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5 Tips for Steaming Protective Styles

Bring in the heat

Protective styles are an essential part of healthy hair care that can foster growth and give your hair a break -- if they’re done right. Damage and loss of length can result from dryness and breakage, so here are some steaming tips to foster hair health where it counts -- at the root. Because we all know that the best growth comes from within.


Place one towel around your client’s shoulders and one towel on the floor. One will help with safety, avoiding a slip & fall and the other will be used to catch the warm braids after they are steamed. For additional protection against the heat, ask your client to cover their ears with the towel wrapped around her shoulders.


TIP #2: Boil Water With Soothing Essential Oils

Infusing the boiling water with lavender, tea tree or peppermint oil will help to ease any scalp tension or inflammation. These oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This means that they can improve scalp health by fighting off any fungus. They also provide a natural liiiiittle tingle as a wake up call to the natural hair’s roots which may have otherwise been dormant-- encouraging growth.



Place your client’s hair into a cylinder shaped container (like a pitcher), then gently pour the warm water into the container, and onto your client’s braids. The cylinder shaped container helps to avoid bends in the hair. By pouring the water onto the hair vs. dipping it into the water, you are able to safely control exactly where the hot water meets the hair.



This method is so affordable and easy to do. By using a handheld garment steamer, you can reach areas closer to the scalp. ( Make sure to point the steam away from your client’s scalp and face. ) Steam is one of the most beneficial methods to moisturize the hair because it works to slightly raise the hair cuticle while also delivering moisture, which allows the moisture to have a better chance of reaching the cortex, where moisture is stored.

Client’s hair with a tight cuticle or low porosity may not be receiving enough moisture for their overall hair’s health.

This steaming trick is one of my favorite tips for protective styles!



Blow dry your client’s hair after steaming. When the hair is almost dry, switch it to the cool setting. This seals the cuticles in your client’s hair and locks in moisture. It's important to completely dry the braided hair afterwards to avoid bacteria growth that can cause smell or fungi.

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