If there’s one thing you can say about the beauty and electronics world it’s that they’re always developing and moving forward with designs and concepts. You only need to look at your local Superdrug to see that where there was once 3 different brands stocking one foundation apiece, rows and rows of different formulations from numerous different brands in a rainbow of skin tones have taken their places. Instead of a stepometer attached to your waistband to count your steps we now have digital gadgets which count our steps, heart rate, number of calories burned and quality of sleep which are all then transmitted to our mobile phones. Groundbreaking.
This ever present evolution of products is why I was spell bound to be thrown back into my teenage years when I saw the L’Oreal Professional Steam Pod. Unmistakenly a more aesthetically pleasing and quality product, but nevertheless the same concept as the Babyliss steam straighteners which were my first venture in the realms of straightening tools way back when. For a frizzy haired 12 year old girl, these straighteners were a smoothing saviour to my wire woolesque hair and after alof of wear and tear, they were relegated to hair straightener graveyard and “steam straighteners” didn’t seem to be a thing… until now. “Steam straighteners” may seem gimicky and a bit of marketing ploy, but lets take a look at the affect of steam on hair..
It’s hard to imagine that hair is a divided structure, especially because they’re so narrow but you may be surprised to know that each strand of human hair is divided into two main parts. The outer layer which displays the hair’s colour us the cuticle and is a smooth structure which acts as an outer skin to the internal medulla. Under a microscope the hair cuticle has a cylindrical shape, when you use a hair straightener on your hair, the heat from the plates relaxes the cuticle into a flat shape (or curl, dependent on your styling tool). So why steam? With straighteners such as the steam pod, when the plates come into contact with the hair, steam emanates across the shafts. This warm steam matches the temperature of the hot plates, but because it’s a “wet” heat it is meant to cause less damage. The idea is that the moisture won’t damage the hair to the same degree as heat from standard straighteners and curling wands.
What is the L’Oreal Steampod Professional?
The L’Oreal Professional Steam Pod 2.0 is a revolutionary hairstyling tool from L’Oreal Professionnel. A combination of steam and pro-keratin technology helps to tame hair movement and leave it silky smooth, whilst protecting from heat damage.
Experience sleek and manageable locks with a professional finish. The anodized floating plates are flexible and the continuous steam pressure opens the hair cuticle to retain natural moisture levels. The integrated comb spreads hair evenly along the hard ceramic plates. E.N.
- Steam and pro-keratin technology for silky smooth hair
- Protects from heat damage
- Anodized floating plates for flexibility
- Continuous steam pressure opens hair cuticles
- Retains natural moisture levels
- Integrated comb spreads hair evenly along the plates
- Reaches heat of 140-210°C
- Adjustable temperature setting
So how did the Steampod fare?
Unlike the old Babyliss straightener, the Steampod has the water chamber external to the straightener itself which is filled each time the straighteners are used. The water chamber has a “sucker” bottom which means it is securely fastened to a flat surface when the straighteners are in use to avoid any water spillage. Due to the external water chamber and the added bulk in the styler itself (which houses the steam tech), the Steampod can feel a little bit bulky to use in comparison with a standard hair styler. Before use, the water needs to reach temperature (controllable via the settings on the styler) which can means that you can’t quickly flick on the straighteners to go over any kinks.
The plates of the Steampod are wider than a standard styler and have wide tooth combs to guide the hair and ensure that steam is evenly distributed throughout the hair. Because of the width of the plates and the combination of heat means that straightening time is dramatically reduced, and once straightened the sleek finish of my hair would last longer before my next wash rolled around. I found I would wash, dry and straighten my hair in the evening before bed on the Sunday and I’d then rewash on the Wednesday and start the process over again.
Pro-Keratin infused products such as a smoothing cream and serum developed to be used in conjunction with the Steampod provide protection against heat damage and smooth the hair for a lasting finish. The serum is beautifully silky and the formula enriched with strengthening ceramides and a blend of avocado, almond and apricot oil protects and repairs hair that is regularly heat styled.
Did my hair feel less damaged?
I can’t say for definite that long term my hair is less damaged but in the short term I can certainly see the difference when I’ve styled my hair using the L’Oreal Professional Steampod. Coming in around the £130 bracket, the Steampod falls into the same price bracket as a pair of GHD’s but the long term benefits for the health of your hair are certainly worth the investment.
The shorter styling time means that my hair is in contact with direct heat for a shorter period of time, my hair feels smoother and looks healthier and I don’t need to restyle or rewash as frequently. Sure, the styler is bulkier and the “heating up” time adds a few minutes to the overall process, but the results certainly speak for themselves and my frazzled ends couldn’t be more thankful.
* Denotes items gifted to me for review. As always all views are honest and my own.