What is hair porosity? Why is it important and what products will work for my hair? These are just some of the questions fellow curlies tend to ask while figuring out the porosity game.
Hair porosity refers to how the cuticle lies along the hair shaft and how your hair is able to retain water. This can dictate how well products work on your hair. There are three types of porosity levels. Low, normal and high.
Normal Porosity means your hair is nicely in the middle, working out fine and is doing its own thing. You don’t really notice any problems and your hair seems to be loving what you do. High and low porosity is where the problems lie.
Low Porosity also know as protein sensitive hair, means your hair cuticles are extremely closed and is hard for moisture to be let in.
- Products normally sit on the hair causing a lot of product build up
- Your hair will normally take a while to get fully wet. You may notice little water beads of your hair while washing. This shows how hard water is working to get into your hair cuticles
- Your hair may also take a long time to dry
- Using thick products may make your hair feel greasy
Having High Porosity hair means your hair cuticles are fully open and can absorb moisture really easily but does not retain moisture. So easy in, easy out! This hair type also loves protein.
- Hair cuticles are normally damaged or hair has been chemically processed, hence why they are fully open
- Your hair may tangle really easily because all the cuticles are getting caught on to each other
- Your hair can tend to dry extremely fast
- Hair may always be frizzy
- Products such as lotions and milks may not work as well as heavier products
It can get confusing as sometimes you can find yourself in-between all porosities, so there are a few test that you can try.
THE CUP TEST
Take a cup of water and a clean piece of hair and place into the water for 2-4 minutes. If your hair is floating, then you have low porosity hair. If it’s normal, then the strand will be floating in the middle. If the strand has sunk to the bottom of the glass, then you have high porosity hair.
THE SPRAY TEST
Try spraying your hair with warm water. If you notice beads of water sitting on your hair, then you have low porosity hair. The moisture is just sitting there and not being let in. If you spray your hair and the water instantly absorbs, then you have high porosity hair as your cuticles are open.
LOW POROSITY TIPS
- Use heat when deep conditioning. This will help open your cuticles
- Washing your hair with warm/hot water will also help open up your curly strands
- You could also try heating up your deep conditioner before applying to your hair after shampooing
- Using lighter products like Argan, Sweet Almond and Grape Seed Oils work best for low porosity hair. Hair milks and lotions are also light weight too
- Applying an ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar rinse every so often will help cleanse the scalp and get rid of any product build up
- Apply products to damp (not extremely wet) hair
HIGH POROSITY TIPS
- Keep your hair soaking wet when apply hair products like conditioners
- Layering products is an effective way of keeping the moisture in. For example, using a leave-in, butter/cream and oil. This will really give your hair the moisture that it needs. Every hair type is different, so if all three is a little too much, then try two
- Air drying should work best as high porosity hair tends to dry quickly
- Rinsing your hair with cold water while in the shower will close your cuticles and keep the moisture in a little longer, especially after deep conditioning
- Heavier products work best for high porosity hair. Products like butters and creams, and oils like Coconut, Jojoba and Aloe Vera Gel work well
It’s all about trial and error when it comes to figuring out what your hair likes and doesn’t like. Did you do the porosity test? What products do you use? Lets help each other out and start a discussion?