September 21

Hair Porosity

After knowing which hair type one belongs to the next most important thing if not the most important thing is to identify one’s Hair Porosity.

Hair porosity refers to the ability for water to easily penetrate the hair shaft and how well the hair can retain the moisture it has absorbed. There are three types or levels of Hair porosity. They high, medium and low porosity.

High Porosity

High Porosity means you hair has a lot of holes and pores  and hence, it is able to absorb water easily. However, due to the many holes present the hair cuticle, water is also able to escape the hair shaft easily leaving the hair dry in a short while. Highly porous hair is generally hair that is damaged and over processed as a result of relaxers, straighteners/flat irons, dyes and other chemicals.

  • It is important to do protein treatments and deep conditioning treatments to strengthen the hair if one has this type of hair.
  • Leave-in conditioners and sealants are also a must in such hair type.
  • Apply heavy butters. These hair butters will coat the hair and allow the hair to retain enough moisture.

Medium Porosity

Medium porosity hair has a normal cuticle. This means that the hair cuticle is neither neither tightly compact nor very open. For this reason, the cuticles are able to allow moisture in easily and also retains the normal amount of moisture. There is almost a perfect balance in the amount of  water/moisture that enters the hair and the amount that is retained in the hair.

  • Regular deep conditioning treatments is still important for such hair type.
  • Daily application of protein or products that contain protein should however be reduced since an overload of protein can be damaging to the hair.

Low Porosity hair

It’s hair with a tightly compact cuticle. It is generally difficult for water to get into the hair shaft however, once water or moisture is trapped inside the hair it stays locked in hence it is difficult for water to escape the hair.

  • Incorporate heat during deep conditioning treatment. This may be done by staying under a hooded drier or steamer or covering your hair with a plastic cap during deep conditioning days and also washing the hair with semi-hot water. The heat will allow the cuticles to open, making it easy for the hair to absorb moisture.
  • Also use lighter oils that can easily penetrate the hair shaft and not just sit on it. Some of such oils are olive oil, coconut oil , Jojoba oil etc.
  • Shampoo hair regularly(once or twice a month) to cleanse the scalp since this type of hair tends to experience a lot product build ups to the scalp.

How each type looks microscopically.


How to test for Hair Porosity.

  1. Get a glass and fill it with water
  2. Take strands of hair from you hair and place them into the water
  3. Observe the position of hair strands after 5 minutes.If your hair sinks to the bottom then you have high porosity. If it sinks to the middle then your hair has normal porosity and if hair sits on top of the water then your hair has low porosity.

So now that you know about hair porosity, what is your hair porosity level?

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