Tips // Understanding Hair Porosity
Published 2/10/19, 4:17 PM by Fleur Scalp Care
Understanding Hair Porosity
Hair porosity is the measurement of our hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture, think of it as how well moisture can pass through the cuticles and penetrate your hair. Our hair and scalp requires adequate moisture to stay nourished and healthy.
Hair porosity is determined by the structure of the outermost protective layer of our hair shaft; the cuticles. Our hair cuticles work like flaps that can be lifted or closed depending on alkali or heat conditions.
Hair porosity is generally split into three general categories.
Cuticles are close together. Low porosity hair is moisture resistant, making it harder to get moisture into the hair and it may also be prone to product buildup.
Cuticles are less tightly bound. Medium porosity hair allows the necessary moisture to flow in and out of the hair and stands up well to hair treatments.
Cuticles are widely spaced. Moisture can be lost quickly in high porosity hair, often leading to frizzy and dryness.
In lower hair porosity, it’s less easier for moisture, oils and other moisturizing hair products to penetrate the hair, making it harder for our hair to get the moisture it needs. In higher porosity, our hair will have a harder time retaining moisture and staying hydrated.
What Affects Hair Porosity?
Our hair porosity is largely determined by genetics. It can also be affected by other hair treatments such as overwashing, bleaching, straightening, prolonged exposure to the sun or using harsh chemicals.
How to Test Your Hair Porosity?
You can easily test and find out your hair porosity with these simple steps at home.
- First, shampoo and rinse your hair to remove any product buildup
- Get a glass and fill it with water
- Drop a single strand of your hair into it and let it sit for a few minutes
- See where the strand floats in the glass
You have low porosity if the strand floats to the top and high porosity if it sinks. If it floats somewhere in the middle, then you have medium porosity.
There are no good or bad hair porosity types. But understanding and knowing what type of hair porosity you have can help you better tailor your hair care routine and products, thus laying the foundation towards healthy hair!