If you have high porosity natural hair, you might be struggling to maintain it. Having high porosity hair could mean that your hair will break easily if you don’t care for it correctly.
It’s not impossible to turn your high porosity hair around. It just takes patience, time, and know-how. Learning about new regimens can be confusing. Adopting them into your life is even harder.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could tackle your high porosity hair, and get longer, fuller, and more lustrous curls? In this post, you’ll find out about whether you have high porosity hair and how to best care for it so that you can grow a long, healthy mane.
What is High Porosity Hair?
There are three main types of porosity: low, medium, and high. They are characterized by how many pores the hair strand contains. High porosity hair contains many open cuticles along each strand. It means that the strands are highly porous and that they can take in a lot of elements.
It’s not enough to know your curl type. Knowing the porosity of your hair can make a huge difference in which products you choose and how you apply them.
This type of hair can take in a lot of hydration, but it can also take in UV rays, wind, and unhealthy chemicals. It’s easy to moisturize this type of hair because the cuticles are wide open. On the other hand, the hair can easily lose the moisture too.
High Porosity Hair Characteristics
It may be possible to tell if you have high porosity hair just by examining your curls. If you have any of the following characteristics, you might have high porosity hair.
Here are the symptoms of high porosity hair:
- Dry, Brittle Hair. This is one of the most prominent characteristics of high porosity hair. However, this symptom is not entirely conclusive, because low porosity types can also have dry hair. Keep reading for more traits.
- Dull Hair. High porosity hair has so many gaps along the strand that it is hard for it to reflect light. It has the dull appearance, and it is difficult to get shine without applying lots of liquids and oils.
- Hair Dries Quickly. It’s easy in, easy out with high porosity hair. Does it seem like hydration and moisture come and go too quickly after you’ve applied them? Then you probably have high porosity hair.
What Causes High Porosity Hair?
The way you handle your hair can often bring it to a high porosity state. Here are the top three worst offenders, and why:
- High Heat. If you’re flat-ironing or blow drying your hair, you may be causing damage. High heat can boil water molecules inside the cortex and damage the structure of the hair.
- Chemicals. If chemicals reach the hair shaft, they can cause damage. Hair color functions by stripping parts of the structure away and immersing the remaining portion with dye. Other unhealthy chemicals in conventional shampoos can damage the integrity of the hair too.
- Rough Handling. Pulling a fine comb through the hair or brushing roughly can also contribute to high porosity hair. Friction can wear the strands down and expose the inner structure to sun, wind, and pollution.
It’s not always the case that you’ve treated your hair poorly. Sometimes people are born with high porosity hair, and it is up to them to learn how to care for it.
High Porosity Hair Vs. Low Porosity Hair
Low porosity types often complain that product sits on their hair. The hair is shinier because the cuticle is closed, but it’s difficult for the hair to receive moisture.
By now you’re probably wondering which hair type you have. Here is a simple way to tell your hair’s porosity:
Low, Medium, and High Porosity Hair Test
- Place a clean strand of hair in a cup of room temperature water. It’s essential that the hair contains no oil or product.
- Watch the behavior of the hair. Does it float, sink or stay in the middle?
- See the results and tips below.
- Floats: If it floats, you may have low porosity hair. It means your hair has a hard time absorbing water. Low porosity types can make their hair absorb product easier by applying minimal heat while they add moisture.
- Stays in the Middle: If your strand of hair remains in the middle, you probably have medium porosity hair. It means your hair is normal, and you don’t have much of a problem getting your hair to hold moisture and nutrients.
- Sinks: If your hair sinks, your cuticles are open, and you have no issues absorbing all the moisture your hair can handle. But then you quickly lose it. Also, your hair can be vulnerable to harmful chemicals and damaging toxins, because the hair shaft is continuously exposed.
How to Repair High Porosity Hair
Figuring out your porosity is half the battle. If you do the test and find you have high porosity hair, don’t fret. It simply means you need to repair it. You can make a dramatic comeback from a high porosity condition if you know what to do.
Want to know how to grow high porosity hair? Use protein. It is the fundamental cornerstone of high porosity hair care. A healthy dose of protein will repair the structure of the hair shaft by patching up the holes.
Using the protein on a regular basis will strengthen your curls and give your hair shine. Your hair will be less likely to break, and it’ll look better too.
High Porosity Hair Regimen
If you’ve just discovered you have high porosity hair, you’ll want to switch up your regimen to get healthy, normal hair. Follow this high porosity regimen:
- Avoid using high heat and excessive color. Omitting heat and hair dye from your routine will be one of the most helpful things you can do to get your hair healthier. Seek ways to straighten your hair without using heat. You should also avoid lightening your hair, as this will only lead to further damage. Instead, try using henna, or only doing a few highlights.
- Give yourself Protein Treatments. Protein treatments are the number one thing that will help to turn your high porosity state around. Read more about protein treatments below.
- Deep condition weekly or biweekly. A deep conditioning mask will allow your hair to soak up nutrients. Be sure to use natural products and avoid chemicals, so your hair doesn’t absorb the wrong things. Aloe vera and avocado oil are both helpful for high porosity hair.
Protein Treatment for High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair has many holes in the shaft because of the open cuticles. Protein treatments help high porosity hair by filling in the gaps with protein. It’s the best thing you can do to strengthen and restructure the shaft.
It’s up to you how often to do these strengthening treatments but be sure to balance all protein with moisture. Protein and moisture work synergistically to create a healthy strand. So, if you ever notice that your hair is protein sensitive, it may mean that you just need more deep conditioning.
You’ll want to choose a shampoo and conditioner that contain a small amount of protein to combat the frictional damage that happens through everyday handling. Also aim to do significant protein treatments once or twice per month for shinier, healthier curls.
Best Products for High Porosity Hair
Choosing the right products for your hair will make a big difference to how well your hair retains moisture. Shea Moisture makes some of the best products for high porosity hair.
Best Cowash: Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture Cowash. Washing with a conditioner is ideal for high porosity hair because you’ll have an easier time retaining moisture. Shea Moisture also has shampoo for high porosity hair if you need a stronger cleanser.
Best Mask: Shea Moisture High Porosity Seal Masque. This mask will help to lock and seal moisture in your hair. Leave the mask on your hair for at least one hour.
Best gel: Shea Moisture High Porosity Gel. This moisture-correcting gel will help you avoid frizz while avoiding dryness. This is a great gel for combating the humidity without using damaging alcohol-based gels.
Best oil: Butta Butta Cream. Butta Butta is a blend of all the best oils for high porosity hair. It contains whipped shea butter, castor, avocado, jojoba, and coconut oils, and it will help your hair to retain moisture for up to five days.
Retaining Moisture with High Porosity Hair
One of the worse things about the high porosity hair type is that the strands get overly dry and tangled. The dryness causes strands to cling on
to each other, and the open cuticles tend to snag surrounding hair.
Curious about how to moisturize high porosity hair and how to keep the moisture? The best way to retain moisture with high porosity hair is to form a shield around the moisture.
Shea butter is one of the most useful ingredients because it protectively coats the hair. It’s thick, softening, and nutritive. Layering products with shea and other healthy oils is a great way to guard your hair between washes.
LOC Method for High Porosity Hair
The LOC method will keep your hair protected against UV and friction. Do it after a wash and mid-week for the least breakage possible.
Always begin the LOC method with hydration. Water from a shower or spray bottle will work well. You should also use a water-based detangler or leave-in conditioner during the first step.
Use Butta Butta Cream as the second step in the LOC method for high porosity hair. Apply it twice per week to keep your curly hair from drying out.
Follow the oil blend with a heavy cream, like Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
Retaining the moisture in your hair will help your curls to slide apart effortlessly. Following a solid regimen and using products made for high porosity hair is the perfect way to get the hair you want.
What about you? What has helped or harmed your high porosity natural hair?