Let's Talk Hair Porosity

If you have been following Natural Hair trends, then it may seem like Natural Hair has seriously become a science.  There is always something new that one must learn in order to achieve the perfect curl.  We hear terms like protein, moisture retention, sulfates, silicone, and of course, porosity.  We hear so many hair/beauty gurus talk about the importance of hair porosity, so let's dive into all things relating to Hair Porosity.

What is Hair Porosity?

"Porosity is the quality of being porous, or full of tiny holes. Liquids go right through things that have porosity." - Vocabulary.com

If you aren't achieving the ideal twist out or other curly style, then hair porosity may be the culprit. With that being said, hair porosity basically deals with your hair's ability to absorb liquid (moisture) and also retain it. There are three main types of porosity: Low, Normal, and High Porosity.

How do you know your porosity type?

There is a simple hair strand test that you can perform at home to try to uncover your porosity level.  You can take a strand of your hair (hair must be clean and free of product) and place it in a bowl or glass of water. If your strand of hair remains near the surface of water (resists sinking) you have low porosity. If the hair sinks slowly, your hair porosity is normal.  Lastly, if the hair sinks immediately, you have high porosity hair. 

If you are still having difficulty trying to determine your level of hair porosity, Shea Moisture has an online quiz that you can take by clicking Porosity Quiz.  Once you have determined your hair porosity, you now have the information to make informed decisions about your hair.

Why Hair Porosity Matters 

Hair porosity can determine which hair products are going to work well for your type of hair.  Using the wrong hair products that are not designed for your hair can leave your hair feeling limp, dry, and dull.  Many people believe that knowing your hair porosity is the most important factor for determining the right hair regimen needed to create the "perfect" hair.  Below are some suggestions for each level of hair porosity.

Low Porosity

Because this type of hair resists moisture due to the cuticle of the hair being closed, you need to focus on ways to open the cuticle.  This will allow your hair to absorb moisture.
  • Use Heat - Deep conditioning under a hooded dryer, or simply using hot water to shampoo your hair can allow you cuticles to open to prepare for the moisture retention
  • Limit your use of protein-rich hair products - These products have been known to leave your hair feeling stiff.
  • Use Cherry Cola or Baking Soda - these products are known to help reduce product buildup; which is major issue for those with Low Porosity Hair
  • Recommended Products:  Shea Moisture Low Porosity Line
    Source: Shea Moisture

Normal Porosity

Hair with a normal porosity is considered to be the most desired.  This porosity level requires the least amount of maintenance.  

  • Routine Deep Conditioning - This will help maintain a healthy porosity level
  • Limit Heat - Although this type of hair can handle many types of styles; constant heat styling may alter your porosity level
  • Continue to use the products that are working for you

High Porosity 

This type of hair absorbs too much moisture but doesn't retain it.  The goal is to adopt a regimen that will allow the hair to retain moisture.
  • Reduce use of heat and chemicals - heat and chemicals can increase the gaps that are present in your hair cuticle.  This will only increase your problem
  • Trim hair regularly to rid yourself of damaged hair and promote healthy hair growth
  • LOC Method -  this method will help you to lock in the moisture. Put products in your hair in this particular order:
          • Leave in Conditioner
          • Oil (jojoba oil, coconut oil)
          • Cream - use a heavy, thick cream such as shea butter
  • Recommended Products: Shea Moisture High Porosity Line
Source: Shea Moisture

Have you tested your hair porosity?  If so what is your porosity level?  Which methods work well for you?  Do you believe Hair Porosity is really that important?  Let me know in the comments!

** These are the opinions of my own, I am in now way sponsored by Shea Moisture.  Results may vary.**

1 comment

  1. I read your article. it has helped me a lot to understand the porosity of my hair.Your work is good keep it up as well !I have a question? if i use coconut oil on my hair. so Will it be into absorbed my hair.My hair type is low porosity hair.