What is ‘high porosity’ hair, and how can you keep it looking good?🧐

Camila00Camila00
Jul. 22, 2020
Most of us think about our hair’s length, color and style, but have never considered how porous our hair might be. Here we take a look at what this means, and how it can influence the way you care for and style your locks.
What do we mean by ‘high porosity’ hair?
Porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, which in turn affects the way it looks, feels, and styles. There are 3 porosity categories, low, medium, and high – let’s take a look at the characteristics of each.
  • Low porosity hair has very tight cuticles which mean it has difficulty absorbing water and other types of moisture. It can be very dry, and treatment products may just ‘sit on the hair’.
  • Medium (or ‘normal’) porosity hair generally absorbs moisture, treatments and color better than either low or high porosity hair, because the cuticles are sufficiently raised to accept them.
  • High porosity hair has raised or even damaged cuticles, which mean it can absorb water and moisture rapidly. However, due to the raised cuticles, it can lose this moisture as quickly as it absorbs it, and it is this inability to retain moisture that causes high porosity hair to be dull, extra-dry and frizzy, tangling easily and struggling to hold a style.
You can quickly and easily test your hair’s porosity by dropping a few strands into a glass of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s high porosity, if it floats on the top, it’s low porosity, and if it’s somewhere in the middle, it’s medium porosity. Also, think about the amount of time it takes for your hair to dry. If it takes a day to dry naturally, or takes longer than average to blow dry, chances are it’s high porosity. If your hair dries within half an hour, chances are it’s low porosity.
High porosity hair can be caused by using harsh products, chemical over processing or excessive use of heated styling tools. You may need to consider changing the way you treat your hair to improve matters.
How to treat high porosity hair
If your hair is severely damaged, you may be best to have a major trim to remove at least some of the over-processed hair. You should also re-evaluate your use of chemical treatments and heated styling tools, as well as the products you regularly use to clean, condition and style your hair.
First, get rid of anything containing sulfates, unless it’s a specific clarifying shampoo used to remove product build-up – sulfates can be incredibly harsh and drying.
Next, consider incorporating a protein treatment into your regime. Look out for treatments containing keratin, silk or wheat proteins, which strengthen the hair by temporarily filing holes in the hair shaft. However, protein is NOT a moisturizer, and you’ll need to incorporate more conditioning than protein in your treatment. Use a deep conditioner after every wash, and if you can, leave it on overnight to help it really soak into your hair.
If you follow the LCO routine - liquid or leave-in conditioner, cream, oil – applied in that order, it will really help protect your new hair growth from becoming high porosity. Creams such as shea or mango butter give the hair the moisture it craves and following with oils such as olive or avocado can seal that moisture in, particularly if you focus on the ends of the hair, every night if necessary.
It may take time to see improvements in your hair’s condition, but by following these steps your locks will eventually become stronger and healthier again.
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