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Know your hair porosity level

August 22, 2022

Know your hair porosity level

Good Morning Sugar, 

I hope you slept well. If you didn't, you'll want to check out an article about optimizing you sleep next week. For today, I want to share something nobody really talks about-you hair's porosity level. 

Like your hair type-fine, curly, thin and thick, porosity is the type or level in which your hair absorbs and holds onto moisture. Is your mind blown right now? Mine was when I first learnt this. 

What does hair porosity mean? Well, it essentially explains the level at which your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture and how porous your cuticles are. Although it is mainly genetic, your porosity level can change or improve depending on how you treat it and its exposure to the elements. Different porosity levels require different amounts of moisture and treatments to optimize its strength and shine. 

So first, let's do the test and then I'll explain a little about each type. Ok, is your hair clean and dry, free from products? If no, go wash it, come back and read the article, wait for it to dry and then do the next steps. Grab your brush and pull out all of the hair from it so it's clean. Brush your hair. Get a clean, clear glass cup, fill it with water and pull out one or a couple strands of the hair from the brush and gently place them in the cup. Now sit and watch what it does. I kinda feel like I am back in elementary school explaining this. Hahaha. 

Back  to it... Did your strand sink? Sink halfway? Did your strand stay at the top?

Interesting right? 

If your strand stayed at the top...it means that you have a LOW porosity level. NORMAL porosity hair will slowly sink down staying in about the middle of the glass and HIGH porosity hair will sink quickly to the bottom. 

So what actually does this mean? It means that in order to optimize your hair it will require a slightly different method of caring for it plus slightly different products. 

Low Porosity hair has a cuticle that lays flat making it hard for moisture to get in an penetrate. Does your hair take a long time to get wet? That is because the cuticle is harder to get to creating a shield like barrier that water and products just slide off of. If this is you, you'll want to reduce shampooing your hair to 1-2 days per week and use products that have no parabens and sulphates as they are drying. You also want to avoid protein rich products as they can build up on the hair preventing moisture to get into the cuticle. Using a Pre Wash oil is your best friend as it will help lock moisture in when cleansing. 

Normal Porosity hair simply means that it is balanced. This porosity means that the cuticle is open just enough to let moisture in and stay there keeping your hair strong and hydrated. With Normal porosity you don't have many restrictions on products you can use however you will want to maintain a good hair regime with good products to prevent it from moving into the high porosity zone. To do this you'll want to use a light shampoo and only at the root, deep condition weekly, use a moisturizing pre wash oil, emollient rich conditioners for deeper absorption, and take vitamins that support healthy hair and growth like B7 or commonly known as biotin. 

High Porosity hair need a little more attention and care a sit can be more fragile as the cuticle is highly damaged and although can receive moisture, it won't hold onto it. Environmental elements like too much sun, chlorine, too much heat and chemicals and even being too rough handling it can add to the damage plus increase breakage and prevent growth. All hair can really benefit from oiling prior to washing it, washing it less, being gentle with it, colouring it less and using less heat when styling. It is also important to use non drying products free from sulfates, parabens and silicones. Silicones are often found in inexpensive products creating lots of shine and lustre UNTIL your hair quickly becomes dry and brittle. 

Whatever porosity level you hair is currently at please know that it can change. Seasons, hormones, age and environment can change the integrity of your hair but if you do the following, slowly but surely it will improve. 

    • Use a Pre Wash Oil to help absorb and lock in moisture
    • Wash 1 - 2 days a week if you can
    • Limit chemical dyes
    • Limit heat styling
    • Moisturize your hair with non-drying oils or conditioners daily 
    • Be gentle in every way. Gentle brushing, drying, styling 
    • Eliminate drying agents like avoid parabens, silicones & sulfates.
    • Take vitamins good for your hair, skin and nails like B7
    • Clarify your scalp and shaft when build up occurs. ( once a year min )

I hope this helped. You can do it! xo 


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