When I began my natural hair journey, hair porosity was one of the things that puzzled me because I was just learning all about moisture and protein balance.
One of the most important lessons in natural hair care is that everyone’s hair is different. In fact, all the hair on your head isn’t even the same.
My hair is a combination of 3C, 4A, and 4B textures. I also have a weird patch on the left side that’s 4C. I find it quite fascinating.
The multitextured pattern is the same for most natural haired ladies.
Understanding the porosity level of your hair is one of the best ways to manage your curl type and build a hair care regimen that works for you.
What is Hair Porosity?
Simply put, porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb, retain, and maintain moisture with the range falling between low, normal, or high porosity.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means you will need specific hair products and a proper regimen to achieve your hair goals.
This is why sometimes when you follow the regimen of someone you see on YouTube, your results may not be the same.
This isn’t because the YouTuber’s regimen is bad. It’s because it just doesn’t work for your hair type.
Once you figure out this little nugget about your hair, you will be amazed at how quickly you achieve your hair goals.
How To Do a Hair Porosity Test?
There are two simple tests I recommend to determine the porosity level of your hair.
Test 1 for Hair Porosity Level
- Take a few strands of shed hair out of your comb.
- Drop the hair into a bowl of lukewarm water and watch what the hair does.
- Floating hair is a sign of low porosity, hair that sinks immediately is a sign of high porosity while hair that takes a while to sink is normal porosity.
Test 2 for Hair Porosity Level
When you style your hair, how long does it take for it to dry? If it takes forever and a day for your hair to dry, you have low porosity hair.
If your hair dries very quickly and feels like it needs additional products, you have high porosity hair.
If your hair dries within a few hours, you have normal porosity hair.
Do you have a good idea what kind of porosity hair is now?
Sometimes, these tests are not definitive and you may still have an issue finding out your hair porosity level. In this case, try this method:-
- Shampoo and deep condition your hair.
- When your hair is dry, run a few strands between your fingers and note the feel.
- Smooth feel is usually an indication of low porosity hair while rough and uneven strands indicate high porosity hair.
The next thing to do is build a regimen with products that will work with your porosity type and not against it.
There is a lot of trial and error here and it will take some time to find the right type of product blends that your hair loves.
Low Porosity Hair Care Regimen
Since low porosity hair has a hard time letting moisture in, you want to raise the cuticle so you can get the right products in before sealing.
Heat is also a very good friend of low porosity hair as it helps open up the cuticles properly.
Low porosity hair would probably do well with the Max Hydration Method.
Always close your cuticles with lukewarm water so you can retain the maximum amount of moisture.
Avoid protein-rich conditioners as they may cause build-up. Some good products for low porosity hair include:-
- Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner
- Aphogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In
- Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk
- Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Daily Damage Repair Ultra Nourishing Hair Mask.
Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Daily Damage Repair Ultra Nourishing Hair Mask
Read 95 Best Hair Care Products for Low Porosity Hair for more product recommendations for low porosity hair.
High Porosity Hair Care Regimen
High porosity hair absorbs moisture quickly. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep the moisture going. You need products that increase hydration and won’t dry out your strands.
Use as little heat as possible and rinse hair with cold water to seal cuticles, and seal with a good leave-in conditioner and natural oil.
By the way, hair treatments like overuse of heat and chemical hair dyes can increase the porosity of hair.
Some good products for high porosity hair include:-
- Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel
- As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
- Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Crème
- Camille Rose Coconut Water Style Setter
As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
Read 103 Best Hair Care Products for High Porosity Hair for more product recommendations for hair porosity hair.
365 Days of Moisture for Dry & Parched Hair
Best Regimen for Normal Porosity Hair
Normal porosity hair doesn’t require a special regimen. Continue with regular deep conditioning treatments and a healthy regimen to maintain healthy curls.
Remember to listen to your hair on your journey.
Don’t just replicate the exact same regimen someone else is following just because you like their results.
Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
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19 thoughts on “What is Hair Porosity and How Can You Tell Your Porosity Level?”
Thank you this helped me so much!!