First of all, please forgive me for not posting as often as I should. The big move has happened, so we have been extremely busy with moving and getting settled. I absolutely love my new home!! That's another post though..lol! So back to hair news, lately I've been trying to really get into the science of natural hair. I never really looked into PH balance and porosity, but decided that it was time to get a closer look and see what my hair really needs. Today, I want to discuss more about your hair porosity. There are so many rules and steps for us curly girls, but to be honest every hair type is different and all products will depend on your texture as well as the porosity of your hair. Knowing your hair porosity can help you develop a better regimen for your hair which will result in better hair days! :)
Hair Porosity is how well your hair holds moisture. The porosity can be affected by the flexible outer hair layer called the cuticle, which determines how easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair. Porosity is genetic, but it can also be affected by exposure to heat treatments and chemical processing.
Low Porosity means that your cuticles are tight and pretty resistant to opening up for water and moisture. This type of hair is usually considered healthy, and is often very shiny, especially when it's dark in color. Low porosity hair repels moisture when you try to wet it and is hard to process since it resists penetration of chemicals. The hardest part of having low porosity hair is how well can you actually hold moisture once inside, but retaining the moisture is the key! Beware of products with a low pH because high acidity works to keep the cuticle closed.
Normal Porosity is basically strands that allow for easy moisture inside the cuticle. This will also hold moisture and shine for a longer period of time. It is very desirable and low maintenance hair type. Healthier ingredients, regular deep conditioning, moisturizing and little to no heat regimens will help keep normal porosity strands at optimum health.
High porosity can be either an inherent property of hair or the result of damage from chemical processing, rough treatment or environmental damage. High porosity hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which let too much moisture into your hair and leave it prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather. Even simple acts such as bathing, swimming and shampooing can create more damage and breakage due to the sheer amount of moisture highly porous hair can absorb. Thicker butters and products with more oils are helpful for this hair type as they will seal the cuticle and even serve as a protective layer. You want to use things with a low pH, which are acidic, and will help tighten the open cuticle. Sealing with pure Aloe Vera after applying your leave-in will be extremely helpful. A regular apple cider vinegar rinse, diluted with 2 cups of water, will also help detoxify any pollution (from being so openly vulnerable to the elements) and help seal the cuticle. Protein treatments are also recommended to temporarily patch the gaps
Hair Porosity Test
Next time you wash your hair, take a clean strand of hair and drop in it a glass of water for 2 to 3 minutes. If the strand sits at the top of the water, you have low porosity hair. If the hair sinks at the bottom, you have high porosity hair. If the hair tends to be in the middle, the hair is a normal porosity. Easy as pie right!! Below are my results! Looks like I have Low Porosity Hair.
I also tested my daughter's hair and she had the same results.