Guiding WOC Through The Process Of Returning Natural

Your hair porosity and the ingredients you need in your regimen

At Belle Bar, we believe knowing your porosity is the foundation of good hair care. Building a regimen that actually works comes down to your hair’s porosity, and picking the right products and ingredients based on it. Your regimen should be informed by your hair’s porosity and the goals you want to achieve (is it length retention, moisture, or just maintaining healthy hair?). If you don’t know your hair’s porosity, take our quiz here to find out. For 15% off al our individual products, use code ‘RESPECTMYCROWN’.

For different porosity levels, your regimen will be slightly different, so read on to find out what ingredients will work wonders for your hair based on your porosity. 

What is hair porosity?

The porosity of your hair determines how well moisture is able to pass through and be retained. The outer layer of the hair, also known as the cuticle, is what allows moisture in and out. Sometimes, the cuticle is so open that moisture slides right through, leaving nothing but a trace of its existence behind. Other times, it’s so closed that moisture can’t even get in, let alone get out.

A quick note on porosities: All the products mentioned are great for all porosity hair. What matters is the frequency of how often you use them. Moisturizing masks such as our Ultra Nourishing Guacamole Hair Mask, Restorative Hibiscus Hair Mask or our Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask can be used by any porosity on wash day, however our more strengthening masks such as the Henna Strengthening Hair Gloss, Intense Fenugreek Regeneration Hair Mask and our Rice Water Health & Strength Hair Mask should be used no more than twice a month by those with high porosity hair, and once every 4-6 weeks if you have low porosity hair. Check out all our masks here

What are some great ingredients for low porosity hair?

Honey

We all know about the magical benefits honey has for natural hair. It’s the mother of all moisturizers! It has humectant properties which help moisture bond to your strand – reducing frizz (for the high porosity gals). It also has antibacterial properties which help to keep the scalp clean and healthy without drying it. It also eliminates dandruff and prompts cell production – which means hair growth! Use between 2–3 tablespoons of honey, depending on how much moisture your hair needs. It’s great for hair of different porosity levels. Because honey is quite thin, it’s great to add it to a mask along with some avocado. Honey works great with any Belle Bar hair mask – so go for any of your choice!

A note on Manuka honey: More than just your average honey, Manuka honey is a deeply moisturizing, anti-everything solution for your hair, and skin too! Coming to us from New Zealand, this super special honey is jam packed with amino acids, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients that are necessary for our bodies Honey naturally is a humectant, meaning it’s a magnet for moisture, so putting this raw honey on your hair and skin will attract moisture and seal it in. 

Clays as cleansers (Bentonite and Rhassoul) 

Bentonite clay is made of aged volcanic ash. Like rhassoul clay, it can be used as an alternative to shampoo on wash day. Do your pre-poo beforehand, as usual, then cleanse with bentonite clay, and condition after. Bentonite clay has a high concentration of essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, and has great detoxifying abilities – it removes toxins and impurities from our hair and essentially alkalizes it. Bentonite clay soothes the scalp, adds shine, and gets rid of dirt and buildup. It’s a fantastic natural cleanser that is super moisturizing and will restore your curls. 

Rhassoul clay is from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, due to its red hue, it’s also called red Moroccan clay (named for its reddish hue). It’s rich in minerals such as magnesium and potassium and is a natural detoxifier that draws out toxins. It also contains silica which makes hair shiny and deeply exfoliates it. Rhassoul clay strengthens your hair and makes it soft and manageable while also cleaning your scalp and eliminating buildup.  Rhassoul clay is a great alternative to shampoos on your wash day. It’s a great cleanser that can be applied in two different ways: as a rinse or as a deep conditioning cleanser. 

How to use clays clay as a rinse:

  1. Mix two generous tablespoons of the clay with aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, or water. The amount of liquid you add will depend on the consistency you want, although a thinner consistency will be easier to apply. If your hair is low porosity, opt for aloe vera juice or rose water. If you are medium porosity, you can choose any of the options. 
  2. The amount of liquid you add will depend on the consistency you want, although a thinner consistency will be easier to apply. 
  3. Place the mixture into an applicator bottle and coat your hair in it. Let sit for 10-20 minutes and rinse out.
  4. YOU MUST DEEP CONDITION AFTER TO IMPART MOISTURE INTO THE HAIR!
  5. For deep conditioning cleanse, mix two tablespoons of rhassoul clay with your liquid of choice (AVC, aloe vera juice, or water), and add in ¾ cup of your favorite conditioner. This makes a great cleansing mask that also conditions and nourishes the hair. Apply and let it sit for 20–30 minutes and rinse out. You can follow up with your regular conditioning treatment.

Banana

This is moisture 101! Bananas are rich in vitamins and potassium which aid in your hair’s elasticity and shine. They are also rich in vitamin B6 which calms excess oil production, and therefore supports the hair in healthy growth. They are great for preventing breakage and softening your hair. If you’re looking for moisture, this is your go-to! Make sure to strain the mixture before applying it to your hair, as getting the pulp out of your kinks and curls will be a nightmare. If you’re craving intense moisture, pair this with our  Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask or our Ultra Nourishing Guacamole Hair Mask, and if you’re looking to strengthen your hair, combine it with our Henna Strengthening Hair Gloss.

What are some great ingredients for high porosity hair?

Henna 

Henna is probably the ultimate protein treatment. It’s full of hair strengthening properties that basically rebuild the hair and protect it from further damage. Consistent use of henna can rebuild the hair strand by creating a protective layer of moisture and strength. It works by basically filling in the gaps in the hair cuticle, creating a stable layer of hair, and with time, henna can make breakage a thing of the past! It also helps repair split ends. Trimming the very ends of your hair every few months is a must if you want it to look and feel healthy, and adding henna to your routine will slow down the splitting and it has also been used to promote hair growth too! Henna shouldn’t be used more than two times a month for high porosity hair, and no more than once a six week (if at all) for low porosity hair. 

Top tip: When you use henna, always follow it up with a deep conditioner to balance out moisture levels! Henna is mostly and popularly used as a natural hair dye. The color deposit of henna can range from auburn to jet black and is an excellent alternative to drugstore hair dyes, which contain damaging and toxic ingredients.

Check out our Henna Strengthening Hair Gloss.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds have great regenerative properties. They are packed with fibre and protein, plus minerals like iron and magnesium. Fenugreek is often used in food, and is actually a delicious spice — it’s great for digestion and inflammation inside the body. On our hair, it’s able to strengthen the hair from the follicle, preventing hair thinning, while regenerating and restoring already thinning hair. It’s an excellent ingredient for people experiencing hair loss or anyone who wants to give their hair an extra boost! It’s also a source of protein. 

Porosity: Because fenugreek is rich in protein, it’s great for high porosity hair. If your hair is high porosity, you can use it twice a month to strengthen your hair. If you’re a low porosity girl, or protein sensitive, you shouldn’t use fenugreek more than once every 4-6 weeks.

Top tip: Our Intense Fenugreek Regeneration Hair Mask is a great shot of protein which will strengthen your hair, and the pumpkin perfectly balances it out by providing intense moisture.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a pure moisture boost, mix the pumpkin puree with our nourishing Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask.

BBO products with fenugreek: Intense Fenugreek Regeneration Hair Mask, Chebe Powder Growth Hair Mask

Apple Cider Vinegar

You’ve probably heard all about the amazing properties of ACV. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties work as a great way to clean the scalp, as well as treat itchiness and dandruff. ACV rinses are great for high porosity hair that’s prone to frizz. This is because it fills in the gap in the cuticle and seals in that moisture, helping it to take to styling more effectively. ACV serves to close the cuticle, therefore it may not be the most effective ingredient for people with low porosity hair. 

How to do an ACV rinse:

  1. You can use this rinse as the cleanser in your wash day routine. Use it after your pre-poo and before your deep conditioner. YOU MUST DEEP CONDITION AFTER TO IMPART MOISTURE INTO THE HAIR!
  2. Mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with some water – put it in an applicator bottle or a spray bottle for easy application to your scalp. 
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes then rinse it out. 

Note: This is also great to use in between cleansing days when you feel your scalp has product buildup. You can use some apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball, part your hair, and run the cotton ball over the parted sections on your scalp.

Normal porosity

Having normal porosity is a great place to be in – because it means your hair is able to let in moisture easily (unlike low porosity hair) and retain it (unlike high porosity hair). This means that you can use a combination of the aforementioned ingredients, and build your wash day and mid-week maintenance regimen based on what your goals are. Here are a few tips to figure out what your hair needs – and how you can tailor your routine of wash day to address those issues. 

How to determine what your hair needs on wash day

The easiest way to tell whether your hair needs a protein treatment or deep conditioning treatment is simply by feeling it. If your hair is dry to the touch and tangles easily, you probably need to add some moisture. If your hair is limp and has no elasticity (ability to go back to normal state after stretching), protein is the way to go. 

If your hair is dry…

If your hair feels dry to touch, a simple moisturizing treatment and you’re back on track. It’s recommended to deep condition your hair once a week to maintain healthy moisture levels. Deep conditioners are products that impart extra hydration to the hair. Go for our x masks.  

Apply generously to your hair, cover with a plastic bag or cap and let it sit for about an hour. When you have really dry hair skip the shampoo and just co-wash. Shampoo with major suds actually strips your hair of oils while it cleanses which actually dries your hair out even more. So after you deep condition just co-wash the deep conditioning treatment out.

What is co-washing? “Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, whether you’re a daily or a weekly washer. The result is something between squeaky-clean and second-day hair—that is, smoother, softer, and easier to manage.” – Real Simple. To put it simply use the conditioner as you would the shampoo. Same cleaning, no suds.

If your hair is protein deficient…

Protein deficient hair is very weak. It probably doesn’t hold a curl or shape very well anymore, it breaks really easily, and it just looks limp and lifeless. In the same vein, if your hair has too much protein, it’s going to snap…literally. Henna and cassia are two excellent natural sources of protein. Henna is an Ayurvedic herb that adds strength and a layer of protection to the hair. It helps fill in the gaps in the hair’s cuticle that are making it weak. Cassia is similar to henna in that it fills in gaps and strengthens the hair, but cassia stands out because it softens and conditions the hair, making it more manageable. Go for one of these if your hair needs a boost of strengthening!

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