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All you need to know about Hair Porosity: According to the hairstylists.

All you need to know about Hair Porosity: According to the hairstylists.

Hair porosity can significantly impact the appearance and feel of your hair. You’ll generally fall into one of two categories: low porosity or high.

The porosity of your hair refers to its susceptibility to water. It measures how much the outer layer absorbs or repels water. The outer layer of a hair strand, or cuticle layer, is what we call it. Danielle Malary, a hairstylist, explains that the cuticle layer consists of tiny cuticles layered over each other. Imagine shingles on your roof. The porosity is determined by how tightly they are packed.

Miko Branch is a hairstylist and co-founder at Miss Jessie’s, a hair care company. “Hair porosity refers to how the cuticle of the hair absorbs moisture, which it then holds onto in its pores,” he says. When your hair is on the high end of the porosity scale, it’s porous, and the cuticles have a more sparse structure than dense ones, allowing it to absorb water.

Emma says that low porosity can be a problem. ” low porosity hair is less able to carry moisture, as it’s resistant to water.” Cuticles are so tightly packed together that it’s difficult for water or moisture to penetrate, while the hair is low porosity

Can hair porosity be changed?

It is possible to change your hair’s porosity, even if it was low in the past. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information1 (NCBI), very porous hair has been damaged by UV exposure, chemical relaxers, or intense heat for long periods.

Chambers-Harris continues, “Exposure leads to an increased porosity level in your hair.” The more your hair is exposed to UV, heat, and chemical damage, the more porous it becomes.

High porosity hair characteristics

It can be challenging to determine if your hair is currently highly porous. Here are a few ways to tell if you fall into this category.

  • Your hair gets wet quickly
  • Your hair dries quickly
  • You can easily tangle your hair
  • You may feel your hair feeling dry and rough.
  • You may have curly hair
  • You may break your hair easily
  • Hairstyles don’t last very long

How to guide if your hair is on high porosity:

The water test

The water test is the traditional way to determine your porosity. The test is super easy: grab a glass of distilled water and a hair strand (from your brush, for example). Drop the hair in and watch it sink or float. If the hair flows, you have low porosity. If it falls, you’ve got high porosity hair.

The finger test

Holding onto the ends, slide your thumb and index fingers up and down each hair strand toward the scalp. Kerry Yates, certified trichologist at Colour Collective and founder of Colour Collective, explains that if the hair feels rough, it means the porosity is higher.

Visit a stylist

You can always consult a hairstylist if you are still unsure. These professionals can help you determine your hair’s porosity and make sure you are using the proper routine for your strands.

How to take care of high porosity hair

Take care of your hair if you have high porosity.

  • The porosity and texture of your hair are genetically determined, just as the texture. There are other ways to change your hair’s porosity (and its ability to absorb moisture) by using drying agents, chemical relaxer treatment, and overusing heating tools such as blow dryers and flat irons. Branch says that sun exposure and drying agents can damage hair. When you have hair with high porosity, it is easy for the hair to become damaged, dulled, broken, tangled, and frizzy. It is because harsh treatments and daily high heat can damage the outer layer of the cuticle. This makes it more porous.
  • Albert recommends air drying or low heat. “High porosity will absorb moisture quickly and dry quickly during freshly-washed hair 
  • ,” he says. Use this vital characteristic. You won’t have to use high-wattage blow dryers because they will dry faster and easier. Frederic Fekkai is the founder and CEO of FEKKAI Brands. He agrees that it’s best to use low heat for hair with high porosity.
  • Protect the strand. Because the outer layer of the hair is fragile, avoid over-styling it, brushing, and washing it. Regularly coat your hair with hydrating products to reinforce the outer cuticle. “Three words: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Branch says that locking in the moisture is essential to strengthening high porosity, which results in healthier, stronger, more supple, and shiny hair.
  • Fekkai says that porous hair can be difficult to dye. It’s logical: when you dye your hair, the formula deposits pigments into the hair shaft between the circles. This results in the new color. If your cuticles have a dense texture, these pigments will stay there. However, if they are loose, they fall out more easily. Color-safe products will help you keep your color vibrant for longer.
  • The BranchBranch recommends using dense, creamy products. “High porosity hair has a fragile outer layer, which leaves the hair unprotected,” explains BranchBranch. This type of hair needs nutrient-rich, super-creamy hair care products to seal in moisture.
  • Use a pre-shampoo: “The good thing is that essential proteins and hydrating oil are easily absorbed when you have hair with high porosity. So take advantage of this,” BranchBranch says. The gaps in the hair cuticle allow your products to penetrate into the hair, which is something that low porosity will not do. Fekkai recommends applying a mask before shampooing. He says you should choose a product with a lot of oils, jars of butter, and a lot of nutrients.
  • Fekkai says that porous hair doesn’t hold its style for as long. If you’re aware that your hair won’t stay in shape for long, you might want to stick with a natural look. This will save you from having to deal with your hair falling flat and out of shape later. Consider using a higher-hold product for special occasions when a style is in order.

What are the best ingredients for hair with high porosity?

Look for these ingredients when shopping for hair products with high porosity:

  • Bond-builders or proteins?
  • Moringa seed oil
  • Shea butter
  • Aloe vera
  • Jojoba oil
  • Fatty Acids
  • Coconut oil
  • Squalane

What are the best products for hair with high porosity?

Many styling and wash products are marketed based on your hair type. This does not always reflect the porosity of your hair. Experts explain below what products to use to narrow your search.

Leave outs

It’s easy to see that porous hair needs moisture. Add a leave-in conditioning product to your regimen to ensure your hair stays soft after rinse. Choose a creamy, rich formula over something lighter and water-based.

Curl cream

It is best to let your hair air dry. Curly-haired people should have a curling cream on hand (not just a gel) for a functional and nourishing shape. Use a heat protector before you diffuse your curls.

Hydrating Shampoos

Yates says that any product used on hair with a high porosity should be hydrating, and yes, this includes your shampoo. Yates says to look for a formula that is rich and preferably silicone-free. Shea Moisture’s High Porosity Moisture Renew Shampoo is a top pick.


Chambers-Harris suggests using deep conditioners or hair masks rather than lighter formulas if your hair is porous. This type of product contains less water and more nutrient-dense jars of butter. It is perfect for hair with high absorption.

Repair treatments

Bradley Leake, a celebrity hairstylist, explains that damaged hair can lose its shine by being porous. Use bond-building products such as the Epres Bond Repair Treatment on a weekly basis to repair your hair.

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