On Tuesday, just when I was getting over the cuteness of my Curlformers set, I got an email from my homie over at SoftSheen Carson to see if I was available on Thursday to experience their new Hydra Steam Moisturizing System. After throwing shade about how an earlier email would’ve saved my poor arms several hours of toil from their weekend work, I happily accepted. I mean, who turns down getting their hair done for free… not I, even though it wasn’t dirty or tangled or anything. Even more exciting than a juicy (I’m currently obsessed with this word) hair treatment was the fact that it would be done by SoftSheen-Carson Artistic Styling Director Johnny Wright and SoftSheen-Carson Director of Education Mezei Jefferson. So y’all want me to get my hair done for free, get a juicy steam treatment, AND be touched
by an angel by my First Lady’s hairdresser?! BET. After doing a praise dance, I emailed my boss I’d be a bit late to work on Thursday and thanked God profusely for all the opportunities He stays bringing my way. #startedfromthebottom #zerotoonehunnid #REALQUICK. Keep reading to find out more info on the system and how my appointment went!
About the Hydra Steam Moisturizing System
Infused with aloe vera and using revolutionary steam activated technology, The SoftSheen-Carson Professional Hydra Steam Moisturizing System promotes curl definition, provides long-lasting frizz control, and delivers intense, vital moisture to dry, thirsty hair at every step. This product launch marks SoftSheen-Carson Professional’s brand reinvention, underscoring its commitment to technological innovation and providing unmatched, high-performance products to professional stylists and consumers.
The line consists of:
- Sulfate-Free Cleanser: Preps hair for the Steam Treatment Masque and provides moisturizing nourishment to hair, while effectively removing dirt and build-up.
- Steam Masque: Steam activated treatment to help prevent breakage and provides much needed conditioning to damaged, dry hair. The masque spreads evenly from root to tip and softens the hair cuticle.
- Moisturizing Sealing Spray: Lightweight leave-in conditioning spray that seals the hair cuticle directly following the steam treatment and is formulated to respect hair’s pH level.
- Curl Designing Cream: Formulated with Aloe Vera and has no drying alcohols to control frizz and deliver elongated curl definition. It provides medium, crunchless hold and lightweight moisture.
- Refining Coil Cream: Formulated with Aloe Vera and has no drying alcohols, this styling cream delivers intense moisture that softens tight coils. It provides low, crunches hold that enhances definition.
- Finishing Oil: Lightweight, non-flaky formula that moisturizes without build-up and delivers radiant shine. This oil is 100% free of drying alcohols, mineral oil, parabens and petroleum.
Each item is priced at 17.99 (besides the Moisturizing Sealing Spray which is 12.99), but remember these are salon sized products, not the 4oz some companies try to play us with. The system can be found at Sally’s Beauty Supply and other local beauty supply shops.
Though the system is designed for professional stylist use, Mezei assured me that it could be used at home for all us DIY (but really just frugal and distrusting) naturalistas who don’t frequent the salon. All you need is a steamer, conditioning cap, or the good old-fashion warm towel and a plastic bag.
My Salon Experience
As a preface, I went to my appointment with my hair in a puff and not a care in this world because I honestly envisioned that when I walked up out of the L’Oreal studios (SoftSheen-Carson is a division of L’Oreal), I would have gold dust trail behind my hair. I was that hype. Upon arrival I was greeted by some breakfast items (and thank God because a girl was rushing) and the lovely Johnny Wright. Anyhow, we promptly got started with the first step of the system, the sulfate free shampoo. The thing is, I didn’t realize the shampoo was sulfate-free at first because it lathered up like CRAZY. It had the most lather of any shampoo I’d ever used in my life. Johnny gave me two rounds of a nice scrub a dub, and once rinsed, a bunch of elderly white women receiving other L’Oreal services stared at the magic of my little shrunken fro post-wash. Unbothered, we headed back to the VIP salon area where the steam activated masque was applied. I already mentioned how you can make the system work without having a steamer, but I first used a table top steamer and then transferred to the main standalone steamer, for a total of 20 minutes. Johnny explained that the steam treatment opens the cuticles of your hair – and with repeated steaming, you build moisture resistance so your hair won’t revert as easily in humidity.
While I was steaming away, I got to enjoy my FAVORITE part of getting my hair done at the salon – hearing all the tea! I learned that Michelle is natural, has a lot more hair color than shows up on TV, and has another bangs moment coming up, but not as dramatic. Sasha and Malia are also pretty cool girls, as normal as First Children can be. Fun facts about Johnny himself: he has been doing hair since he was 8 years old, had a full clientele by high school, and his parents built him a salon in their basement. He didn’t worry about his grades because he was doing his teachers’ hair!
Once done steaming and rinsing out the masque, Johnny then used the sealing spray, which he said can also be used as a detangle. At this point, Johnny and Mezei switched places and Mezei styled me. Since we were short on time (remember I still have to work because this blog ain’t yet paying the rent, plus I love the chirren), Mezei decided to lightly blow out my hair just using the tension method, and then he twisted using the Curl Defining Cream. Being the anti-curl chick that I usually am, I questioned his decision, but Mezei let me know that the Coil Cream is really thick and moisturizing so it is better to use with wet sets. Since my hair was first blown out, the Curl Cream was applied instead – essentially the Coil Cream would’ve undone the blowout, though when using the product at home, that’s the one formulated for my kinks. Doing the fastest twist set of life (max 20 minutes), Mezei pinned my twists up so I would look more work chic and less Celie. Sadly – and idk how I didn’t catch this, but I think I was trying to call an Uber – my hair was parted on the opposite side it normally is, which, needless to say for other habitual side parters, caused a brief wave of panic in my life.
On the way out, I was handed a heavy gift bag that included ALL the products from the collection! SoftSheen-Carson even gave me a super cute travel bag that I hope is intended to be used for makeup because it has straps that I think would perfectly fit some makeup brushes. Oh, and I grabbed a sandwich because I had no time for a lunch break before work!
Unfortunately, once I got home and woke up from the daydream that was getting my hair done by celebrity hair stylists, I noticed that some pieces of my hair were coming out of my twists when I pulled at them. I realized that my hair was never actually detangled, either with a comb or with fingers, before or after the light tension blow out, which caused some lumpiness in parts of my twists, and explained the shedding. I was initially disappointed, but then I remembered that I rushed my appointment – I gave the stylists an hour and a half to do what they told me would take two hours, knowing full well my hair has never been done in anything less than 2.5 hours – so it’s kind of my fault (well actually my job’s fault, which is really the fault of whoever decides rent prices in NYC). On Friday I untwisted but did not separate and fluff the twists, as I was wearing my trusty hat. Since I went no place on Saturday, I didn’t fully separate until yesterday (three days post salon experience). The result was a very full, non greasy twist out with loads of moveable definition that I typically don’t see until day 4 or 5 when I do it on my own. Surprisingly, I didn’t have clumps of hair all over the place from not having detangled, so thank God I had washed and detangled my hair just a couple of days before my appointment. Other people said it was cute but I didn’t really think so – the whole opposite side part was really throwing me off!
All in all, I definitely would do the SoftSheen-Carson Professional Hydra Steam treatment again (in fact, I might try it at home if someone wants to buy me a full steamer for Christmas, hint hint), but if I get it done in the salon, I’ll be sure to leave ample time so I can get the best service possible! Or maybe I’m tripping and my hair looks perfectly fine, you tell me.