Understanding Hair Porosity
Finding the right product combination for your hair may seem like a daunting task. Regardless of the texture you’re working with, sometimes, it just feels like getting it right is a little more difficult than it should be. Most of the time, however, the issue finding the right product combo stems from not being clear on what your hair porosity is.
But what exactly is hair porosity?
Simply put, hair porosity refers to the ability your hair has to both retain and absorb moisture. And no, not everyone’s porosity level is the same. There are three different types of porosity levels that your hair can fall under: low, normal, or high. Unfortunately though, not everyone knows what part of the spectrum they fall in or even what they mean.
If that happens to be you, there are a few things you should know about hair porosity to help you choose the right products to put your mane in its healthiest state. To start, trying out one of these three tests can help you figure out what level of porosity your hair is working with.
The Shedding Hair Test
After combing or brushing your hair, take a strand that has been shed and drop it into a glass of water. If your strand floats, you’re apart of the low porosity hair community. If the strand slowly sinks, it’s normal. If it sinks immediately, however, you’re dealing with high porosity hair.
The Water Test
This water test is perhaps the most common because it is one that most people technically do daily. To find your level of porosity with this test, all you have to do is take a small section of your curls and spray them with water. Based on your hair’s reaction, if it has absorbed the water quickly, you have high porosity hair. If the moisture remains on top of the hair, however, it’s low porosity.
The Strand Test
Take small patches of hair from your nape, temple, crown, and front hairline and gently stretch them. Using your thumb and index finger, slide upwards from the end tip to toward your scalp. If you’re able to move your fingers easily up the hair and it feels hard and dense, your porosity level is low. If you do the same method and the hair is dry, rough, or breaks, the porosity of your hair is high.
Though the above tests are good ways to determine your hair’s porosity level, there are other telltale signs that can help you determine which porosity level your hair has. Here are a few key points to pay attention to as well as some things you should know about managing hair at each porosity level.
Those with low porosity hair are equipped with compact cuticles. This makes it difficult for moisture to get into your hair shaft. Those with low porosity hair will have trouble getting their hair to dry quickly and getting it fully saturated upon initial impact, see more product build-up on curls, and find issue with getting oils to penetrate their hair. Once moisture is absorbed, however, it is retained. Tips for those who have low porosity hair would be to:
- Be sure to use sulfate-free shampoos like Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean! Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo to ensure that you are not encouraging product build-up on your scalp.
- Evenly distribute products on your hair.
- Apply deep conditioning treatment (Aunt Jackie’s Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Conditioning Masque is a good option) and be sure to add heat. This can be done by putting your hair in a plastic cap and sitting under a hooded dryer, using a steamer, or even wrapping your head in a towel to create a warm sensation. Doing this will help the hair absorb product better.
If you’re a person who has a normal porosity hair level, your cuticles are compact and getting moisture in is no trouble at all. Those with normal porosity hair usually require very little maintenance or manipulation, have bouncy curls, and can even add color their mane that yields great results. Tips for managing this type of hair include:
- Regular deep conditioning to maintain the good product absorption.
- Try administering a hot oil treatment. Use any of the Aunt Jackie’s Natural Growth Oil Blends for applaudable results.
- Work in sections when washing, conditioning, and detangling your hair. To make detangling stress-free, try Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy.
High porosity hair holders may often feel frustrated with their tresses because it always feels like there’s never enough product that can be used. High porosity hair is usually dry and thirsty and in need of frequent hydration. This type of hair often looks and feels dry, is frequently frizzy, absorbs water quickly to produce dry curls even quicker, and needs more products to deliver a look. If you fall under this category, these following tips can help you maintain hydration:
- Staying away from heat and choosing to air dry your hair to avoid drying it out even more.
- Use products like Aunt Jackie’s Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner and the Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter to help lock in the moisture and relieve the parchment of those curls.
- Regularly add deep conditioning and mask treatments like Aunt Jackie’s Coco Repair Deep Conditioner into your hair routines.
- Prevent frizz and seal the cuticle by rinsing your hair with cold water.