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Hair Porosity – What does it mean?

Hair Porosity – What does it mean?

August 4, 2016

Hair porosity
What does it mean?


Hair Porosity Levels

Hair porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture. Your genetic makeup plays a huge role in what determines how porous your hair is. External factors such as heat styling, chemical processing, and even exposure to the elements can affect your hair’s porosity levels. It is almost crucial to know and understand the porosity level of your hair to help you choose the right products for a hair regimen that results in well-moisturized, strong, healthy hair.

The most popular way to determine your hair’s porosity level is to demonstrate ‘The Water Test’, or ‘The Float Test’. You’ll simply take a few strands of your hair that has been shed, from a comb or brush, and place them in a cup of water for several minutes. If your hair strands float at the top of the cup, your hair has low porosity. If the strands sink in the water immediately, your hair has high porosity; however, if they sink slowly it is considered normal porosity.

Low Porosity

Low porosity hair has a compact cuticle layer with overlapping scales that lay flat. Hair with a low porosity level is resistant and often repels moisture when you try to wet it. You’ll notice that it will take your hair a long time to dry and products tend to build up on curls rather than absorb into your hair.

For low porosity hair, use moderate heat when deep conditioning which will aid in opening up the tightly bound cuticle. A steamer, hooded dryer, or even a warm towel are great ways to prep your hair and help products better absorb into the hair. Avoid protein rich conditioners as they lead to additional build up on low porous hair. Also, be sure to apply styling products on hair that is damp and not drenched.

Normal Porosity

Hair with a normal porosity level requires little maintenance is usually easily manageable. The cuticles lay flat easily allowing moisture to penetrate the hair. This level holds styles very well and your hair can be colored with expected results. You should continue to include deep conditioning treatments in your regimen to maintain regular product absorption.

High Porosity

High Porosity hair has raised cuticles, gaps and holes, which let too much moisture into your hair, leaving it prone to frizz. Your hair will often look and feel dry to the touch. High porous hair will absorb water very quickly and it is often necessary to use more products when styling. It is best to use leave-in conditioners and moisturizers with this level of porosity that’ll lock in moisture into your hair. The L.O.C Method – Leave-in, Oil, Cream – is a great way to layer and seal in the moisture.

When styling try to avoid heat when possible and always rinse with cold water to seal the hair’s cuticle to prevent frizz. Be sure to use anti-humectants in climates with high heat and humidity. This will help seal your damaged cuticles and prevent them from absorbing any excess moisture within the air.

Written by Julie Thomas


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