Is Leave-In Conditioner Good for Low Porosity Hair?

Low porosity hair has closed cuticles that block out moisture. This makes it difficult for this hair type to absorb water and nutrients from the products you use. So, is there a point in using leave-in conditioner on low-porosity hair? 

Leave-in Conditioner Can Be Great for Low Porosity Hair

Leave-in conditioners are designed to nourish and moisturize your hair. The issue with low porosity hair is that it doesn’t readily absorb moisture and nutrients from leave-in conditioner. They don’t penetrate low porosity hair as efficiently as they would with medium or high porosity hair.

You may think that using leave-in conditioner would be pointless, but that’s not the case. You just need to choose the right one and apply it in a specific way. Read on for some tips for choosing and applying a leave-in conditioner for low-porosity hair. 

Tips For Choosing a Leave-in for Low Porosity hair

If you have low porosity hair, you need to be careful which leave-in conditioners you choose. The wrong ones will sit on top of the hair rather than penetrating it. The following tips will help you choose the right leave-in.

Avoid Protein-rich Leave-ins

Protein-rich leave-ins can strengthen many hair types, but for low porosity hair, it’s not necessary and can even leave you with dry, brittle strands. So, we recommend that you avoid protein-rich leave-ins.

Choose Leave-ins With Humectants

Humectants help to reduce moisture loss, preventing dryness in low porosity hair. Not only does it keep the moisture in the strand, but it also pulls moisture from the air to increase hydration. Since it is so difficult to get moisture into this hair type, it needs all the help it can get. So, try leave-ins with humectants like glycerin and honey. 

Reach for Leave-ins With Penetrating Oils

Some oils simply sit on top of low-porosity hair while adding a greasy feel that’s difficult to get rid of. This doesn’t mean you should avoid leave-ins with oil; you just need to choose the right ones. Lightweight oils like jojoba or sweet almond oil are easily absorbed, even for sealed cuticles. They increase the moisture levels within the strands rather than sitting on the surface.

Maximize Leave-in Absorption

When your hair is wet, your cuticles open up a bit, slowly allowing your hair products in. Heat can also lift your hair’s cuticles for easier penetration. That’s why it is best to use a leave-in conditioner when your hair is still damp and warm from a shower. All of the moisture and healthy nutrients can then be absorbed to give your hair a much-needed moisture boost.

How to Use a Leave-in on Low Porosity Hair

To start, use your regular shampoo and conditioner to wash away any product buildup. Be sure to use warm water to open the cuticles as much as possible. Then gently squeeze your hair to remove excess moisture.

Start applying the leave-in conditioner at the tips, working it in as you move up the hair. Then apply the rest of your styling products and style as you desire.  

Though low porosity hair tends to repel moisture, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with dry, unmanageable hair. Choosing a leave-in conditioner with penetrating ingredients and applying it correctly is key to healthier low porosity 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, 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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