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Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair:
NHP's Definitive Guide [2021]

Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair Secura-S-192-Hair-Facial-Steamer-best-hair-steamers-for-natural-hair

You getting your hands on the best hair steamers for natural hair is important because your hair health and hydration are critical for you to look amazing.

If you're anything like me, you want to look gorgeous and have soft feeling hair, right?


The top hair steamers for Black hair can help you get that, and TODAY you will discover everything you need to know in order to find the steamer that will get your curls poppin' instantlyand...

...have you lookin' and feelin' like a slice of #BlackGirlMagic mixed with heaven's blessings... ha!

Today, on this best hair steamers for natural hair you're gonna find:  

  • Listings for the best and runner-up hair & face steam machines.
  • Honest reviews.
  • Explanations on how to steam natural hair for the best results.
  • And much more!

So grab a coffee and dig in sis!

First, let's explain what hair steaming is and what it does for your natural hair...

What is Hair Steaming? Best for Natural Hair?

What is Hair Steaming? Best Hair Steamers for Natural HairBest hair steamers for natural hair...

First, don't confuse the process of hair steaming with using a steam flat iron. Hair steamers are different and actual hair steaming is the process of using heat to open up the hair cuticles so products can penetrate your hair better and work much more effectively.

Steaming allows you to add much-needed moisture to natural hair as well.

A hair steamer is a device that will help make the steaming process more efficient and faster.

There are multiple kinds of hair steamers for Black hair – hair steamers for natural hair with a stand, thermal cap, handheld steamers, tabletop (hood) and professional hair steamers. Each type of hair steamer for natural hair has its unique advantages & disadvantages.

You'll learn all about that. First though, many women ask...

Are Hair Steamers Good for Natural Hair?

If you're wondering is hair steaming good for natural hair, the answer is yes.

Hair steaming is VERY beneficial for natural Black hair because it hydrates dry thirsty strands instantly. The use of warm steam helps to open up the hair shaft cuticles to let more moisture in.

The warm steam also encourages blood flow circulation in your scalp, which is very good for promoting hair growth, and for women trying to grow hair fast, NHP always encourages you to focus on hair & scalp health FIRST, then go to hair growth supplements like bamboo extract 2nd, if necessary.


Because hair steamers lift and open your hair cuticles, this also allows your deep conditioning hair treatments to penetrate far more deeply, helping to heal damaged natural hair and infuse nutrients.

The best hair steamers for natural hair can help your natural hair journey reach new heights, check out the testimony from Cee Ivy...

Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair best-hair-steamer-for-black-natural-african-hair-comment1Best hair steamers for natural hair customer review...

And when you combine the best hair steamers for natural hair with KNOWLEDGE how and when to steam your hair, you can write your own ticket sis! #WINNING

So that leads to the question...

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When Should I Steam My Natural Hair?

Do you want to know when you should steam your natural hair? The answer is that you should steam your hair whenever you want deeper penetration from your natural hair growth oils, deep conditioners, protein treatments, nourishing DIY butters, leave-in conditioners, etc. 

You should also steam your natural hair whenever you need higher levels of hydration to improve the health of your tresses. BTW, some women use steam flat irons with built in combs, I wrote reviews for those flat irons here. 

best-hair-steamer-for-black-natural-african-hair   best-hair-steamers-for-natural-hairHonest reviews for the best hair steamers for natural hair

9 Best Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair

What does a hair steamer do for Black hair? The answers are listed below so that you can see how much good steamers do for your natural hair...

1. Gives Your Hair TRUE Hydration - What does a hair steamer do for black hair? It give natural Black hair ultimate hydration. You see, hair steaming is one of the best ways to get water molecules directly into your strand cuticles. Your hair needs to be infused with water to truly be hydrated.

The best hydrating product in the world is H2O. Steaming takes your hydration to the next level, making your hair more supple, meaning softer, feeling more pliable and manageable.

2. Assists Your Hair Products Penetrate More Deeply - The best hair steamers for natural hair help raise your hair cuticles so products can penetrate the hair shaft more effectively. This is especially beneficial for low porosity hair. What’s the best conditioner to use with hair steamer? Deep conditioners like:

These are definitely three of the best conditioners to use with hair steamers on kinky, coarse type 4C natural hair.

3. Reduces Hair Breakage - The best hair steamers for natural hair help reduce hair breakage because one of the primary causes of breakage is lack of hydration and excess dryness, leading to brittle, weak and soon to be broken hair bonds. One of the main things dry and damaged hair is in need of is hydration AND moisture.

When your hair is moisturized it feels so much more manageable and increased manageability means less breakage and increased length retention.

Steaming your hair will help open your cuticles for conditioning products to work better and reduce natural hair breakage.  

4. Steaming Helps You Stretch Your Hair & Promotes Increased Elasticity - Steaming your natural hair is very beneficial when you want to stretch your hair, it also promotes strand elasticity so that detangling and styling is less stressful. This way you have to deal with fewer tangles and knots.

5. Prepares Your Hair for Protective Styling - Hair steaming helps you to prepare for the installation of long-term protective styles like box braids, weaves, Senegalese twists, etc. Since these protective styles keep your hair under wraps for weeks upon weeks, it’s important to have your real hair fully hydrated.

In order to prevent your true natural hair from drying out too much, a good deep conditioning session with steam before installing the protective style will go a long way in protecting your real hair while tucked away under your protective style.

6. Helps Eliminate Common Scalp Issues - The best hair steamers for natural hair kill disease-causing bacteria on your scalp. Frequent steam treatments will assist in eliminating harmful bacteria and scalp-damaging problems such as dandruff and itchiness and make your natural hair journey feel a lot more successful.

7. Can Help Revert Back To Your Curls Hair - After using flat irons for natural hair styling or even ionic blow dryers, some women worry about “How can I revert my curls?”, Well, many times the answer is by steaming your hair to revert back to the kinks and the curls that you love.


There are times when heat-treated hair feels dry, and dry hair can mimic or appear to be truly damaged hair when it’s really not, it’s just parched. Before you think about cutting it off, get a good hair steaming session followed up by a high-quality deep conditioning treatment.

Also, be sure to assess whether or not you’re in need of a protein treatment, the steamer will work wonders for improving your protein treatment which can help revert hair back to its natural state.

This advice only applies to natural, chemically-unaltered tresses. Even the best hair steamers for natural hair won’t revert the curl back to permed, relaxed or otherwise chemically-altered strand structures. 

8. Helps Promote Hair Growth - Applying steam to your hair and scalp helps break down product build-up on your scalp and creates a healthier growth environment, opening the way to increased hair growth.

9. Prepares Hair for Heat Appliances - An elite hair steamer prepares your hair for heat appliances later on. One of the best ways to prevent your hair from drying out or splitting if you’re blow drying or using a flat iron is to properly deep condition with gentle heat and the right products beforehand.

 {See New Article "Are Steam Flat Irons Better for Your Hair?"]

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How Can I Steam My Hair at Home?
Best Natural Hair Steaming Process:

Hair steaming at home is a simple process, here’s how to do it

  1. After shampooing your natural hair and applying your deep conditioner, pin your hair up to make sure the steam has access to your ends and scalp.
  2. Depending on the hair steamer model you’re using, you usually need to fill up an external container with distilled water or bottled water.
  3. You’ll attach the water container to the hair steaming device and allow it to heat up. Once it starts releasing steam, you sit under your steam with your deep conditioner in your hair.
  4. The process usually takes 20-35 minutes and the device will ping when the time is up. You can then rinse out the deep conditioner and proceed with your hair regimen.

How Long Should You Steam Your Hair?

30 minutes is enough time for you to have an effective steam treatment session if you’re using a professional or tabletop steamer.

If you’re wondering “Can steaming damage your hair?”, the answer is yes, if you steam for too long you can cause damage. Excessive steaming of your natural hair is actually harmful, so beware of that. 

WINNERS: Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair

I mentioned earlier that there are four types of hair steamers – thermal cap, handheld, tabletop (hood) and professional hair steamers. Whichever one you choose depends on your budget and lifestyle.

I have outlined the best hair steamers for African American hair, I explain what sets them apart and which is the best purchase below:

Secura 2-in-1 Tabletop Steamer: Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair?

The Secura 2-in-1 tabletop steamer has become a natural hair legend by now and it’s definitely seen as one of the best hair steamers for natural hair. Secura is a portable natural hair steamer that you can easily set up on a table or another flat surface around your house.

Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair secura 2 in 1 facial top best hair steamers for African American hair blackTabletop models make some of the best hair steamers for natural hair

It’s many naturalista’s “Holy Grail” choice among non-professional grade hair steamers and the reviews show that the natural hair community is in love with using this bad girl.

The reviews show this the Secura tabletop steamer is very durable and will last years and years when used properly.

The manufacturer claims this steam machine is equipped with a built-in ozone generator, which controls the release of negatively charged oxygen.

The Secura S-192 is famous for being a 2-in-1 beauty steamer because it’s useful for hair hydrating as well as facial steaming for healthy-looking, clean and hydrated skin.

PRO TIP: When you use your tabletop hair steamer, it’s important that you allow all the parts dry out before putting your device back into storage, this way you prevent electric shock or damage to your steamer.

The Secura S-192 customers reviews mention that this particular hair and facial steamer is easy to assemble. It heats up pretty fast and releases continuous steam for 20 – 30 minutes before the hair and skin device runs out of water. An internal alarm notifies you when the water in your beauty steamer extinguishes.

Hair Therapy Thermal Wrap (Hair Steamer Cap)

A thermal heating cap is a small cordless device that utilizes gel packs to heat the cap and steam your hair.

Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair hair therapy wrap thermal best-hair-steamers-for-natural-hair black hairBest hair steamers for natural hair reviews...

The heating cap works by placing it in the microwave in 1-minute increments until its hot.

You then fasten the cap over your head for 20 – 30 minutes. If the gel packs cool down, you can reheat.

The Hair Therapy Wrap is a useful hair tool to be sure, even if it can’t be “technically” considered one of the best hair steamers for African American hair because it’s technically NOT a steamer at all because it doesn’t provide water.

The advantage of a thermal cap is its portable, light and easy to use.

If you travel a lot, this is great for use on the road. You can also move around the house while using the Hair Therapy Wrap.

This is the product you use to (sort of) steam your natural hair when you’re feeling too lazy to set up a tabletop steamer, when you don’t feel like sitting under a steamer for 30 minutes or you just want to take a nap while steaming. 

Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer for Black Hair

There are various sizes and types of natural hair steam machines on the market, but one of the most popular favorites is the Q-Redew natural hair steamer because it’s so portable and small.

Q-Redew natural hair steamer best for black natural african american type 4c hairSee before & after pics for the best hair steamers for natural hair

It’s an easy hair steamer to use and a quick way to instantly refresh your natural hair without having to go through your entire wash day regimen.

Q-Redew Handheld natural hair steamers for Black hair are designed to fully hydrate, ease detangling, assist in stretching and infusing nutrients into the hair cuticles.

Handheld hair steamers, like Q-Redew, can be considered an elite hair steamer and a definite step up from the Hair Therapy Wrap, the two are in different leagues and simply don’t compare. 

It also bested and outlasted the Huetiful hair steamer, many don’t realize that Huetiful hair steamer discontinued production and is sticking to making kinky curly hair extensions not as good as Curl Kalon extensions though.

The Q-Redew gives you the luxury and results of a tabletop steamer without being as expensive as many tabletop models.

This is one of the best hair steamers for natural hair because it gives you a hair-saving moisture boost in-between wash days without saturating your hair with water.

The Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer has a small, detachable water-container reservoir. You need to fill the reservoir with pure distilled water after that you simply compress the trigger is to activate the steam.

Because it’s so mobile, the Qredew is one of the best hair steamers for natural hair if you travel a lot. This steamer for Black hair is far more carryable than a tabletop version like the highly rated Red by Kiss 2-in-1 Hair & Facial Salon Steamer. If you travel out of the country with either one, be sure to check the voltage of the country you’re in before you plug this in overseas and anywhere outside the US & Canada.

Let’s look at some of its features:

  • It is portable and lightweight.
  • It can be used to moisturize, reshape, detangle, restyle, stretch, hydrate and deep-condition your hair.
  • It is convenient and you are able to do ‘spot’ steaming if you don’t want to do your entire head of hair.
  • Q-Redew on 4C natural hair works wonders
  • It uses water to produce a warm mist or steam
  • It adds moisture and easily restyles your hair in a few minutes
  • It is 120V 650 watts and may not be used with a converter or adapter for safety reasons.
  • It’s comparable to the highly-rated Kingsteam 2 in 1 Ozone & Red Pro hair steamer
  • Easy to use

What's The Difference With Professional Hair Steamers?

Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair professional-hair-steamers-for-black-natural-hair-type4-africanSalon hair steamer pro review

A professional hair steamer is what you’ll often find in a high-end natural hair salon.

Unfortunately though:

Professional salon steaming services like the Ovah beauty aquatic mister treatment aren't available in many cities. So pro steamers are an option.

Professional hair steam-machines are high-end products that pack a lot of power, but may be more than what you need for home use.

Pro steam machines are rotatable, have several precise control switches, an automatic on and off switch, and you can easily adjust their height.

Although these truly are the best hair steamers for natural hair they are more expensive and that’s to be expected, a cheaper tabletop hair & beauty steamer for Black hair is probably all you would need for your house instead of a professional-model like the Melissa hair steamer and the tabletop won’t take up as much space in your residence.

Salon Sundry Best Pro Hair Steamer for Natural Hair

The one situation that I would advise buying a profession-level hair steamer for your home is if you have more than one person who will be using the machine, for the sake of your steamer lasting longer then maybe professional steamer would serve you better and be more durable versus constant use.

Just remember that a pro-level steam is bigger, clunkier and can’t be folded and tucked away like all the other steamer recommendations in this best hair steamers for natural hair article.

Some popular professional hair steamers include Salon Sundry Hair Steamer and Skin Act Professional Hair Steamer. 

4 Honorable Mention "Best" Hair Steamers for Natural Hair

    The products in the list below have a lot of fans and are considered by some to be the best hair steamers for natural hair. NHP doesn't agree with that but we want to be fair and present all options for you.
    So here's our honorable mention list for good hair steamers on Black, kinky-curly natural hair:
  • Kingdom beauty hair steamer 
  • KingdomCares large 2-in-1 steamer humidifier
  • Icarus caraway professional hair steamer 
  • Evokem professional hair steamer 

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Difference Between Hair Dryer & Best Hair Steamer for Natural Hair

Difference Between Hair Dryer And Hair Steamer Best Hair Steamers for Natural HairBest hair steamers for natural hair BATTLE!

You may be wondering if there is a difference between a standard hair dryer and a hair steamer – well, the answer is yes!

With a hairdryer, it generates ‘dry heat’ and the main purpose is to fully dry your hair from a wet state to a perfectly dry state. The hair steamer, on the other hand, its main job is to infuse your hair with steam and to allow nutrients to be fed into the hair follicle. So when talking about a hair steamer vs hooded dryer, it’s two different worlds.

So, Is a hair steamer better than a hair dryer? When you’re goal is to hydrate your hair, the answer is yes, a hair steamer is better because it eliminates unnecessary steps when adding moisture.


In order to use a hair dryer as a hair steamer you’d have to cover your hair with a plastic cap (after applying your hair product) and then cover the plastic cap with a warm damp towel in order to generate and trap the heat so that it can ‘steam’ your hair. This is the ‘less expensive’ or ‘frugal’ way to achieve inferior results.

Ultimately, you choose what works best for you depending on:

  • Your budget
  • Your time to allotted to your hair care
  • The type of deep-conditioning products being used for the process
  • Your specific hair needs

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How To Decide On The Best Hair Steamers For Your Natural Hair?

Deciding which are the best hair steamers for natural hair depends on your lifestyle, budget and your personal natural hair care regimen and goals.

For naturalistas who are constantly on-the-go, busy and/or on the road, the Hair Therapy Wrap and Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer are the best hair steamers for your situation.

For normal home use, the tabletop hair steamer for natural hair is best and the Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer is perfect for quick midweek refreshing “touch-up” hydration treatments.

The professional hair steamer comes into play if you have the extra cash to invest in a superior product and don’t mind treating yourself or splurging every once-in-a-while, or when you know that a lot of people will be using the steamer.

Remember: There are various types of hair steamers...

  • Portable tabletop models
  • Professional rolling-leg models (hair steamers with stands)
  • Hand-held models
  • Soft thermal cap models
  • 2-in-1 type models

Can’t afford any of the best hair steamers for natural hair above? Read on for alternative steaming solutions....

How to Steam Natural Hair Without a Steamer

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford hair steamers for Black hair so if you’re still trying to save those coins, here are a few ways to steam your hair without a steamer:

Heating Damp Towel Method

Some broke folks can't afford best hair steamers for natural hair, and...

...trust me, I KNOW broke (as a joke), ha! All too well girl, so...

...here's an old, tried and tested method for you.

You’ll need to lightly dampen a bath towel or large wash cloth, then heat up in the microwave for 90-120 seconds. While heating up, put your deep conditioner in your hair and cover your hair with a disposable plastic cap or cling film.

Remove the hot towel from the microwave and wrap it around your head, fully covering your hair. Wait until it cools down. This should take about 15 – 20 minutes depending on how hot the towel is. If it cools down before then, you can reheat again. 

Yes, this can be a laborsome task but if you don’t have a steamer, more work is expected, right?

Be careful when handling the towel so that you don’t burn your fingers.

Shower Steam Method

The steam from a hot shower can steam your hair. Simply apply your penetrating deep conditioner and take a shower without wearing a shower cap. Make the water as hot as you can tolerate.

Of course, neither of these methods are as effective as using one of the best hair steamers for natural hair, but in a pinch, they could get the job done temporarily. 

Follow Author of Best Hair Steamers for Natural Hair...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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