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Hey girl, heeey! Are you thinking of getting a steam flat iron? Well, I want you to hold your horses just a minute miss-missy, and let me break down the pros and cons for you. So you get the best product and best looking result for your hair gorgeousness-goals...
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The 1st time I’d ever heard of the Miuphro steam hair straightener, I found a steam flat iron review from a beautiful Black woman with natural hair. She waxed poetically about how this steam heating tool doesn't burn her natural hair or leave it smelling like she had burned it into its straightness.
The steam tool left her hair soft and silky and she was recommending to her friends left and right. She even left a picture of her straightened hair with her review, and it was cute!
Sounds like a great buy, right?
Not so fast…
Because while steam irons for hair have advantages, there are also some negatives that you probably want to know about before buying or opting for something like a regular ol' CHI flat iron.
And if you do end up grabbing one, you need to see a list of the best steam hair straighteners. And that’s here for you too…
So let’s talk about it sis!
I’m not gonna let you waste your money OR let you miss out on any great hair straightening products either! You’re in good hands today…
1st though, let’s get to the nitty-gritty and explain what a steam flat iron really is, because some folks got it twisted and confused...
Much like it sounds, a steam flat iron uses steam vapor to heat it up and straighten your strands, and they are said to be safer in the hands of a novice because most steam straighteners aren’t as quick to heat up or get as hot as high-powered, salon-quality non-steam straighteners (like your Babyliss Pro, GHD or BIO IONIC Onepass Pro-Styling Irons).
The better brands are capable of giving you a very decent to good straightening job.
These steam vapor hair tools hold water in a reservoir tank which you’ll need to keep filling up if you have a lot of thick, hard-to-straighten tresses.
Usually, with even the best steam flat iron for 4c hair, the water only lasts around 15 minutes or so. So dealing with a steam hair straightener with water tank can be a little more of a hassle, you have more moving parts to deal with.
On the bright side, steam straighteners are very easy to use and it feels “safer”, because it uses water. You use it just like a traditional flat iron, except for adding water into a water chamber.
Much like using a clothes steamer to remove wrinkles from delicate clothes, the steam vapor emitted from the flat iron plates enable you to straighten out the “wrinkles” on curly or kinky hair and smooth it out really nicely for you.
Lastly, don’t confuse a steam vapor flat iron with a different type of straightener known as the steam hair straightener brush.
The steam flat iron vs regular flat iron battle is one that gets a lot of attention, because everyone wants to know which is best. And that makes sense…
These two options both have their benefits and failures and match the needs of different women with different hair goals.
When talking about non-steam straighteners you have to consider that frequent use of regular hair straighteners can deplete your hair of alot of moisture because conventional flat irons actually use your hair’s own natural moisture to create smooth and perfectly straightened hair.
Oftentimes these premium non-steaming titanium flat irons give you the best, superior press results, yet you have to pay much more attention to protecting your hair’s moisture levels with the proper serums, oils and heat protectants.
Steaming flat irons, on the other hand, are equipped and designed to replenish hair moisture during the straightening press process, giving you bone-straight strands without over-drying your tresses.
Instead of flattening hair between titanium plates, most steam straighteners utilize nano ceramic and tourmaline technology. It’s rare to see a titanium steam flat iron.
The winner of the steam straightener vs flat iron battle depends on what’s most important to you. If safety is most important to you and you aren’t adept at handling pro-level titanium flat iron, the steam version might be the ticket for you.
If the ultimate bone straight results are most important to you and you are capable of operating a salon-grade straightener, then the Babyliss Pro or BIO IONIC Onepass flat iron is your key to seeing better quality results and supreme SHINE!
As you may already know, the best flat iron for 3b or 2a type hair may not be the best steam flat iron for 4c hair.
And the best flat iron for weave or perm relaxed hair, might not be the best flat iron on a natural hair silk press, so on and so forth.
Well, I’ll tell you up front that the NHP Approved #1 winner for best steam flat iron for 4c hair was the DORISILK Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Steam Flat Iron.
We have a whole “best of” review article specifically talking about kinky hair needs and the best steam straighteners for Black hair. So give it a look if you have 4b or 4c kinky, coily hair!
Is Steam bad for hair?
No. In moderation, steam isn’t bad for hair. In fact, if your hair is perm-relaxed and/or chemically color-treated, steaming is good for your hair helping it grow strong and healthy. Hair steaming is beneficial because the process hydrates dry hair strands, proper hydration is critically important to hair health. The moist heat also encourages the circulation of blood flow on your scalp which is good for promoting hair growth.
Are steam flat irons better for your hair?
Healthwise, the answer is, yes. Steam flat irons are better at being gentler on your hair. In fact, steam hair straighteners not only do a good job of getting hair straight, smooth and sleek, When used properly they are somewhat safer for your hair because steam is less likely to burn your strands.
Are steam flat irons better than regular flat irons?
For safely ironing with less chance of burning, yes, steam flat irons are better than regular flat irons. For the best straightening result though? No. Normal titanium flat irons like Babyliss Pro and GHD ceramic straighteners will give you better straightening results and the best final look and duration of style.
Is there a difference between a straightener and a flat iron?
Although the answer is, yes, there is a difference. The two terms will often refer to the same thing. The words 'flat iron' and 'straightener' are commonly switched in and out while being used interchangeably. Difference is, any device that straightens hair, can be called a ‘straightener’, this includes flat irons, hot combs, straightening brushes, and even blow dryers. Yet, not all straighteners are actually flat irons. Basically, all flat irons are straighteners, but many straightener tools aren’t flat irons.
What are the best steam straighteners? Here's your answer...
Here's a steam flat iron to avoid if you are not trying to spend over $100 for a steam version... I'm talking about the Maxiglide XP Hair Straightener styling tool by Maxius with retractable pins for detangling.
Don't get me wrong though...
The Maxiglide XP is a highly-rated steam flat iron, but come on.... It's a steam straightener. These shouldn't cost as much because they aren't as durable as non-steam options and they are so very similar. I can't see paying over a hundo for a steam straightener. I just aint feelin' that...
For a steam straightener that you'll never find in ANY pro-level salon? Naw...
Especially when you can get a professional-quality Babyliss Ultra Pro for a few bucks more.
That's me though...
You, do you sis. I'm just here to give you an educated second opinion.
If you want to buy your first steam flat iron it would probably help to know how to use it properly, right? I got your back sis. It’s easy... Here’s a quick tips list for how to use a steam straightener for the best straight hair results:
So, although a steam flat iron isn’t my first choice for the best straightener for Afro-textured hair, I understand that some of you might want to know where to buy steam flat irons anyway.
You can find the best steam hair straighteners with comb teeth attached at Amazon with FREE 2-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime. Grab your free trial if long as they are still available and then grab your Infiniti pro steam flat iron by Conair, DORISILK straightener or whatever else from our NHP top 10 list if you want the safer “vapors”.
Grab your non-steaming straightening iron from Babyliss Pro Ultra Wide if you know how to handle this bad girl.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
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.