‘Hair porosity’ is a term that’s used to describe how well your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture.
There are three types of porosity, namely high, medium, and low porosity. In this article, we are focusing on low porosity hair because this hair type is the trickiest to nourish. If you have low porosity hair, it means the structure of your hair doesn’t easily allow moisture to be absorbed into your hair shaft. This makes it harder for water to saturate your hair when it’s washed.
Our hair is a collection of dead cells that are arranged in a distinct, three-layer pattern. Let’s take a closer look:
With low porosity hair, the cuticles tend to overlap each other and are tightly packed together. The lack of spaces in between the cuticles makes it harder for water, as well as products like oils and conditioners, to seep in and deliver moisture to the hair’s cortex.
Before you start thinking you did something wrong to your hair hence its porosity, using chemicals and heat on your hair doesn’t cause low hair porosity. When heat or styling does damage the cuticle layer, it’s more likely to result in high porosity hair. But high porosity is not all glitter and gold because a damaged cuticle results in an exposed cortex which means the hair shaft will absorb moisture at the same rate as it loses it. So what causes one to have low porosity hair? Genetics.
Telltales of low porosity hair are:
1. Products sit on your hair
If you have low porosity hair, you may have noticed that hair products tend to sit on your hair instead of being absorbed into your hair. Like when you apply oil to your hair and as the day progresses you notice that the surface of your hair is oily and when you touch your hair, you come back with a hand covered in oil. This means your hair probably absorbed very little, if any, of the product.
2. Washing and drying take longer than ‘normal’
With low porosity hair, washing and drying can take longer than you’d expect. Because water isn’t easily absorbed, you may find it can be difficult to get your hair completely wet making it harder for the water to fully penetrate your hair.
Once you finally get your hair wet, it can take a long time to air-dry it. Even using a blow dryer may take longer than it does for others who have hair that’s the same length and thickness as yours but a different porosity.
So how does one care for low porosity hair?
When you have low porosity hair, you might think ‘more is more’ and be tempted to apply a larger quantity of a product in your hair or even apply more than one hair product at a time, in an effort to saturate your hair but this is not the way to go about moisturising your hair.
No matter how much product you apply, not much will penetrate your shaft because your cuticles are so tightly packed together.
Pro-Tips for low porosity hair care:
1. Find products that have the right formulation for low porosity hair.
These products will have ingredients that can more easily penetrate your hair. Always choose lightweight oils for low porosity hair. A list of lightweight oils includes jojoba, grape seed, avocado, and sweet almond oil. We recommend our Sure 2 Grow Hair Oil.
2. Apply products when your hair is wet and warm.
Heat can lift the hair cuticle, allowing oils and moisture to more easily penetrate the hair shaft.
3. Eat for your hair
If your hair won’t absorb moisture from the outside, give it what it needs from the inside. Research which foods boost hair health.
Low porosity hair is definitely challenging to care for however it is also the hair type that locks in moisture the best. Once you get the right combination of products and care right, your hair will love you for it!
To more happy hair days! Love MPL