Have you been constantly struggling with dry, dull and damaged curls despite following a good hair care regime? Then, you should understand that there is something that has gone amiss. The porosity of your hair could be the major cause for all your hair care concerns. So before you start a proper hair care regime, you should check the porosity of your hair.
Friends, if you are new to this term ‘Porosity’, do not worry, this article is for you. In this article, you will get to know what porosity is, how to determine the porosity of your hair and choose the right product, to harness the maximum benefits of the hair care products. Getting to know the porosity of your hair will help to pick the hair care products that are best suited for your hair. Read the whole article, so that you do not miss any valuable information.
What Is Hair Porosity
The porosity of your hair determines its ability to absorb and retain moisture in the cuticle. The cuticle is the outer layer of your shaft which determines how much liquid can be absorbed by your hair.
Simply put, determining the porosity of your hair helps to choose the right hair care products which help to maintain a healthy, defined and well-nourished curls.
What Can Be The Possible Reasons For Hair Porosity?
The porosity of hair is genetic, but some external factors such as excessive use of styling tools, chemical treatments, exposure to sunlight, pool water and pH imbalances also contribute towards the porosity of your hair.
Types Of Hair Porosity
Depending upon the placement of cuticles, porosity can be categorized into 3 major groups:
- Low Porosity Hair
- Normal Porosity Hair
- High Porosity Hair
For your better understanding, let us go through a detailed evaluation of all the three types of hair porosity
Low Porosity Hair
In low porosity hair, the cuticles are tightly packed and clamped down. In this type of hair, the hair does not absorb moisture quickly, but when it does, it retains the moisture for a longer time.
Characteristics Of Low Porosity Hair
- It repels moisture and is difficult to hydrate.
- It is prone to product buildup.
- It is difficult to chemically treat low porosity hair.
- It is less prone to breakage and split ends.
- It has low resilience.
- This type of hair does not have much volume and lacks elasticity.
It is generally considered that low porosity hair is healthier in nature.
Normal Porosity Hair
In normal porosity hair, the cuticles remain loosely packed as compared to low porosity hair. It is much easier to take care of normal porosity hair as the liquid or moisture penetrates easily into the hair shaft. You are blessed; if you have a normal porosity hair as your curls absorb the right amount of the required moisture and also retain it.
Characteristics Of Normal Porosity Hair
- It requires less maintenance, as it is naturally healthy.
- It is bouncy and has good resilience.
- It can absorb moisture easily and is also good at retaining it.
- It is less prone to split ends and hair breakage.
- It helps style very well.
This type of hair does not get dry, frizzy very easily, is not prone to product build-up, and your tresses look thick, bouncy and voluminous.
High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair has raised cuticles which are very loosely packed. One of its peculiarities is that it absorbs moisture very quickly but is not able to retain it, thus leaving your hair dry and frizzy. This type of hair is more prone to breakage and dryness because of which your hair usually looks and feels extremely dry.
Characteristics Of High Porosity Hair
- It is highly porous, thus absorbs moisture very quickly.
- It is more prone to split ends and hair fall.
- It is not able to retain moisture, gets dry and frizzy very quickly.
- It is coarse in texture.
- It needs high protein.
High porosity hair is difficult to maintain as it loses moisture very quickly, so experts recommend investing in deep conditioners which hold moisture for a longer time.
How To Conduct A Porosity Test For Your Hair
Before starting your journey towards attaining well-nourished and hydrated hair, it is very important to have a detailed evaluation of the type of your curls. By determining the porosity of your curls you will be in a better position to choose the right hair care product for your hair and treat your hair accordingly. Now that you are aware of the types of hair porosity, you may want to conduct a porosity test for your hair as well. Consider trying any one of these tests to indicate under which category your hair falls.
1. Float Test
Clean your hair to get rid of any product buildup. Take a few strands, drop it in a glass of water, and observe closely. If your strand settles down at the bottom immediately, then the porosity level of your strands is very high, if it floats on top, then your strands have low porosity. If your strands float on top and then start sinking slowly, then the porosity level of your strands is normal.
2. Spray Bottle Test
Another easier way to identify the porosity of your hair is the spray bottle test. Take a small portion of your hair, spray some water onto your dry curls and observe how fast your strands absorb water. If your hair drinks up the water immediately, your strands have a high porosity level. It water sits on the surface for some time and slowly gets absorbed into the strands, then it is a normal porosity hair. If the droplets sit on the surface for a longer time, it is an indication that the porosity level of your hair is very low.
How Can You Improve Hair Porosity?
You might be wondering, “How the porosity of your hair can be increased”? Here we will be providing you a few insights on improving the porosity level of your hair. But there are a few factors that you need to consider like if the porosity of your hair is low due to genetic reason, then there is nothing much you can do to improve its porosity level.
But if the damage is due to external factors such as overexposure to UV rays, excessive use of styling tools and chemical treatments, then you should understand that it is high time you stop exploiting your hair. If the porosity level of your hair is low due to product buildup, then you can start using a clarifying shampoo to bring back the porosity level of your hair to normal.
Picking Up The Right Hair Care Product For Your Porous Hair
Now, you are well aware of how to determine the porosity of your hair, what could be the possible reasons for a change in the porosity level of your hair and how to improve it. Let us move on to our goal, i.e how to choose the right hair care products for your curls so that your hair can reap the maximum benefits of the product.
Before starting a hair care regime, you should have a thorough knowledge about your hair, and it's requirements so that you are well-equipped with the right hair care products to provide better nourishment and moisturization to your hair.
1. Low Porosity Hair
The closely arranged cuticles of the low porosity hair make it difficult for the hair care products to get absorbed into the shaft. But once absorbed, the moisture is retained in the strands. Here are the hair care products one can use to treat low porosity hair:
- Use a clarifying shampoo to clean your hair and scalp to get rid of product buildup.
- Use a good conditioning hair mask to hydrate and nourish your locks every alternate day.
- Hot Oil-Treatment works best for low porosity hair as it aids in opening up the cuticles. Try a hot oil massage with coconut oil, jojoba oil or argan oil.
- Go for protein-free conditioners and hair masks as they can be absorbed into the hair shaft easily and avoid product buildup.
- Use lightweight hair care products, for better absorption.
2. Normal Porosity Hair
Normal porosity hair is easy to maintain as the loosely arranged cuticles absorb and retain moisture. This kind of hair reacts well to chemical treatments, and can be styled easily. But remember that overindulgence into chemical treatments and styling equipment can lead to dry, dull and damaged hair.
- Use a good shampoo and a hydrating mask or conditioner once or twice a week to keep your strands well moisturized.
- You can go for a deep conditioning treatment once a week to maintain healthy strands.
3. High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair is difficult to maintain as the cuticles are very loosely arranged and it absorbs moisture quickly but is not able to retain it. This type of hair is usually very dry, parched and frizzy.
- Use minimal or if possible no heat, on your strands to prevent drying out your strands.
- Regular deep conditioning treatments are a must for high porosity hair.
- Use a hydrating and protein-rich deep conditioning hair mask once or twice a week.
- Use cold water to rinse your hair as it helps to seal the cuticle.
- Detangle your hair gently to avoid hair loss and breakage.
- You can use a moisture lock leave-in conditioner to seal the moisture in your curls.
The beauty market is flooded with hair care products, don’t get carried by their marketing gimmicks. Choose a product based on your hair type and hair porosity, so that your hair care products yield a positive results in oder for you to flaunt your well-nourished, shiny and well-defined curls.
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