The L’Oreal Professional Steampod is a new development in hair straightening technology, which relies mostly on hot steam to straighten and smooth your hair rather than the more traditional hot plates. Consequently, the Steampod is safer and kinder to hair, helping it retain moisture and minimising damage from heat treatment.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m not the most ideal candidate for testing straightening products as I have fine, soft, very straight hair, so any kind of straighteners are going to work fairly well on my hair type. Having said that, I’ve done quite a bit of reading and checked out reviews and one of the biggest selling points of the Steampod is how well it works on coarse, thick hair.
Coarse hair is notoriously tricky to tame and straighten, and because it takes so much effort and needs to be done with a product that produces a high heat, hair that is already tough can then end up with pretty bad damage from traditional straighteners, but the Steampod has been designed to address that making it an ideal choice for anyone with this hair type, or those who straighten regularly and want to reduce the impact of such regular heat styling.
The downside of the Steampod is that it’s a little bit cumbersome, as not only do you have the straightening iron, you also have the pod where the water sits to produce to steam, which is of course connected to the straightener. I was nervous about this as I feared that if I were to yank too hard I’d end up pulling the pod over and spilling water everywhere – not ideal around an electrical device, but I would presume there’s a safety function in place, and in fairness, I didn’t actually pull it over so it might just be me being over the top.
There’s a product range that L’Oreal have produced to work in harmony with the Steampod which includes the Steampod Smoothing Cream which is available in two types depending on your hair needs and is applied to wet hair, then the Steampod Serum which you apply to dry hair before you use the Steampod. Obviously you don’t have to use any of these products and can stick with what you already use, but I can say that I tend to avoid smoothing products as my hair turns greasy looking so easily, but I used both the cream and the serum when I used the Steampod and there was no greasiness or residue, nor did my hair become greasy more quickly than usual.
With regards to usage, there’s very little difference between the Steampod and other straighteners as you work it through hair in the same “ironing style” fashion. There is a comb guide on one side which helps keep hair smooth as you work the iron through, and stops any kinks. What I really liked about this is how my hair felt after use. Straighteners always give my hair the feeling as if it’s been processed – almost plastic-like smoothness that produces a great shine, but feels unnatural to me, but with the Steampod, my hair obviously felt smooth, but most importantly it felt really soft and healthy.
Apologies for the somewhat Emo pose…I took pictures straight on but they didn’t show the effect quite as well. I didn’t do the ends as well as I could have – I was so focused on getting the lengths tidy that I somehow neglected the ends. I would definitely recommend giving the Steampod a go if you straighten regularly and want to pick a product that is kinder to your hair, or if you have particularly tough hair that is a battle to keep smooth and free from frizz. I don’t think you can achieve the glass-like sheen you get with traditional iron straighteners (although that might just be my rubbish technique) but you do get a really lovely, naturally smooth finish that feels wonderful. It also lasted really well for me and didn’t force my annoyingly limp hair to hang in a greasy mop like other straighteners can. The particular Steampod I was sent is the limited edition Brazil Fantasy one, which is a beautifully bright and cheery design that I really love. The standard one is all white and rather clinical, so if you fancy a Steampod, I’d go for the Brazil Fantasy one which is much prettier. All things Steampod are currently on offer at Look Fantastic here – link – with the Brazil Fantasy Steampod (at time of writing) priced at £145, down from £185.