How to: Learn About Your Hair Porosity
What is your hair porosity? What does this mean?
Hair can have 1 of 3 porosities or a mixture: low, medium or high.
Porosity is the condition of the cuticle of your hair. Knowing your porosity will help you care for your hair based on how it accepts moisture. Your porosity can change with new growth and regular trims, so checking your porosity yearly is a good practice or if you notice changes in your curls.
If your curls are not "porous" meaning there is little to no disruption in the cuticle of your hair, you have low porosity hair. Low porosity hair is usually a result of minimal heat styling, not color treated or processing and has suffered very little damage. It does not absorb moisture as easily and there are no breaks in the cuticle to penetrate, but the good news is, once moisturized, it stays that way!
Low Porosity Tip: Use steam to deep condition. Similar to pores on your skin, the cuticle of your hair will open with steam and allow the conditioner to penetrate and hydrate your curls. Always rinse with cool/cold water to seal in moisture!
This hair cuticle has small fissures or cracks that allows moisture to be absorbed and retained. Regular deep conditioning will help this porosity maintain moisture replacing what is lost over time through the cracks.
Curls are often times damaged by heat or chemicals from coloring, straighteners, etc. They have big gaps or holes in the cuticle that make it easy to accept moisture, but makes it challenging to retain. Goes is easily and comes out easily. No staying power!
High Porosity Tip: After deep conditioning, seal with an oil. As we learned in school, water and oil don't mix! The deep conditioner, which is water based, will have a hard time crossing the oil barrier of the seal. Be sure to use high quality oils suited for hair: jojoba, olive, coconut, argan, almond, grapeseed, avocado. Many are moisturizing and great for sealing too!
Do the hair porosity test!