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Hair Porosity

Does your hair float when it’s fallen in your bath water, or do those stray strands sink to the bottom? Pay attention next time or test your strands in a glass of water because this hair property will be indicative of your hair’s porosity. Hair’s porosity is what’s responsible for how much environmental moisture your hair absorbs on a humid day, loses when the air is dry, or lets in and retains when you try to moisturize it. Knowing whether you have hair of low, average, or high porosity will determine which hair products and regimens will work best for you.

Low Porosity

Strands of low porosity float when left in water as they have cuticles that lie flat and are closed making them more resistant to absorption of water and changes of moisture. Your hair will keep it’s shine and style through humid weathers but may be difficult to moisturize once the dryer weather of fall rolls around. For this reason, you’ll want to adopt a regimen with the keys below in order to effectively moisturize your hair this season.

To moisturize low porosity hair, start by steaming hair and washing with a clarifying shampoo to open the cuticle. Rinse then apply a deep conditioning product to penetrate the hair and give it moisture to lock in. Once that’s been rinsed (or alternatively), try a humectant that’s protein-free and water-based like an aloe gel. Humectants will draw and bond moisture into your hair.

Be sure to avoid adding thick products onto your smooth strands as they will struggle to absorb into low porosity hair weighing it down and leaving it greasy as heavy oils sit on-top. Instead, a light emollient like grape seed oil, almond oil, or honey will gently re-seal the cuticle to bring back its smooth state that will retain the moisture you’ve given it.

High Porosity

Those who’s fallen strands sink when soaked in water will need a different hair care regimen especially to combat changes in the air’s humidity. With hair of high porosity, cuticles are overlapping and raised open allowing more moisture to be absorbed or lost very easily in each strand of hair. This can change the style of your do making curly hair revert and become even curlier.

You’ll want to maintain an optimal balance of moisture in your hair to keep your do and for hair strength and elasticity. Those with curly, high porosity hair should use products with lots of moisture. Try applying thicker oils like castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil to damp hair.

Once cuticles have been penetrated with enough moisture, use an emollient to smooth lifted hair cuticles to lie flat. Sealing the hair this way will help it retain the right amount of moisture so that too much is not gained or lost with changing weather.