Hair Porosity –
Hair Porosity – Hair porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. How well your hair maintains moisture is the key to healthy, glorious, lengthy and beautiful hair.
Identifying your porosity is the first step anyone should take whether they are natural or not. Knowing and understanding your hair’s porosity will help you in selecting the right product that will not only carter to your hair’s needs but will also help your hair be the healthiest it can possibly be.
There are three types of porosity:
- Low porosity (LP) – This is when moisture, liquids and creams do not effectively penetrate the hair due to the hair’s cuticle being tightly bound. If you have LP then you need either heat or specific products (e.g. glycerin or baking soda treatments) that will help your hair absorb oils and creams by safely opening up the hair cuticles OR products that are light and can penetrate LP hair. Heat and certain products (e.g. glycerin or baking soda treatments) opens up the hair cuticles and lets the oil and creams seal in the moisture. Pls. click here for understanding low porosity.
- Medium porosity – This is what is considered as the normal type of porosity. Hair absorbs and retain moistures not too fast and not too slow.
- High porosity (HP) – This is when moisture, liquids and creams are quickly absorbed into the hair strands because of the gaps and holes in the cuticle. As fast as moisture and products/nutrients are absorbed they are just as quickly released. This type of porosity can be as a result of genetics, too much manipulation, excessive heat or chemical processing (e.g. relaxer or dying you hair)…This is a case when relaxer and dying of hair have not been your friend
How to check your hair’s porosity
There is no definite way to test hair porosity at. Currently, there are 3 ways naturals check their hair porosity. There is the cup method, the saturated method and the drying method.
The Cup Method – per other hair bloggers, this method is not the most accurate. Results can be different based on what hair products have been used. Which I agree with because when I first started my natural hair journey, I did this test and my hair just floated but a year after I started deep conditioning my hair, I discovered that my hair sunk in the cup/bowl of water. However, this didn’t mean that my hair had permanently changed its porosity, `cause using the experience method my hair tests as LP.
Regardless, this is how the method works, you take a strand of your hair and place it in a cup or bowl of water (basically a container that can contain water). If the hair strand floats, then your hair is LP but if the strand should sink fast then your hair is HP.
Saturated Method – This method tests hair porosity level by checking to see how long it takes for hair to be fully saturated with water before washing with product. You are probably thinking; wet hair is wet hair. Hair gets wet once water touches it. What is this Chiquita talking about??? lol, I thought so too but if your hair takes 2 to 3 mins to be FULLY saturated (wet) with water before washing begins then the hair is LP. If the hair immediately gets saturated without waiting at all then the hair is HP.
Drying method – After you wash your hair and you are air drying your hair, that is without any heat (blow drier) and it takes several minutes, hours sometimes even days for your hair to dry out, then my dear Chiquitas your hair might be LP. But if your hair dries out real quick, like in seconds, mins then your hair might be HP.
But wait… what do I mean by might, I say might because there are some natural Chiquitas that will tell you that their hair dries fast but products just still sit on their hair. What can I say, everyone’s hair differs.
Another way I have discovered to verify your hair’s porosity level, is by noticing the way your hair reacts to hair products such as oils, butters and hair milk. I call this the experience method and I believe this is the most accurate way of telling your porosity. If a product just “sits” on the hair itself, with the hair feeling oily and buttery then said hair is LP. However, if the hair has absorbed the product and hair is NOT oily or milky or buttery but then feels dry the hair is HP. It is through experience and time that you can tell how your hair absorbs and retains moisture.
For the lucky ones who don’t have any of the above issues then yay!!! you are blessed with normal porosity hair. Enjoy!!!
Please note when doing the saturated and drying test, the fullness of your hair will affect the rate at which your hair dries or absorbs water. Fuller hair will always take longer to dry out but will still dry out within reason.