What is High Porosity Hair? 4 Things You Should Know

Whitney MosingiHair Care, Hair PorosityLeave a Comment

high porosity hair

Do you find that your hair gets wet so quickly and then dries so fast after washing? It’s time to investigate your hair porosity. Your hair could be high porosity.

To help you understand high porosity hair, and in addition to answering the question: what is high porosity hair? I will cover the following:

  1. How do you maintain high porosity hair?
  2. How do you know if you have high porosity hair?
  3. How to moisturize high porosity hair
  4. Low vs high porosity hair comparison

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What is High Porosity hair?

High porosity hair is characterized by cuticles that are too far apart which leads to the hair absorbing moisture easily and also losing It quickly.

High porosity hair tends to be dry and brittle hence prone to tangling.

This type of hair soaks in products very easily and therefore may experience damage from using wrong products. High porosity hair is prone to frizz and rarely looks shiny.

Is high porosity inherent or can it be caused by other factors?

High porosity is either an inherent property or can be as a result of cumulative external factors.  

Porosity can be caused by chemical applications on the hair, excessive use of heat and sometimes UV rays.

Hair porosity is mostly determined by one’s hair structure. The hair strands have three layers which are the medulla, cuticle and cortex.

The cuticle is the outermost layer and while it’s almost invisible, it’s in charge of protecting the inner layers. It regulates how much water gets into your hair as well as the absorption of hair products into your hair. (1)

How do you maintain high porosity hair?

high porosity hair

1. Protein treatment

One of the things high porosity hair suffers from is not having enough protein. Because of this, you need to incorporate protein treatment so that the hair can get strength and to prevent hair breakage.

Remember that using the protein treatment in moderation is key to getting optimal results.

2. Use products that lock in moisture

The key to high porosity hair is to moisturize. You need to invest in products that help with moisture retention.  Hair butters and oils are great in sealing the moisture.

Using products that lock in moisture eventually help strengthen your hair, makes it healthy and makes it look shinier.

Some of the sealants you can use to lock in the moisture include olive oil and shea butter which are great for high porosity hair.

Additionally, using Apple cider Vinegar together with Aloe Vera is a great combination as it will balance the hairs PH and help seal in moisture.

Heavy products in general are recommended as they will support the sealants and also give the hair additional protection.

3.  Minimum styling and manipulation

Since high porosity hair is prone to dryness, frizz and consequently breakage, it’s important to minimize any hair manipulation that can lead to damage.

Minimize styling and if possible, use protective hair styles to protect your hair. This will help protect your strands from any damages.

When detangling hair, make sure you are very gentle with the hair. Make sure you use conditioner on your hair to soften it or a prepoo product and then detangle it gently with your fingers on the sections.

4.  Avoid heat on your hair

Heat applied on high porosity hair and any type of hair really, does more harm than good as it makes the hair fragile and dry after a period of time.

High porosity hair loses water very quickly and this can come in handy and be an advantage to you in some cases. However, you should avoid any kind of heat on high porosity hair as it destroys the hair further. Avoid using blow dry to dry your hair and let it naturally air dry.

Also, avoid damaging sun exposure because any type of heat will interfere with the outer layer of your hair cuticles and this will make it more porous than it was before.

How do you moisturize high porosity hair?

Use a regular conditioner and a deep conditioner on a need basis. If you feel your hair is dry, a leave in conditioner or a good moisturizer should come in handy. High porosity hair loses moisture very fast and is dry most of the time. This is why you need to keep the hair moisturized to keep it healthy.

Having adequate moisture in the hair is very crucial for the curls. If you do not moisturize as often as you should the strands tend to become dehydrated and as a result, they lose their elasticity.

It’s important to note that we have different types of hair in spite of being high porosity which is why you should experiment with your hair to see what works best for your hair when it comes to matters moisture.

How do you know if you have high porosity hair?

If you want to know if you have high porosity hair, start by observing how your hair reacts to styling and washing. High porosity hair tends to absorb the hair products and any moisture very fast but will feel and look dry quickly after.

Another popular way to check hair porosity is to use the Float test.

This test requires you to take a strand of your hair and put it in water. It should be in the water for about three to five minutes. If you have high porosity hair, it will sink very quickly and conversely if it stays floating for a while then you have low porosity hair.

For more on hair porosity tests, read this article.

Low vs High Porosity Hair

Below is a table comparing the characteristics of low vs high porosity hair

Low Porosity HairHigh Porosity Hair
Closed cuticlesOpen cuticles
Hair takes time to get wetHair gets wet very easily
Heat is needed for better moisture retentionAbsorbs moisture even without heat
Hair takes time to dryHair dry very quickly
Hair resists hair treatmentsAbsorbs hair treatments
Resists conditionersAbsorbs conditioners easily
Look greasy if as products tend to sit on the hairHardly get greasy
low vs high porosity hair

What shampoo is good for high porosity hair

Shampoos recommended for high porosity hair include Loreal Paris Elvive Total Repairing Shampoo, and Devacurl No-poo Decadence Milk Cleanser.

For optimum care of your high porosity hair, there are some hair products that work well for particularly this kind of hair.

You should avoid shampoos that contain sulphates and also ensure that the shampoos you are using do not have harsh chemicals. Since hydration is crucial for high porosity hair, you need shampoos that rejuvenate your hair strands.

Final thoughts on high porosity Hair

Managing, treating and caring for your hair is something that requires commitment. The first step is understanding your hair and getting to know your hair type. Many people have high porosity hair and they have learnt how to work around this type of hair as they fully understand what it needs.

Using the right products, avoiding heat and over styling as well moisturizing your hair will help great deal.  When you get the gist of it, you will easily protect your hair and help it become healthier, stronger and shinier than before.

Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.

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