Hair porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. The hair cuticle is what allows moisture to pass in and out of your strands. If the cuticle is closed or too open, it can be difficult for your hair to absorb and retain any moisture.
There are three types of hair porosity: high, medium, and low. Medium porosity is the goal; it’s the perfect balance between the two other types and allows moisture in without letting to much out. High porosity hair has cuticles that are too open, which allow moisture in, but lets it out just as easily. Low porosity hair cuticles are closed and flat, which make it nearly impossible to let moisture in.
You can test your hair’s porosity by dropping a strand of clean hair in a cup of room temperature water. If it sinks right away, it’s high porosity. If it floats on top, it’s low porosity. And if it takes time to only sink a little bit, it’s medium porosity.
Low porosity hair requires moisture because, oftentimes, products sit on the hair and the scalp rather than penetrating it. Learning to open up the hair cuticles a bit more by using warm water could help ingredients in treatments truly get to work. Opt for sulfate-free conditioners and try adopting a no-poo method of hair care using more natural ingredients.
High porosity hair lets moisture in and out so fast that the hair doesn’t even have time to process absorbing it. Since it often looks frizzy and lifeless, try to avoid heat styling or hair dyes. These things damage the hair and make it more prone to breakage, a symptom of high porosity. Instead, avoid shampoos (in general, really, but if you must, try sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free formulas). Switch to a sulfate-free conditioner and deep condition your hair as often as possible.
Deep conditioning is super helpful for folks with both high and low porosity hair. It’s giving you hair a nice drink of the things it needs most, and in this case, it’s moisture.
Our girl CurlyPorverbz knows a thing or two about the importance of understanding your hair’s porosity. Check out her tips!
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