The phrase “hair porosity” refers to the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture and oils. If you have low porosity hair, it indicates that the structure of your hair prevents moisture from quickly absorbing into the cuticle. This makes it more difficult for water to soak your hair when you wash it. Understanding low porosity hair will help in these instances.
Hair porosity is typically divided into three categories:
- Low porosity: Cuticles that are close together.
- Medium porosity: hair Cuticles that are less tightly bound.
- High porosity: Cuticles that are more widely spaced.
Let’s look at the cause, some of the characteristics of low porosity hair, as well as some ideas and guidance on how to care for it properly.
What causes low hair porosity
Genetics play a big role in how your hair absorbs and maintains moisture. However, while genetics can influence porosity, it isn’t the primary determinant.
Your hair can be damaged over time by blow drying, bleaching, straightening, overwashing, and using harsh treatments and the hair cuticles may get elevated and open as a result of this, making it more difficult for your hair to retain moisture.
Characteristics of low hair porosity?
There are several characteristics of low hair porosity. I have narrowed it down to the most common ones.
- Water beads settle on your hair
Hair with a low porosity has cuticles that are tightly closed together. When this type of hair is exposed to water, the water tends to bead up on the hair’s surface and roll off rather than being absorbed. The water molecules are too large to penetrate the hair , causing the hair to bead up on the surface.
- Washing and drying time takes longer
Hair with a low porosity has a tight cuticle structure, making it difficult for water and other products to penetrate.
It also takes longer to dry the hair than it does for other hair types. If this is something you’ve noticed, you probably have hair with a low porosity.
- Products, such as hair oils and or conditioners, remain on the surface of your hair.
Low porosity hair is densely packed on the outside, making product penetration difficult. As a result, hair products tend to accumulate on the surface, perhaps resulting in a buildup that weighs down your hair.
It’s critical to choose the proper products for your low porosity hair if you want to get the most out of them.
- Your hair is resistant to moisture and oils, so they have a hard time entering and or exiting the cuticle
The cuticles of low porosity hair tend to overlap and are closely packed together. Water, as well as treatments like oils and conditioners, have a tougher time getting moisture to the hair shaft since there are no gaps between the cuticles.
Now that you know the characteristics of low porosity we will now discuss how you can find out if you have low porosity hair.
The float test
- Fill the bowl with water and leave the hair to sit in the bowl for 2-4 minutes.
- Take a few strands of hair from your comb or brush and place it in a bowl.
If the hair floats right to the top of the bowl, then you have low hair porosity. The hair float to the middle of the bowl, you then have medium hair porosity. If the hair sinks to the bottom of the bowl, you have high hair porosity.
Now that you know what low hair porosity is, its characteristics, and how you can test for it, it is also important to know how to care for it.
How to care for low porosity hair
- Steam your hair
One way of caring for low porosity hair is to steam your hair. Now, this is important because the steam opens the hair cuticles, thus allowing moisture to enter.
Bonus tip, the heat that comes from steaming your hair can aid in hair growth as it encourages the circulation of blood flow.
A simple way to steam your hair at home, without a steamer, is to wrap your hair in a shower cap. Place a towel in the microwave for a few minutes. Put the hot towel over your shower cap, once its done.
- Wash your hair regularly with shampoo
Washing your hair will help remove any product build-up and provide a high chance of any new products to be absorbed, don’t only rely on co-washing.
- Wash your hair with sulfate shampoos.
We are told to stay away from sulfate, but when you deal with hair that has low porosity, sulfate-free shampoos are not your best option.
Rather go for shampoos that have sulfate as they are great for removing product residue that other shampoos don’t remove.
- Deep condition your hair with heat.
Adding heat to your deep conditioner is a simple trick that helps your conditioner bind to your hair, thus allowing you to get more benefits out of the treatment.
Although it’s good to know your hair’s porosity, knowing and understanding low porosity hair is also important to understand how to treat it.
5 Benefits of knowing your hair porosity
°Allows you to treat your hair better
°Allows you to understand what products are best for your hair.
°Teaches you how to effectively moisturize your hair
°Knowing your hair porosity means knowing the structure of your hair
°Helps you understand how to maintain and keep your natural hair healthy.