As you can already imagine, there are millions* of possible combinations with the different hair classification parameters making each of our hairs unique and beautiful. In addition to Curl Pattern, Texture, Density, Thickness, and Sebum level, hair porosity is the other factor you need to worry about. My hair is on the Coily, Dense and as I recently found out, it is on the lower side of the porosity scale. I have done some digging around to better understand the oils that are suited for my low porosity hair. In this article, I will share everything I learnt along the way.
What are the Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair?
The best oils for low porosity hair are Oils that are light and penetrate the hair cuticles very easily. Low porosity hair is characterized by cuticles that are tightly clamped making it difficult for moisture and nutrients to penetrate. Therefore, the best oils for low porosity hair are light and deep penetrating oils such as:
- Argan oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Jojoba oil
- Baobab oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Pomegranate Oil
- Apricot oil
- Sunflower seed oil
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Rosehip Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Camela Seed Oil
- Avocado Oil
Now that you know in summary what oils are recommended for low porosity hair, let us get into the details of hair porosity, why it matters and finally go into the details of each of the oils mentioned above.
Why Does Hair Porosity Matter?
Understanding your hair porosity is very crucial in developing an effective natural hair care regimen. Knowing your hair porosity will help you understand the best products for your hair.
So, what is hair porosity? Hair porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb and hold moisture. It is affected by the flexibility of the outer hair layer known as the cuticle, which determines how easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair.
Do you know your hair porosity type? Your hair can either be normal, low or high porosity. Always remember that within each scale, you can be on the lower, middle or higher end. For instance, you can a low porosity type that is more on the normal side of things or an extremely low on the scale. This article will take you through the different methods you can use to test hair porosity. Test your hair porosity using these methods
Now that we know the basics of hair porosity, let’s dive into the Low Porosity hair and the best oils for this hair type.
What is Low Porosity
When your hair is low porosity it means the cuticles are tightly clamped down preventing moisture from easily being absorbed. Low porosity hair takes longer to saturate with water and natural oils. This leads to build-up if inappropriate oils are used since the oils sit on the hair. Low porosity hair requires products that attract and hold moisture to your hair.
Best Oils For Low Porosity Hair – Detailed List
As mentioned earlier in the article, the best oils for low porosity hair are light oils that don’t weigh down your hair and are easily absorbed. If you have low porosity hair, avoid the heavier oils such as Olive Oil and Castor Oil. These Oils are not easily absorbed and so they will only end up sitting on your hair. Some people tend to mix up different oils and use techniques such as hot oil treatments to increase the absorption rate of the heavier oils. If you like experimenting, you can try different blends and see what combination is easily absorbed into your hair.
Finally, let us dive into the details of the best oils for low porosity hair.
1. Argan oil
Argan Oil is one of the ‘rarest’ and most precious hair Oils. The oil is often referred to as the ‘Moroccan oil’ because it is mainly found in Sous Valley in south-western Morocco. The oil is extremely rare because the Argan tree grows in very limited locations and has an extremely low yield per tree. According to Alpha Reseach & Developme to produce 1L of Argan oil, you will need the total yield from 8 trees.
Argan oil is good for low porosity hair because of its intense moisturizing properties. The oil intensely moisturizes the hair by forming a non-evaporating layer around the hair. The protective layer will lock in the moisture until it is washed out.
Argan oil contains vitamin E, ferulic acid, carotenoids, phytosterols, polyphenols and 80% unsaturated fatty acids. This article will give you more details on Argan Oil.
2. Grapeseed Oil
Grape seed oil is one of the lightest oils that you can use in low porosity hair. This oil is extracted by cold-pressing the grape seeds. This Oil is a great choice for oily scalps and thin hair because it helps to seal in moisture without weighing the hair down.
Grapeseed oil is commonly used as a strengthener, it is also popularly used as a heat protectant when using heat styling using appliances such as flat irons and blow-dryers.
3. Jojoba oil
According to Probotanic, Jojoba Oil is made of fatty acids as well as esters composed of straight-chain alcohols. Both the acid and alcohol portions of jojoba oil are difficult to synthesize. This makes jojoba oil excellent for hair that requires intense moisture and protection.
Jojoba Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Jojoba plant that is mostly found in North American. This Oil is a favorite to the natural hair community because it is easily absorbed and it is very similar to the natural hair oil, Sebum.
Apart from the fact that it’s easily absorbable, one reason this oil is a favorite of a lot of hair oil users is that it is very similar to the natural oils found in the hair.
4. Baobab oil
Baobab oil is derived from the Baobab tree popularly known as the ‘Tree of Life’. The Baobab tree is valued for its powder and oil extracts which have used for centuries in wellness and beauty treatments. The roots of the Baobab Tree reach the deepest soil in search of water and nutrients. The tree can store gallons of nutrient-rich water in its trunk to survive harsh droughts. A single tree can last for over 500 years.
Baobab oil is among the few natural oils that contain omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. The oil is known for its moisturizing abilities as it contains acids such as linoleic acid which act as moisture retention agents.
The oleic acid and saturated fats help improve moisture penetration which makes it excellent for low porosity hair.
5. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond is derived from the Almond Tree. This Tree is popularly known as the ‘King of nuts’ because of it’s medicinal and cosmetic benefits.
The Oil contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, proteins, potassium and zinc. It also contains oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. Linoleic acid helps to promote moisture retention making it an excellent choice for low porosity hair.
The stearic acid helps to condition the hair without giving it a heavy feel, giving it more reason to use on low porosity hair.
6. Pomegranate Oil
Pomegranate Oil is extracted from the pomegranate fruits. Because of its high concentration, only a little is required to reap the benefits of the oil.
This Oil stimulates blood flow and thus promotes nutrient supply to the hair follicles. In addition to increased blood flow, this Oil promotes hair growth as it supplies punicic acid, vitamin C, linoleic acid, flavonoids, and oleic acid.
Pomegranate Oil is considered a medium-penetrative oil that is light and thus recommended to be used on low porosity.
7. Apricot oil
Apricot Oil is an excellent oil for low porosity hair as it is easily absorbed into the hair. The oil contains acids like oleic acid, which improve the moisture absorption rate in hair. It is also rich in other nutrients such as Linoleic Acids, Alpha-Linolenic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E that nourish the hair and helps retain moisture.
8. Sunflower seed oil
Sunflower Seed Oil is a popular oil extracted from the Sunflower plant. This Oil is light and easily absorbed in the hair and thus good for low porosity hair. Sunflower oil is used to conditions the hair and thus promotes hair strength and luster.
Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E which are antioxidants and thus when applied to the scalp, the oil helps fight bacteria that cause dry scalp, improving the overall health of your scalp.
9. Sesame Seed Oil
Sesame Oil is derived from the seed of the Sesame plant by cold-pressing the seeds to extract the oil. It is rich in vitamins, proteins, and other natural antioxidants. Its moisturizing ability helps it penetrate deeply into the hair.
10. Avocado Oil
Whilst Avocado Oil is considered a heavier oil compared to the one listed above, it is a good choice for low porosity hair because of its ability to penetrate deeply into hair strands and moisturize the hair.
How to take care of low porosity hair
Oils are not the only things to consider when you have low porosity hair, below are a few tips I have found helpful on my natural 4C low porosity hair.
- Use products rich in emollients to help soften the cuticle and aid in moisturizing the hair. During the warmer months, humectant products are beneficial because they attract moisture from the air into your hair.
- Generally, use products that are low in proteins. Protein has the tendency to build-up on low porosity hair, causing the hair to be even less porous.
- Using heat is a great way to open the cuticle to allow moisture to penetrate the hair that is least porous. Therefore, whenever you deep condition, cover your hair with a conditioning cap and sit under a thermal heating cap for at least 15 minutes.
- Use warm water when washing your hair as this will open up the pores of your scalp and the cuticles of your hair to help in moisture and product absorption.
- Always rinse your hair with cool water. This will seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture and shine.
- Understanding your hair porosity is key to taking good care of your hair
- Hair porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb moisture and nutrients. There are three porosity types, low, normal and high.
- When you have low porosity hair, it means your hair cuticles are tightly clamped making it difficult for moisture and nutrients to penetrate. This type of hair requires oils that are light and can penetrate easily.