How To Determine Your Hair Porosity For The Perfect Wash-N-Go
Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or how many products you try, your hair is still either extremely dry or a frizzy mess? When it comes to hair care, it’s easy to get lost in the waves of information and seemingly infinite product options that leave you dazed and confused. Luckily, there is one key factor that could resolve a fair portion of your hair woes, your hair’s porosity.
Simply put, porosity is how able your hair is to take in moisture. It’s broken down into three categories: low, medium and high. To determine where you rank, you’ll need to complete a simple porosity test by placing a strand of hair in a glass of water. After a few minutes, take note of where the strand floats – this will determine your porosity.
- Floating towards the top = low porosity
- Floating in the middle = normal porosity
- Floating towards the bottom = high porosity
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So what does this all mean?
If you have low porosity, it means your hair cuticles are compact and more resistant to receiving moisture. You may find that your hair feels perpetually dry and doesn’t absorb product. As a result, low porosity hair may also experience greater product buildup and it’s advised that you avoid heavy butters and excessive use of oils.
The best solution for taking care of low porosity hair is moisturizing it when wet/damp. The water forces your cuticles open and will allow moisture from products to get in. An even better way to install moisture? Regular deep conditioning using heat via steamers or hooded dryers combined with products containing hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil or jojoba oil.
Do be careful with frequent protein treatments, because while protein is great for fortifying strands it can block out much-needed moisture if done in excess. Shoot for one every 4-6 weeks.
Those of you with normal porosity hair probably notice that your strands tend to feel well moisturized at all times. Your hair doesn’t require lots of product but you do want to be careful when using heavier oils for daily moisturizing as they can weigh the hair down and deliver lifeless styles. Stick with lighter products like puddings and/or gels to keep styles in place.
Feel like your hair is constantly devolving into a ball of frizz? You can thank having high porosity hair for that. High porosity means your cuticle is almost always open, meaning that moisture exits just as quickly as it enters.
High porosity hair may be the result of genetics or chemical/heat damage. For this reason, protein treatments are your friend. They will help to build up “walls” around your hair shaft to help retain moisture. And if your high porosity is due to damage, it would be wise to cut away the damaged bits and start anew.
Additionally, you may find it helpful to use products labeled as anti-humectants to help reduce frizz as they repel water. This may sound counterproductive, but anti-humectants typically contain silicones that will help lock in moisture infused before but keep additional, frizz-inducing moisture out.
There is a lot that goes into giving your mane the TLC it deserves but determining your porosity level can play a large part in finding what works for YOU!
Do you know your porosity level and have any advice to share? Comment below!