I think if my hair could count, it would have been counting down to this moment.
The arrival of the home version of the L’Oreal Professionnel SteamPod (rrp $270)*.
When my hair got a taste test of the salon version back in July, it was love at first steam. Seriously.
Since that time, I’ve only had my hair steamed – not ironed – at my hair salon.
I know I don’t have the most unruly, wiry or curly hair but, if left unstyled, I do not have a good hair day. Far from it.
I am blessed with a mix of straight, dodgy wavy and a lots of fine hair. This combination calls for serious intervention or a pony tail … maybe one day I’ll teach myself how to braid.
In the meantime, I’m incredibly grateful that over the past 10 years I’ve had access to ever improving technology in hair dryers and stylers … technology that effectively beats my hair into submission.
So much so, I now have a “wardrobe” of hair straighteners.
Some may call this excessive. But as someone who remembers a time when ironing was a term only associated with clothes, I could not live without all of them.
And now, there is a new addition to this “wardrobe”.
Yes, it takes up a little bit more space but I think we’ll be very happy, this Steam Pod and me.
Let me refresh you on how this system works. How it differs from regular styling irons. And how steam does not equal frizz. In fact, the opposite.
It’s no surprise that the Steam Pod is a collaboration between L’Oreal Professionnel and Rowenta – the inventors of the first clothing steam iron. It’s this very technology that has been translated into a heat styling tool – or smoothing iron.
The home version of this system includes a separate steam station – significantly smaller than the salon version – but the rest of the styler looks and works the same.
By delivering a “calculated continuous stream of pressurised steam” the styler works to gently open up and smooth the hair cuticle in one slow movement.
If you imagine the hair as rope and if it is really damaged and dry all of the fibres of the rope are left quite open. You’ll see the actual hair becomes tighter with steam. The result is really beautiful, conditioned hair that’s shiny, natural and has an incredible strength to it. Steam Pod ambassador Brad Ngata
My steam pod steps
1. Wash hair, towel dry and add correct Steam Pod product. My hair, despite being coloured, is in good condition so I use the L’Oreal Professionnel Steam Pod Replenishing Smoothing Cream for normal to slightly sensitised hair (rrp $25). I use about a 20cm sized amount of this cream, applying from roots to ends (avoiding my fringe). I have found that with having this treatment in the salon, if too much product is used it can weigh down the hair and make it look and feel greasy before it usually would be. That’s why I don’t use it on my fringe either. There is also a cream for medium to highly sensitised hair and a serum for extremely damaged hair.
2. Blowdry to 80% dry. It won’t matter if you go to 100% but the knowledge that you can cut corners does make this lazy-girl beauty lover smile. I use the ghd Air to blow dry my hair and it’s a hair styling tool that is very much a part of my hair de-frizzing arsenal. As you can see in the video above, there’s not a lot of frizz going on in my “before” hair … there’s just that dodgy wave. I credit the Air with that.
3. Section out and “smooth” with the Steam Pod. You may have a better and more consistent way of doing this. I do one full layer at a time, starting from the bottom. It’s not perfect but it’s quick and suits that lazy-girl stuff I’m always harping on about.
What works for me
1. The convenience of getting this finish at home. Much as my inner lazy-girl loves getting someone else to do my hair, knowing I can steam at home … especially as Queensland heads into the season of frizz … has me excited.
2. You can set the temperature to suit your hair. This is something that helps to protect your hair long term. There is a scale for you to set the temperature based on whether your hair is fine, normal or thick and normal, fragile or very fragile.
3. The style holds until the next wash. Depending on the weather I can get the same result with my ghd Gold Max stylers. But once that humidity takes hold, I usually don’t even bother straightening my hair. This could be a game changer. Time – and a Queensland summer – will tell.
What doesn’t work for me
1. The comb attachment. It is removable – and I will be removing it as it did pull on my hair due to operator error 😉
2. The double unit. The extra bulk is perfectly ok for home but it would not be suitable for packing to travel.
3. My fringe. As you can see in the video, it’s just too clunky to work well with a fringe styled like mine. I actually get the best results ironing my fringe with the Cloud 9 Micro Iron.
So should you go out and buy one?
I’d first book in for at least two salon steam pod styling treatments. See how your hair goes with that and make a decision based on whether you see and feel a difference from the irons you’re currently using.
If frizz is something you fight on a regular basis, I suspect you’re going to love it.
Tell me, have you had the salon steam pod experience? Would you be keen to get one for home? How do you fight frizzy hair?
* I was sent the L’Oreal Professionnel Steam Pod (and products) for review and editorial consideration, in accordance with my disclosure policy. I’ve not been paid for this review but have written it because of my ongoing quest for frizz-free hair. Seemingly Styling You readers are on a similar quest … based on the views of my original Steam Pod post and youtube video.