What is hair porosity?
Hair porosity means how well your hair absorbs water and retains moisture. Knowing your hair porosity type can help you choose the best products for your hair. Low Porosity, Medium Porosity and High Porosity are the three basic types, although, people can have a combination of porosities too.
Low Porosity / Not Porous Hair:
You have low porosity hair if your hair layers are tightly closed together making it hard for your hair to absorb water and retain moisture. In this case, you will have very shiny hair because they do not absorb oils and conditioners easily resulting in greasy and easily limp hair. Hair doesn't take in a lot of treatments, including oils and conditioners, and styling products don't soak in as well as they should. If you have low porosity hair, don't be discouraged by these qualities. Low porosity hair isn't "bad hair"; in fact, with the right ingredients in the right products, it's simple to keep it healthy. All it needs is TLC and patience!
Medium Porosity / Normal Porous hair:
Hair has medium porosity when the cuticle layers are compact and flexible, allowing it to absorb and retain moisture. Medium porosity hair has the following characteristics: It shines, but not as much as low porosity hair; it takes dye well; it tolerates some heat; it does not readily turn greasy, even when using a decent quantity of oil products or conditioners; it has a lot of volume and keeps just the right amount of moisture.
High Porosity / Porous Hair:
Hair cuticles layers are wide open in high porosity cases. This allows unrestricted water absorption, but moisture is quickly lost. Moisture retention is a problem! Hair with a high porosity has the following characteristics: Because hair cuticles are exceedingly porous and fragile, moisture penetrates easily into strands, but it also loses or is unable to keep it. Hair is dull and dry, and it dries fast mainly due to the hair being damaged because of exposure to external stresses such as excessive heat and dyes. This does not imply that your hair is hopeless. High porosity hair, like low porosity hair, requires special care.
All hair starts off with a low porosity, and as it gets longer, the porosity may vary depending on the environmental stresses. Mixed porosity refers to hair that has varying levels of elevated cuticles along its length, such as low porosity at the roots and high porosity at the ends. This occurs because exposed hair ends are more prone to damage, hair is dry, and split ends are more common. Yes, a mixture of low and high porosity is possible!
How do I test my hair porosity type?
There are many ways to determine your porosity type but here we are with the simplest yet very accurate and economical test with all the equipment right in your kitchen!
The Floating Test
First, to get rid of buildup, wash your hair well and air dry it. Remove remaining excess buildup with an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse. Using your hands, squeeze out any extra water from your hair; do not dry with a towel. Allow nature to handle the rest.
After you've washed your hair, don't use any treatments like conditioners or styling products.
Use two glasses of water, either natural spring water or boiling water that has been chilled to room temperature. Water at 20° Celsius is considered room temperature.
When your hair is totally dry, divide it into two sections and take a strand from each. In each glass of water, drop one hair strand.
Do not touch or move the strand in water. Allow it settle for around 10-15 minutes.
Low Porosity: Hair strand will float at the top of the container.
Medium Porosity: Hair strand will sink to the middle.
High Porosity: hair will sink to the bottom of the glass.
Mixed Porosity: There are 2 ways to determine if you have mixed porosity:
(a) Some hair from the strands will float at the top while some will sink to the bottom of the glass
(b) Hair strand may be lower near the roots (float at top in glass) & porous at the ends (sink to the bottom of glass).
Each porosity type is treated differently, for the treatment of different hair porosities stay tuned for the next hair-care blog post!