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Steam; The Latest Hairstyling Technology

Heat Cap uses steam to set hairstyle
Behind the Scenes of the Discovery of a New Steam Styling Tool

I went to beauty school in the days when hair setting was an art. As time went by, the gains in speed and convenience brought by curling irons and hot rollers came at a high price. The incredible glamor and high fashion of true hairstyling skills that I loved and trained for began to fade, and heat damage became a way of life.

There has to be a better way

Considering some of the tricks we used during the time of my cosmetology training, I wondered if steam could be used to create strong, lasting curls, without the need for scorching high temperatures. With some experimentation, a product was born. A simple microwavable cap was created that surrounded dry hair, set on any kind of curlers, with warm gentle steam. You never know for sure what’s going to happen. And then we tested it . . . and we were amazed.

We eventually realized how it worked. By letting the steam in the cap surround the dry hair on the curlers for 2 minutes, the hair was relaxed to the shape of the curlers. However, the trick that made it work came after removing the cap. Allowing the hair to air cool before removing the curlers was the unexpected part of the equation. With testing, we found that this cooling process was what “locked in” the curls, and that they lasted incredibly without the need for scorching high temperatures.

Asian Hair Type is the most difficult to curl

Asian hair, the ultimate test

An Asian model close to the project at the time had hair that was considered “impossible to curl”. We tried setting her hair dry in perm rods. We warmed the cap briefly in a microwave, and placed it (filled with warm steam) over the curlers on her head for 2 minutes. We then removed the cap, and allowed her hair to cool for 3 minutes. And then we held our breath . . . and removed the first curler. It was one of those moments that you never forget. Her long hair (which was normally to the middle of her back), had turned into incredibly strong tight spirals that came only to her shoulders. None of us had seen anything like this, including the model, who couldn’t recall seeing any significant curls on her head in her entire life. As we continued testing with more and more individuals, we found that the cap worked incredibly well on hair that was considered difficult to curl.

And then came the media

As production began, so did the publicity circuit. One of the first live on-the-air demos (WJZ13 Morning News) captures the spirit of early days of the release, along with the surprise of the interviewers after seeing the results. Give it a look:

As women learn more and more about the damage done to their hair by traditional heat styling tools, they will naturally seek new ways to move away from harsh temperatures and chemicals, and more and more toward more gentle and natural methods, I see a shift toward the use of pure steam, without scorching damaging heat, as the primary method of styling. It has been my blessing and privilege to be a part of this change.

Contributing author Carol Graves originally received her cosmetology training in the Washington DC area, and is currently the President of Microwaves Corporation. Microwaves Corporation produces the patented Microwaves® Steam & Style® Heat Cap. Facebook and Follow us on Pinterest and Twitter.




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