Product Review:Annis D-200A Hair Steamer
Steam Claims:Steam accelerates salon permanents, colorings, and other processes. Steam conditions and softens hair as a gentle alternative to conventional heat applications.
- Two heat settings
- 30-min timer
- Collection bottle for excess moisture included
- Roller base w/ adjustable height
- Adjustable hood angle
Price point: $230 CDN
My 6¢:Hair steamers first caught my attention on one of the hair boards I frequent where a professional stylist was commenting on the benefits of steam for deep conditioning. She outlined how steam improved the moisture levels of your hair and thus made it less prone to breakage. At the time I was struggling to incorporate more moisture into my hair and felt that a steamer might be the way to go. That was over a year ago, and in September I was finally able to cross the steamer off my wish list.
The steamer I purchased is a standing model (Annis D-200A) with 2 heat settings (low and high) and a 30 minute timer. I decided against the table-top version because 1) it wasn’t available in Canada (or at least I couldn’t source it without exorbitant shipping) and 2) I hate being confined to a table when doing my hair. For the steamer to work, one of the heat settings needs to be in the on position and the timer needs to be set. The steamer only uses distilled water, so I purchase a gallon every 2-3 months for this purpose. One complaint is that the flow of steam is not constant. I’m not sure if this has to do with the water levels in the dispenser bottle, but sometimes I get a good steady blast and other times the steam is flowing but not as heavy. It’s no Pibbs but it gets the job done. A nice feature of the steamer is that the hood is constructed so that the condensed water trickles into a run-off bottle which can be detached to be emptied. I managed to crack the bottle that collects the run-off water (I think I dropped it). A replacement bottle was going to cost me $14 ($5 for the bottle plus $9 shipping) so instead I used some wire to secure an empty water bottle to where the run-off bottle used to hang. It looks a tad ghetto but it was free and guess what it’s doing the exact same thing the other bottle did i.e. catching the run off water.
Steaming has replaced my normal deep conditioning method of using a plastic cap under a dryer. I’m not knocking that method cause I used it for years, but I find that steaming is so much better. I shampoo as usual, slather on my conditioner and sit under the steamer with my hair uncovered for 30 minutes…if I’m watching a tv show I can sometimes sit under it for an hour. More often than not I’ll also pre-poo with the steamer…I just rub on my pre-poo (usually a mix of my favourite oils – coconut, avocado, shea) and sit under the steamer for 15-30 minutes. How does it compare to a regular dryer deep-conditioning? A dryer only uses dry air whereas a steamer uses steam….steam is basically vapourized water. Water equals moisture. When you steam you hair uncovered you directly infuse moisture.
After using the steamer a few times I could definitely see a difference in my hair. My hair looked and felt rejuvenated. My rollersets were better, my hair was soft, had bounce and my curls lasted longer. I try to steam every time I wash my hair (once weekly). On the odd occasion I can’t because of time constraints or because I’m out of town but that is more the exception than the norm. I don’t believe that my hair has been over-conditioned from regular use of the steamer…to counteract any over-moisturization I usually balance with a light to medium protein treatment as needed (usually every 1-2 weeks).
If you’re trying to combat dryness, a steamer will definitely help, however if you think it is the end all to all your hair problems and you don’t need to do anything else but steam once a week, think again. For one, don’t take the quality of conditioner for granted because you are steaming. Use a good quality deep penetrating conditioner to achieve good results. I switch up my conditioners but usually I use Kenra, ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Pak or Mizani Moisturefuse (not my favourite). Secondly, you still need to be on top of your hair maintenance regimen- moisturizing, sealing, trimming, moisture/protein balance etc. I ended up with split ends even while using the steamer because I neglected my ends. This is testament to the fact that while a steamer is a good tool to have it is not the Saviour of all of your hair woes.
Would I recommend a steamer – ABSOLUTELY if you can afford it. It believe it adds great value to your deep conditioning routine, but it must be coupled with a sound hair regimen for the best results. If you can’t afford a steamer, the sauna in a local gym or the DIY Steam Treatment method are good alternatives.
My overall rating:
I’m giving this hair steamer a 4-star rating not because of it’s lack of effectiveness, but because of the device itself. I love it, but I think that the construction of the device could have been better. For one, the run-off bottle shouldn’t be hard plastic that can crack so easily. Secondly, I would prefer if the flow of steam was consistent. Besides that, this has been a great addition to my hair arsenal.
For where to purchase in Canada check this post.