Your hair porosity is more important than hair type.

HAPPY PEOPLE,

How do you do?

Knowing your hair’s porosity will change your life! It’s one of the most simple concepts necessary for all naturals or to-be-naturals to know, yet it’s not as talked about as much as hair type is (you know, the 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C). Natural hair type doesn’t tell us nearly as much about what our hair needs as porosity does.

Hair type doesn’t tell you which moisturizing oils are best, which conditioners are best, which deep treatments are best etc. Two people can have the 4C hair type, but may need COMPLETELY different hair products for their hair. You can’t look at a YouTuber or Blogger and grab the products they’re using right away without knowing their porosity. So, as you can now figure, this is very important homies.

What exactly is hair porosity?

Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture

So what’s the big deal? Well, in order to grow healthy (and long) hair that is less prone to dryness which leads to breakage, you need what…drum roll….PROPERLY MOISTURIZED HAIR. This is especially for natural black hair. In order to properly moisturize hair you need to make sure you not only ADD moisture to your hair but that it is actually RETAINED i.e. your hair keeps the moisture locked in.

There are 3 different hair porosity ‘levels’. Low, normal, and high.

Hair Porosity - tooandalee blog from nopoomethod

Low Porosity

Hair cuticles on low porosity hair are closed and so moisture does not enter easily. A quick sign for low porosity hair is products that feel as though they are just sitting on your hair and not absorbed. See test below to figure out if this is you!

Key tips:

  • Use heat to open up the cuticles to let the moisture in. How, well, warm water washes, and warm deep conditioning sessions. Simple! Use a deep conditioning cap or home hooded dryer to create warmth for your deep conditions and/or treatments.
  • Make sure to still close the cuticles after a warm wash by rinsing with cool water.
  • Deep condition every wash day
  • Invest in a satin cap for sleeping
  • Best oils or products for low porosity hair: Light oils are best, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil.
  • Ease up on the products, your hair is prone to build up so don’t layer on product on top of product.
  • Low porosity hair is protein sensitive. Avoid using a lot of protein on your hair,Β  those protein treatments that look really good? Nah, not for you. Unless really necessary once or twice a year. Stick to moisture treatments.
Normal Porosity

This one is porosity goals really! You hair is not problematic. It absorbs and retains moisture well and you don’t really have a problem with dryness – unless you leave the hair for dead ofcourse πŸ˜€ It’s obvious you still got to take care of it.

High Porosity

As you can see in the image above, high porosity hair has cuticles that are lifted and so absorbs moisture quickly but also looses it quickly. Some end up with high porosity after heat or chemical damage to their hair. Signs of high porosity hair are things like finding that your hair dries really quickly after washes or moisturizer, looks dull and feels especially dry.

Key tips:

  • Protein treatments are great – doing one once a month will do you some good!
  • Deep condition more often,Β  bi-weekly is advised.
  • Make sure to still close the cuticles after by rinsing your washes with cool water.
  • Use leave-in conditioners and heavier products like butters to seal the moisture in.
  • Best oils/ or products for high porosity hair: Olive oil, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, hempseed oil, coconut oil.
  • Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar to flatten the cuticle and seal the moisture in.
  • Aloe Vera Gel or Juice is also great – on it’s own or added to your leave-in conditioner.
  • Avoid using heat on your hair and excessive coloring.

SoΒ wait, how do you find out what your hair porosity is!!!? Simple really.

 

HAIR POROSITY TEST

  1. Grab a tall glass of water
  2. Extract a strand of hair from your head – must use clean hair. Hair with product is said to possibly alter results.
  3. Drop this strand inside the water and watch it for a minute or two.

Results:

high normal low porosity natural hair tooandalee
Image source: frederickbenjamin.com

Ideally, hair should absorb moisture at a slow pace. The rate at which the hair sinks is basically indicative of the rate at which it absorbs moisture. The faster the hair absorbs moisture, the more porous it is. In other words, if it sinks to the bottom quickly, the cuticles are open and absorb lots of moisture immediately. If the hair floats, the cuticles are shut and are not letting the moisture in.

  • Low Porosity hair will float at the top of the glass
  • Medium porosity will slowly sink and be about halfway through the glass when you check in a minute.
  • High Porosity will have sunk to/near the bottom of the glass.

Once you know this, you may find that you have been moisturizing correctly by chance, or from intuition and knowing what works for your hair. Otherwise, if you’ve been having problems with your hair, then you’ll have to adjust your hair regimen accordingly to suit your hair’s porosity.

P.S. I have low porosity.

 

So, what;s your hair porosity? Share with me & other readers in the comments and let us know what has or hasn’t worked for you! Got questions? Let me know. You already know.

Your Girl,

TooAndAlee

 

natural hair porosity tooandalee
Knowing Your Porosity Will Change Your Life
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21 Comments

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  1. Yeah mine’s also low porosity. Side note: That purple lippie giiiiiiiirrrrrlllll ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank You so much.. This has definitely given me a clearer picture on where exactly to begin. I am a newbie and needed products to buy in order to manage my difficult hair.. now I know what is the first step for me to take.. you are a blessing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And oh Forgot to ask about the porosity test.. do I test using dry washed hair, damp or wet hair..?

    Like

  4. I was definitely paying more attention to my hair type! Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For my hair when dropped on the water, it floats, but when touched a bit to be all covered with water, it sinks quickly. I don’t get it. Help please

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. I’ve never heard of this. I’ve just let my hair do what the test describes. I guess touching it you assisted the hair to absorb the moisture!?? I’d say you do it a couple of times and see if you keep getting the same result. I’ll also touch mine and see what happens. This is interesting.

      Like

    • Another general guideline is: Does your hair absorb water and hair products quickly but then gets dry very fast after that? If so, it has high porosity. Low porosity is if you find that it takes a while for hair to absorb water when washing it, you kind of have to keep applying the water until the hair starts to shrink up and feel super soft from the water or product – with low porosity you find that your hair stays moisturized for a while after applying water/products. Keep this in mind on your next wash day and see how your hair behaves.

      Like

  6. That has to be annoying that the product just sits on the hair and does nothing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi hun
    My hair is high porosity.my hair is always dry though but i have very thick hair. My hair line as well is a struggle

    Like

    • Hi hun πŸ™‚ Have a look at my “edges, edges’ article under natural hair section to help with your hairline! Thick hair is a good thing, so many people wish they had such volume! High posority – stick to those thicker butters and oils to seal, deep condition every wash day and do a protein treatment at least once a month!

      Like

  8. African sunflower June 11, 2018 — 9:22 pm

    Thanks for this post! I have heard many things about checking porosity and how it can give you misleading results, but I am still to try it out for myself πŸ™‚ your curls are poppin by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! Without even using the test: Another general guideline is – Does your hair absorb water and hair products quickly but then gets dry very fast after that? If so, it has high porosity. Low porosity is if you find that it takes a while for hair to absorb water when washing it, you kind of have to keep applying the water until the hair starts to shrink up and feel super soft from the water or product – with low porosity you find that your hair stays moisturized for a while after applying water/products. Keep this in mind on your next wash day and see how your hair behaves.

      Liked by 1 person

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