When it comes down to the subject of hair I'll be the first to admit that it is not my strong point. I'm generally a wash and go kinda gal who will straighten it if the occasion requires or, if I'm feeling really brave I'll bring out the curling tongs. For a very long time now I have used the same pair of straighteners which have been utterly fantastic however a little while ago I was offered the opportunity to try out the L'Oreal Professional and Rowenta Salon Electricals Steampod* so thought it was the perfect time to try something new.
Over the last month I have being trying out the L'Oreal Professional and Rowenta Salon Electricals Steampod (RRP £165) in place of my normal straighteners. If you haven't heard of the Steampod before (I hadn't either) then I'll give you the quick low down. The Steampod is not just your standard hair straightener as whilst having the expected ceramic plates it also has continuous steam pressure which, when combined with the plates ensure you have a smooth, soft silky finish to your hair.
I'm not going to lie I was extremely intrigued by the concept of this as I had never seen anything like it before. To begin with in order to use the Steampod you simply have to fill the water tank up to the designated level with tap water (although you do have to ensure that your tap water isn't too hard). The water tank is incredibly easy to remove and is just as easy to slot back into place on the base, which, incidentally has little sucker pads on that ensures that the base remains stable. Once that is set up and you have plugged the Steampod into the mains you are almost ready to get started.
There is your normal on and off switch which is pretty straightforward and then of course there is the temperature settings of which there are five available; 170-180-190-200-210°C. Once your chosen temperature has been selected the Steampod will then after five seconds go into lock mode which prevents the temperature being accidentally increased or decreased. It takes around 90 seconds for the Steampod to reach the set temperature which I would say is a little slower than my current hair straighteners. However this is something I can easily overlook because let's face it, what does half a minute really matter?
The steam is generated quite quickly and flows up through the tube connecting the base to the main part of the Steampod. You can hear this as it filters its way through so don't worry if it makes a noise; if it doesn't then you know nothing is happening. Once you can see steam coming up through the little holes by the comb (the steam is only released when the Steampod is held closed) next to the plates you are ready to start straightening your hair. You have to use the Steampod in the same direction each time; this is indicated by the arrows by the plates. The reason for this is so that your selected hair section is exposed to the steam before it is straightened by the plates. The high pressure steam hydrates your hair without causing heat damage which is primarily the one reason as to why I don't use hair straighteners as often as I once did.
To be used in conjunction with the Steampod is the L'Oreal Steampod Light Replenishing Smoothing Cream* which has been specially formulated with nourishing Pro-keratin technology. This is to be used on towel dried hair where you are supposed to apply it from root to tip, although if I'm honest I started half way down as I rarely put any products in my roots as that tends to make my hair greasy super quickly. The cream is designed to help create anti-frizz as well as protecting it through the Steampod process. I'd argue that it does this job really well to be honest as I tried the Steampod with and without having used this cream and did notice a bit of a difference; it certainly makes my hair much easier to style.
Having used the Steampod for a little while I have been able to draw a few conclusions. Firstly I think the whole idea of this product is fantastic as it's great to see something new and innovative on the market. I also really like the fact that once I have used this my hair is left feeling so soft and silky; it does not feel remotely dry at all. I have also noticed that the next day my hair is still nice and straight even after sleeping on it in various awkward ways, in fact it remains that way until I wash it. However I do have a few things that I wasn't entirely keen on when it came down to using it. Firstly I found that it was quite a bulky item to use, I'm aware that the Steampod is an incredibly popular product within hairdresser salons where they most likely have a set designated place and space for an item such as this whereas in my bedroom I did find that I struggled to find somewhere to put it safely. My next issue would be the fact that you can only use it one way which is fantastic if someone else is doing your hair as they have much more flexibility and can easily see what they are doing however when it is just you and you're trying to do the other side of your head I must admit I did struggle.
Overall my experience with the Steampod has been a bit hit and miss, I really liked the results that it gave me as well as the added protection to my hair yet it often felt like a bit of a long winded process for what should have been simple home use. So there we have it, a slightly 50/50 opinion here, if you have tried the Steampod for yourself let me know what you think.