Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Today we are talking about testing for your hair's porosity & certain ingredients in your hair care products to stay away from, based on what your porosity is.
Let's go into the ways you can find out your hair's porosity.
This test is probably the easiest test to do to find out what your hair porosity is.
It is as simple as getting a glass of water, filling it halfway, and getting a strand of hair from your brush or comb, I don't recommend plucking one from your scalp. Once you have your strand drop it in the water and see if it floats on the top, in the middle, or sinks to the bottom.
This test can be a bit more complicated, especially if you're not particularly keen on touch sensitivity. However, this is how you conduct this test take a strand of hair, and slide your fingers up the shaft (toward the scalp). If you feel little bumps along the way, this means that your cuticle is lifted and that you have high porosity. If your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair. If it's mostly smooth with little to no bumps then you have medium porosity hair.
How to care for Low Porosity Hair
When you have low porosity hair, you may be tempted to apply a larger quantity of product, or more than one hair product at a time, in an effort to saturate your hair.
Because the cuticles are so close together, not much product will penetrate, no matter how much you apply. The key is to find products that have the right formulation for low porosity hair. These products will have ingredients that can help allow moisture to flow easier to the hair.
Another important tip is to apply products when your hair is damp and warm. Heat can lift the hair cuticle, allowing moisture to more easily penetrate the hair shaft.
If you want to know what types of ingredients and products tend to work well for low porosity hair, here are some suggestions.
Shampoo Shampoos that clarify and really deep clean your hair are what you need.
These ingredients draw moisture from the air to keep your hair from drying out.
Some shampoos that may work well include:
Kinky-Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo. This no-residue shampoo is gentle enough to use on a daily basis.
Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasure Repairing Shampoo. This shampoo for dry, damaged hair contains honey, which can be a key softening ingredient for low porosity hair.
Conditioner Try diluting your conditioner with a small amount of water when you apply it to your hair.
This can help make the conditioner more easily absorbable and less likely to just sit on your hair.
Some conditioners that may work well include:
Davines OI All in One Milk. Milk conditioners like this one have a thinner consistency, which makes it easier to be absorbed. It also won’t weigh your hair down and leave it feeling oily. Spritz this conditioner on damp, towel-dried hair for softening results.
DevaCurl One Condition Original. This creamy, daily use conditioner is well-suited for curly, low porosity hair.
Deep conditioner Sometimes your hair may need a little extra boost of moisture.
One way to do this is with a weekly deep-conditioning treatment. It can help if you use a steamer, heat cap, or hooded dryer when you condition your hair. Or, you can put a shower cap over your hair once you’ve applied the deep conditioner, then use a blow dryer on the warm setting for a few minutes to heat up your hair under the cap. This can help open the cuticles. For low porosity hair, you’ll want to stay away from protein treatment conditioners. Protein formulas create film barriers over the hair and block moisture from getting into the hair shaft for low porosity hair, which can increase the risk of hair breakage. This is also known as being protein sensitive. So avoid protein in your hair regimen. Protein treatments should happen on a monthly 2-month basis.
Some good choices for low porosity hair include:
Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment, Citrus Lavender. This product has a high concentration of natural ingredients. It can help moisturize and soften your hair without weighing it down.
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Cap System. This deep-conditioning duo comes with its own cap lined with conditioning ingredients as well as a conditioner you apply before putting on the cap.
Styling products If you’re looking for effective curl- and style-enhancing products...
These may work well:
Eden Bodyworks Curl Defining Creme. This conditioning gel can help define curls while keeping them soft.
Joico Ironclad Thermal Protectant Hair Spray. This pre-drying protectant helps you style your hair while protecting it against heat damage. It also won’t leave behind much residue.
My Amazing Blow Dry Secret. This product can help cut down on blow-dry time, which is often a challenge with low porosity hair.
With low porosity hair, it’s not easy for moisture and oils to penetrate the hair shaft. It can take longer for your hair to become saturated when you wash it. It may also be more challenging to process and style your hair. However, there are certain ingredients that can make low porosity hair easier to care for. Knowing the types of products to use, and which ones to avoid, can make a difference in the manageability and health of your hair.
Ways to treat Medium Porosity Hair
Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen.
Ways to treat high porosity hair
1. Protein treatments
Incorporating protein treatments in your regimen is important for high porosity hair to gain strength and not break as frequently. Oftentimes, hair that is highly porous is a result of damage so if you haven’t incorporated protein, it's time to start. Highly porous hair has holes in the hair shaft and protein temporarily fills those holes and strengthens the hair. It’s like patching a tire. Protein treatments are usually advised to be used monthly. For an extra boost, you can also use light protein treatments every few weeks in between the monthly heavy protein treatment. Remember that protein is not a moisturizer and should not be treated as such.
2. Deep conditioning
This should be done following every shampoo. Remember to slather on generous amounts and heat it up! If you do not have a hooded dryer, do not fret. Covering your hair with a plastic cap or a warm towel for 15 minutes will suffice. I often leave my deep conditioner on overnight and rinse in the morning. Find a thick deep conditioner like SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. I love this because it really brings my hair back to life.
3. Sealing with butter or oils
Butters and oils can help seal in the moisture that your hair soaks up without releasing it back to the air. Shea butter and Olive oil are both heavy and great for sealing. Since olive oil is one of the few oils that penetrate the hair shaft, this would be a great option to use as a sealant.
4. Using heavier products with natural oils
Heavy products will reinforce your sealing from the butter or oil and help compensate for the protective layer that's missing. Make sure to check the ingredients label of your products to see if heavy oils like olive, castor, or avocado oil are listed in the top five ingredients.
5. Apple cider vinegar and aloe vera
Both apple cider vinegar (ACV) and aloe vera will work to adjust the pH balance of your hair. Rinsing with the slightly acidic (ACV) will help flatten the cuticle and seal in the moisture. Some natural products add aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice to their leave-in conditioners or spray bottle solutions.
As always we hope these tips have given you the information you need to start your hair journey off strong or to keep you on top of your game. We hope you have enjoyed part 2 of "All about hair porosity" and we cannot wait to share with you our hair collection in the coming months. Chao for now!