You have probably been wondering about the purpose of identifying your hair porosity. If you don’t do it, you won’t be able to nourish your scalp properly. Fine… but what is hair porosity? It is a term used for defining the distance between cuticles which surround hair stem. It also tells us whether hair cuticles raise easily. Depending on your hair porosity, you must choose matching oils of large or small particles. Porosity depends on the condition of your hair as well as your genes. What is your hair like?
Everyone would like to have low porosity hair…
Girls who have low porosity hair are truly lucky. Why? This hair type is the prettiest, healthiest and requires the least care. Cuticles tightly cling to hair stem. On the other hand, you can destroy such hair easily by using improper products and following unsuitable hair conditioning routine.
- it can be weighed down easily – using too much of moisturising, protecting and nourishing substances can overburden and make low porosity hair greasy. Products of dense and heavy formula won’t penetrate through tightly bound hair cuticles.
- resistant to hair colouring – pigments cannot penetrate through closed hair cuticles. If you want to change your hair colour, go to an experienced hairdresser. Keep in mind that regular hair colouring weakens the condition of your hair.
- resistant to bleaching and permanent wave – hair lighteners don’t penetrate inside the hair. What is more, in order to get a lighter shade of the strands, you would have to use stronger products which can harm your hair.
- it is strong and thick – appearance of hair depends on our genes. Health of our hair and scalp depends on our hair care routine. If you use unsuitable products, you will increase your hair porosity.
- slow-drying, allowing little moisture or water in – there are many factors which affect how long it takes your hair to dry e.g. air moisture, temperature, condition of hair, products used in hair care.
- no frizz or static – generally low porosity hair gets less frizzy than high or even medium porosity hair but if you use an unsuitable product, your strands won’t be smooth.
How to condition low porosity hair? Try out saturated oils. Their small particles will penetrate through strongly bound cuticles easily. They will also provide your strands with protection, creating a light and easy to wash out layer on hair surface. Try: coconut oil, palm oil, babassu oil. Cosmetic butters will also come in useful: shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter or cupuacu butter.
Medium/normal hair porosity
Medium/normal porosity hair has features of high as well as low porosity hair. It can be smooth and shiny at the roots yet frizzy and dull on the ends. Do you know that it is possible to change hair porosity? If you provide medium porosity hair with proper care, you can achieve low porosity. And the other way round: you can destroy it by using drying products and heat styling too much.
How to take care of medium porosity hair? Monounsaturated oils will work superbly. Test semi-penetrating oils which have the same amount of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 acids. Try out: argan oil, macadamia oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sesame oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil.
High porosity hair
It is a porosity of curly hair and hair that is dyed with products containing ammonia. The porosity increases due to often: washing, brushing, heat styling as well as hairstyling treatment and UV rays. Luckily, you can repair high porosity using proper products. What else should you know?
- high porosity hair is delicate – easily damaged, especially when it’s short and thin. Regular colouring, straightening and blow-drying have a harmful influence on this hair type. If you desire to have healthy and glossy hair, give up on weekly hair salon visits, cleansing the scalp with SLS shampoos and chemical treatments.
- hair is prone to various hairstyling treatments – high porosity hair gets coloured easily. However, hair is unevenly covered with the pigment (in case of colouring) and it also loses it unevenly. Other hairstyling treatments can seriously damage hair structure as damaging ingredients of products penetrate inside the strands very quickly through raised hair cuticles.
- high porosity hair is fast drying – it depends on numerous external agents (as in low porosity hair). Therefore, the time your hair needs to dry is not a precise indication of hair porosity. Nevertheless, some girls use this method.
How to condition high porosity hair? Polyunsaturated oils – made of large particles – will be excellent. The most effective oils: linseed, avocado, baobab, soya, apple seed, sweet almond, corn, wheat seed, hazelnut, pumpkin seed.
Check your hair porosity – mini test
Do the test to determine your hair porosity. Answer the questions and find out whether your hair is low, medium or high porosity. It will help you choose products that match your hair type. Let’s do it!
1. While making a pony tail, how many times do you wrap a hair tie around your hair?
Answer: If it’s once or twice, your hair is high porosity. The strands are frizzy and curly so the hairstyle is of considerable volume. It is different in low porosity hair that needs to be tied three times or even more.
2. Is your hair shiny all the time?
Answer: If it is, your hair is low porosity. This hair type is glossy without cosmetics, specialistic products and substances. High porosity hair, on the other hand, is dull, dry and lacking natural shine. You must apply suitable products to achieve lustre.
3. What does your hair feel like?
Answer: Soft and smooth hair has low porosity. Rough, stiff and crunchy hair is high porosity. The difference in hair structure is connected with the arrangement of cuticles around the hair stem. Cuticles of low porosity strands are closely bound together whereas the cuticles of high porosity hair are highly raised.
4. What does your hair look like after washing and draining out water?
Answer: If your hair is frizzy and almost dry, it is of high porosity. The water has evaporated more quickly through highly raised cuticles. If it still looks wet, it is low porosity. Closed hair cuticles prevent water from drying.
5. What happens to hairs that you put into a glass of water?
Answer: If they sink to the bottom, your hair is high porosity. Water got inside the hair through raised cuticles and weighed the hair down. If the hairs float on the surface, you have low porosity hair. The water didn’t manage to penetrate inside the hair and “sink” it.