If you have high porosity hair, you know that it can be a challenge to keep your locks looking their best.
Your ultimate guide on high porosity hair will teach you how to care for high and low porosity hair.
As well as how to find out what type of porosity your locks have, if you are unsure!
I’ll also discuss the causes and effects of high porosity hair.
In addition, I will highlight some solutions to common problems.
So, whether you’re new to high porosity hair, or struggling for years, this guide is for you!
What is hair porosity?
Porosity is a measure of how well your hair cuticles handle moisture retention.
The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft.
It’s made up of overlapping cells that protect the inner cortex.
When your cuticles are healthy, they lie flat on the shaft. While the cuticles are “closed”, it effectively seals in to retain moisture.
But when the cuticle gets damaged, it can lift up and create gaps that allow moisture to escape.
The different types of porosity
There are three types of hair porosity: low, medium (normal), and high.
Low porosity hair has cuticles that lie flat on the shaft and don’t allow moisture to penetrate easily.
Medium or normal porosity hair has some damage to the cuticle. This allows moderate moisture penetration.
High porosity hair has raised cuticles that allow moisture to easily enter, even though it has difficulty retaining it.
How do I know if my hair is low or high porosity?
There are a few ways to determine by doing a hair porosity test.
The float test
Take a single strand of clean, dry hair and drop it into a cup of water.
Firstly, if it sinks immediately, it means you have low porosity hair.
Or, if it sinks after a few seconds, you likely have medium porosity hair.
If your hair floats or takes longer than five minutes to sink, then you have high porosity hair.
The elasticity test
Another way to tell is by doing the elasticity test: take a small section of clean, dry hair and gently stretch it.
You have high porosity hair if your hair readily stretches and snaps back into place.
At the same time, if it stretches and then returns to its original state, chances are you have medium porosity hair.
Furthermore, if it doesn’t stretch or break before returning to its original state, it’s possible you have low porosity hair.
The cuticle test
You can also do the cuticle test: take a single strand of clean, dry hair and rub it between your fingers.
If you feel the cuticle has risen and rough, it is likely you have high porosity hair.
For low porosity hair, you will find it feels smooth.
Lastly, if you feel some resistance or the cuticle feels like it’s lifting up, you have medium porosity hair.
Feel your hair
Most of the time, these tests are inaccurate, so feeling one’s hair strand is the best way to find out the porosity.
High porosity hair will feel dry, frizzy, and brittle. Whereas low porosity hair will feel silky and smooth.
Conversely, if your hair is somewhere between, it is likely of medium porosity.
What causes high porosity?
There are a few reasons why your hair may be high porosity.
Chemical treatments, like bleaching, coloring, and straightening your hair, can damage the cuticle.
Moreover, it can make your hair more porous.
Another cause is that environmental factors can also play a role in damaging your hair.
Exposure to the sun, wind, and chlorine can all lead to raise cuticles, causing your hair to have high porosity.
Assuming you have curly hair, it is more likely your hair has high porosity.
This is because, the natural oils produced by your scalp are harder to travel down the wavy strands of your hair.
Lots of hair
Finally, if you have lots of hair, natural oils will have difficulty reaching the ends of your hair.
While this can also lead and cause high porosity.
Characteristics of high porosity hair
The porous hair has the following characteristics:
- Tangles easily
- Low elasticity
- Absorbs products quickly
How do you treat high porosity hair?
There are a few treatments you can apply when treating high porosity hair:
1. Do deep conditioning:
A deep conditioner can help fill in the gaps of your hair cuticles.
At the same time, it prevents moisture from escaping.
You should look for deep conditioners containing shea butter, coconut oil, or argan oil.
Meanwhile, try to deep condition your hair at least once a week.
Apply the conditioner to damp hair, leaving it on for 20-30 minutes.
Finally, rinse it out with cool water and style as usual.
2.Avoid hot showers:
Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and make it even more dry and brittle.
Instead, take lukewarm showers and finish with a blast of cold water to help seal the cuticle.
3.Towel-dry your hair gently:
When you get out of the shower, gently squeeze your hair with a towel to remove excess water.
Avoid rubbing your hair with the towel, as this can cause frizz and tangles.
Instead, blot your hair dry or use a microfiber towel to avoid damaging your hair.
After you’ve towel-dried your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner or serum.
Reason being, it helps detangle your hair and protect it from heat damage.
Then, style as usual.
4.Use conditioner with Cationic (+) positive charges:
Cationic conditioners can help smooth the cuticle and prevent tangles.
Look for conditioners that contain ingredients like quaternium-79 or behentrimonium chloride.
But here is a warning: when used in concentration, this chemical becomes toxic.
You can use a cationic conditioner in place of your regular conditioner a few times a week.
Simply apply it to damp hair and rinse it out after a few minutes.
5.Avoid baking soda:
Baking soda is often used as a deep cleansing treatment for the scalp.
Still, it can be too harsh for high porosity hair, as it strips it of its natural oils.
In case, you’re looking for a deep cleansing treatment, try using apple cider vinegar instead.
To use this blend, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
Then, apply it to your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
It is recommended you use this treatment a few times a week.
6.Seal in moisture by using oils:
For thick hair, try using hair grease, castor oil, almond oil and avocado oil to help seal in the moisture.
To use, apply a small amount of oil to your damp hair and massage it into your scalp.
Then, put your hair in a shower plastic cap and let the oil sit for 30 minutes before shampooing it out.
For thinner hair, try using lighter oils like argan oil or jojoba oil.
You can apply these oils to damp or dry hair.
Simply put a few drops of oil in your hands and run it through your hair, focusing on the ends.
7.Avoid shampoo with sodium laureth sulfates:
Shampoos with sodium laureth sulfates, silicon or sulfates can be harsh for hair. It can strip your hair of its natural oils.
Instead, look for shampoos labeled “sulfate-free” or “paraben-free.”
You can also try using a gentle, clarifying shampoo a few times a week.
The idea is to deep clean your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
Finally, remember that everyone’s hair is different, so what works for one person may not work for another.
Experiment with different products and techniques until you find what works best for you.
8.Use herbal oil:
Assuming you have high hair porosity, you’ll need a lot of hydration deep inside the hair cuticle.
Herbal oils can penetrate deep into the hair shaft and provide deep hydration.
The best part is that they don’t leave your hair feeling greasy or weighed down.
I suggest using a light oil, such as jojoba, grapeseed, avocado, or almond oil.
Studies have shown oils from coconut, sunflower, and olive can all penetrate deep into the hair shaft.
For low porosity hair
Avoid the above mentioned oils, as they can build up on the hair and leave it feeling greasy.
Instead, use lighter oils like argan oil or jojoba oil.
It will add softness, shine and moisture to your hair without weighing it down.
You can apply these oils to damp or dry hair. Simply put a few drops of oil in your hands and run it through your hair.
9.Have you tried essential oil?
I have used peppermint oil, which I feel does the same job as minoxidil for boosting a healthy hair cuticle.
Adding a few drops of oil to my deep conditioner not only invigorates my scalp, but also conditions my hair.
Other essential oils good for the hair are lavender oil, rosemary oil, thyme oil, and cedar-wood oil.
You can add a few drops of these essential oils to deep conditioning treatment for added benefits.
10.Get some protein
Protein is an essential part of any hair care routine.
But it’s especially important for those with high hair porosity.
That’s because your hair is more susceptible to damage and breakage.
So you need all the help you can get to keep it healthy and strong.
There are many ways to incorporate protein into your hair care routine, such as:
– Using a shampoo and conditioner rich in protein can help strengthen your hair.
– Try a deep conditioning protein mask
– Apply a leave-in conditioner or serum rich with protein
– Use rice water, as it is known to have high protein
If you’re not sure which hair products to use, ask your stylist or hair care professional for recommendations.
They can help you find the right products for your hair type and needs.
High porosity hair indicates that water, oils, and other chemicals may be readily absorbed by your hair.
On the other side, because your hair is so porous, it may not retain as much moisture as other types of hair.
The best way to take care of high porosity hair is by using products specifically designed for it.
There are a few things you can do at home to help improve the condition of your high porosity hair.
By following the tips above, you can get healthy, bouncy, and beautiful hair in no time!
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Let me know in the comments below!
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Disclaimer: We do not recommend or encourage you to use any of these statements as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. They are for educational purposes only. The FDA has not conducted any studies on them. If you have a medical concern, see your doctor immediately.