Determining and Understanding Your Hair’s Porosity

What is Porosity?

Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. Some of the more common things that impact your hair’s porosity include exposure to heat and chemical processes. Knowing your hair’s porosity will help you choose the correct products to increase/improve your hair’s health.

How to Determine Your Hair’s Porosity

There are multiple ways to determine your hair’s porosity. I have found that most of the times, these tests can have skewed results since you could very well have some sort of product on your strands at the time you test them. To combat this, I have chosen my favorite two methods and detailed them below! Try out both tests to ensure consistent results.

Porosity Test: Saturation Time

To determine your porosity with this test, you need to observe how long it takes for your hair to absorb water. To do this, simply fully saturate your hair with water.
• If it generally takes your hair 2+ minutes to be fully saturated, then you have low porosity hair.
• If it takes your hair little to no time to be fully saturated, then you have high porosity hair.

Porosity Test: Dry Time

To determine your porosity with this test, you need to observe how long it takes for your hair to dry after washing it.
• If your hair pretty much takes forevaaaa to air dry , then you have low porosity hair.
• If you hair dries rather quickly, you have high porosity hair.

Ok, I now know my porosity. What does it mean?

Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair is resistant to opening up for water and moisture. This hair type benefits most from lighter oils that prevent buildup.

Tips for Low Porosity Hair

Since low porosity hair is resistant to receiving moisture, its best to use products containing more alkaline in order to help lift the cuticles to allow the moisture in. I recommend purchasing a steamer and using this occasionally in your hair care routine to encourage deeper penetration of the products. If you have low porosity hair, I’m sure there have been plenty times where you have noticed that after applying certain creams, oils, and moisturizers that they tend to just sit on top of the hair and weigh it down. With this hair type, it’s best to apply products to damp hair and to use lighter oils.

Medium Porosity Hair

Medium porosity hair easily allows moisture to enter. This hair type tends to be the healthiest of the 3 and benefits from regular deep conditioning and moisturizing.

Tips for Medium Porosity Hair

If you have medium porosity hair, it just means that your hair has little to no problem holding and retaining moisture. Overall, this type of hair requires very little maintenance. It is recommended to continue doing regular deep condition treatments and to follow commonly recommend hair care tips.

High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair easily absorbs water, but struggles to retain it. This hair type benefits most from deep conditioning products that restore and heal damaged cuticles.

Tips for High Porosity Hair

For this hair type it is especially importantly to deep condition the hair in order to seal the damaged areas on the cuticle’s surface. The best way to get this type of hair to hold moisture is to use oils, butters, and silicone based products to seal the hair. STAY AWAY FROM HEAT. High porosity hair tends look dry, be frizzy, and feel coarse. This is because your strands have been exposed to a large amount of damage. To combat the frizz, it’s best to rinse with cold water, use heavier oils, and incorporate protein treatments to fill the gaps and holes. Try this combo from My Kinky Roots to improve your high porosity hair.

 

Determining and understanding the porosity of your hair is absolutely essential to encouraging and promoting healthy hair. Join the natural hair challenge to receive updates and tips on the proper way to care for your strands.

What hair type do you have? Find my answer in the comments below.

5 Comments

  1. Janice
    November 2, 2017

    Awesome post! My hair stays so dry and it takes about 2 minutes to get wet. You have opened my eyes to the different hair products I need to buy. Very informative.

    Reply
    1. adubose
      November 2, 2017

      Janice, it sounds like we have the same porosity. I would get so frustrated buying all kinds of different oils and creams when all along, those products were never meant for my type of hair.

      Reply
  2. Basedonyou.bytye
    November 2, 2017

    First let me start off by saying your blog is super cute. I’ve been natural for 7 years now and I haven’t regret it. My hair is healthier and growing much faster than it was compared to when I used hair chemicals. I love this article. Will surely share this. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. adubose
      November 2, 2017

      Thank you! I stumbled into being natural (another story for another day haha), but I definitely can tell that my hair is tons healthier. 7 years?! Wow! How often do you actually have to take time to style your hair?

      Reply
  3. Basedonyou.bytye
    November 2, 2017

    First of let me start off by saying your blog is super cute. I have been natural for 7 years now and my hair has never been so strong and healthy compared to wheni used hair chemicals on it. Will surely share this post. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

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