You may consistently hear the term ‘porosity’ in many natural hair conversations, blogs or websites but aren’t completely sure what this term means. In short, hair porosity is the rate at which your hair absorbs moisture. Hair porosity is categorized as low, normal (or medium) and high levels of hair porosity.
If you’re unsure where your hair falls in the line of its porosity, it’s easy to determine by completing a hair porosity test. Simply put a strand of your clean, product-free hair into a glass of water. This is how determining the porosity of your hair works:
Conduct a Hair Porosity Test
- If your hair sinks to the bottom of the glass immediately, it is high porosity
- If your strand floats toward the top of the glass and it takes time for it to sink to the bottom, it is low porosity
- If your hair sits in the middle of the glass and doesn’t sink to the bottom or float, it’s considered medium, or normal porosity. (Congratulations!)
High Porosity Natural Hair- What does it Mean?
As you watch your hair sinking quickly to the bottom of the glass, you’re probably saying to yourself; ‘ok, my hair is high porosity. Now what? First, understand that high porosity natural hair has openings to allow water and moisture to flow through. You will find that your hair will absorb the moisture from product and oils quickly. However, moisture retention is an issue, so it’s likely you may suffer from dry hair that is vulnerable to breakage and shedding.
High porosity hair gets frizzy easily, especially when the atmosphere has a high level of humidity present. This hair also tends to be dull and fall flat when humidity levels are low. Because the hair cuticle is structured with open gaps, the moisture goes in, then releases back out immediately.
Bear in mind that hair porosity can be changed due to lack of proper hair care. For example, if you had normal porosity hair but have used excessive heat and chemicals in your hair and find that your hair no longer retains moisture and vibrancy, you may now have high porosity hair.
How Should I Manage High Porosity Natural Hair Care?
There are many different ways to care for high porosity hair and ensure that it is healthy and can perform its best, as well as retain that much needed moisture it craves. An ACV rinse helps high porosity hair to fill in those empty spaces that don’t allow for good moisture retention. Try this Green tea and ACV hair rinse to treat high porosity hair and give your scalp a great cleansing. This ACV rinse protects and seals the follicles of the hair shaft to help hydrate those thirsty locks and refreshes and invigorates the scalp. It’s also a fantastic rinse for those that suffer from dry, itchy scalp and dandruff.
Green Tea ACV Rinse for High Porosity Hair
2 Green Tea Bags
1 Cup of hot (not boiled) water
2 Tablespoons of ACV
Tea Tree Oil
Let the green tea bags steep in the cup of water. Detangle your hair and add some avocado oil to your natural hair. Massage the avocado oil into your scalp and into the roots and tips of your hair while the green tea bags steep in the water. Add the vinegar and two drops of each essential oil. Remove the tea bags, then add the mixture to a spray bottle. Mist the ACV rinse on your hair and scalp and leave the mixture on for twenty minutes. Wash it out with cool water.
What Kind of Products Should I use for High Porosity Hair
Aloe vera gel, aloe vera oil and avocado oil are illustrious, all-natural treatments for high porosity hair. It’s imperative to use hair products that utilize aloe, avocado and other natural ingredients to care for your natural high porosity hair. These ingredients will seal moisture in to protect the hair. Avoid silicones and sulfates at all costs.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips to preserve and treat your high porosity natural hair. These tips should be integrated into your routine hair care regimen. Following these guidelines will help grow, treat and allow your high porosity hair to perform its best and be bouncy, shiny, healthy and vibrant as a result.
Detangling- Detangling your natural hair properly and regularly is a must to minimize the likelihood of damaging your hair. Natural hair is more prone to damage when it’s tangled, as the hair can become split or break off. Hair should always be detangled when it’s slightly damp. Never detangle dry or fully wet hair as that is when the hair is most vulnerable to breakage. Detangle with care and use a conditioner in your hair while you detangle to guide the comb through each strand easily.
Detangle your hair by section and use a wide tooth comb to make passing through the hair easier. Once each section is detangled, make sure to secure each separately with a large clip designed specifically for natural hair, as these won’t pull. This will keep it tangle-free and separate from the rest of the hair. Avocado oil is a fantastic natural detangler. Massage some into your scalp and completely through to the tips of your hair to ease the detangling process and seal moisture into the cuticles of your hair.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- Yes, high porosity natural hair is constantly in need of moisture. You can utilize a natural hair moisturizer to keep your hair hydrated and enriched in between washes. The moisturizing process helps your hair retain its bounce and will keep your hair soft to the touch. The key to properly moisturizing is using natural products that seal the moisture into the hair follicles. Hydrate regularly to keep your hair healthy.
The following are methods to keep you hair regularly hydrated and enriched:
- Deep Conditioner- A deep conditioning treatment for your hair at least once a week (once every two-weeks for finer hair types). Intensive masques may be needed for more damage and hair that is denser. These masques and intensive conditioners can be done once a week as well.
- Leave in Conditioners- Leave in conditioners add that extra body you want to your hair and continue to hydrate through the day. Leave in conditioners should only be used on clean hair to prevent it from becoming weighed down. Avoid conditioners with silicone.
- Protein Treatment for Natural Hair- High porosity hair requires extra protein as it’s vulnerable to breakage and damage from being overly dry. Protein treatments will keep your hair protected from the elements and allow for moisture retention throughout your hair.
- Follow the LOC Method for Moisturizing Natural Hair- The LOC method for natural hair care (Leave in, Oil, Cream) is the perfect methodology to use for sealing moisture into your natural hair after washing. Whether you use a co-wash or a shampoo, avoid unnatural ingredients for your hair at all costs.
- Properly Moisturize Your Hair- To distribute the hair moisturizer evenly, begin with a dry head of hair. Massage the moisturizer throughout your hair from the root to the hair tips. Moisturize in sections. You can use avocado oil to naturally detangle your hair as you moisturize it. If any of your hair has lost its shape, you can scrunch it to bring it back to life.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals- Harsh and unnatural chemicals like texturizers, relaxers and colorants with ammonia are some of the worst ingredients you can use in your hair. These chemicals dry your hair out even further, leading to dry, damaged locks that are in need of extreme TLC. Over time, you will find that your hair may even begin to break off and shed.
Avoid Heat Styling- Although a sharp straight style can look lovely, you should avoid heat styling as often as possible. Try and reserve styles that require heat to achieve to special occasions. When blowing your hair dry, you can achieve great volume by blow drying your hair upside down and using a diffuser. Use the cool setting instead of hot on your high porosity hair.
Be Gentle- The way you manage your hair is essential to its health. Avoid combing and brushing your hair when it is dry. Avoid overly tight styles that pull at the roots of your hair, which can cause edge loss. Use protective styles like twist outs and bantu knots, roller sets and rods, which will keep your curls vibrant.
Using these hair care, management and preservation tips for your high porosity natural hair, you will be treating your hair with love, and it will show. You’ll notice a difference in the way your hair looks, feels and the rate of its growth. Rock your natural curls, queens!
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