How To Care for High Porosity Hair

How To Care for High Porosity Hair

The term “hair porosity” is a bit of a buzzword these days in hair care circles. Many hair care experts have discussed the virtues of treating high and low porosity hair, with entire routines and product lines catered around these hair types. But what exactly is hair porosity, and how can you tell if you have high or low porosity hair? Read below for a breakdown of what this term actually means, as well as understanding how to best treat your hair type if you do have high porosity hair.

What is hair porosity?
For those unfamiliar with the concept of porosity, it basically describes an object’s ability to block or allow water to pass through it.  In the instance of something like a sponge, being extremely porous is a good thing, as it allows the sponge to absorb massive amounts of water, which is perfect for cleaning or absorbing a spill.  When it comes to something like a boat, however, you want as little porosity as possible to prevent flooding and sinking.

Thus, when applied to hair, porosity refers to how easily hair allows moisture to penetrate or escape it.  Hair’s porosity is determined by how tightly packed the strand’s outer cuticle layer is, with a tighter packed cuticle being less easy to penetrate and being much better at holding on to moisture, making it a low porosity hair type.  On the other end, a loose cuticle layer is easily penetrated by moisture but also loses moisture very easily, making it a high porosity hair type.

Which porosity are you?
To test your hair porosity, fill up a glass of water and place your dry hair strand into the water.  If you notice your hair sinks immediately, it means your hair is high in porosity and absorbs the water immediately. If it is low in porosity, it will sit for a bit before slowly sinking.

Caring for high porosity hair
Because high porosity hair has such a loose cuticle layer, it is extremely bad at retaining moisture. As a result, those with high porosity hair tend to have dry hair and are prone to breakage and hair damage. Thus, it is paramount that those with high porosity hair take extra care in maintaining their hair’s health and preventing moisture loss.  Some key practices include limiting the amount of times one shampoos their hair to twice a week at most, along with limiting the use of heat styling tools and harsh chemical treatments. If using a styling tool, be sure to use a high-quality tool that contains infrared or ionic heat technologies to help preserve the outer cuticle layer and prevent excess moisture loss.

Thankfully, high porosity hair is incredible at absorbing moisturizing ingredients, which allows you to easily care for your dry hair with rich, hydrating ingredients on a frequent basis.  Regularly apply a hair mask or leave-in conditioner with as rich of a product as possible.  The more porous your hair, the more moisture your hair can absorb!

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