Hair porosity: All you need to know about the health of your hair

written by Christina

Published on Sep 17, 2021

It is very common for women with curly hair to have dry and frizzy hair. And it is also very common for us women to try every single hair care product that we think can solve our dry and damaged hair problem. And most of the time we fail. This is because we never consider our hair porosity. I know this might seem alien to you but yes there is such thing as hair porosity. Let us explain to you what hair porosity is.

What is hair porosity?

hair porosity the float test

Hair porosity is the ability of our hair to absorb and retain moisture based on the condition of your hair cuticle. The more damaged your hair is, say from too much styling, the more porous it becomes. Too much hairstyling can damage the hair cuticles by lifting them from the hair fibres. Hair porosity can also be influence by genetics. Most women of African descent can have high porosity hair. This is because the cuticles of their curly and coily hair have more lifting points compared to that of straight and wavy hair. It can be classified into three categories: low porosity, normal porosity and high porosity

How to test hair porosity at home?

There are 3 categories of hair porosity: low porosity which means that the hair is in good shape, the cuticle is intact but water does not easily penetrate the hair strands. Normal porosity means that your hair is in perfect shape. Your hair absorbs water and retains them well. The last is the high porosity. This means that the cuticle is compromised. Water gets in the hair easily but escapes easily as well leading to dry and damaged hair.

how to test hair porosity

There is a hair porosity test that you can do at home. After combing through your hair, pick up the strands that fall off. Get a clear glass and fill it with water. Put the loose strands of your hair in a clear glass of water. If your hair floats, it means water cannot penetrate the strand and your hair has low porosity. If your hair stays afloat but slowly sinks, then your hair is in good shape and you have medium porosity hair. But if your hair strand quickly sinks, then your cuticles are compromised and you have high-porosity hair.

Low porosity hair is generally healthy hair. The cuticles are intact but are resistant to water and chemical treatments. This means that water takes time to penetrate the hair cuticle. Other than the hair porosity water test that we mentioned above, there are a few other ways to know if you have low porosity hair. If it takes some time to wet your hair in the shower. Or if it takes only a few minutes to dry your hair after the shower. Or if protein hair treatment does not work on your hair as expected, then you have low porosity hair.

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Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner

Stop breakage, strengthen hair fibres and promote growth
Can be used as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment
Great for natural, coloured and chemically treated hair

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Avocado Oil

For low porosity hair, it is advised to use products that attract or hold moisture on your hair. You can use avocado oil on your hair. Avocado oil will penetrate the hair cuticle and moisturize the hair strand from within.

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PURA D’OR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil

You can also use Argan oil to hold the moisture on the hair strand. Argan oil will form a protective layer of oil around the cuticle to trap in the hair’s moisture.

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If you have medium hair porosity, then your hair is in top shape. This means that your hair can absorb and retain moisture well. All you need to do is to find a good deep conditioning hair product to maintain the health of your hair. Regular washing and conditioning with a hydrating and moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will also help maintain your hair’s health.

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Global Keratin GK Hair Natural Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

The best Shampoo and Conditioner for dry hair to deliver proper moisture and nourishment to hair. Pair it with a moisturizing conditioner and add the duo to your daily hair care routine. 

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High porosity hair means that your cuticles have opened up and they are compromised. High porosity hair can be from too much styling and too much chemical in the hair. The heat from a hair iron or blow dryer can cause the cuticles to open up. Women with curly and coily hair will naturally have high porosity hair. This is because curly and coily hair has many twists where cuticles can lift up. That is why it is recommended for women with curly and coily hair to keep their hair moisturized and hydrated.

For high porosity hair, it is recommended to use hair care products that contain proteins. Proteins on hair products make the hair maintains its moisture and help repair hair damage. It is also recommended to use products with coconut oil and olive oil. These oils are heavier than normal oil and have intense moisturizing properties.

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Carol’s Daughter Curl Defining Butter

This is a deep moisturising butter that helps to prevent frizzy hair and gives you soft defined curly hair. It has agave nectar, avocado oil, honey and rich oils that moisturise your curls, coils, kinks and waves, and help keep curls defined.

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Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

Olaplex is the bestselling hair treatment you can do at your home. It helps to reduce breakage and maintain the hair structure. It restores texture and balances the Ph level both for natural and chemically treated hair.

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Marc Anthony 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner

Marc Anthony’s detangling mist, enriched with 100% pure coconut oil and shea butter, works to restore natural moisture to dry, damaged hair and helps to reduce split-ends and breakage.

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Determining your hair porosity is important to keep your hair healthy. No matter how many hair care products you try, if they do not meet the specific needs of your hair, then you are just wasting money. If you have high hair porosity, do not stress. It is not a hopeless case. Just remember that the key to healthy hair is knowing your hair type, having a good hair care routine and a healthy lifestyle. The more you understand your hair, the easier it is for you to take care of it.


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