Many people don’t know that there is actual science behind natural hair. You first have to know what kind of hair you have and if it’s not as healthy as it should be you should know what so you can know what to do differently. It’s important to know your hair porosity so that you can be sure you hair has the right amount of moisture and it is able to retain it. Hopefully this helps you figure out what category your hair belongs in.
Hair Porosity is just your hairs ability to absorb and retain moisture. Porosity is determined by the structure of your cuticle- the outer layer of your hair. Low porosity hair has a tightly bound cuticle layer, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate (but also difficult for moisture to escape, once it’s in your hair.) High porosity hair has gaps in the cuticle, which allows moisture to pass in and out a little easier. Here are a few ways to determine if you have low, medium ,or high hair porosity.
How Do I Determine My Porosity
Well, I’m glad you asked. There are two main ways you can determine your hairs level of Porosity.
The Strand Test : Take a strand of your hair and place the stretched curl between your thumb and finger and slide it up the hair strand from the tip towards the scalp. If your fingers move easily up the strand and it feels dense and hard, you have low porosity hair. If it feels smooth, you have normal porosity hair. If you feel bumps or the strand feels rough or dry or it breaks, you have high porosity hair.
The Float Test: For this test, all you need is water, a cup, and shedded hair from your comb or brush. Place the strands of hair in the cup if water and allow it to sit for at least 3 minutes. If the hair sinks immediately, you have high porosity hair. If it floats you have low porosity hair.
Low Porosity Hair
- Low porosity hair is often considered to be healthy and can appear to be shiny .
- It is also prone to build-up from protein-rich deep conditioning products, which can leave it feeling stiff and straw-like.
- Curls can take longer to dry.
- Cuticles are closed, so moisture does not enter easily / resistant to moisture
- Products sit on your hair
High Porosity Hair
- Require more product
- Absorbs water easily
- Curls dry quickly and are often frizzy
- Curls look and feel dry and brittle
- Generally damaged and over processed with torn cuticles (but not always)
- Tangles easily because the cuticles get caught on each other
Normal Porosity Hair
- Absorbs and retains the perfect amount of moisture
- Shiny, healthy, lots of volume
- Tends to hold styles well, and can be permed and colored with predictable results