What is hair porosity and what type do you have?

What is hair porosity and what type do you have?

What is hair porosity and what type do you have?

You may have heard the words ‘hair porosity’ before and wondered what it means. Essentially, it’s about your hair’s ability to retain moisture.

The porosity of your hair affects how well oils and moisture can pass in and out of the outer layer of your hair.

What is Hair Porosity?

To understand hair porosity better, it helps to know a bit more about the hair’s structure. The cuticle is the tough protective outer layer of your hair, made up of smaller cuticles that overlap each other. Think of shingles on a roof.

The cortex is the thickest layer of your hair. It contains fibrous proteins and the pigment that gives your hair colours.

The medulla is the softest, central part of your hair. For your hair to stay healthy, moisture need to be able to pass through the cuticle to get to the cortex.

If the cuticles are too close together, it’s hard to water to penetrate your hair, making it harder for your hair to get the moisture it needs. However, if the cuticles are too far apart, your hair will have hard time retaining moisture.

How To Check Your Hair Porosity?

One of the easiest ways to test your hair’s porosity is by using a glass of water. Shampoo and condition your hair to remove any buildup. Once your hair is clean and dry, drop a single strand into a glass of water. Watch to see if the strand floats or sinks.

Low porosity: if the strand floats, you likely have low porosity.

Normal Porosity: if the strand floats somewhere in the middle of the glass, you probably have medium or normal porosity.

High Porosity: If your strand quickly sinks to the bottom of the glass, you likely have high porosity hair.

Low Porosity

With low porosity hair, the cuticles are pack tightly together. This makes it harder for water to penetrate your hair. You may have low porosity hair if your products tend to sit on your hair and don’t absorb easily and if water cannot easily saturate your hair while washing.

Medium Porosity

With normal porosity, the cuticles aren’t packed too tightly together but are not too open either. This allows moisture to enter your hair and makes it easier for you to retain that moisture over time. If your hair looks and feel healthy, it takes colour well and doesn’t take too long to air dry, you may have normal porosity hair.

High Porosity

Whether it’s down to genetics or damage, high porosity hair allows moisture to enter the hair shaft, but it can’t retain that moisture. This is due to the cuticles having gaps in them. If your hair tends to break easily and is prone to dryness, you may have high porosity hair.

Can You Change Your Hair Porosity?

While there’s not much you can do if your hair porosity is down to genetics, there are steps you can follow to make your hair more manageable.

For low porosity hair, use protein-free conditioners. These tend to be absorbed more easily into your hair and may be less likely to cause buildup. Keep way from products with oils as these can weight down your hair.

For high porosity hair, look for ingredients that have oils or butters. These ingredients can help moisturise your hair. Use leave in conditioners and sealers. Avoid hot water when washing your hair. Use lukewarm water instead.

What is hair porosity and what type do you have?

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