Knowing Your Hair Porosity Is Key To A Successful Hair Journey

Monday, October 24, 2016

Let's face it, knowing your hair type (i.e. 3c, 4a, 4b, etc.) is great as it allows you to discover your hair texture, curl pattern, density etc. However, discovering your Hair Porosity level is imperative to getting the most out of your hair journey. Hair porosity is a simple concept yet very powerful in revealing certain characteristic about your hair. Learning what porosity level you have, will provide you with direction on how to treat and take care of your hair - effectively!

Understanding your hair porosity level can maximize the effectiveness of your hair routine and improve the product and technique selection for your hair.

What is Hair Porosity?
Hair Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb moisture and retain it. It's just that simple! There are three (3) porosity levels to consider: low, normal, high.

Low Porosity? 
Hair cuticles lay flat and tight around the cortex making it challenging for moisture to enter and escape the hair cuticle. The cuticle is quite resistant to opening and readily accepting water. Opening the cuticle may be troublesome, but once it's open, it will accept, hold on/ retain moisture for a long period of time. 

Normal Porosity?
Hair cuticles lay flat yet open and close easily to accept and retain moisture. Hair maintains elasticity.

High Porosity? 
Hair cuticles have holes and damage along the hair shaft allowing moisture to escape through the hair cuticle easily. Moisture retention is low and the hair feels dry and coarse. This is the result of chemically treated hair or heat damage.

Now, let's zone in on Low and High porosity as these levels require the most maintenance!

Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair
  • Takes long to dry
  • Hard time absorbing moisture
  • Retains moisture really well once accepted
  • Tend to resist chemical services i.e. colour, relaxers

Tips on How to Take Care of Low Porosity Hair 
  • Steam frequently - Warm steam vapours help to raise the cuticles and allow the deep conditioner to absorb easily into the hair shaft. 
  • Moisturize on damp hair - This allows the cuticles to raise slightly thus giving your moisturizer the chance to penetrate the hair strands. Once the hair receives the moisture, it will hold on to it very well. 
  • Baggy your hair often - Baggying will help raise the cuticles drawing moisture into the hair
  • Always use heat when you deep condition - Heat allows the hair cuticles to raise/open. The deep conditioner can then easily penetrate into the hair cortex giving nutrients i.e. moisture, protein etc. to the hair strands. 
  • Clarify often - 2-3x/month will help lift the hair cuticles allowing any deep conditioners, leave-ins, moisturizers to penetrate easily.
Characteristics of High Porosity Hair
  • Dries very quickly after washing
  • Tangles easily
  • Feels dry and/or brittle after moisturizing
  • Absorbs products easily
  • Chemical treatments process fast

Tips on How to Take Care of High Porosity Hair:

  • Add a mixture of Water and Aloe Vera Juice in a spray bottle (1/4 AVJ, 3/4 Water). Use this before adding your leave-in conditioner. 
  • Add 1-2 tsps of Aloe Vera Juice in your deep conditioner to lower the pH balance of the conditioner. 
  • Do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse 1x/week after you shampoo or co-wash your hair. Apple Cider Vinegar is known to lower the pH balance in the hair and close the cuticles allowing your hair to hold on to moisture. 
  • Use Roux Porosity Control Conditioner weekly as a quick condition or 1 tbsp in your moisturizing deep conditioner.
  • Use a protein reconstructor weekly or biweekly to fill the cracks along the hair shaft allowing the hair to absorb and retain moisture.
Knowing your Hair Porosity level gives you the power to transform your hair into healthier well-moisturized hair.

Now Take The Tests!
#1 - Water Test

#2 - Strand Test

Grab a shed strand of hair. With your fingers, slide up the strand starting from the ends to the scalp - backwards. If your fingers move easily up the strand and it feels dense - you have non porous hair aka low porosity hair. If it feels smooth, you have normal porosity hair. If it feels rough, bumpy or it breaks, you have porous hair aka high porosity hair.

What is your Hair Porosity Level?

Low Porosity
Normal Porosity
High Porosity
Poll Maker

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