The degree to which your hair can absorb and retain moisture is how the term hair porosity is defined.
When your hair is described as low porosity hair, it means moisture is not easily absorbed into your hair’s shaft because of its structure. Thus, water and other moisturizing products may not be hydrating your hair as needed.
Here, all you need to know about why you have low porosity hair, how you can identify it, and what you can do to care for and protect it.
Why do I have low porosity hair?
Genetics are often the source of why your hair is low porosity or not. The outermost layer of your hair—the cuticle—has a super tight arrangement and may lay on top of one another when your hair is low porosity. This makes it more difficult for hydrating products and water to distribute moisture to your hair shaft because your cuticles have no space between them.
Believe it or not, excessive heat styling and chemical treatments do not lead to having low porosity hair. It’s the opposite in fact, as these processes can alter and cause damage to the cuticle layer, thus creating space in between them.
How do I know if I have low porosity hair?
Increased cleansing and drying time
As moisture isn’t easily absorbed by your strands, it can be difficult to get your hair thoroughly wet and cleansed when it’s low porosity. The denseness of your hair will also increase drying time.
Products sit on top of your hair, instead of being absorbed
Instead of easy absorption that leads to hydration and moisturizing, you’ll find that products simply sit on the surface of your curls and coils when your hair is low porosity. Touching your hair post-application may even result in the product rubbing off on your hands, as opposed to sinking into your strands.
The porosity hair test
On properly cleansed, dried hair, place a strand of your hair into a glass of water.
- If your hair floats to the top of the glass = your hair likely has low porosity.
- If your hair floats around the middle of the glass = your hair likely has medium porosity.
- If your falls to bottom of the glass = your hair likely has high porosity.
How do I take care of low porosity hair?
Opt for cleansers that contain glycerin.
Glycerin is an ingredient that helps to hydrate and infuse moisture because it helps product to easily permeate the hair shaft. Luckily, all our shampoos contain organic vegetable glycerin, so you have multiple options to choose from.
Steam weekly with a deep conditioner.
Opening your cuticles is the best way to get moisture into your hair shaft. So weekly deep conditioning treatments with a steamer or hooded dryer will help deliver that hydration to your curls and coils.
Choose no-residue styling gels.
Definition and softness are desires shared by so many with curls and coils. It’s why we made our best-selling flaxseed gel that will leave your hair feeling moisturized, while elongating your strands after shrinkage.
WRITTEN BY: Faith Cummings