Natural hair thrives on moisture. This is why hair porosity is important. In simple terms, porosity is how hair is able to soak up and retain moisture. Knowing the type of porosity one's hair is, helps in taking better care of it to improve its health.
Types of hair porosity
There are basically three types of hair porosity - low, medium and high. Low porosity means the hair is unable to soak up moisture easily. This type of hair is usually very dry. Water tends to settle on the hair shaft and form water bubbles instead of penetrating. This usually happens with tight curls hence predominant among people with 4C hair.
High porosity, on the other hand, is when the hair is able to soak up moisture easily. As a result, it loses moisture just as easily as it soaks it up. This happens often on loose curls.
Medium porosity is in between. The cuticles of medium porous hair are in between very loose or tightly bound together. Most people either have low or high porosity.
Characteristics of hair porosity
- Hair cuticles are very compact making it difficult for moisture to penetrate
- Products used usually sit on top of hair and absorb slowly
- Air drying hair takes a while
- Hair has a lot of proteins consequently making it relatively dryer and more susceptible to breakage
- Usually resists colour treatments unless bleached
- Product tends to build up easily
- More prone to dandruff
- Requires heat during treatments to allow for easy penetration of products
- Absorbs moisture easily
- Loses moisture easily
- Air drying takes a shorter time
- Frizzy most of the time
- Hair is more likely to break or shed compared to the others
- Usually comes in the form of loose curls
- Doesn't have a lot of elasticity
How to take care of low and high porosity hair
- Deep condition during every wash day and use heat to allow for easy penetration of products whilst deep conditioning
- Protein treatment once every 4 to 6 weeks. Don't over-do it. Hair already has proteins
- Opt for lightweight oils (avocado, sweet almond oil, etc) to allow for easy penetration. Heavy oils tend to sit on hair and weigh it down
- Products used on hair should be water-based, especially leave in conditioners.
- Avoid using products with silicones, sulfates and parabens
- Moisturize diligently
- Protect your hair with a satin or silk bonnet or scarf at night
- Don't soak your hair with so much product in order to avoid product build up.
- Use low heat or air dry hair after washing
- Opt for products rich in moisture and relatively heavier oils
- Protein treatments are a must
- Be gentle with your hair during wash days and styling
- Go in for protective styles to avoid over-manipulating hair
- Be careful when detangling hair
- Use lukewarm water when washing hair
- Section hair during detangling and washing
No matter the level of porosity of your hair, having a healthy regimen helps in growing and maintaining luscious hair. Ultimately, do what works for your hair.
Share this post
- Tags: almond oil, avocado oil, bad hair practices, blowdry, castor oil, Deep Condition, dye, good hair practices, Hair Growth, hair oils, hair products, hair treatment, healthy hair, heat, heat protectant, heat styling, heavy oils, high porosity, light oils, long hair, low heat, low porosity, moisturize, natural hair products, natural oils, oils, oils for hair, porosity, porous, protective style, protective styles, protective styling, protein treatment, retain length, satin bonnet, shedding