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ALL NATURAL: Whenever the Apocalypse Hits, I'm Taking My Hair Steamer With Me
Credit: Getty Images/InStyle

Between not knowing exactly where we stand with the pandemic, global warming, inflation, whatever's happening with the Metaverse, and God knows what else at this point, I've come to accept that we probably have like six or seven years left before the apocalypse hits.

I'm (sort of) kidding, but at the same time, preparation is the key to success! So in the instance Don't Look Up switches from a Leonardo DiCaprio flick to Bravo's hottest new reality TV show, I'm making a mental list of what I'll need in my just-in-case-of-survival kit. And my hair steamer is coming with me.

I first started doing weekly steam treatments about six months ago, and it has made a world of difference to my hair. Before, it sometimes felt like deep conditioners would just kind of sit on top of my hair and not really penetrate — now, my hair feels luscious after 30 minutes of sitting under my steamer.

"Natural hair can have a tendency to suffer from dryness due to the natural oils from the scalp not being able travel down the hair shaft to coat the curly strands," Michelle O'Connor, global artistic director for Matrix haircare previously told InStyle. "Steam opens up an avenue for water to penetrate hair that has low porosity by opening up the cuticle and allowing for better penetration of conditioners."

So yeah, it's coming with me.

VIDEO: The Best Hot Oil Treatments You Didn't Know Your Natural Hair Needed

If you're ready to take one along with you too, but haven't gotten around to buying one yet, it's important to note that while you can get one of those fancy-schmancy professional salon steamers, there are plenty of more affordable options that get the job done.

I got mine off Amazon for about $80. It can be taken apart for easy storage and/or packing, and it comes with a facial steamer attachment, which definitely comes in handy.

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steamer
Credit: courtesy

EZBASICS Hair Steamer

$80; amazon.com

To use, unscrew the measuring cup and fill with fresh water up to the "max" line. When you're done, reattach the cup, plug the machine in, then flip both switches on. The hood also has a vent, so you can open it, close it, or leave it cracked, depending on how much steam you want concentrated on your hair.

But before we even get to steaming, it's important to have a really, really, really good deep conditioner on hand.

After cleansing and detangling your hair in the shower, use a microfiber towel to ring out as much water as possible from your hair. When you're done, apply a generous amount of deep conditioner from roots to ends, and clip your hair up if it's past your shoulders. Another pro-tip is to use a towel headband while you're under the steamer to prevent water and product from dripping down your face.

If you already have a go-to deep treatment, I'd say stick to what works for you. However, I'll share a few of my favorite below, just in case you want to throw them in your just-in-case-of-survival kit, too.

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best deep conditioners for natural hair
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4C Only Too Thicke Deep Conditioner

$25; 4conly.com

This deep conditioner has a 5-star rating for good reason. Formulated with grape seed oil, aloe vera extract, glycerin, and more ingredients your hair will soak up, this treatment product plumps up even the driest of strands. And while it's specifically formulated for 4C hair, it will work across all textures. 

deep conditioner
Credit: Courtesy

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating & Defining Mask

$38; sephora.com

I've been a Briogeo stan for years and that won't be changing any time soon — the products are just that good. The clean, protein-free formula can be used weekly to help define, add shine, and leave strands hydrated. 

deep conditioner
Credit: Courtesy

Flawless by Gabrielle Union 5 Butter Miracle Masque

$7; sallybeauty.com

Not going to lie, I wasn't expecting to be wowed by this mask the way I was, but it is top-tier. Formulated with honey, Brazilian bacuri butter, shea butter, murumuru butter, capuacu butter, and mango butter — expect your hair to feel smooth like, well, butter, baby

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.