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L’Oréal steampod 3.0: The steam-powered straightener that left our hair feeling hydrated and healthy

Style your locks straight or wavy with this high-tech tool

Sarah Young
Wednesday 25 August 2021 16:32
<p> The styler left our tester’s hair looking sleek, shiny and hydrated   </p>

The styler left our tester’s hair looking sleek, shiny and hydrated

If years of heat styling have left you struggling with split ends and dry, frazzled locks, L’Oréal’s latest steam straightener could be just the thing you need.

Unlike standard hair straighteners, the steampod 3.0 (£235, Feelunique.com) uses a combination of high-pressure steam (not unlike an iron or clothes steamer) and heated plates to style your tresses. But, the differences don’t stop there, as L’Oréal has worked hard to ensure its latest tool isn’t just effective but also kind to your hair.

When you style using a regular hair straightener, you can often see steam coming off as you style and this is because moisture is leaving the hair. But, with the steampod, L’Oréal states that the combination of heat and steam gently and durably styles the hair without drying the core, resulting in 78 per cent less damage – which is enough to interest anyone who regularly straightens their locks.

The brand also claims that the tool is two times faster than a pair of usual straighteners, aims to reduce the appearance of split ends and will leave your locks looking sleek and silky-soft for days. But does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

How we tested

To find out if its technology is enough to make us ditch our trusty pair of ghd’s, we used the steampod 3.0 on our hair to create both straight and wavy looks, paying attention to the tool’s design and performance.

Read more:

L’Oréal Professionnel steampod 3.0 steam hair straightener

  • Plate material: Ceramic
  • Variable temperature control: Yes – 180C, 200C, 210C
  • Corded/cordless: Corded
  • Cable length: 2.4m
  • Weight: 1.04kg

Design

Beauty fans will know that the steampod isn’t exactly brand new to the haircare market as, while the 3.0 launched in November 2019, there are, as the name suggests, two earlier versions of the tool.

With its latest model, L’Oréal has made some serious changes to the design because, while it still uses ceramic plates and steam technology to smooth and straighten hair, it’s far more compact – 14 per cent thinner and 37 per cent lighter than the steampod 2.0, in fact. Unlike its predecessors, the 3.0 also has a built-in water cartridge, compared to the previous device’s separate compartment, and boasts a rotating cord, which makes it much easier to handle.

When it comes to the steam itself, this is released from a number of little chambers that run down one side of the ceramic floating plates, with the water stored in a tiny tank. One thing worth noting here is that the tool requires you to use demineralised water (which is exactly what it sounds like, water that has had all of the mineral impurities removed) not just the stuff that comes from your tap, so as to prevent scaling. While this does require extra effort (and money), a little goes a long way – the brand says you can style up to 192m of hair without having to refill. The steampod also features a removable comb that runs along the side of the plates, which helps guide your strands, create a smoother finish and make styling easier, particularly for those with thicker hair.

Performance

When we first got our hands on L’Oréal’s steampod 3.0, we weren’t entirely sure how it would fair – unlike our trusty ghd’s, the tool is quite large, feels bulky in your hands and requires a little prep work before you can get started.

While it’s not complicated to navigate, you need to ensure the water chamber is full before switching the tool on and, as previously mentioned, this should be done using demineralised water. While we cheated and used some from our water filter jug, you can get your hands on the real thing quite easily, with Waitrose’s own-brand stuff costing little more than £1 for a litre (£1.10, Waitrose.com). If you’re tempted to skip this step, it’s worth noting that the warranty does not cover scaling.

Read more: The best ghd straighteners for every style and hair type

The steampod is super-easy to use, with clearly labelled buttons on the inside to turn it on and select your temperature of choice – 180C, 200C or 210C. A green light blinks to let you know it’s heating up and, after about 30 seconds, it stops flashing and lets out a gentle hiss of steam so you know it’s ready to go. When we proceeded to press the plates together against a small section of hair, steam was projected from small vents and the comb ran smoothly through our strands, ensuring even flyaways and baby hairs were pulled straight. Despite our initial concerns regarding the tool’s size, it felt easy to control and didn’t make our arm ache, with the swivelling cord meaning we could easily reach the back of our head.

So, what about the results? Well, to say we were surprised would be an understatement. In our experience, L’Oréal’s bold claims about the steampod’s abilities are legit, as our hair was left looking smooth with just one pass, leaving it noticeably less frizzy and soft. But, perhaps the best part was just how incredibly glossy it made our typically dull locks look – the steam technology left our hair feeling healthy and hydrated, with a smoother finish and no flyaways. We even gave styling waves with steampod a go too. As the tool is wider than your average straightener, it’s ideal for creating natural-looking waves that look like you’ve just stepped out of the salon – simply place a small section in the middle of the plates and wrap it around the tool, rotating and gliding downwards. Our only complaint? It’s a little noisy to use, not unpleasantly so, but enough to dupe your partner into thinking you’re tackling that growing pile of ironing, and not styling your hair.

The verdict: L’Oréal steampod 3.0

While any heated hair tool cannot promise zero damage, the steampod 3.0 certainly makes a compelling case for converting to steam styling full-time. The results on our locks spoke for themselves, as we were left with shampoo ad-worthy shine and poker straight hair that lasted all day and, despite using heat, actually felt healthy.

We think this would be a particularly good investment for anyone with thick or curly hair who requires a straightener with a little more oomph than your standard pair. There’s no denying that it requires a certain level of commitment compared to other gadgets but, if your locks are stubborn and you’re worried about long-term damage, the reassuring glossiness of your hair after using the steampod should make it worth the extra faff.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on hair tools and other beauty products, try the links below:

Looking for a cordless hair straightener instead? Read our review of the new ghd unplugged

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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