Hair porosity and why it is important

So, what prompted the issue around hair porosity you ask? Well I decided to go back to basics with my hair because I was already in the process of promoting a healthy hair regime for my daughter 😄 .  As I have been natural for over 15 years now, I didn’t realise there was still so much I actually didn’t know about my hair. Despite the emergence of the “L.O.C” method or the “wash and go” method, one thing I was confident about was that I knew my “hair type”, which is a 4c. I didn’t really know why I had to know it but at least I knew what it was 😄.

What I didn’t realise was that the 4c classification was just the beginning and it was in reference to my curl pattern and not my “hair type”.per say So, thus began my journey.

What is porosity?

Let’s get down to it.  Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, which is important for healthy hair and hair growth.  The porosity of your hair affects how well moisture and oils pass in and out of the outermost layer of your hair, (the cuticle). There are 3 types of hair porosity, they are low, normal and high porosity.

The tighter your cuticles are together, the more resistant your hair will be to receiving water and all the products you put in your hair.  

  • Low porosity hair: Cuticles that are close together.
  • Medium porosity hair: Cuticles that are less tightly bound.
  • High porosity hair: Cuticles that are more widely spaced.

Why is important to know your hair porosity?

Because it helps you with making better product selections for your hair type and it helps you figure out what you should or should not be doing when styling your hair.

Through the years (and I know I am not the only one), I became a bit of a product junkie, buying shampoos, conditioners, oils, hair milks etc thinking they would work perfectly for my hair with the aim of promoting hair growth, and when I would see no results in the length or texture of my hair, I would just think I needed to “switch” things up and buy more products.  WRONG! What I needed to do (which I finally realise) was to buy products that worked specifically for my hair type.

In order to grow healthy hair, I had to retain moisture in my hair, and in order to do that, I have to use products that help my hair type do exactly just that.

How to carry out the test

You can use the float test to to find out what your hair porosity is.

  • Start with a glass of clear water
  • Shampoo and rinse your hair to remove any product build-up.
  • Once your hair is clean and dry (absolutely no products), drop a strand or more of your hair into the glass of water (you don’t have to pull your hair out, you can also get the strand(s) from your detangler, comb or brush)
  • Give it a minimum of 5 minutes to see if the strand(s) floats at the top, stays right in the middle or sinks to the bottom of the glass.

If the hair strand(s) immediately sinks to the bottom, then your hair is high porosity. If it lingers about midway in the glass, then it is normal porosity. If the strand(s) floats at the top, then your hair is low porosity. 

Check out the video below to see how my hair did on the test

Other tests to find your hair type

There are 2 other tests that you can use to find out more about your hair besides your porosity type. So, should you wish to delve in a bit further, here are the 2 other tests.

1. Finding out your hair density

Hair density refers to how closely the strands of your hair are packed together on your head, so the number of stands on your head as opposed to how “thick” or “thin” you hair looks.

Like knowing what type of porosity your hair is, knowing the density of your hair (light, medium or high) will help you with choosing the right products for your hair type. For example, if you have low density hair, then using light cream and oils would help so as to not weigh your hair down, whereas if you have high density hair, then thicker creams and oils may be better suited towards a healthy hair regimen. 

Hair density test

a. Count the number of strands on your head  – …..yeah…. .good luck with that 😄. God has this covered for me so I am good. Mathew 10:36 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

b. Check if you can see your scalp – so without manipulating  your hair and just letting it drop naturally, can you see your scalp in the mirror? If you can, then you most likely have low hair density and if it is difficult to see, then you most likely have high hair density.

c. Measure your ponytail – put your hair into a ponytail and measure the circumference of the ponytail. 

  • Low density hair will be less than 2 inches
  • Medium density will measure between 2 / 3 inches
  • High density will be at least 4 inches.

2. Find out your curl pattern

I believe this is the most popular test of all three tests.  

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The type numbers (1-4) is in reference to the curl pattern your hair falls into and the letters A-C (see the picture below) refers to how tightly wound your curls are within each number. 

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In short, if you find that you have really curly hair then you are probably suited to using heavy creams and oils however if you have lose / wavy curls, you may want to use light products so as not to weigh down the hair. If you have major curls, you can avoid wasting time with too-weak products and just go for the heavy-hitting curl creams.

So, there you have it guys. This post was a long one so I divided it into 2 parts, so the second part can be accessed by CLICKING HERE to access that bog post.  In that post I will talk a bit more about the 3 hair porosity types and the products I am currently using for my hair regime. If the excitement is just to much and you can’t wait until then to shop for products sited to your hair porosity, then go check out Antidote street by CLICKING HERE, where you can shop depending on what concerns you have for your hair.

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.

2 Comments

  1. Pelumi Solaru
    June 11, 2020 / 3:26 pm

    Very informative and helpful – thanks

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