What Is Low Porosity Hair?
First, let's discuss hair porosity. Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb moisture. Low porosity means your cuticles are tight, making it difficult for moisture to seep into your cuticle and retain the moisture.
What Are the Different Types of Hair Porosity?
There are three categories of hair porosity; low, normal, and high. Each type of hair porosity is accompanied by unique characteristics.
Low Porosity Hair Characteristics
If you have low porosity hair, you may notice your hair takes a long time to dry. Additionally, the products you use sit on top of your hair like a thick film instead of absorbing the moisture. Even natural oils can become a hassle because they also sit on top of your hair, causing a sticky buildup which makes it difficult to style and manage. When washing your hair, it takes forever to become fully saturated, easily becoming your least favorite thing to do.
Normal Porosity Hair Characteristics
Normal porosity hair is full of bounce and volume due to its elasticity. Normal porosity hair does not require as much maintenance as low porosity hair. It easily retains moisture, styles well, and does well with color, remaining bright and vibrant instead of becoming dull after a few days of coloring.
High Porosity Hair Characteristics
High porosity hair easily absorbs moisture and water, but high porosity hair requires the use of a lot of products. Although high porosity hair dries quicker than low or normal porosity hair, hair with high porosity is often frizzy and dry.
How Can You Determine Which Type of Hair Porosity You Have?
There are three tests you can perform to determine if you have low, normal or high porosity hair. Finding out the type of hair porosity you have helps better understand your hair and its needs to select the best products for your hair. These three hair porosity testing methods include the hair shedding, water, and strand test.
The Hair Shedding Test
To conduct the hair shedding test, get a cup of water in a clear glass. Comb your hair, take the hair strands that shed from the comb and drop them in the water. If your hair strands are floating, you have low porosity hair. If your hair strands are sinking slowly, you have normal hair porosity. If your strands of hair sink to the bottom of the glass like a rock, you have high porosity hair.
The Water Test
The water test is another test you can perform to help determine hair porosity. For the water test, use a spray bottle and lightly mist your hair. Observe your hair to see how well it absorbs the water. If the water sits on top of your hair, you have low porosity hair. If your hair absorbs the water quickly, you have normal to high porosity hair.
The Strand Test
Another test you can perform is the strand test. This test is the most in-depth of the three. To conduct the strand test, stretch a small section of your hair in different areas of your head, including the crown, front line, temple, and nape. For the strand test, place a small section of your hair between one of your fingers, often the index, and your thumb. Slide your finger from the tip of your hair towards your scalp. Notice how your finger slides on your hair. If your finger is able to move easily up your hair strands, this is a sign you have low porosity hair. Normal hair porosity has a smooth texture and your finger will slide up the hair strand easily. If you have high porosity hair, you will have difficulty sliding your finger on your hair. High porosity hair feels rough and is dry.
What Are the Signs of Low Porosity Hair?
If you're wondering if you have low porosity hair, there are a few indications that will help you determine your type of hair porosity.
You've Got the Look
People often think having low porosity hair means your hair is weak, damaged, and fragile. That's not true! Your hair maintains a dull appearance when you have low porosity hair, and although your hair is healthy, it doesn't have a lot of elasticity.
Bring On the Products
When you have low porosity hair, the hair products you use will sit on top of your hair, which means your hair is not absorbing the product. You may try all the products your friends suggest and expect to get the same results they do, but this will probably not happen. The products that work well for your friends will not work for you because of the type of hair porosity you have, but don't get too discouraged. Low porosity hair responds well to light hair products, such as hair milk, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter. Light hair products work well with this type of hair because it does not leave behind a sticky residue that sits on your hair, making styling and maintaining easier.
Water Doesn't Work
You may think, like many people, that trying to saturate your hair with water will get the job done. Unfortunately, water doesn't do the trick. Why? Remember that low porosity hair means hair doesn't absorb moisture, including water. Attempting to saturate your hair using moisture is pretty much a mission impossible in this sense.
Using Heat With Conditioners
Heat works wonders for low porosity hair. Using heat helps with allowing the conditioner to nourish your hair follicles, resulting in rich, hydrated hair. Once you wash your hair, gently and lightly towel dry it so your hair is still damp, but not dripping wet. Thoroughly work the conditioner throughout your hair and put a plastic shower cap over it. Your body heat does the rest of the magic.
Clarifying Your Hair
If you have low porosity hair, you will benefit from clarifying your hair at least once per month. Clarifying your hair helps remove product buildup from the styling products you may use, including gels, grease, and other products you use to obtain a particular hairstyle. Depending on how much of the styling products you use, it may be a good idea to clarify your hair multiple times each month.
Hair Color Doesn't Last Long
Due to the type of hair porosity you have, it's not friends with hair color. Although you can color your hair, be prepared to get a different color than what's specified on the box. The hair color you choose will often be darker and duller when you color your hair.
A Nice Wash With Dirt
You may feel like you are not washing your hair enough or thoroughly due to the residue of product buildup that seems to always remain in your hair, regardless of how many times you wash it. You can try using fewer styling products to reduce the amount of build up your hair holds.
Playing the Waiting Game for Your Hair to Dry
Having low porosity hair is no picnic and properly caring for it can be frustrating and time-consuming. Once you manage to wash your hair, you have to dry it, and that seems to take forever. Because of the time it takes for your hair to dry, planning to go places means early mornings or late nights; sometimes both.
Where Is This Dandruff Coming From?
Yes, unfortunately, your hair is prone to dandruff. Most people have dandruff, so it's common, but that doesn't mean you want it. Low porosity hair is prone to dandruff, and there's no magic potion to combat it. Using an anti-dandruff shampoo may help.
How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair
Moisturizing low porosity hair is tricky because it doesn't retain moisture, so how do you do it? Moisturizing your hair requires a routine and patience. You can start with is a pre-poo treatment with a conditioner that contains oils or butter, such as shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamin E. Adding a pre-poo treatment to your hair care routine adds luster to your hair, making it soft. Use a pre-poo treatment at least one hour before you shampoo your hair. If you're pressed for time, using a steamer or thermal heat cap requires only 30 minutes before you shampoo your hair.
Deep Condition Your Hair
If you're going to deep condition your hair, and you should, your hair needs to deep condition for at least 30 minutes. Adding heat while your hair is deep conditioning gives you the best results. You can use a plastic cap or a hooded dryer to add heat to your hair while conditioning it.
Satin Works Wonders
You need to sleep with a satin cap on your head at night. You should also invest in a satin pillowcase. Cotton fabric may be great for pretty patterns and keeping you cozy, but satin is a material that works wonders for your hair. During the winter, fleece or flannel sheets are not a bad idea, but make sure you invest in a satin cap to wear on your head at night.
Dealing With Low Porosity Hair
Low porosity hair can be difficult to manage because of how it responds to moisture, but don't give up just yet. When you use the right products for your hair type, the possibilities are endless. When purchasing hair products, make sure they promote a healthy scalp and provide nourishment for your hair. Silicones and proteins are not the best products for low porosity hair. Bentonite clay for hair can help with revitalizing and adding sheen to it. It also helps removes toxins, buildup and impurities, promoting strong, healthy hair. Why is Bentonite clay your hair's best friend? It reduces frizz, conditions, softens, moisturizes, and promotes healthy hair growth. What's not to love? Adding Bentonite clay into your hair care routine is something your hair will thank you for. Having low porosity hair doesn't have to be a bad thing - it's time to embrace your hair and love everything it has to offer.