What Is Hair Porosity?

Somewhere near the top of the confusing hair care lingo list is “hair porosity.” It’s a term that even hair enthusiasts aren’t familiar with. Nonetheless, knowing your hair porosity may be the key to unlock your best possible hair care regimen. In this article, we will give you a clear definition of hair porosity, why it’s important, and how to find out your hair’s porosity level.

Hair Porosity Defined

Put simply, hair porosity refers to the degree to which your hair can absorb and hold onto moisture. The hair’s cuticle (outside layer) plays a huge role in the absorption and release of moisture. There are three levels of hair porosity - let’s look at them below:

Low Porosity - The hair cuticles are close together, which makes the hair resistant to moisture.

Medium Porosity - The hair cuticles are neither close together nor spaced apart, which means that the hair effectively absorbs and retains moisture.

High Porosity - The hair cuticles are spaced out, so the hair accepts moisture but doesn’t retain it for long.

Why Hair Porosity Matters

If you know the porosity level of your hair, you can craft a better hair care regimen. How? Let’s look at how your regimen might look for both low porosity and high porosity hair.

Low Porosity Hair Regimen

Being that low porosity hair is naturally resistant to moisture, you should make it a point to foster moisture penetration.

To maximize moisture penetration for low porosity hair, do the following:

●Consider adding water to your conditioner to enhance the product’s absorption.

●When conditioning your hair, put on a heated cap to open up your hair cuticles.

●Reach for lightweight water-based products - these will be able to penetrate your hair’s cuticles better than heavier cream-based or oil-based products.

High Porosity Hair Regimen

Though high porosity hair quickly absorbs moisture, it has a hard time holding onto moisture. So, an extra protective hair regimen is necessary to maximize moisture retention and minimize breakage.

Here are some tips to help shape your hair regimen if you have high porosity hair:

●Limit the use of heat tools, as they can severely damage vulnerable high porosity hair.

●Use heavier products that will coat the hair strands and provide long-term hydration.

●Consider adding a regular protein treatment to your regimen to strengthen the hair. 

●Incorporate a hydrating leave-in conditioner into your regimen.

How To Determine Your Hair Porosity

The float test is the most popular way to figure out what your hair porosity is. Below, we will give you simple instructions for how to do the test.

1.Take a few clean hair strands and drop them into a glass of water (don’t condition your hair before the test).

2.Leave the hair in the water for about 5 minutes.

3.Look in the glass and note the hair’s position.

Interpret the results as follows:

●If the hair floats, you have low porosity hair.

●If the hair neither floats nor sinks entirely to the bottom of the glass, you have medium porosity hair.

● If the hair sinks, you have high porosity hair.

Now you know exactly what hair porosity is and what it means for your hair regimen. We hope that this article helps you in your journey to healthy hair.

Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement. 

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