Let’s talk about hair porosity. First, the definition. Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture and can be defined in three categories: low, normal and high. Low porosity hair cannot absorb any moisture because of the tight cuticles in the hair shaft. Normal porosity hair is pretty much a perfect balance of hair that can retain and release moisture. High porosity hair can take in a lot of moisture, but it can not retain it because of the loose cuticles in the hair shaft. Now, the best way to figure out what kind of porosity your hair has is to do a water test. Simply, take a strand of clean hair(no products at all) and sit in a glass or bowl of water. If it sinks immediately, you have high porosity hair. If it does like mines and stays at the top for hours on end, then you have low porosity hair. If you hair floats in the middle of the water, then that is normal porosity(lucky you).
Why is this so important? Well, as a natural woman we all know that water and moisture is our friend. Because of the natural curl pattern in the hair, it takes a longer time for moisture to travel down the shaft and get to the scalp to retain moisture. With the different types of porosity, there are different products and techniques that are needed to keep your hair from being dry, brittle, and damaging. Natural hair is meant to be healthy and knowing the porosity type ensures that you are doing all you can to keep your hair moisturized, strong, and growing properly. People often think that natural hair only grows for some women and that is not the case at all. It is about learning the proper way to treat YOUR hair and ensuring the right techniques and products are working for you. Remember, moisture equals growth.
When it comes to products on low porosity hair, you want to use products with more alkaline. A treatment that I am eager to try(I’ll be doing this Sunday on wash day) is the “cherry lola treatment.” It is basically baking soda(the alkaline that is needed) mixed with water. You apply it to your hair like you would during a pre-poo, and then rinse out. Also I highly recommend a bi-monthly apple cider vinegar rinse. I do mines on the weeks that I do not shampoo my hair, to give my hair the acid that it needs. It helps to retain moisture and any product that you put on your hair after it has been rinsed out. Another thing is using a steamer on your hair weekly. This helps to open up the hair cuticles and allows more retention.
For high porosity hair, it is more about the techniques and methods than the actual product because the hair takes in moisture but doesn’t retain it. The best thing for this kind of hair is to use lots of shea butter and coconut oil and perform the LOC method. This helps to seal in the moisture that will normally run out of the hair. Also protein treatments are perfect for this kind of hair because it helps to strengthen and tighten the hair cuticles.
And normal porosity, you really don’t have to do much lol. You have the best porosity because it retains and doesn’t take in too much. As long as you keep the hair regimen up properly and not cause any damage, your hair will be fine.
For me, I have always struggled with keeping my hair from feeling and looking dry. I would douse my hair with grapeseed oil and then two seconds later, it would look like a brillo pad. I never understood what I was doing wrong until I finally realized I had low porosity hair. We often forget that this natural hair thing is a true process, and three years in I am still learning new things. But that is a part of the journey. You learn more and you are more educated on how to make your hair better and healthier, and in turn, you love it even more. Now I can retain moisture for days and keep styles in all week because I simply learned what works best for me. I think hair porosity is the first and most important thing to learn about your hair because it makes the difference in styling and hair growth. A simple test can make a world of a difference, so make sure you find out ASAP, if you haven’t already and let me know how it goes. What are some difficulties you are having with retaining moisture? What are some products that work great for you? I want to hear from you 🙂