Weekend Hot Oil Steam Treatment

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Since this was a long weekend and I had an extra day off to play with, I thought it would be the perfect time to pull out my steamer and experiment using something other than conditioner on my hair when I steam. Usually I opt to steam with a creamy conditioner such as either of my go-to favorites - Curl Junkie Curl Rehab or Oyin Honey Hemp. But this time I decided to experiment and steam with just an oil in my hair. Disclaimer: I didn't really have a concrete plan of what I would do exactly, but I made sure to document my process along the way so that I would be able to share. See below :)

This is what my hair looked like before I started. Yikes! This was a week-old wash and go that I had up in a puff for a few days. So yes, by the time I took this picture it was looking a hot frizzy mess.

Old wash & go hair = hot mess
Step 1: Mix oils. I chose to use Jojoba oil as my primary carrier oil. Why? No reason in particular, except for the fact that I have a big bottle of it that I barely seem to use. To the jojoba I added just a little Vitamin E oil. I also added a couple drops of Lavender essential oil, basically for no other reason but to kill the weird nutty smell of my jojoba oil that I didn't really care for. (FYI - essential oils are highly concentrated and one drop goes a long way.)

Carrier Oil: Jojoba (got it on Amazon)
Lavender Essential Oil (Whole Foods)

Step 2: Prep Steamer. Before jumping in the shower to rinse my hair and before oiling my hair, I got my steamer all set up and filled with water. I do this ahead of time so that when I am ready to steam, all I have to do it hit the on button and get in position. At my makeshift "steamer station" I make sure that I have an extra towel already there. I also make sure that things like my phone, my TV remotes (or a book if I am in a reading mood), and my laptop are placed so that they are within reach while I steam.

Adding water to my steamer.
Step 3: Rinse/Shampoo Hair. This is where I got a little lazy and cut some corners. Usually I wash my hair in sections, but I was so eager to get to steaming that I really didn't want to spend too much time in the shower. So against my better judgement, I got in the shower and rinsed my hair while it was all out and loose - no sections. I just did a "quick wash" with Curl Junkie Daily Cleansing Conditioner. Since I was clearly cutting corners due to laziness, I tried to be really careful by running the cleansing conditioner through my hair while standing under the stream of the shower in an effort to minimize tangling.
Freshly washed "naked" hair (i.e., no product)
Step 4: Oil Hair. After getting out of the shower, I massaged and smoothed the jojoba oil mix into my hair, concentrating on my ends. Then I divided my hair down the middle into to two large sections and secured each section into a high pigtail / puff (see pic below). I did two puffs like this because I really wanted to ensure that my ends were completely under the hood of the steamer in a position where they would receive most of the steam.
Oiled hair, in 2 high puffs. Check out the shiny/greasy forehead :)
Step 5: Steam oiled hair. The steamer I have automatically shuts off after 30 minutes, so that is how long I ended up steaming. Once I was done steaming, I kept my hair in the two puffs but covered with a plastic cap to keep the moisture in while I went about my day. Confession: Before covering my hair, I added a a quarter-sized dollop of Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner to the ends in each of my puffs because...well, clearly I am addicted to conditioner and could not seem to even get through this "oil-only steaming experiment" without throwing some sort of creamy conditioner on my hair.....LOL :)

Steaming :)
Step 6: Detangle hair with conditioner and rinse. I didn't actually get to this step until the next day (after steaming in step 5 I got distracted by other tasks around the house and I also really didn't feel like getting back into the shower again for that day). So the next morning I detangled in the shower. This time I did not dare cut any corners - I divided my hair into my usual 8 sections and slathered on Oyin Honey Hemp on each section to help with the detangling process. Once I was done detangling, I rinsed the conditioner out of each section.

I of course followed up with my usual wash and go style / routine.

Final Verdict: Meh. Steaming with just jojoba oil was just OK. My hair felt alright when I was done steaming, but it didn't have that mind-blowing velvety feeling (I know....dramatic) it usually has when I steam with any of my ride-or-die deep conditioners from Curl Junkie or Oyin. While my hair generally loves jojoba oil, I think it probably loves it most when I add it other things, like conditioner or my rhassoul clay treatments. However, I am curious if maybe a heavier oil (like extra virgin olive oil) would have wowed my hair more with steaming.  Maybe that will be another long weekend experiment? #kanyeshrug....

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