Hair Porosity – Everything to Know
Posted on 12 August 2019
Hey curlies! If you're like us, you're probably also overwhelmed by all the do's and dont's that pertain to curly hair care. This week we’re covering a much talked about subject: porosity! What the heck is it and what does it have to do with your hair?
What is Hair Porosity?
Porosity refers to how porous something is. Porous objects absorb and retain more water than less porous objects. An example of a highly porous object would be a sponge. But you’re probably still wondering, “what does this have to do with my curls?” Think about it this way, your skin is also porous but unlike your hair, the pores on your skin are pretty visible. You can tell what your porosity is depending on how big your actual pores are and adjust your skin care routine to suit it.
The same goes for your hair; knowing your hair’s porosity can help you better understand how to style and care for it.
How do I figure out my Hair Porosity?
There are tons of ways to do this. You may have seen a few curly girls on IG or YouTube showing the float test: placing a strand of hair in a clear cup filled with water to see if it sinks to the bottom, floats on top, or sits right in the middle.
But we have a simpler solution that can be pulled off with just a spray bottle and clean, dry, product-free hair.
First, adjust the nozzle on the spray bottle so that it produces a mist. Pull a section of your hair and spritz your curls with the mist, holding the bottle about 6-8 inches away from your hair. Watch how the water reacts.
If the water beads up on the hair without absorbing and/or starts to drip and roll off the hair immediately, you have low porosity hair. If the water is immediately absorbed, you have high porosity hair. If at first there are small beads of water that are then absorbed soon after, you have medium porosity hair.
Understanding Your Hair’s Porosity
LOW POROSITY HAIR
Cuticles on the hair shaft are tightly packed together and as a result this hair type tends to repel water, oils, products. When you try and wet it down, it does not saturate easily. It’s hard to get moisture to penetrate low porosity hair but once it’s in, it's IN. On the flip side, this also means that it’s prone to product build up. Overall, with the right care and treatment, low porosity hair can be soft and healthy.
MEDIUM POROSITY HAIR
This porosity easily allows moisture into the hair shaft. It also holds moisture and shine incredibly well and is often considered the lowest maintenance of all the porosity types.
HIGH POROSITY HAIR
Often the result of damaged hair (usually from bleach, color, heat, relaxers and perms), when dry, this hair type feels rough and straw-like, absorbing water like a sponge. Once wet, this highly porous hair feels mushy, rubbery and elastic and is prone to snapping and severe breakage. High porosity hair loses moisture as quickly as it absorbs it.
How This Affects Your LUS Application
You may have heard us say...water is the key to achieving amazing results with the Love Ur Curls system! Once you’ve figured out your hair porosity, adjust your application accordingly. Simply put, you may need to use more or less water than someone with a different porosity.
For example, if you have low porosity hair, really REALLY work lots of water in with your All-In-One. This will ensure your hair is saturated enough for the producte to activate, leaving you with the best possible results. Really spend time working the product through your hair so that it penetrates the hair shaft at the deepest level.
If you have high porosity hair as result of damage, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. If your hair is damaged your curls will not miraculously come back to life overnight. Don't lose faith! With time, patience, continued use of great curl products, and overall care for your curls, they will eventually become healthier and happier.