By Alexa Santory
On Tuesday, we broke down hair porosity, which is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. We know that everyone’s hair is different and requires different levels of attention. One thing is for sure though: curly hair usually has the insatiable desire to be the center of attention. Even more so, curly hair with low porosity requires so much attention, it can be exhausting to even take care of. Worry not, friends. Today, we’re going to help you understand low porosity hair and how to get that moisture retention back for good!
Explain low porosity hair one more time, please!
Low porosity hair is basically hair that hardly allows any moisture in and makes moisture retention very difficult. If you tried the float test for hair porosity, and the strand of hair kind of just sat at the surface, you have low porosity hair.
The hair cuticle is flat and dense and doesn’t allow much moisture to pass through, making your hair feel oily on the scalp but dry through the hair shaft. Water and products applied to low porosity hair often sit right on top and take their sweet time being absorbed. It also takes your hair almost too long to dry completely.
Let's get into the science of hair real quick. The outer layer of your hair is called the cuticle. That’s the part that protects your hair from damage and it’s what allows moisture to pass in and out. When hair is considered low porosity, that means that the hair cuticle is flat and closed, making it nearly impossible for moisture to pass through. This is why low porosity hair takes so long to saturate and it’s why products often sit on top of the hair and on the scalp rather than being fully absorbed.
Are there any hair types that usually have low porosity hair?
Low porosity hair isn’t exclusive to one specific hair type. Porosity and hair type are mostly determined through genetics and oftentimes go hand in hand. In terms of texture, though, the curlier and kinkier your hair is, the more dense it is. The density of your hair determines how much moisture is being absorbed. If you think your hair is low porosity, pay attention to how it reacts to water. When wetting your hair in the shower, does it take a long time for it to truly get saturated? Do you find the products aren’t truly doing their job and moisturizing your hair? When you do the float test, does the strand sit right on top of the water? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably have low porosity hair.
My hair feels super dry through the strands but oily at the scalp. What can I do to improve my hair’s porosity?
It’s extremely common for folks with low porosity hair to feel that products are just sitting on the scalp and not being properly distributed. Like we discussed, since the hair cuticle is completely flat, the goal is get the cuticle to open just enough for moisture to easily pass through. When building a regimen for low porosity hair, you want to start by focusing on the temperature of the water when washing your hair. Warm water (not hot, just warm) opens up the pores of your skin and the cuticles of your hair. Using warm water when washing your hair can open up the cuticle just enough to let in not only water, but whatever conditioners or treatments you’re using to really get to work. When you’re done washing out your treatments, switch the temperature to cold water. This will seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture and shine. This is also a helpful tip for when you’re washing your face!
Try using sulfate free conditioners, which won’t strip the hair of its natural oils to make it feel “cleaner.” Avoid parabens and silicones too, both of which suffocate the hair. Find a routine that strikes a protein-moisture balance, which will help lock in moisture and strengthen the hair simultaneously.
If you’re looking for non-toxic, no-poo products, look no further than our non-toxic, organic hair care!
Some of our star products for low porosity hair are:
This mask is awesome for invigorating hair growth and strengthening hair follicles. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, folic acid, and riboflavin, as well as minerals like copper, potassium, zinc, and iron. Fenugreek, aloe vera oil, pumpkin, and marshmallow root work hard to create slip, prevent breakage, deeply moisturize, and increase the overall health of the hair!
Tea rinses like this one work to strengthen the hair and promote a healthy, balanced scalp. Witch hazel, the star ingredient, soothes scalp itch and reduces oil build up. The rinse also contains blue cornflower which is packed with biotin, a protein that prevents dandruff and inflammation. Other ingredients like cinnamon bark, sage, and yuca root all work together to stimulate hair growth, increase hair strength, and cleanse the scalp.
Avocado is full of great fatty acids and vitamins B and E, which protect and strengthen the hair, stimulate hair growth, and boost shine. Avocado seed heals damaged hair and fixes split ends, while eggplant replenishes the scalp. Since it’s a custom mask, I recommend adding apple cider vinegar, hibiscus, and marshmallow root. These three ingredients improve hair moisture, seal in moisture, and add slip to the hair to prevent breakage.
The major key to mastering low porosity hair is heat: it allows for the cuticle to open up and allow moisture in.
Oh, an another quick tip: when using an oil to seal in the moisture, opt for a light one, like grapeseed oil or jojoba oil. Their molecules are just the right size to penetrate low porosity hair, rather than simply sitting on top. It makes a world of difference in moisture retention.
Check out this video for the best oils for low porosity hair!
Okay, now you're a low porosity pro! Go forth and conquer!