What is porosity? It refers to how efficiently your hair can take in and hold moisture. The outer layer of hair named the cuticle has the main role in this process. Although porosity is genetic, some aspects such as exposure, heat treatments, and chemical processing can affect it. If you want to have healthy and shiny hair, you should determine your hair’s porosity.
Determining Hair Porosity
If you are wondering how you can determine hair porosity, you can use one of these methods to determine your hair’s porosity.
The Float Test: After brushing a few numbers of your strands, put them into a bowl of water. Then, wait for 2-4 minutes. If your hair stays above the water; Therefore, you have low porosity. And if it sinks, you have high porosity.
The Slip and Slide Test: Just move your finger smoothly up to the hair shaft (to the scalp). If you sense any bumps on the way; Therefore, you have high porosity. But if you don’t feel anything, you have low porosity.
With its firmly bound cuticle layer and a cover of scales that lay flat, this type of hair is normally viewed as healthy hair. It has lots of sheens, particularly in a dark color. Low porosity hair is defensive against moisture and it is also
resistant to chemical processing.
It is also vulnerable to protein-rich deep conditioning products which leave build-up. It’s better that you use protein-free daily conditioners which contain humectants like glycerin or honey. We recommend using decent heat with protein-free deep conditioning treatments to open the firmly closed cuticle.
For this type of hair moisturization requirement, you should use moisturizers with lots of emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and mineral oil. Humectant products can also be helpful to add moisture to your hair. Light and liquid-based products like hair milk are a great option and won’t leave your hair oily.
If you have hair with medium porosity, don’t worry about maintenance that much. The cuticle layer absorbs the required amount of moisture and stops the essential moisture to leave the hair. This type of hair is much easier to style, and you can also curl and color it with an expected outcome. Although infrequent deep conditioning treatment with protein conditioners can be helpful but try to avoid protein in your daily hair care process.
High Hair Porosity
While damage from chemical processing, harsh treatment, or environmental damage can cause high porosity, but it can also be genetic. The open space in the cuticle layer can let too much moisture in and make hair vulnerable to frizz and tangling in humid weather. As mentioned, this type of hair absorbs a high amount of moisture which can make simple activities such as bathing, swimming, and shampooing harmful.
If you live in high heat and humid climate, make sure to use anti-humectants. This will fill the gaps of the damaged cuticles and prevent a high amount of moisture absorption.
Highly porous hair can also lose moisture simply just as it absorbs lots of it. Therefore, leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers can be very useful. In order to fill the space in your damaged cuticle, you can also use heavy hair butter.