Smooth, shiny, bouncy and sleek hair is my daily dream – but realistically my thin, flat, frizzy and wavy style ends up being blowdried, straightened and tonged to help conceal the fact that I’m by no means a professional when it comes to hair. For years I’ve been turning to heated tools to help me achieve the look I desire (from the poker-straight dreams of the early 2000’s, through to the boho curls and relaxed messy look of the 2010’s,) but the downside is the damage they can cause our delicate strands. Daily heat can dry out and break hair, as well as stripping vibrant colour, to leave behind a ‘do that’s dull. Although heat protection will help minimise the negative impact, what if we were to swap the heated tongs and scorchingly high straighteners for a gentler and more positive alternative? The L’Oreal SteamPod has been making waves in the industry for the last few years, and with good reason; they’ve managed to create a tool that not only perfects sleek styles effortlessly, but reduces potential damage to an absolute minimum. So will we all be giving up our GHDs for good in favour of this little water pod?
The L’Oreal SteamPod was originally developed in 2011 as a professional only tool, but the 2.0 version has made the revolutionary hair hero an at-home saviour too. A combination of steam and pro-keratin technology helps to tame hair movement and leave it silky smooth, whilst protecting from heat damage. What’s different about the SteamPod versus our traditional GHDs, is that the steam is an indirect (and therefore gentler) form of heat that helps to style without removing all the moisture within each strand; the continuous steam pressure opens the hair cuticle to retain natural moisture levels and ensure the look is shiny and bouncy, while the anodized (a protective oxide layer) floating plates offer flexibility and additional protection as you style. With an adjustable temperature setting of 140-210°C, you can create the result you want safe in the knowledge that your hair is being cared for rather than frazzled.
I’ve been putting the SteamPod to the test and can thoroughly recommend it as a great way to add shine, vibrancy and movement to even the most dull of styles, while simultaneously helping to keep hair in great condition. Although the unit itself is really rather chunky and incredibly heavy in comparison to the sleek and portable nature of traditional hair straighteners, when it provides results like these I can’t really complain. The massive downside is the size and weight of the unit, as well as the water compartment that I seem to tip over at least twice during my styling session, but as a new piece of technology I can certainly put up with it. It’s not a great one for travel (this is definitely something you want to park on your dressing table for the foreseeable future,) but if you struggle with unruly hair or have never been able to achieve a bouncy blowdry at home then this is like an at-home hairdresser; my hair looks and feels full of life in a way that is normally only achieved when I’m two inches and eighty quid lighter.
The SteamPod is incredibly easy to use: you simply fill up the water tank like you would the compartment of an iron, turn it on and start to glide over hair in sections. You do hear a little burst of steam come out of the little holes around the plates, not unlike a steaming iron, but that’s nothing to be concerned about – it’s just the SteamPod doing its job. L’Oreal have developed products to help the gadget work even more effectively, but realistically you can use this with any oil, cream or spray brushed through the lengths of hair. I warn you – this is heavy and you may get arm ache if you have a lot of hair, but for my relatively thin and shoulder-length hair it takes no more or less time than my usual GHDs. What I do really love is the fact that I can style my hair in the morning and it still looks perfect at the end of the day, even if it’s been humid or rained; the steam managed to lock my style in place so that additional moisture doesn’t impact the cuticle or cause frizz. As someone that’s battled with a frizz-halo for the best part of two decades, that’s a definite bonus. If you’re considering a SteamPod, then in summary here are the three pros and cons you need to know…
1. Easy to use, simple to get to grips with and quick to achieve the look you want.
2. Soft, smooth, shiny hair in a jiffy that lasts all day – even through humid situations.
3. Hair isn’t as damaged through excessive heat, but style isn’t compromised.
1. A heavy unit that takes some getting used to; it’s hard to curl shorter lengths of hair.
2. The water compartment adds additional faff and is easy to knock over.
3. It’s expensive – an impulse purchase this is not, but if hair is your thing it’s worth the price.
I adore the technology and applaud L’Oreal for investing in new technology that challenges the norm and illustrates we don’t have to put up with the damage our straighteners are inevitbaly contributing to. However, I would love to see a lighter and more practical version that’s easier to transport and doesn’t count as bicep exercise every time you use it. Although it’s by no means for everyone and commands a serious price, I can’t help but think this is the sign of things to come; SteamPods are the undoubtedly the beginning of a new generation of hair styling.
The L’Oreal Steampod 2.0 is available online, priced £189.00. (It’s currently available for £139.00 via LookFantastic.) More info on the L’Oreal Pro website here. There’s also a great review, with before and after pictures, on ysislorenna.com that you should definitely check out before making a decision!
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