Although the term “hair porosity” seems intimidating, it’s really quite simple! Hair porosity can be easily understood as the hair’s ability to engross and maintain hydration and moisture. When one’s has high porosity it’s cuticle is often more vulnerable to damage and breakage. Even more, hair that has high levels of porosity is more likely to develop cracks and cavities, which fail to prevent moisture from taking over the hair structure. When this happens, the hair becomes tangled and frizzy, feeling dry and gnarly.
Similarly, yet not exactly the same, those who have hair with low porosity levels have hair, which is ultra sensitive to protein, causing it to feel dry, dehydrated, and easily breakable. This is because hair with a low porosity is made up of cuticles, which rest flat as they constrict the hairs cortex. This constriction prevents the hair from becoming moist and hydrated, which leads to hair product build up, causing the hair to feel dry and fragile.
Clearly, the circumstances of both high and low porosity are far from optimal. Contrary to the previous, hair with a normal porosity has the ability to absorb the hydration it craves, and even maintain this hydration. Since the hair cuticle is in an ideal condition, it feels healthy and smooth, looks shiny, and is able to maintain volume.
How Porous Is Your Hair?
If you’re not sure where your hair falls on the porosity scale the “float test” an east way to find out.
Start be filling a small bowl with room temperature water. Put a few strands of clean hair into the water. You can gather this from the hair that slips onto your comb or brush when you’re detangling your hair post-shower; It’s important that the hair is clean to achieve the best results. Let the hair rest in the bowl or water for about three or four minutes, being sure to watch it the whole time. If your hair sinks to the bottom of the bowl, it has high porosity. Consequently, if your hair remains to float after four minutes or so, it has low porosity. Finally, if your hair sinks at a slow, steady pace, it has a normal porosity.
Now that you have a solid understand of what hair porosity is and how to figure out just how porous your hair is, here are a few tips on how to manage your hair, regardless of its porosity levels.
- If you have low porosity: you should be focusing on opening the hair cuticle to let moisture in! An awesome (and relaxing) way to do this is by throwing a towel into the clothes drier while you saturate your locks with an argan oil or grapeseed oil based hair mask. Warp the heated towel around your head to make sure the oils reach their full potential.
- If you have normal porosity: keep doing whatever you’re doing – it’s working! Do you have any tips to share? Post them in the comments.
- If you have high porosity: you need to focus on deep conditioning treatments. Some options include an aloe and coconut oil hair mask, or a raw egg mask. Try to use hair products which are meant to hydrate and restore dry and damaged hair.