Scalp Steaming Treatments Can Help You Get Your Healthiest, Strongest Hair Ever

Could Steam Be the Answer to Alleviating Dry Scalp? - scalp steaming

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The journey to healthy hair can feel like a full-time job. There are always multiple products involved, long shower times, and some of us even dedicate a whole day just to do our hair. Now, factor in scalp health.

Thankfully, scalp steaming offers benefits for both hair and scalp. On TikTok, there are many videos of people getting hair steam treatments — and there’s more to the treatment than pure relaxation. After all, we steam our faces to enhance skin health, so why wouldn’t we treat our scalps with the same respect?

This raises the question of what other benefits could come with a dedicated scalp treatment. To find out more, we spoke to board-certified dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, and New York-based hairstylist, Derrick Keith, to learn more about the benefits of this hair trend.  

What is a scalp steaming treatment?

“Scalp steaming is a process of using steam to help lift the scalp’s surface to help rebalance the scalp,” explains Keith. “The treatment consists of the products and vibrations, or massaging, being applied to the scalp during the application and steaming processes."

What are the benefits of scalp steaming?

“Steaming the scalp moistens the skin, dilates the circulation, and helps exfoliate the dead skin as it helps unclog pores [and]  encourages hair growth,” explains Dr. Marmur. “The result of scalp steaming aiding blood flow as it boosts hair growth and normalizes the scalp-skin barrier.” 

Additionally, she says this treatment can also enhance moisture absorption into the hair shaft, which helps your products penetrate better.

How often should you do scalp steaming treatments?

Before you run to your hair steamer, it’s important to know that this treatment has its limits. If you wouldn’t steam your face every day, why would you steam your scalp every day? Balance is everything. 

“Steaming all depends on the condition of your hair,” says Dr. Marmur. “If you generally have healthy hair, once a month should be sufficient. However, if your hair is dry or damaged, I recommend steaming every seven to 10 days.”

What does a profession scalp steaming treatment involve?

 “The difference between going to a salon and an at-home experience is like giving yourself a massage versus going to a massage therapist," explains Keith. "It’s difficult to give yourself the same scalp massage that an expert can give.”

Additionally, he says that many professional scalp steaming treatments also includes a hair analysis to check the condition of a client's hair. “While going through the hair with a carbon tail comb, the stylist will check the scalp for areas of dandruff, psoriasis, scars, redness, excess oil, and/or product build-up — anything that shouldn’t be on the scalp,” he continues.

After that, Keith says your stylist will apply the appropriate oils, moisturizers, and scrubs to cleanse the scalp in conjunction with steam treatments. "This is a great moment for you and your stylist to discuss the appropriate amount of time and temperature setting for your current scalp and hair condition,” he concludes.

How to DIY a scalp steaming treatment:

Dr. Marmur confirms that we don’t always have to run to our favorite salon to get a good scalp steaming in — we can get our scalp steaming treatment done in the comfort of our homes. The easiest and safest way to do this at home is after a shower. Post-shampoo and conditioner, cover your hair with a shower cap and then wrap that in a hot towel for a few minutes so the products can sink into the hair and scalp — voilà! 

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