Shopping for the best hair steamer can be pretty confusing, what with all the models available and the buzzwords thrown around. I remember the first time I bought a hair steamer. I had to sit down and really dig through all the features that each one of them offers.
Those with frizzy, tangled, or damaged hair, as well as those who want to get the most out of their other hair products should defiitely look into getting their own hair steamer. These devices use regulated steam to apply precise heat to your hair and scalp, moisturizing it in the process and opening pores. Because of their powerful, deep cleaning properties, these devices see wide use by parlors and hairdressers either as preparation for other treatments, or to improve the effects of another procedure.
In this guide, I’ve listed down the top 10 best hair steamer, sorted by function. I’ve also added what their special features are, and what you can expect from each of them.
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Best Hair Steamer Reviewed In This Guide
The two best steamers in this guide are the Kingsteam 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer and the Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer. The Kingsteam and Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamerare powerful, adaptable tools fit for any hair steaming session. Here’s a comparison of their features.
Best Hair Steamer List
Best Overall Hair Steamer:
Kingsteam 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer
The Kingsteam 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer rises to the top of this list as it’s simply the best hair steamer I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying out. While there are many 2-in-1 facial and hair steamers, the Kingsteam outshines them all in terms of performance and consistency.
The PTC ceramic heating element that Kingsteam touts is no joke – this hair steamer is fast. In spite of its speed, the steam it generates still manages to be gentle on the scalp, leaving a “just right” feeling. The automatic shut-off when the water dips below threshold is great, too. While it can be annoying to have the device turn off on you, this add-on vastly improves the Kingsteam 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer’s longevity and durability, and protects you from injury too.
As if that wasn’t enough, this hair steamer also comes with a facial steamer, which extends the deep cleanse to your face by unclogging your pores.
- PTC ceramic heating element heats up quickly, producing strong steam off the bat
- Automatically turns off when water is below ideal level while sounding an alarm
- Generated ion water particles allow for deep cleansing and moisturizing
- Built-in aromatherapy diffusal function
Pros: Convenient and portable, auto-off function is great for safety, works great even on kinky hair
Cons: Have a plastic-like smell
Bottomline: Kingsteam’s 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer is everything you’d want from a steamer – and more. Not only is this an effective and superb hair steamer, but it’s also pretty affordable, too.
Best Beginner’s Hair Steamer:
Vicarko Hair Steamer Cap
This hair steamer cap is an excellent choice for people who are new to the hair steaming scene. The Vicarko is a simple but effective product that streamlines the steaming process while providing the same powerful treatment as any other steamer.
The Vicarko has an intuitive design – on the surface, it’s just a cap with 2 heat settings, high or low. The Vicarko Steamer Cap heats up to a low temperature of 45°C and a high of 65°C. Customers have noted that the low temperature is more than enough to get the results they want.
This hair steamer cap also contains built-in attemperators. These are heat sensors that will automatically shut off the Vicarko’s heat generation if they detect that things are getting too hot. At the same time, they’ll restart the machine automatically once they’ve determined that the hair steamer is back at a safe temperature. This minimizes the risk of damaging your own hair due to extreme heat.
Finally, the Vicarko is incredibly affordable, at just $36.99 – without discounts. And in spite of this low price tag, this hair steamer cap provides treatment comparable to that of its bigger brothers.
- Super easy to use
- Simple switch for controlling heat
- 45°C – 65°C temperature range
- Uniform heat distribution for deep penetration and maximum efficiency
- Large cap size ensures easy coverage of all parts of hair
- Built-in attemperators automatically shut off and restart the hair steamer in case of extreme temperatures
Pros: Affordable, hand washable
Cons: Takes a while to heat up
Bottomline: The Vicarko is definitely my number one choice for budget steamers. If you just want a steamer that does its job well, save money and get a Vicarko.
Best Luxury Hair Steamer:
Elitzia Professional Ozone Micro Mist Hair Steamer
This hair steamer’s large-capacity water tower ensures that the Elitzia Professional Ozone Micro Mist Hair Steamer can be used for 4-6 hours without refills. When filled with purified water, the tank provides constant yet controlled water flow for optimal performance, and will automatically shut off in case it is empty.
A jumbo elevation hood with an openable back cover helps with regulating temperature, and makes the hair steamer cap easy to retrieve and clean. The height of this hair steamer can also easily be adjusted via a knob, making it well-suited for most areas.
What the Elitzia has that other hair steamers don’t is its hot and cold micro mist technology. Powered by ultrasonic atomizers, customers have the choice of steaming their hair to open pores, or to use cold mist to lock in conditioners and moisture in their scalp.
- Powerful large-capacity water tower that can function for 4-6 hours without refilling
- High temperature and cold mist design preserves internal components
- Maximum temperature of 149°F.
- Height-adjustable body via knob
- Jumbo elevation hood with openable back cover
- Automatic shutoff when out of water
Pros: Easy to use in spite of all its features, atomization tablets ensure longevity, multiple non-polar temperature settings for specific needs
Cons: Pricey, occasionally ships without instruction manual, tank requires purified water
Bottomline: The Elitzia Professional Ozone Micro Mist Hair Steamer commands a high price – but its added features make it worth considering. If you have to settle on a single, long-term hair steamer, this is a very good candidate for that spot.
Best Budget Hair Steamer:
Tifara Cordless Deep Conditioning Heat Cap
The Tifara Cordless Deep Conditioning Heat Cap, at just $18.99, is the hair steamer cap for those on a budget. It’s a simple hair steamer that uses thermal retention properties to “steam” your hair, while not producing actual steam.
This design makes the Tifara not as potent as hair steamers that vaporize water for steam. However, it does make this hair steamer safer and a better fit for people whose hair is very sensitive to heat.
Customers have indicated that one of the main problems of the Tifara Cordless Deep Conditioning Heat Cap is that it’s rather small. Even with an elastic rim that molds itself to the user’s contours, this hair steamer is pretty tight. This is not only uncomfortable, but it also means that you’ll have to carefully adjust the cap to heat your entire head.
- Non-electric design
- Reusable and eco-friendly design
Pros: Super affordable, easy to use
Cons: Doesn’t fit every size of head, requires a microwave
Bottomline: In terms of bang for buck, the Tifara Cordless Deep Conditioning Heat Cap does deliver. However, you need a microwave to heat it up, and I’ve personally experienced the problem of the cap being too small. Since the Tifara heat cap doesn’t technically use steam, you might also see less results than with a hair steamer that generates steam.
Best Standing Hair Steamer:
Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer
The Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer both looks and feels exactly like your standard parlor or salon hair steamers. It’s a stylish tool that will no doubt serve you well.
This hair steamer is very easy to set up. Once it’s assembled, a swivelling, rolling base allows for easy transportation and setup anywhere in your home. Its spring-loaded pedestal base can be locked, twisted, and unlocked to adjust the hair steamer to the perfect height.
Not only does the hood contain swivel joints for maximum comfort and precision, but it also possesses vents to ensure that steam doesn’t get trapped, damaging your hair. The Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer also comes with time and temperature controls for safety and optimal treatment.
- Swiveling, rolling base
- Hood contains swivels and vents for steam adjustment
- Sturdy stainless steel construction
- Spring-loaded pedestal base can be used to adjust height
- Time and temperature controls
Pros: Very quiet, easy to assemble
Cons: Only has high and low temperature settings
Bottomline: The Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer is a no-frills professional hair steamer that’s exactly like the ones you find at your hairdresser’s. However, many customers have complained about receiving used or badly damaged products. Make sure you get your Artist Hand Professional Hair Steamer from a reliable source.
Best Hair Steamer for Curls:
Super Deal Pro 3-in-1 Ozone Hair and Facial Steamer
The Super Deal Pro 3-in-1 Multifunction Ozone Hair and Facial Steamer is a portable hair steamer that advertises ultra-fine mist, and it delivers spectacularly. The steam it generates is indeed very fine, and is sure to penetrate your pores with greater efficiency, increasing the benefit you get from each session. Best of all, this hair steamer also triples as a humidifier, so no need to buy one!
An ultrasonic atomizer helps regulate temperature to create the Super Deal Pro 3-in-1 Multifunction Ozone Hair and Facial Steamer’s fine steam. UV ozone technology increases the steam’s density without making it too thick. A timed ozone release valve can also be toggled, which will release ozone at intervals to help cure itchiness and dandruff removal.
This hair steamer also comes with some safety features, such as an alarm if water levels dip too low, as well as an automatic shutdown system that kicks in if there’s no water left in the tank.
- Can also function as humidifier
- Ultrasonic atomizer for ultra-fine steam
- UV ozone tech to increase steam quantity
- Controlled and timed ozone release to help with itchiness and dandruff removal
- Alarm that goes off if water is below a certain threshold
- Adjustable spraying pole for either hair steamer or facial steamer mode
Pros: Multiple safety features, adjustable ozone/steam switch, very high temperature
Cons: Hood is notably very large
Bottomline: The Super Deal Pro 3-in-1 Multifunction Ozone Hair and Facial Steamer is a very high-tech piece of kit. However, that doesn’t mean its features are bloated; each and every addon improves this hair steamer’s quality and performance.
Best Portable Hair Steamer:
EZBASICS 2-in-1 Ion Facial Steamer
The EZBASICS 2-in-1 Ion Facial Steamer is one of the best hair and facial steamers, in terms of portability. Once assembled, it’s quite light and is very portable, allowing you to start a hair steaming session in virtually any part of your home.
This hair steamer’s advanced PTC ceramic heating system ensures quick vaporization for powerful steam. A UV ozone system helps released steam penetrate your pores deeper, maximizing the effect of other conditioners and cleansing your hair and skin. On top of this, the EZBASICS 2-in-1 Ion Facial Steamer also has a built-in aromatherapy function.
An automatic safety system shuts this hair steamer off in case of low water, helping avoid accidents and maximizing the device’s longevity.
- 2-in-1 hair and facial steamer
- Advanced PTC ceramic heating system for fast and powerful steam
- UV ozone system with negatively-charged oxygen for deep hair penetration
- Aromatherapy function
- Automatic shut off in case of low water
Pros: Automatic shut off for safety, light and very portable
Cons: Can be a little hard to assemble, not very adjustable, measuring cup for water can be difficult to remove
Bottomline: The EZBASICS 2-in-1 Ion Facial Steamer is an incredibly light and portable hair steamer, and while it’s also a 2-in-1, it doesn’t really match the Kingsteam for the title of the best. It is, however, much lighter, allowing for easier transportation and setup anywhere in your home.
Best Hair Steamer for Curly Hair:
CO-Z STORE Professional Hair Steamer
The CO-Z STORE Professional Hair Steamer is a standing hair steamer that has very streamlined features. Housed in a sturdy metal and plastic casing, this hair steamer is sure to be a fine addition to your array of hair styling tools.
This hair steamer has powerful vaporization technology that quickly evaporates water, leading to an impressive and fast steam output. Its heating system comes with alarms and an automatic shutoff system to prevent injury in case the tank is completely empty.
The CO-Z STORE Hair Steamer’s swivel hood and adjustable height make it great for hair steaming sessions anywhere in your home. A timer setting of up to 1 hour helps smoothen this process, and lets you steam your hair in peace and comfort.
- Powerful and fast vaporization which leads to powerful steam
- Alarms and automatic shutoff in case of water depletion
- Timer setting of up to 1 hour
- Height adjustment knob
- Swivel hood and casters for ease of use
Pros: Sturdy, easy to assemble and use, works great on both black and curly hair
Cons: Tends to leak, no fine temperature settings
Bottomline: The CO-Z STORE Professional Hair Steamer is a standing hair steamer that’s fantastic for both curly and black hair. Its accessibility features make it easy to use, but also make it less desirable for those looking to fine-tune their hair steaming experience.
Best Hair Steamer for Black Hair:
DenniesCare 2-in-1 Hair and Facial Steamer
The DenniesCare 2-in-1 Hair and Facial Steamer is a hair steamer that works great for people with black hair. In particular, its ionic vaporization technology makes it particularly potent for moisturizing and nourishing afro-textured hair.
Afro-textured hair is naturally stronger than other hair types, but it’s also harder to maintain. By using ionic vaporization technology, the DenniesCare 2-in-1 Hair and Facial Steamer creates fine steam that penetrates deep into your skin, opening your pores and hair cuticles and giving your scalp room to breathe. This also allows other conditionizing, nourishing, healing, or moisturizing products to penetrate your scalp deeper.
The DenniesCare 2-in-1 Hair and Facial Steamer’s compact tabletop design makes for easy transport and setup, allowing you to use your hair steamer anywhere in your home.
- 2-in-1 hair and facial steamer
- Ionic vaporization technology creates fine steam
- Compact design
Pros: Easy to assemble, more affordable than other steamers with the same features
Cons: Construction is a little flimsy, can only be used with distilled or purified water
Bottomline: The DenniesCare 2-in-1 Hair and Facial Steamer is a fine product not just for people with afro-textured or black hair, but also for anyone who wants to maximize the cleansing power of a hair steamer.
Best Salon Hair Steamer:
TASALON Standing Hair Steamer
- Ultra-fine micro mist for maximum absorbance
- Ergonomic design
- Time and temperature controls
- Adjustable height
- Auto shutoff in case of water depletion
Pros: Convenient and simple design, easy to assemble, replacement parts are easily available from manufacturer
Cons: No temperature control, can drip hot water if overfilled
The TASALON Standing Hair Steamer is one of the best salon hair steamers you can get for home use. Its combination of practicality and luxury makes this hair steamer great for both professional and personal use.
This hair steamer generates ultra-fine micro mist that’s perfect for penetrating your scalp and getting your cuticles and pores to open up. Its large bonnet hood fits comfortably on the scalp, and can be adjusted to fit any height.
A sturdy metal and plastic design accompanied with wheels allows you to set up this standing hair steamer anywhere in your salon, your studio, or your home.
Bottomline: For that simple yet luxurious salon experience, the TASALON Standing Hair Steamer definitely delivers. Its reasonable price and good performance makes it a great standing hair steamer, and you’ll want to look into this one if you’re in the market.
Best Hair Steamer Buying Guide
Just like all purchases, the very first question on your mind should be “what exactly do I want out of my hair steamer?”. I’m laying this out now, since what kind of hair steamer you want will determine which one you should get, and which features you should look out for.
Among the biggest things on my list is safety.
Ideally, hair steamers should come with temperature controls, timers, and alarms for low water – the more, the better. Nothing ruins a hair steaming session faster than having boiling water dripping onto your skin, and built-in safety features help avert that. This also makes these hair steamers good choices for those with teens who need some extra cleansing power.
Buyers should also look out for mechanical features.
Among these are the type of heating element a hair steamer has (ceramic heating systems tend to be the best as they’re fast and safe) and what kind of vaporization method it uses. Watch out for ultrasonic or ionized hair steamers, as those normally generate the fastest, finest, and most potent steam.
Last but not least is the price.
For just under $20, you can get a Vicarko thermal cap that does everything any of the more expensive hair steamers can. If you’d like a combination hair and facial steamer, you can get those too. If you’d like to invest in a professional hair steamer like you find in salons, go ahead by all means. The most important thing is to define your needs and expectations so that you don’t end up with a bloated hair steamer that you’re only going to use on your hair.
What Is a Hair Steamer?
A hair steamer is a device that uses steam or heat to nourish your hair and help with maintenance. Hair steamers come with a way to convert water into steam, usually by way of an electric motor. This steam is then dispersed on to your scalp, where it can work its magic.
How Does a Hair Steamer Work?
The gentle heat released by a hair steamer causes your pores to open up, allowing for deeper conditioning and helping you get more mileage out of your other hair care products. The steam also opens up your hair’s cuticles, ejecting contaminants and letting cleansers do their thing.
Because of how hair steamers work, they’re especially effective on people that have hair with low porosity. This type of hair doesn’t absorb moisture well, but with steam, the heat opens the pores and cuticles, allowing the water to penetrate even the most stubborn of hair cuticles.
Types of Hair Steamer
Hair Steamers with Stands
When shopping for the best hair steamers, your mind will inevitably see these machines – tall, free-standing devices with domes on their arms. These hair steamers with stands are fantastic in a professional environment as they’re easy to move around and cover the entire head. But just because they’re favored by stylists doesn’t mean you can’t use one in the comfort of your home!
Portable or tabletop steamers are among the best hair steamers today. Think of them as a miniature version of hair steamers with stands – they have the arm and dome, but they’re much, much shorter. These steamers work just as well as their taller cousins, but will require you to set up a table and a chair for your hair steaming sessions.
Handheld Hair Steamer
This particular hair steamer model is one of the newest models on the market, and is perhaps the best hair steamer for people with sensitive scalps. This model uses steam nozzles to deliver warm steam to your hair, moisturizing and softening it. These hair steamers are fantastic for those who’d prefer the mobility and versatility of a handheld device over a fixed installation.
Hair Steamer Caps
These portable devices make for some of the best hair steamers, with their combination of portability and efficiency. Their name describes them perfectly; they’re simply caps with steaming power that you wear on your head. While they don’t offer as many features as traditional stand or tabletop steamers, hair steamer caps are very affordable.
Features to Look for In a Hair Steamer
Hair steaming is a delicate process that requires very specific temperatures. To that end, you should look for a hair steamer that has easy, accessible temperature control.
Some hair steamers have timers that you can configure for automatic power shutoff, in case you fall asleep or lose track of time.
Some hair steamers also have adjustable hoods that you can use to match your height or sitting position.
Common Questions About Hair Steamer
How often can I use a hair steamer?
Overexposure to steam can cause hair damage. With that in mind, it’s best to steam your hair only once every 7-10 days.
How long should I steam my hair?
Experts suggest steaming your hair for 20-30 minutes per session. Anything less and you won’t get as many benefits, and anything more and you risk damaging your hair.
Should I always use the highest temperature available on my hair steamer?
As a rule of thumb, hair steamers should provide a warm, spa-like experience. You don’t have to crank the temperature all the way up, especially if the highest setting makes you uncomfortable.
Are there any medical conditions that can hinder hair steaming?
People with psoriasis, eczema, folliculitis, dermatitis, or scars and scabs on their scalp should refrain from using hair steamers until their condition abates.
I’ve heard that hair steamers can leak boiling water on your skin. Is this true?
Yes, this is possible – if your unit is damaged or if you’ve overfilled the water container. Be sure to consult your hair steamer’s user’s manual.
Enjoy Your New Hair Steamer
Whether you’re getting a hair steamer to help you keep your hair healthy and happy, or just want to get that salon experience from the comfort of your home, any of these hair steamers will do a fine job. I was on the fence myself when I first heard about hair steamers, but for me, there’s no more going back ever since I bought my first hair steamer. Remember though – everything is good in moderation, and hair steaming is no exception!
Mel is a licensed Chemist in New Jersey who has worked in several cosmetics companies and has years of experience formulating hair care and beauty products. She uses her knowledge in cosmetics to distinguish and find the best products to recommend to Union Of Barber’s readers. When Mel’s not writing, you can find her walking her dogs or cooking and baking at home!