Knowing your hair’s porosity will help you to choose more suitable products and it will also help guide you when it comes to keeping moisture in your hair.
Let’s talk about the effective way that you can know what your hair porosity type is….
How to determine your hair’s porosity
It’s not accurate because sebum, an oil your scalp naturally produces coats the hair. As you know oil repels water, so in the vast majority of cases your hair will float.
The best way to determine your porosity is how your hair reacts to water. Does it suck in water rapidly and become super dry afterward?( High Porosity) Or does it take forever to to absorb the water? (Low porosity) No issues at all? (Medium Porosity)
This video shows how porosity really works. No need to do this experiment, just a visual from a real scientist.
Can you have different porosity types on one head of hair?
Yes, you can. If you have low or medium porosity hair parts of your hair can become highly porous from too much manipulation, chemical (hair color/relaxer) or heat damage.
Challenging to absorb moisture but easy to retain once it gets in.
Moisture is easily absorbed and retained. Requires the least maintenance.
The cuticle is raised so high that moisture quickly goes in and out.
You will want to use products that are on the lighter and are easily absorbed otherwise the products just end up creating a layer of buildup. When styling make sure you towel dry hair thoroughly to remove access moisture so you can style damp hair rather than saturated hair, this helps out tremendously when it comes to drying time. Then apply your product and style.
While all hair types will benefit from the occasional protein treatment especially if it has been subject to damage, low porosity may be protein sensitive so implement on an as needed basis otherwise it can make the hair feel dry and brittle.
This happens because the cuticle is raised allowing water to come in without incident but makes it challenging for moisture retention. The cuticles can be raised due to hair damage from heat styling, chemicals and from manipulating the hair too frequently. In some instances high porosity hair may be genetic.
High porosity hair benefits from using heavy oils and butters that help to prevent moisture loss by creating a protective barrier. Protein treatments are recommended to help fill in the gaps and holes that make it challenging to retain moisture in high porosity hair. Hair is made of Keratin which is a protein. When you use protein treatments it helps to build up and fill in the areas that may be lacking. Think of it like a Spackle job.
Your hair may benefit from the occasional protein treatment, if you think you have incurred or could potentially be exposed to heat or chemical damage. However, you should limit your usage of protein to an as needed basis.
Unlike high porosity hair, there are little to no gaps or holes that need treatment. So frequent usage of protein is just not necessary.
Hair with normal porosity has the least required amount of upkeep.
You may want to try products on the lighter side to avoid product buildup and weighed down hair, as heavier products are not a must have for this porosity type.
What’s In the Guide
Did you know you can get our beginner’s guide section of our website in 1 convenient eBook? (download all of our eBook to your phone or computer instantly!)
#1 Why to Go Natural
#2 What You Should Know About Natural Hair
#3 How to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair
#4 Know Your Hair Type
#5 What’s Your Hair Porosity Type
#6 What Products Do I Need?
#7 How to Create a Natural Hair Regimen
#8 Natural Hair FAQ