We spoke about low porosity hair some time ago so now it’s time to give you the 411 on hair that is considered to have high porosity. ‘Hair porosity’ is a term that’s used to describe how easily hair is able to absorb and retain moisture. Hair can be defined by three different types of porosity: high, medium, and low.
In this article, we will be looking at caring for high porosity hair, or in other words, hair that can absorb a high level of moisture but also loses it, at the same rate.
If you have high porosity hair, it means your hair does not struggle with absorption and products don’t just stay on the surface of your hair follicle. Basically, oils, water, and other hair moisturizers can be easily absorbed by your hair. On the flip side, because your hair is highly porous, it may not be able to retain moisture as well as other types of hair.
It’s important that you understand what we’re talking about when we speak about our hair’s porosity. To understand hair porosity, it helps to know a bit about the hair’s structure.
Each strand of your hair is made up of three layers:
- cuticle: the outermost layer
- cortex: the middle layer that contains natural pigment and moisture.
- medulla: the innermost layer of our hair
The outermost layer of your hair shaft is covered by tiny cuticles that are too small to see with the naked eye. These cuticles control how much product and moisture is absorbed into inner layers and therefore acting as a guard, to protect the inner layers of our hair. When cuticles are tightly layered together, this prevents moisture from being soaked up easily. Hair cuticles with this sort of formation are low porous.
High porous cuticles operate in the opposite manner to low porous ones. Moisture is easily absorbed but it doesn’t last long enough to nourish and moisturize your hair. If you have to constantly moisturize your hair to avoid breakage then it’s because you have high porosity hair.
High porosity hair can be genetic, which means there is nothing you could have done differently to change it but other times, hair’s porosity is affected by processing and heat styling treatments. The more you do things like straighten, blow-dry, bleach and even relax your hair, the more you shift your cuticle pattern. This can create gaps between your cuticles and, as a result, your hair may be more porous than it would normally be.
Characteristics of high porosity hair include:
● Your hair is prone to breakage
● Your hair air dries very quickly
● Your hair tends to get frizzy
● Your hair can absorb products quickly
● Your hair tangles quite easily
● Your hair rarely looks shiny
How can you care for your highly porous hair?
In order to effectively care for hair with high porosity, we need to try and reverse cuticle damage by reducing as many hair straining practices as possible. Also, the goal is to keep your hair moisturized to avoid breakage. We recommend MPL Hair Food to keep moisture on your scalp and also moving through your hair.
Stay away from products with sulfates, parabens, silicones, and sodium laureth sulfates. These ingredients drain your hair of natural moisture and leave it dehydrated.
Try to use hair care products that include “heavier” ingredients like oils or butters.
Because highly porous hair loses moisture so easily, heavier ingredients help seal it in.
Highly porous hair does not need to be vigorously washed with strong shampoos. In fact co-washing is the better option to limit stripping hair of moisture. Also, deep condition your hair every week. Twice a week for good measure.
To healthier hair days!