So what is Porosity and why is it important when it comes to your hair? Essentially, Porosity is how your hair absorbs and retains moisture.
The porosity of your hair can affect how well oils and moisture can pass in and out of the outermost layer of your hair, known as the cuticle. So how porous is your hair and why does it makes a difference? Essentially, there are three different types of hair porosity:
Normal Porosity – this type of hair can hold moisture for an extended period of time. It also holds styles well and accepts color more easily and evenly.
Does your hair acquire buildup easily, and has a hard time receiving moisture, but the moisture will last for a long time once moisturized? You most likely have Low Porosity hair.
- Your hair struggles to keep moisture.
- Your hair doesn't work with conditioners.
- You need heat to activate conditioners.
- There's always buildup and dirt in your hair.
- You get more dandruff
- Your hair is too oily or too dry.
- You spend ages drying your hair.
There are a couple of ways to go about hydrating low porosity hair.
- Condition regularly. In addition to a regular conditioner, use a deep conditioning treatment in the shower when the hair cuticle is open, and a leave-in conditioner too.
- Use enriching, yet lightweight oils after you get out of the shower to lock in and seal in moisture to your clean hair.
Low Porosity – Cuticles are tightly clamped down, preventing moisture from entering the hair. Low porosity hair often takes longer to saturate with water, including natural oils. As a result they sit on the hair, causing buildup.
With a low Porosity hair type the structure of your hair doesn't easily allow moisture to be absorbed into your hair shaft. This can make it harder for water to saturate your hair when it's washed. Because this type of hair tends to repel moisture, it can also be more challenging to process and style. Low Porosity hair also has a hair fiber with overlapping cuticles. These overlapping cuticles create a barrier preventing water and moisture to penetrate. Your hair will benefit from more alkaline ingredients (not acidic). Low porosity hair should adopt the LCO (liquid, cream, oil) method to effectively absorb moisture. Start with wet hair, followed by a cream to seal and moisturize ends, and finish it with a natural oil. We recommend our Absolute Hair Oil and All in One Aloe to complete this.
High Porosity – Highly porous hair that has raised cuticles, allowing moisture to go in and out quickly. This type is often characterized by frizzy, straw-like hair. You can tell that your hair is porous if it absorbs water quickly in the shower even when it has products on it, but then also dries up quite quickly.
The problem with high porosity hair is the moisture escapes quite easily. Heavier moisturizing and sealing products work best at sealing high porosity hair. After showering, it is necessary to use a natural oil on strands. After moisture is imparted to the hair, it needs to be sealed in and the hair’s pH level needs to be adjusted. This can be done with an application of aloe vera, which will lock in the moisture.
Protein is also your friend because it helps fill in the gaps on the hair shaft. You still must balance out protein treatments with moisture but they should be a regular part of your hair regimen. Our Nourish Conditioner is a great way to maintain that base of moisture in the hair.
About the author:
Alexandria has a B.Sc. Nutritional Science Degree from the University of Manitoba, and has completed Quality Management Certification and GMP/HACCP Training. She is passionate about nutrition, health, and wellness, and loves to share her passion and knowledge with others.