Hair porosity and the products to use

So, last week I spoke about finally finding out what my hair type was, which is low porosity hair. This knowledge is mind blowing and I can’t even explain my excitement because I can finally purchase products that work for my specific hair type, so that I can retain moisture and promote sustainable hair growth.

If you want to know a bit more about hair porosity and how to carry out the test, then check out my last blog post, Hair porosity and why it is important by clicking here.

Let’s take this back to science for a minute before we dive in any further.  It is important to know that our hair is made up of 3 layers, yep, that thin strand of hair has 3 layers to it 😊:

  • The cuticle: This is the protective outer layer of your hair
  • The cortex: This is the part of your hair the thickest layer, it contains fibrous proteins and the pigment that gives your hair its colour
  • The medulla: This is the part of your hair is a soft, spongy mass of tissue

So, for your hair to stay healthy and moisturized, the creams, oils or other products you use, will need to pass through the cuticle to get to the cortex and stay there. If you haven’t read my last blog post where I explained how to carry out the test, then click here to check that out.

Different levels of porosity

Low porosity hair

Low porosity hair means that the cuticles of your hair strand are tightly close together, so that prevents moisture from being soaked up. If you have this hair type (like I do), it just basically means that your hair is stubborn because it doesn’t want to let any moisture in but when it does get in, and the cuticles close back up, this works in our favor because it keeps all that juicy moisture safely locked inside. 

So, with this hair type, the truth is that we can’t absorb moisture without some help, and when I say help, I mean heat! Yes I said it, H E A T.  I have always been told to stay away from heat, (it’s like a swear word to some people lol) but in actual fact, heat is what we need for this hair type because it helps to lift the cuticles (open them up) to allow the products we use to get in. So, when I say heat, I mean moderate heat with things like this Bonnet Hair Dryer Hood Attachment from Amazon or this POSH Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap from Antidote Street.

For products, you pretty much want to stick to no/low protein products as well as products with humectants (which attract and hold moisture from the air) such as glycerine or honey. Low porosity hair also requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and mineral oil and this hair type is much better off with lighter, liquid-based products, i.e. hair milks, that won’t sit on your hair and leave it oily or greasy.

Normal porosity hair

If you have normal porosity hair, then you literally have the best of both words because this type of hair holds moisture and shine for a long period of time. The cuticles of your hair are not too close together, but are not too open either, which allows moisture to penetrate easily.  

I am sure most of us would love this kind of hair porosity, but beware, normal hair porosity can change over time depending on how you treat your hair, so basically, the chemicals or products you use as well as your hair regime all matter. Nevertheless, with this kind of porosity, you can pretty much use the majority of the products in the market.

High porosity hair

With this hair type, your cuticles are fully open. So, just as much as your hair absorbs water, oils, and other types of products you may use to help retain moisture, it unfortunately loses the moisture just as fast. So, this hair type can be genetic but the majority of the reason why your hair could be high porosity is because of the way you treat it, i.e., styling treatments like bleaching your hair, constantly applying heat to straighten it as well as other chemical applications.

So, for high porosity hair, you want to use products that have heavier ingredients like oils or butters to help lock in the moisture so the L.O.C (Leave in, Oil and Cream) methods will work very well on high porosity hair but for your shampoos, unlike for low porosity hair, you want to use sulfate-free shampoos that provide a gentle cleanse without leaving the hair stripped, because your type of hair is already prone to dryness.

Lastly, for high porosity hair, you may want to introduce protein treatments into your hair regime at least once a month but no more than twice because the protein treatments help to temporarily fill in the gaps left by the fact that your cuticles are more open.  The protein will help to make your hair look fuller, make it stronger and help to reduce hair breakage.

Products I use for my low porosity hair

For my low porosity hair, I have carefully chosen to use the products listed below. My aim is to keep things simple and I am going to be using the L.C.O. (Leave in, Cream and Oil) method.  I will try to use these products consistently for 6 months and will do an update for you guys to see if I notice any further changes with my hair, good or bad.

Shampoo – Organics by Africa’s Best Olive Oil Shampoo

Deep conditioner – Crece Pelo Hair growth mask and treatment

Leave In – Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Multi-Action Leave-In

Cream – Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Oil – Tisserand Sweet Almond Ethically Harvested

Option 1 for heat – Bonnet Hair Dryer Hood Attachment 

Option 2 for heat – Beaupretty Disposable Aluminium Foil Hair Caps

Also if you want to check out my YouTube video where I talk a bit more about my hair porosity, CLICK HERE and whilst you are there, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.

I hope this post was helpful and if you want more information, please contact me and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for all the latest posts, information, freebies and much more sent straight to you inbox.

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