Even more important that knowing your hair type is knowing your hair porosity.Together these two classifications can jumpstart every natural on their journey to healthy and long hair. I’m sure many of us can relate to a time when we bought a hair product based of off great advertisement or someone else’s endorsement just to be deeply disappointed with the results. Although common sense, many people sometimes forget that everyone’s hair is different. Yes people different, meaning you can follow the exact same methods as someone else and still get different results. Although it can be frustrating at times, there is a lot of try and fail that goes into being natural and figuring out what products and methods are best for you. Knowing things such as your hair type and porosity type definitely help to narrow down products that most likely will work for you but again like I said their isn’t a fool proof method to this. I discussed hair typing in my previous post but what is porosity? Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture in the hair shaft. Although your hair porosity is deemed upon birth by genetics, it can also change due to damage to your hair cuticles in the form of relaxers, heat damage and coloring your hair. Porosity ranges from low to high.
High porosity hair has gaps in its cuticles which causes it to allow too much moisture into your hair and in addition it also releases a lot of moisture as well. This can cause your hair to be prone to frizziness. It is important especially during summer months or in areas with high humidity that those with high porosity hair use anti-humectants (products that don’t attract and hold moisture to your hair) in order to seal your cuticles and prevent your hair from absorbing excess moisture from the air. Because of your hair’s ability to lose moisture as well, be sure to use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers and thick butters to help hold on to moisture and help fill in the gaps in your cuticles. Products high in protein are also useful for strengthening hair cuticles and preventing breakage. Consider deep conditioning frequently and also look out for products high in acidity which will help flatten your cuticle and seal in moisture such as an apple vinegar cider rinse or aloe vera rinse.
Recommended Products: Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey, Garnier Sleek and Shine Humidity Styling Cream/Serum, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter line(really good), Kinky-Curly Knot Today(slip is amazing!), Eden Body Works Jojoba Monoi All natural line, Gleau All Natural Moroccan Argan Oil Blend, ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor (I live by this).
Low Porosity hair has tightly bound cuticle layers that lay flat. This type of hair repels moisture but on the positive side also tends to hold in moisture well once its been able to be absorbed in the hair. This hair is prone to build up from excess protein so stay away from products with a lot of protein and stick to daily conditioners with humectants such as glycerin and honey. Steaming and deep conditioning hair with a protein free deep-conditioner is a perfect way to open up the hair cuticles and allow moisture in your hair. Lighter oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, and shea butter and liquid based conditioners are all the best ingredients to use since these products will absorb into your hair instead of sitting on top of it. Also the use of alkali products such as baking soda can help open up cuticles before applying products this method is called the “cherry lola treatment“.
Recommended Products: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie,Kinky-Curly Knot Today, Cantu Shea Butter line (what I use daily!), Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil leave in conditioner/deep conditioner, ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor (especially for colored treated or damaged hair), Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan and Olive Oil Daily Hair Conditioner/ Assurance Smoothing Daily Hair Conditioner.
Medium porosity hair is the ultimately preferred porosity type. Your hair is able to absorb moisture but not too much and hold in moisture easily as well. Personally I have low porosity hair but my hair also tends to work well with products with protein in them since my hair is color treated and is in need of extra protein. For example I live for the Aphogee Reconstructor. Now your probably wondering how to figure what your porosity type is. There are several tests as well as common tips to help you figure it out. For one if it seems to take your hair a little longer to get completely wet when showering you may have low porosity hair and vice versa if your hair quickly absorbs water and becomes wet in the shower you probably have high porosity hair. Another popular way to figure it out is by doing the floating test. Take a clean strand of hair and place it into a clear glass of water and wait for a couple of minutes. If your hair floats then you have low porosity hair and if it sinks then you have high porosity hair.