Okay…full disclosure. Before writing this post I did not know what hair porosity was, and how it applied to my hair. I didn’t even know how to determine my hair porosity. So as a true techie, I began to research the term on the internet.
If you search the phrase “Hair Porosity” you will find a lot of information on the subject and even more images that show a strand of hair under a high powered microscope. Well since I don’t have a high powered microscope at my disposal (have to look into getting one of those ;-)). I needed to further research how to find my hair porosity.
WooHoo!! I found a way to judge my hair porosity and all it took was a few strands of hair and a glass of water. So I did the test and found my hair was of low porosity. In the strand test, the hair did not sink to the bottom of the glass after a long period of time had passed. This explains a lot, not to mention this information could probably save me from purchasing the wrong hair care products that will not work for my hair anyway.
Low Hair Porosity is basically the hair cuticle’s inability to absorb moisture due to the cuticle of the hair shaft being very compact which does not allow moisture to easily enter or leave. Hair with a low porosity level is more resistant to chemicals and tends to reject product rather than absorb it. Yipe, that sounds about right
So what does this mean?
Having low porosity hair simply means that the hair has a hard-time allowing moisture in and allowing moisture to leave. It will take a little more work to get and keep hair moisturized.
So how do you take care of low porosity hair?
- For those with low hair porosity, you should consider using lighter more liquid based products. These products will not just sit on top of the hair leaving it oily or greasy.
- Co-washing is your friend (or at least it has been my friend). Since water is the ultimate moisturizer for low porosity hair. Co-Washing allows you to keep your curls clean and hydrated.
- Look for products using more alkaline ingredients that will help lift your cuticles.
- Apply moisturizers (and even sealants) to damp hair. this will assist in the moisturizer to soak into the hair better
- Use Humectants since they draw moisture from the atmosphere into your hair.
- Deep conditioning with heat via a hooded dryer, steamer, conditioning cap, or even simply wrapping a hot towel around your hair. This will assist the conditioner to penetrate hair more effectively
- Use the Baggying Greenhouse Method method. To use this method simply apply the conditioner of your choice and then cover your hair with a plastic cap.
- Minimize the use of protein rich products and focus on moisturizing products.
- Do not overuse products with low pH levels (below 5.5/6) which will close the already tight cuticle
- According to some natural hair experts; you should look for hydrolyzed rice, silk, and wheat protein. They have components that are good for penetrating low porosity hair. However; oat, animal keratin or corn-hydrolyzed proteins tend to be too large to penetrate low porosity hair.