang of the heating range, for beginners ceramic is often a better choice. In any case, if you have thin hair, it shouldn’t take you too much time to straighten your hair even with a ceramic straightener, so why take the risk of flash-frying your fragile strands with titanium ones?

Heating Speed

Depending on your needs, this can be a make or break feature.

If you are not likely to use the steam straightener as part of your fast-paced daily routine, your straightener’s heating speed will not be a concern.

But, if you want to use your steam straightener in those small pockets of free time during the day, you need a straightener that heats up fast, emits steam fast, and gets the job done quickly!

A steam straightener with a fast heating speed will take less than 30 seconds to heat up!

Liquid Tank/Reservoir Capacity

You don’t want to be messing around with tiny water tanks when you have a wild mane of hair to tame, right?

The tank’s size will determine how many sessions one tank can last, so if you have longer/wilder hair, you would want to go for a steam straightener with a considerably large tank so that you don’t have to refill it during a session.

The capacity of liquid reservoirs is anywhere between 10 to 40 ml.

Temperature Range and Adjustability

Having a wide range of control and the ability to adjust the temperature will ensure you can set it at the perfect heat flow depending on the length, thickness, and quality of your hair.

Having only two to three generic temperature options will require more trial and error on your part to hit the sweet (temperature) spot for your hair.

Automatic Device Shut-Off

We have all probably had that one incident of forgetting to switch off our straightener while rushing out the door.

It is vital for any straightener, whether steam or regular, to have an automatic shut-off so that you don’t have to worry about it when you are in the middle of a meeting, date, or a party. You don’t want to go through the struggle of remembering if you turned it off. Steam straighteners that automatically switch off after a certain period of inactivity are safer.

Regular Straightener vs. Steam Straightener

The primary advantage is, of course, the element of moisture. The steam feature ensures your hair is not dry and frizzy when you are done straightening it. The steam infuses your hair with moisture, thus providing much-needed hydration to your tresses. Hydrated hair equals healthy hair. Your hair’s natural moisture is maintained.

The preservation of moisture leads to a host of other benefits that a regular straightener doesn’t provide. Straighten your hair with a traditional straightener and walk into a humid room, and watch all your hard work get destroyed. This is because your hair is already dry from the straightening.

With a steam straightener, your hair will be unaffected by the humidity because it will be well hydrated, and your hairstyle will last for way longer.

The moisture from a steam straightener also adds a glossy effect to your hair, which can make a world of difference if you have thick and coarse hair.

Other than this, some steam straighteners such as SWAN Star Steam Flat Iron and Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron can be used on wet hair as well. This is why steam straighteners are also sometimes referred to as wet-to-dry straighteners.

A steam straightener is likely to damage your colored/bleached hair way lesser than a regular straightener will.

A quick summary of the benefits of a steam straightener over a regular straightener:

  • Leaves hair hydrated and healthy
  • Prevents frizz and leaves a glossy effect
  • Long-lasting results
  • Friendlier towards dyed/bleached hair
  • Overall less damaging to your hair

If you are more comfortable with regular hair straighteners, we have a full article about the best hair straighteners.

Pro Tips – Usage and Maintenance

Using a steam straightener can feel daunting with all the heat, water, and other paraphernalia involved. But it doesn’t have to be. Following are the generic steps, but it is also always better to read any additional instructions related to the particular product you end up using.
before and after photos of a person’s hair going from damaged to smooth

Shampoo, condition, and dry your hair thoroughly. A fun hack is to use a soft cotton T-shirt instead of a regular towel to dry your hair.

Why? Wet hair is softer and weaker and more prone to becoming frizzy, and the texture of the towel doesn’t help. It absorbs all the moisture from your hair. If you use a soft cotton t-shirt instead, the flat texture of the t-shirt slides over the hair and dries it up without making it rough.

It is vital to have clean, dry hair before you begin unless the straightener specifically caters to wet hair.

Split your hair into multiple sections. It can be as many or as few, depending on your hair’s texture. Here’s a tutorial on how to section hair in a precise way!

Once you can feel the steam coming from the vents, straighten each section of your hair right from the root to the tip. Don’t do each section too many times and don’t keep one section suspended between the straightener for more than a few seconds. You can test the temperature on a tiny section of the hair and then adjust if required.

When you are done with each section, wait for the steam straightener to cool down before storing it away.

Finally, think about using gloves if you are a beginner. The steam and the heat can startle you. Go slow till you get the hang of it. Otherwise, you might end up dropping the straightener or burning your ears, face, or neck.

Cleaning the Steam Straightener

  • Remove the hair strands that get caught in the straightener once you are done. Wait for the straightener to cool down before this, but don’t leave the vents dirty. They will get clogged if you don’t clean them after each use.
  • Clean the tank with cotton or Q-tips after every use and each time you refill it.
  • You can clean the vents with a dampened cloth, especially if you are using oil/mist based steam straighteners.

Treat Your Water Tank With Care!

  • Do not put oil in the water tank unless the steam straightener is specially designed for it, like LumaBella Cool Mist Hair Straightener and Cortex Professional Vapor Hair Straightener.
  • Putting even a few drops of oil in a steam straightener that is only to be used with water will make the straightener less effective, or worse, spoil it for good.
  • Use only distilled water in the water tank. Any other water will damage the steam vents.
  • Follow the product instructions related to the removal/ insertion of the water tank and the amount of water to be used. Do not fiddle with the water tank when the straightener is hot.

Using a Steam Straightener With Dyed/Bleached Hair

Many people wonder if they can straighten hair that has been dyed or has undergone some kind of chemical treatment.

An Instagram video went viral in 2016 showing Guy Tang, a social media influencer for all things dye related, straightening a section of dyed hair. The colors faded immediately.

Depending on the quality of hair dye and hair treatment you have received, even the lowest temperature might make your hair dye fade or ruin chemically treated hair. The heat will react with the pigments and chemicals, leading to faded and limp hair.

You need to gauge whether you are subjecting your hair to too many chemicals, as they change the composition of your hair and lead to hair damage.

Treating your hair to excessive chemicals is called “Over-processing.” One example would be that a permanent dye + hair-straightening routine will cause more damage than straightening hair that has been colored with temporary dye.

A good thing about a stream straightener is that it’s not stripping the moisture from your hair. However, that might not be enough to offset the damage of combining straightening with bleaching or using hair dye, since both affect the composition of your hair and can lead to over-processing of your tresses.

Always consult your hairstylist when trying to combine multiple hair treatments. There are many factors at play, such as your hair’s overall quality, the kind of hair dye/bleach you have used, how often you want to straighten your hair, etc. Your hairstylist can give you customized advice that works for you.

Style Guide – Identifying Hair Types

Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s (whose hair is legendary, just like she is) stylist, created a chart with four primary hair types. This comprehensive chart will be your key to determining what your hair type is. Once you identify your hair type, choosing the right steam straightener will become easier.

The overarching four categories are straight (Type 1), wavy (Type 2), curly (Type 3), and coily (Type 4). If you are looking for a steam straightener, you fall in the last three categories.

Type 2: Wavy Hair

Within the category of wavy hair, there are three subtypes (Type 2A, 2B, and 2C), depending on how well defined the waves are.

Type 2A hair refers to hair that is straight from the roots to about eye level, and then below that, it falls like a loose undefined wave. If you have hair like this, you can go for a steam straightener that has lower heat settings, such as Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron or Furiden Steam Hair Straightener.

Type 2B hair has curls from midpoint to the ends. The loops are more defined, so you need a steam straightener that caters to curly hair through its high temperatures, such as Huachi Steam Hair Straightener, DORISILK Steam Flat Iron or Solofish Steam Hair Straightener.

The abovementioned steam straighteners are ideal for this hair type if you want to create a beachy wave look since they have adjustable steam settings to give you the waves you are looking for.

Type 2C hair is thick hair that requires daily straightening, as it is prone to frizz. For such hair, you can opt for LumaBella Cool Mist Hair Straightener, which will tame the frizz with its Macadamia mist. You could also go for MKBOO Hair Straightener, so that its big plate sizes will catch all the curls near the crown.

Type 3: Curly Hair

Just like for wavy hair, there are three subtypes for curly hair (Type 3). Type 3A hair forms loose loops, which should not be brushed too much. Otherwise, there will be hair loss. You could opt for the steam straighteners that have a built-in comb.

The two steam straighteners with combs are Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron and MKBOO Hair Straightener. The combs will only detangle the hair without damaging it.

Type 3B curls have extra volume and require more moisture to maintain their springy nature and spirals. DORISILK Steam Flat Iron can provide this extra moisture through its multiple vents.

Type 3C curls are tightly coiled and need to be handled with care to prevent breakage. It is best to deal with Type 3C hair when it is wet, thus making Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron and SWAN Star Steam Flat Iron the ideal choices.

Type 4: Coiled Hair

Type 4 hair refers to stubborn coils that require absolutely gentle treatment with lots of moisture. Type 4A and 4B coils can get so dry that they break like straw. Xtava Steam Flat Iron and Furiden Steam Hair Straightener can deal with these coiled strands efficiently.

For Type 4C coiled hair, which is the tightest and most fragile, you might need an oil treatment, so Cortex Professional Vapor Hair Straightener will be your best bet.

Parting Thoughts

Finding the right device (whether it is a steam straightener or even a regular straightener) to take care of your hair can be a daunting task. But trust us, as you browse through this guide, you will surely find a steam straightener that will check all the boxes related to your hair needs!