Hair Porosity 101


Porosity is the ability for your hair to absorb and retain moisture when it comes in contact with water. Dry hair is one of the main concerns for natural hair, and your ability to know what your hair’s porosity is, is half the battle.

Knowing your hair’s porosity will give you the basis for how and with what products to moisturize your hair with.

This post will give you details (hopefully, not an overload) of what you need to know about porosity.

So, let’s dig in.


Types of Porosity

  1. Normal Porosity – your hair’s cuticles are well aligned and they are able to allow moisture to go in, and able to hold on to that moisture for a relatively long period of time. This is considered to be the ideal porosity.
  2. Low Porosity – your hair cuticles are tightly placed together on top of each other, thereby hindering moisture to penetrate easily into the hair shaft.
  3. High Porosity – your hair cuticles are slightly raised, thus, your hair is able to absorb the moisture, but the moisture escapes easily as well.

Determining Your Porosity

To know your hair’s porosity, you can perform a simple test, also known as Float Test. Check out this post here.

  • Grab a few strands of clean hair (freshly washed hair with no products).
  • Get a glass cup of water – half full.
  • Insert the hair strands in the cup and allow 10 – 15 minutes.
  • If the hair strands float to the top – Low Porosity.
  • Hair strands in the middle of the cup – Normal Porosity.
  • Hair strands to the bottom of the cup – High Porosity.


Taking Care of Low Porosity

Now that you know that your hair has low porosity, you need to know how to properly take care of it. One thing that you need to keep in mind is, that your hair will be prone to dryness, because moisture is not able to easily get into your cuticles. So, we need to gently help raise the cuticles.

Wash Day for Low Porosity

The cuticles can be gently raised by the following:

  • Heat – from your deep conditioning – If you are not doing a deep conditioning on your wash days, then you are missing out, and probably that’s one of the reasons for your hair’s dryness. Heat from a hooded dryer, conditioning cap, steamer, etc.
  • Baking soda – adding a little bit of baking soda to your shampoo will gently help lift your cuticles.

Moisturizers – use a heavy and creamy moisturizer to help quench the thirst from your hair.

  1. Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Oil Heavy Cream
  2. Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter
  3. Jane Carter Solution All Natural Nourish and Shine for Dry Hair and Dry Skin

Oils – you can select from different oils to further help seal in the moisture from the applied products.

  • Grapeseed
  • Almond
  • Olive/Extra Virgin Olive
  • Coconut Oil

Taking Care of High Porosity

High porosity means raised hair cuticles, and the goal is to gently lower the cuticles so that the moisture does not escape quickly. High porosity could be due to any of the following:

  • Heat/Chemical Damage – your hair’s protein bonds have been broken down leaving holes in your hair strands.
  • Born with it – some ladies have attested that they have never used heat or chemicals in their hair, but still have high porosity.

Wash Day for High Porosity

  1. Protein Treatment – to help fill in the holes in your hair strands, you want to ensure that you are doing a protein treatment at least once a month. The treatment will help bind the amino acids to your strands, fill the holes, and further strengthen your strands to be able to retain more moisture. Make sure that you follow-up with a deep conditioning after the protein treatment.

Leave-in Conditioners



If you found this article helpful, grab a FREE download of different hair recipes to help condition your hair.


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