Let's Talk About Hair Porosity
Have you ever wondered why your hair has felt dry after you have applied water, a moisturizer, or an oil? Ever wonder why some products seem to sit on your hair and make it feel greasy, oily, or heavy? Have you ever thought about why you have tried the same products and techniques as your curlfriend and the style and or outcome was drastically different? Well if so, it is probably due to your hair porosity.
Hair porosity!!! Girl...what is that? I am so glad you asked. Hair Porosity- is how well moisture penetrates the cuticle layer of the hair shaft; simply put its the ability of your hair to absorb and maintain water and moisture. Depending on the condition of your hair, your cuticle layers could be very open allowing a lot of moisture to enter. On the opposite side of the spectrum, your hair’s cuticle layers could be very tight and preventing moisture to penetrate it.
There are 3 types of Hair Porosity levels and I will tell you about a test you can conduct at home that could assist you in determining what your hair porosity is and give you a little information about each one. *side note* This test isn't 100% accurate but is something you can try at home.
The HAIR POROSITY TEST
What you will need:
Clear or Glass Cup or Bowl
Room Temperature Water
Clean Strands of Hair
Fill the cup/bowl up about 3/4 of the way up with water and let it sit until it gets to room temperature. Place the clean hair strands into the water and let them sit for at least 10 mins.
If the hair stays on top then you have low porosity hair, if the hair goes to the middle of the cup of water and stays then you have normal porosity hair, if the hair sinks to the bottom then you have high porosity hair.
Now that you have done your test, let me tell you a little information about your results.
If your strands of hair floated at the top then your hair is low porosity. This means that your hair cuticles are tight and compact and really resistant to opening for water and moisture, so the water couldn't get in causing the hair to stay afloat. That is why it may feel like certain products just sit on your hair instead of penetrating and absorbing into the hair. In order to combat the resistance try to use lighter hair products with humectants. Use lighter oils, such as sweet almond and jojoba oil, that don't weigh the hair down. Use a leave in conditioner after you wash. You should wash and condition your hair with warm water, use steamers, and do deep conditioning treatments under a hooded dryer. These techniques will aid in opening up your hair cuticles to allow product, moisture, and water in. Try to avoid a low pH product because they have high levels of acid that keep the cuticles closed and also apply product while the hair is damp instead of soaking wet or dry.
If the strands went down to the middle then you have normal porosity hair. Your hair cuticles are "perfect" they open and close in a way to help your hair maintain the right amount of moisture and allows product to penetrate the hair easily. You don't have to use specific types of products or do certain techniques to get your hair to absorb moisture. You can pretty much use any product that isn't damaging to your hair. Pretty Lucky!!!
Your hair strands went to the bottom and stayed, so you have high porosity hair. Your cuticles are so open they absorb water and moisture quickly and have a hard time holding onto that moisture, as it can escape from the hair easily because of the open or raised cuticles This type of hair is similar to low porosity where you have to apply more effort into maintaining moisture into the hair. This type of hair is more prone to frizz so you should try using heavier creams or butters along with heavier oils, such as olive, coconut, and black castor to seal in the moisture. You can also try protein rich products such as avocado, aloe, and wheat protein as the protein can help fill in the gaps in the hair cuticles.
I hope this was beneficial and will help you better understand your hairs behavior and points you into the right direction of caring for it.
Take Care & God Bless!!!
Tiffany Nichols Design
Uplifting, Educating, and Promoting the Beauty of Natural Hair