What is hair porosity and what does it mean for your hair?
If you’re reading this then I’m sure you’ve heard about the natural hair typing system, that categorises natural hair by the shape and pattern of hair strands (check this Instagram post out for some information).
But our natural hair is full of character and is effected by things other than it’s pattern. This is where hair porosity comes in. Some may have the same hair type but have different porosity levels and this means that the same hair type will behave differently.
So what is porosity?
Hair porosity describes how porous your hair strands are. How well your hair absorbs and retains moisture will depend on the porosity.
Knowing your porosity will help you identify key practices, that you can add to your hair routine to promote overall healthy hair.
Your hair can be described as low porosity, normal porosity and high porosity. Low porosity means that your hair structure is compact, so moisture cannot be easily absorbed. Normal porosity means that you’re hair strands are less compact with some gaps, allowing moisture in at a normal rate. High porosity means that you’re strands are porous. Moisture is easily absorbed, but is easily lost.
How to find your porosity?
You can do a test we like to call the sink test.
1. Take a piece of shedded hair or you can take hair from multiple parts of your scalp.
2. Then place one strand in a cup. If it sinks quickly, it is high porosity.
3. If it sinks slowly, it is normal porosity. Finally, if it floats it is low porosity.
Now you know your porosity, what is next?
Low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing moisture, however it can retain the moisture like a pro. This means that low porosity strands are prone to build up. Key practices:
- Moisturise your hair frequently with lighter water based products like any of our Moisture Mists
- Deep conditioning weekly with moisture rich deep conditioners and add our Ayurvedic Gloss
- Pre-poo with warm oil mixtures like our DEEP Serum or Soft Serum to help open up the hair shaft
- Use conditioners with humectants like honey or vegetable glycerin, these attract moisture
- Avoid the use of proteins frequently, only use when you hair feels damaged or every other month
Normal porosity levels allow moisture in at a level that is constant and it also lets out moisture at this steady rate. Key practices:
- Use moisturising products like our Moisture mists and lock in moisture with a natural serum
- Deep condition frequently with products containing protein on some weeks and without in other weeks
- Pre-poo's will help to create softer, moisturised hair, this can be done every other wash day.
At High porosity levels the hair strands are very porous, allowing water to be absorbed quickly and lost quickly. Key practices:
- Moisturise your hair with thick leave-in conditioners and any of our Moisture Mists
- Deep Condition with products containing protein weekly and add our Ayurvedic Gloss for a greater effect
- Seal moisture in your hair with oil based serums and butters
- Add oils like our DEEP Serum into your shampoos and conditioners