Low Porosity Hair Treatment, Features, Care Tips & Products

Keeping your hair hydrated is a challenge, especially if you don’t know your hair porosity. What is hair porosity, you ask? Basically, it’s your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture (aka water). Your hair cuticle, which is the outer layer of the hair surface, often determines the porosity of your hair.

According to stylist and natural hair expert Kamara BrownHair porosity comes in three categories:

  • low porosity: Very tight cuticles that prevent moisture from entering or escaping
  • Medium porosity: Slightly less tightly bound cuticles
  • High porosity: Raised cuticles that look like scales on a roof; these cuticles easily allow moisture to penetrate through

    “Understanding the porosity of your hair is essential for your hair care needs. Our hair strands are so delicate,” Kamara tells us. “Porosity is very important when looking at the overall feel and appearance of our hair. . The more we know, the more likely we are to avoid damaging our beautiful crown while keeping more money in our pockets to avoid becoming a product addict.

    How do I test the porosity of my hair?

    Recognizing the characteristics of low porosity hair can be difficult when styling hair. Between blow-drying, microfiber towels, and other hair-drying tools, it can be hard to notice how hair naturally interacts with water. According to hairdresser and stylist Erin Courtney, even if she doesn’t think it’s necessary before getting a hair care service, you can test hair porosity at home. She recommends that to test hair porosity, you should take a cup of water and put a strand of hair in it. In two to four minutes, check the strand – if it floats, it indicates low porosity. If it sinks, it indicates high porosity. Somewhere in the middle? You probably have medium porosity.

    What are the characteristics of low porosity hair?

      Erinn explains that two of the key elements of low porosity hair have to do with drying time and the buildup that can build up if your products aren’t fully absorbed. “Hair can be further away on either side of an overly oily or overly dry spectrum,” she says. “Conditioners and leave-in products may not work well because they go through the hair without staying on the strand and may be too heavy.”

      For textured locks, the challenge of keeping low porosity hair hydrated is that the hair is naturally drier. Erinn says natural oils from the scalp have a harder time moving through curls, which makes textured locks naturally drier compared to straighter textures.

      Getty Images

      How to take care of low porosity hair

      According to Erinn, a common misconception about low porosity hair is that it has “fewer cuticles, which makes it smoother and harder to damage.” But the reality is that low porosity hair is easier to maintain and requires less maintenance. The difference is in the routine.

      Hair porosity routines vary by texture. The biggest challenge for curly, frizzy and frizzy hair is that low porosity can lead to feeling brittle and dry. Straighter strands, however, are naturally oilier than textured hair, which means the frequency of washing and the density of products needed are different. That said, both hair types need a moisture-focused routine and products that can sink into the hair shaft without feeling heavy. These five expert steps can transform your routine.

      1. Clarify hair. A good clarification shampoo is your friend! For textured locks, Kamara recommend it As I Am Curly Clarity Shampoo. For straight hair, Erinn recommends the Olaplex Nº.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoowhich is safe for daily use.
      2. Find the right conditioner. Do you have textured locks? Kamara is a fan of a hydrating hair mask meant to address curls, like the Ouidad Coil Infusion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner. Erinn suggests using the No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditionerwhich is suitable for all hair types.
      3. Add heat (yes, really). According to Erinnheat or steam can open the hair cuticle to allow moisture and conditioners to enter the hair.
      4. Rinse with cold water. To seal in moisture, Erinn suggests rinsing out conditioner with cold water to close hair cuticle and seal in moisture.
      5. Use light products. Since low porosity hair is prone to buildup, it’s important to avoid heavy products that can sit on the hair shaft. Kamara urges those with textured locks to give it a try Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner and complete the routine with a light oil like Shea Moisture Argan Oil. For looser strands, Erinn suggests the Olaplex Nº.6 Bond Straightenerwhich adds moisture, shine and reduces frizz.


        Digital editorial assistant
        Katherine Tinsley is a pop culture and beauty obsessed journalist who has worked with Live the Process, The Knockturnal and Dreamlette covering all things beauty, culture and lifestyle.

        This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on piano.io

        Melissa R. Brumfield