When a straight and smooth hairstyle is your preference but your hair is overly dry or damaged, you’ll desire something nourishing to heal it fast and make it look healthier. Well, a steam hair straightener can be such a nourishing solution to meet your desire.
It’s an ironing device that uses vapor spray from a water tank instead of your hair’s natural moisture. It could be the next fad in the latest trend of hairstyling. Vapor flat irons are gaining vast popularity day by day in the industry for their unique capabilities.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best steam hair straighteners in the market and look into the goodness they bring along.
- Steam Hair Straighteners Buying Guide
- Top Steam Hair Straighteners
- Pro Tips for Using Steam Hair Straighteners
- The Reason We Haven’t Listed Any Oil Infused Steam Hair Straightener
- Final Word
Best Steam Hair Straighteners at a Glance
Putting a lot of effort in researches and tests we were able to glean out the best steaming irons among dozens of them.
Let’s have a quick sneak peek at the ones we recommend before going into their details.
Steam Hair Straighteners Buying Guide
What Is a Steam Hair Straightener?
The word ‘Steam’ obviously gives you some idea about the functionality of this kind of hair straighteners. They are hair straighteners with a vaporizing feature. In contrast to the regular flat irons, they come with an inbuilt hydration system that includes a liquid tank and steaming vents.
Where a regular one uses the natural moisture of your hair for straightening, a steam flat iron sprays water vapor on your hair instead. So you can see what makes the difference here.
Since the natural moisture of your hair is preserved while using this kind of flat iron, you can lower the risk of over-drying your hair. Moreover, the moisture they deliver to your hair makes it look healthier and shiny.
Like regular flat irons, these vapor flat irons have plate material variations like ceramic, ceramic tourmaline, titanium, etc. And they might offer you common features such as dual voltage, ionic technology, and floating plates as well.
Who Can Use It?
Steam hair straighteners are specialized for dry and damaged hair lacking moisture. They suit both thin and thick hair as long as they’re not wet.
When your hair loses its natural moisture, it may get damaged easily, whether fine or thick, and breakages appear all over. And sometimes your hair may get crinkled to make it all worse. As a result, you keep struggling to keep up a natural look.
So, when you face these problems with your hair, and you want to look great in parties, you’ll need something to moisten your hair quickly without frying it any further so you can style on without difficulties.
Vaporizing hair straighteners would be best for you in this regard. Being gentler on your hair than a regular iron or a curling iron, they work great on damaged hair. The vapor helps heal your dry or damaged, fragile hair keeping it safe from the heated plates.
Moreover, adding adequate moisture to your hair the vapor helps you achieve shinier, frizz-free hair every time. In fact, they provide shinier results than any other hair straightener types. In other words, a steam hair straightener provides the quick medication necessary for your dry or damaged hair.
Not only that, but steam flat irons are also great for natural, healthy hair as well. When you want to add stunning gloss to your hair with a long-lasting effect, a vapor straightener is your friend.
To add more, while providing great results on natural black hair, vaporizing hair straighteners could also be the best solution out there for African American hair. You can easily soften your hard to tame afro hair, 3b, 3c, 4b or even the tightly coiled 4c hair with the high-temperature and vapor combo and style on.
However, remember not to use these type of hair straighteners on wet hair. When excessively hydrated hair strands come in contact with the heated plates, 90 percent chances are there that your hair gets completely frizzled.
Suits Various Hair Types
Steam hair straighteners can heal any hair type suffering from dryness let it be fine or thick. Spraying an adequate amount of vapor with proper heat induction can get you salon-like result at home easily. Moreover, it’s the precise kind of product for maintaining different variations of stubborn African American hair.
The hydrated vaporizing functionality of steam hair straightener flat irons helps you protect your hair from awful heat damages. When the heated hair strands get quick hydrations through the vapor spray, the overall temperature is retained gently which protects it from overheating, keeping your hair soft, sleek, and healthy.
When you straighten your hair with a steam flat iron, the effect lasts longer than that of a regular one. In most cases, your hair keeps day-long straightness until you shower it wet.
The vapor mist adds up to the smoothness and shimmer, ensuring your hairstyle gets a perfect luster. If you’ve found it hard to soften your excessively thick hair and gave up on adding gloss to it, you can trust these flat irons that’ll make it pretty easy for you.
With the innovative technology of vapor infusion, the possibility of frizzes and kinks hardly stand a chance. As a result, your hair becomes more humidity resistant for perfect frizz control.
The Distinctive Features of a Steam Hair Straightener
The Steam flat irons come with some specialties that signify their unique capabilities. Let’s have a deeper look.
The vents are what make them different than the others. When the inner mechanism vaporizes the water injected to its reservoir, the vents sprays the vapor to your hair. The vents can be positioned within the plates, down the plate ends or both.
Although you can get the job done with the vents positioned at the plate ends, we suggest a steam flat iron that has vents within the plates as well.
Because, when the vents are positioned within the plates, every part of your hair gets more evenly distributed vapor. Moreover, they ensure each of your damaged hair strands gets proper moistening. It’s an important feature that leaves no room for overheating your hair, hence it provides absolute burn protection to every single hair strand.
Every steam hair straightener comes with vents at their plate bottoms. But, when it lacks vents within the plates, the vaporized water is directed only from the sides. As a result, the section of hair you’re trying to shape is deprived of proper moistening in its middle part, and there’ll be possibilities of potential dissimilarities.
The liquid reservoir comes attached with steam flat irons to hold the water necessary for vaporization. You can remove it and pour it with water. The water holding capacity of these reservoirs is ranged from 10-40 ml.
Since the water gets vaporized and infused into your hair while using it, you’ll want a tank that holds a generous amount of water, so you don’t have to worry about pouring it again anytime soon. We recommend going for an iron with a holding capacity of 30-40 ml.
With a tank within this range, you’ll get up to 25-30 minutes of styling which is a sufficient amount of time before you need to pour it for the second time.
On the other hand, reservoirs with a capacity less than that range will only offer you 6 to 15 minutes before a repouring which is definitely not enough a time for achieving any desirable style.
Most steam hair straighteners come with quick heating functionality. In general, their plates may take up to 2 minutes to get ready.
The best ones take no more than 30 seconds to heat up. It’s a necessary trait for vapor hair straighteners since quick operations are what we demand the most whether in a hurry or not.
Moreover, if the heating takes longer than a minute, the water inside the tank begins vaporizing slowly. And since they can’t get out until you’re ready to use it, the vapor molecules can clog the vent interiors gradually. It may result in improper steam output in the future. So, the quicker, the better.
Several steam flat irons come with temperature auto-lock functionality. It’s a mechanism that locks the heating system to a constant value when a suitable temperature is reached. Meaning, no accidental change in the temperature would occur once you’ve locked it with this system.
It’s a great feature to have in a flat iron, especially when you have fine, delicate hair. Without this feature, possibilities would be always there for the heat sensitive ceramic plates to heat beyond the selected temperature. So you may risk burning your moistened hair even after selecting your preferred range.
Thankfully with this temperature auto-lock functionality, you can eliminate that risk.
Combing while straightening is a common yet efficient practice among many hairstyle enthusiasts. Combing helps separate the hair sections and makes sure the vapor never misses out on a single strand. The method also effectively heals the root of your hair leaving no room for dampness to your hair scalp.
Some of the steam hair straighteners further simplify this method offering comb teeth within their plates. Having comb teeth within the plates, you get to comb and iron your hair at one go. It saves time, and it cuts the hassle of straining your hands.
Also, these comb teeth are great reducers of split ends as well as hair knots. Additionally, spreading the hair while moving along, they help add quick volumes.
Ceramic Infusion Does Matter
As we’ve stated above, the plate material can be ceramic, ceramic tourmaline, nano titanium ceramic, titanium, and titanium tourmaline. But we’ve figured out that the plates must contain ceramic to provide you with the best service. Here’s why:
Titanium plates get exceedingly heated and hence can further damage your dry hair even with the steam infusion system. They don’t seem to cause much trouble to naturally healthy coarse hair, but still, they’ll require you to be extra careful with the heat adjustments.
Since the key purpose of a steam flat iron is to deliver even heat through every hair section while moistening it with water vapor, you’ll need plates not so harsh yet producing the necessary heat. Only ceramic plates effectively do that for you. They warm slowly maintaining a uniform temperature across your hair sections throughout a session.
Especially, irons having titanium infused ceramic plates work just the way it should. They maintain the heat balance, so the plates aren’t much lower in heat. And the particles make sure of precisely even heat for smoother hair.
Tourmaline coats are quasi precious minerals producing negative ions. They are quite an asset for achieving smoother results. Ceramic tourmaline is also healthy a choice for plate material. It lowers the risk of hair burns or dents going much gentler on your hair.
A Few Additional Features: Among other notable features of steam flat irons you’ll find:
The Must-haves of an Ideal Steam Hair Straightener
While purchasing a steam flat iron, don’t forget to compare the core features. We’ve summarized them in the chart below for better comprehension. Have a look.
|Plate Material||Ceramic, Nano Titanium Ceramic, Ceramic Tourmaline|
|Liquid Reservoir Capacity||30 to 40 ml|
|Vents Within Plates||Must Include|
|Heating Time||30 seconds|
|Temperature Auto-lock Functionality||Must Include|
|Comb Teeth||Must Include|
Top Steam Hair Straighteners
Purchasing the best steam hair straightener is the key to healing your damaged hair or retaining the healthiness of your hair. With the increasing popularity of the steaming flat irons, many companies are producing them in numbers. Elly’s professional, Reoprotm Salon professional flattening iron, Conair infinity steam iron, and Loreal steampod flat iron hair straightener to name a few.
However, it’s a fact that not each of them will offer you the key features necessary for your hair. You must make a wise selection since a wrong product can permanently damage your hair. And we underscore this fact more on steaming flat irons.
Down below, we’ll introduce you with five steam hair straighteners of 2020. We’ve spent hours in research and various test processes to choose them so you can pick the best one for yourself easily.
Before the detailed discussions, let’s have a glance at the chart below and compare their key features.
A Comparative Chart for Clarification
|Properties||Mkboo Steam Plus Hair Straightener Care Pro||L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod 3.0 Steam Hair Straightener||Sanwinn Professional Steam Brush Hair Straightener||Fon Professional Hot Steampod Hair Straightener||Huachi Steam Hair Straightener||Xtava Professional Steam Flat Iron|
|Plate Material||Nano Titanium Caramic||Nano-Titanium Ceramic||Ceramic Tourmaline||Ceramic||Ceramic Tourmaline||Ceramic Tourmaline|
|Liquid Reservoir Capacity||40 ml||35 ml||30 ml||30 ml||10 ml||10 ml|
|Adjustable Temperature Settings||300-450℉||350-450℉||300-450℉||300-450℉||350-400℉||350-400℉|
|Vents Within Plates||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Temperature Auto-lock Functionality||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Comb Teeth||Yes (Retractable)||Yes (Retractable)||Yes (Non-retractable)||Yes (Non-retractable)||n/a||n/a|
|Price($)||More Than 50||Less than 250||Less Than 50||More Than 50||Less Than 50||Less Than 50|
Mkboo Steam Plus Hair Straightener Care Pro
MKBOO leads the rest of our list with this superb nano titanium ceramic professional steam flat iron. With the salon-quality aftereffects in your comfortable home ambiance, it’s a definite top contender in the hairstyle industry.
The nano titanium ceramic plates make it special among the others. Ensuring the proper even heat all through the plate, they eliminate any risk of hotspots. They’re not so harsh and not so soft, keeping an excellent heat balance. They are best known for reducing the chances of split or damaged hair by up to 50 percent.
Another superiority of this flat iron that beats the others on our list is its generous liquid reservoir. The 40 ml extra-large tank enables continuous styling for up to 30 minutes. It’s an adequate amount of time for styling so you don’t get bothered by stopping and refilling the water drum every once in a while.
The iron is also a big time saver as well. After you have filled the tank and powered it on, it takes a maximum of 30 seconds to reach its peak temperature. Indicator light indicates when it’s ready to use.
Advanced vent placement adds up to its brilliance. You’ll find the steaming vents both within its plates and at the plate bottom. This ensures your hair gets continuous even vapor flow all through the strands. It’ll heal unwanted frizziness and statics in no time.
The gentle flows maintain proper moistening of your hair, giving no chance to exceed your necessity hence protects your hair from burning. You’ll get shiner and softer results every time. Also, they help provide long-lasting results.
It comes with 5 heat settings within the temperature range of 300°F to 450°F to provide you with adequate heat options to choose the best match for your hair type.
Moreover, you won’t have to worry about accidental changes of your preferred temperature, thanks to the temperature auto-lock functionality it brings along. With this feature, you can lock and secure the suitable temperature your hair texture needs whenever you want.
The goodness of this hair straightener doesn’t end here. Its innovative design includes a retractable 3D comb that helps equally disperse the hair for achieving better outcomes than a typical flat iron. The comb teeth help reduce split ends and knots effectively. And whenever you don’t feel like combing, you can remove it as well.
In addition, the iron comes with 1.25 inch wide floating plates for ensuring proper contacts with every section of your hair in the first attempt. It accelerates your styling like a piece of cake. Besides, with the plates having curved edges, you can also go on to try making adorable curls as well.
If you’re eyeing a steam hair straightener for worry-free hairstyling for the longer term, this is could be the real deal. The meticulously designed iron promises to deliver fabulous hairstyles every time.
Few Additional Features
L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod 3.0 Steam Hair Straightener
Lined up as the runner-up in our list is L’Oréal’s Steampod hair straightener, which comes with all the luxuries and elegance of a hair enthusiasts’ craving. Despite having a similar pair of nano-titanium ceramic plates like the Mkboo, along with a bunch of advanced technological brilliance within it, the hefty price tag has kept it from topping our list.
Since the first version in their Steampod line of flat irons, the company has gone on to enhance the nano-titanium plates with anodized coats, which now deliver up to two times smoother results that, too, with a much lesser risk of hotspots and breakages. In fact, their combination with the precision steam delivery from the vents within them can provide over 75 percent more protection from damages and split ends.
And regardless of your hair type, their patented anti-scald technology will make sure you never damage your hair by any means. It aids the temperature auto-lock functionality that locks-in the suitable temperature before the plates can heat up to any further extent.
You can also expect to have longer straightening sessions with the iron, thanks to its liquid reservoir that capacitates 35 ml of water that may allow you more than 25 minutes before a refill. And you’ll hardly have to wait for long in between since the plates take no longer than 30 seconds to heat up to the fullest. Moreover, since it has an integrated tank, you’ll be more comfortable with the pouring job and save more time as well.
The temperature range of this expensive unit is something you might feel a bit concerned about, though. The iron only works within 350-450℉, which may worry you if you have extremely delicate tresses. However, you shouldn’t be too worried since the intelligent Steampod technology and the temperature auto-lock feature have got your back.
You’re bound to love its comb attachment too. The salon-grade 3D retractable comb not only can pre-detangle the most stubborn of hair tufts, but it also makes it more comfortable for you to wave your shafts the way you’d prefer. Undoubtedly, you’ll love this product all the more if you find hair waving more charming than anything else.
While the product is all about luxury, magnificence, and comfort, when you talk about its performance, the price is surely not within everyone’s reach. Besides, the fact that the Mkboo being a much cheaper yet highly capable device that covers all the crucial aspects of steam hairstyling, the price tag will surely hurt many. Nevertheless, it’s an outstanding hair styler with an all-round brilliance and elegance without a doubt.
Few Additional Features
Sanwinn Professional Steam Brush Hair Straightener
This steam brush hair straightener from one of the most trusted brands in the industry comes with so many innovative features that promise you outstanding salon-quality results. It takes the third place in our list, falling behind the top two with a slightly lower-capacity water tank and a fixed array of jumbo comb-teeth.
The ceramic tourmaline plates of this vapor flat iron contain 3D comb teeth surrounded by silicon protective edges. The steampod hair straightener superbly maintains proper heat balance throughout all your hair strands not leaving behind a single one, thanks to the thick comb teeth it comes with.
This disperses the hair sections equally and more accurately to heal your split ends. Being much thicker than the regular ones, the comb teeth hardly leave chances of tangling your hair. And they’re great for making curls too.
However, unlike the MKBOO Care Pro, its pods and comb teeth aren’t retractable. Like it’s an electronic steaming hairbrush. So, you can’t use it as a regular flat iron. Don’t worry, it’s hardly an issue, and you’ll love the results it’ll produce.
No matter how coarse your hair is, the much gentler yet proper heat along with a balanced flow of vapor glides softly throughout your hair and makes it softer within minutes. Being a master of taming thick hairs, it’s probably the best steam hair straightener for African American hair providing satisfying outcomes to each of its variations.
The iron comes with PTC heating technology that evenly heats it up as fast as 30 seconds and saves your time. The water reservoir capacitates up to 30 ml of water. The amount is fair enough to provide you with a maximum of 25 minutes of continuous styling.
Having steaming vents within its plates as well as the plate bottom, your hair gets an adequate amount of vapor flow in every section. This makes sure the moistening doesn’t leave a single hair strand. Going much gentler through your hair, the risk of left behind dents on your hair is far more reduced. It’s such efficient a combo for any types of damaged hair as well as naturally healthy black hair.
Offering you 5 different temperature settings ranging from 300°F to 450°F, the iron is a complete package to suit every hair type. Besides, there are multiple vapor flow settings as well, so you can set the flow as you prefer. Also, a temperature auto-lock functionality prevents any faulty operations, protecting your hair from burns and dents. The unit is one of the best-rated steam hair straighteners for sure.
Few Additional Features
Fon Professional Hot Steampod Hair Straightener
FON is quite new in the hairstyle industry. The fledgling company has brought this vapor hair straightener that comes with an air of confidence to provide satisfactory outcomes. Like the Sanwinn hair straightener we’ve covered above, it’s also an iron that has thick brush-like ceramic teeth.
However, the plates lack a tourmaline coat which is a downside that keeps it a few steps behind the above two in terms of accuracy in heat distribution. Although the 3D comb teeth help separate the hair sections and flow the heat to every strand, the result may seem somewhat a bit less attractive than the Sanwinn.
The combo of comb and flat iron comes really handy for achieving beautiful looking hair and a nice head massage altogether. The easily maneuverable unit lets you style in a more relaxed mode compared to using a separate comb that strains your hand.
The iron comes with seven vents within the plate sideways to make sure the vapor flow reaches the nooks and crannies of your hair. You can shut the flow off with button press and use it as a hairbrush as well. There are also 5 different heat settings to choose from within 300 to 450℉ temperature range so you can pick a suitable one that matches your hair texture.
The 30 ml water drum allows you up to 20 minutes of styling before it needs a refill. After you’ve poured the water in and plugged it on, the plates get ready within a minute. So, it doesn’t waste much of your time.
The unit gently heats up your hair and smoothen your hair with lots of negative ions generated from the ceramic plates. And with the auto temperature lock functionality, it eliminates the risks of faulty operations and burns. Only you’ll have to lock the temperature when you’ve reached a suitable degree.
Few Additional Features
Why We Do Not Recommend the Following
Huachi Steam Hair Straightener
The budget-friendly Huachi moisturizing hair straightener comes with an ultra-sonic water vaporizer combined with ceramic tourmaline plates. The mini-sized flat iron offers both vaporized and regular ironing.
The iron is capable of smooth straightening while adding moisture to your hair. But the lack of some key features forced us to keep it outside our recommended list.
Firstly, the iron has a vent only at its plate bottom and not within the plate. So the flow of the vaporized water is sprayed only from the sides. As a result, when you try to moisten a section of your hair, the vapor doesn’t reach properly in every part. To do it properly, you’ll have to work on plenty of small sections. It surely consumes your time.
And it’s not the only way to waste your time. The water tank only holds a maximum of 10 ml of water. Meaning you only get to style 7-8 minutes maximum before pouring it up again. You’ll definitely won’t want something that requires interferes in between your styling.
Moreover, there are only 2 temperature settings. Meaning, either you’ll have to choose 350℉ or 400℉ which may not be enough to suit more than two thickness variations of hair.
Also, with the lack of comb teeth, you’ll have to go back to your comb and do it in the old style.
Xtava Professional Steam Flat Iron
This Xtava 1-inch ceramic tourmaline flat iron comes with a compact design that includes vapor infusion technology to moisturize your hair on the go.
The iron claims to straighten your hair whether fine or coarse with proper follicle moisturization. Well, the unit being devoid of some core features makes it hard for us to believe that.
It doesn’t have any vents within its plates and only has one down the plate bottom instead. It’s a must-have characteristic the unit lacks which causes improper vapor flow distribution. Thus, the single vent fails to cover each of the hair strands of a section at one go. It means you are to spend a lot of time and effort in order to get fair enough a result.
It wouldn’t have worried you much had it included a bigger water drum. But with a drum that only holds 10 ml of water, it’s surely a bigger concern. It empties up within 7-8 minutes only to leave you with much annoyance. You’ll definitely not want a device that requires multiple water refills in quick successions.
To add up to your concerns, the iron offers you only 2 heat settings, 350℉ and 450℉. So you can’t choose in between this range which leaves you with short of options. And the lack of comb teeth sums it all up. You’ll have to struggle with a comb separately when you need to spread up and moisten the hair strands properly.
Additionally, even though the iron is meant for traveling, it doesn’t come with protective plate locks. All these downsides indicate the unit hardly stands up to the mark.
Pro Tips for Using Steam Hair Straighteners
Here are some of the essential tips from our experts:
- Always keep the water tank full even when you’re not using the iron. It’ll prevent the wick drying out. It’s important since a dried wick delays the vapor generation and prolongs your styling session.
- Comb your hair before using the straightener. It prevents the built-in combs from snagging and helps totally eliminate the risk of hair breakage.
- Always spray a heat protectant whenever using a hot tool.
- Turn the atomizer off when the desired luster is achieved.
- After every session, when the iron cools down, remember to remove residual hair and any water drops off the bristles.
- You can clean the bristles with a dampened cloth. Remember not to do so when it’s still plugged in.
- Only use cotton swabs for cleaning the water reservoir.
- Use distilled water to prevent minerals clogging the vent holes. This way you can make your iron last longer beyond expectation.
- Don’t get alarmed to see a few drops of water in the reservoir of your new device. This happens because of the function tests or aging test conducted by the manufacturers.
- Make sure you’ve removed the plastic coats over the plates and vents that may have come with the packaging before using it.
- Clean the tank properly with cotton swabs before you use it.
- Do not use oil in the water tank if it’s not instructed in the manual. It will totally ruin the device.
- Handle carefully, hold the device as the manual suggests, and keep it distant from your skin to avoid injury. Wearing protective gloves is the best practice.
- Use the plate locks for storage if your device includes any.
The Reason We Haven't Listed Any Oil Infused Steam Hair Straightener
Up until now, we’ve discussed only the steam hair straighteners that use water vapor as the moisturizer. But there is another type that uses argan oil for hair conditioning. It’s called the argan oil-infused hair straightener. Cortex Steamliner, Cortisio Garden of Eden, Conair Infinity are some of the big names to mention in this category.
Conditioning your hair with argan oil or macadamia oil helps minimize hair damages and adds necessary nutrients for your hair. But according to expert suggestions, it’s not among the best practices to infuse oil vapor in your hair through a flat iron unless you’re a hairstyle expert. Oil infused vapor straighteners are not beginner-friendly.
Firstly, the oil molecules easily clog the vents and jam the inner mechanism. So its maintenance is far harder than the irons using water vapor. You’ll find it tough to make it last long enough. And even if it lasts, the results will keep falling down with each use.
Secondly, which concerns us more, steam ironing with oil risks burning your hair badly for permanent damages. And in most cases, the probability is up to 60 percent. It’s because of the over moistening of your hair that gets fried easily with instantly coming in contact with hot plates. So we strongly discourage using these irons unless you’re a hairstyle expert.
So, what if you’re eager to condition your hair with oil while ironing your hair anyway? After all, oil conditioning is one of the most efficient ways to add perfect lusters to your hair.
Fortunately, our experts have got a solution for you. You can spray argan oil heat protectors on your hair. This way you can get better gloss while providing the best protection to your hair. HSI Professional Argan oil protector is a product worth mentioning in this regard. It’s loved by our experts and you can fully trust. Just spray in a favorable extent and wait for a minute or two before start ironing with a regular or steam flat iron.
It’s ever so tempting to hire a professional or frequent the salons for hair straightening and styling. Where this temptation can cost you heavy amounts, steam ironing at home could be a big money saver for the longer term.
By now, our discussion must have given you a comprehensive idea about steam hair straighteners. Consider the facts and make your selection wisely. After all, gorgeous hair is all that you deserve.