What is Hair Porosity?
Do you use products that promise to deeply moisturize your mane, but all it does is sit on top of the hair causing buildup? Does your hair feel hydrated when wet, but once it dries it feels like straw? You may be using the wrong products for your hair porosity.
Porosity is the hairs ability to absorb moisture. There are three categories: low porosity, normal porosity, and high porosity.
The easiest way to find out what Porosity type you have is to take a clean strand of hair and place it in a glass of warm water. After 15 minutes, check the placement of the hair in the glass. If the hair floats, you have Low Porosity hair. If the hair sinks to the middle, you have Normal Porosity hair. If the hair sinks to the bottom, you have High Porosity hair.
Low Porosity: The cuticles on the hair strand are tight, almost closed and even overlapping each other. This makes it difficult for mositure to penetrate the hair shaft. People with low porosity hair often find it takes a while for the hair to get wet, and even longer for it to dry. The best ways to retain moisture with LPH (Low Porosity Hair) is to use heat. Washing and sealing with warm water, deep condition with steam, using heat caps or a hooded dryer. The use of heat will open the cuticle as wide as possible, allowing the mositure in. It's best to use a water based leave-in conditioner, and to seal with a light oil such as jojoba oil to retain the moisture.
Normal Porosity: The cuticles on the hair strand are slightly opened, allowing moisture to penetrate the strands and retain moisture. NPH (normal porosity hair) requires little maintence, and is far easier to manage than the other two porosity types. It's best to use a protein free leave-in conditioner and seal the ends with a natural oil such as almond oil.
High Porosity: the cuticles on the hair strand are opened, which makes it easy for mositure to penetrate the hair shaft. But as easy as moisture gets in, it gets out. With HPH (high porosity hair) , the hair is often very dry and frizzy. The use of heat is not necessary when deep conditioning, and it's best do more protein treatments with HPH. Doing ACV and cold water rinses help close the cuticle so mositure doesn't escape. It's best to use a liquid leave-in, then a rich curling cream, followed by a butter (such as shea butter) to seal the hair.
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