Low porosity hair is a hair type that is characterized by a tightly-packed cuticle layer, which makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. This type of hair repels water, making it difficult to style and prone to dryness.
Understanding the characteristics of low-porosity hair is vital for anyone who wants to maintain healthy hair. Without proper care, low-porosity hair can become brittle, damaged, and prone to breakage. Fortunately, specific tips and techniques can be used to care for low-porosity hair, from choosing the right products to adjusting your hair care routine.
If you have low-porosity hair, it's essential to understand that it requires special care. By taking the time to understand the unique characteristics of low-porosity hair and implementing the right techniques and products, you can keep your hair healthy, strong, and beautiful.
Low porosity hair is a hair type that has a tightly bound cuticle layer, which makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. This means low-porosity hair can often feel dry and brittle, even when well-maintained.
When you have low-porosity hair, using products specifically designed to help your hair retain moisture is essential. This can include using a deep conditioner or hair mask regularly and avoiding products that contain alcohol or other drying ingredients.
One of the critical characteristics of low-porosity hair is that it tends to repel water. This means that washing your hair can be challenging to get it thoroughly wet, and it may take longer to dry than other hair types.
Another common trait of low porosity hair is that it is prone to product buildup. Because the cuticle layer is so tightly bound, it can be difficult for products to penetrate the hair shaft. This can lead to a product buildup on the hair, making it look dull and lifeless.
If you have low-porosity hair, it is essential to be gentle when detangling it. This can help prevent breakage and damage to the hair shaft. Consider using a leave-in conditioner or detangler to make combing your hair more manageable.
Overall, low-porosity hair can be a challenging hair type to care for, but with the right products and techniques, it is possible to keep your hair looking healthy and vibrant.
Various factors, including genetics, hair care practices, and environmental factors, cause low porosity hair. Here are some of the most common causes of low porosity hair:
It's important to note that while some people are born with low-porosity hair, others develop it over time due to their hair care practices. Here are some standard hair care practices that can cause low-porosity hair:
It's essential to be mindful of these factors when caring for low-porosity hair. By avoiding practices that can damage the hair cuticle and using products formulated for low-porosity hair, you can help keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
You may notice a difference between your natural hair porosity (at the roots) and your acquired one. If your low porosity hair is caused by genetics, there isn't much you can do to change it, as your hair cuticle naturally grows from the roots tightly closed. However, suppose your hair behaves like low porosity due to buildup, chemical or heat damage, or other lifestyle factors. Ideally, you fix the lifestyle factors to restore your hair to the same porosity level.
Low porosity hair is characterized by tightly packed cuticles that prevent moisture from penetrating the shaft.
Here are some signs this is the case with your hair:
If you have low-porosity hair, you may also notice that your hair takes longer to dry than other types of hair. This is because the tightly packed cuticles that prevent water from entering the hair shaft also prevent moisture from leaving.
Low porosity hair can be frustrating to deal with, but there are some things you can do to improve the health of your hair. For example, you can use warm water when you wash your hair to help open the cuticles and allow moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. You can also try using a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup from your hair, which can help products penetrate the hair shaft more easily.
It's also important to avoid using heavy oils and butters on your hair, as these can weigh down your hair and make it look greasy. Instead, opt for lighter products like leave-in conditioners or hair milk that can penetrate the hair shaft more easily.
Finally, use a heat protectant spray before using styling tools like flat irons or curling wands to protect your hair from heat damage. Heat can damage the cuticles of low-porosity hair, making moisture penetrating the hair shaft even more difficult.
Low-porosity hair requires a different hair care routine than high or medium-porosity hair. So, it's important to determine your hair's porosity level before you start your hair care regimen. Here are a few ways to test for low-porosity hair:
This is the most reliable test to figure out your hair's porosity and also the easiest to do. Put a few strands of clean hair into a glass of room-temperature water. If your hair floats on top of the water, you likely have low-porosity hair. This is because low-porosity hair has a tightly bound cuticle layer that prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft, making it difficult for your hair to absorb water. If your hair floats to the surface, you may have high porosity hair instead, and if your hair just remains submerged but floats a bit... your hair is balanced.
Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the hair shaft, from the tip to the root. This is not the most straightforward test because you need to have very sensitive fingers and a naturally smooth hair texture. If you feel little to no resistance, your hair is likely to be low porosity. People often associate low-porosity hair with stick-straight hair textures, but curly hair can also be low porosity. This is because the tightly bound cuticle layer oflow-porosityy hair makes it difficult for products to penetrate the hair shaft, resulting in a lack of slip or resistance.
Spray a small section of your hair with water and observe how the water interacts with your hair. If the water beads and stays on your hair's surface, you will likely have low-porosity hair. This is because the tightly bound cuticle layer of low-porosity hair makes it difficult for water to penetrate the shaft.
YES! Low porosity hair is not necessarily straight, though if you have been treating your hair to the typical hair routines suggested for curly hair, you may have sadly discovered that your curls aren't the best.
But look at this beautiful curly hair girl with low porosity hair!
If you have low-porosity hair, using the right products and techniques to keep your hair healthy and moisturized is essential. Here are a few tips:
As you can see, the goal is to avoid coating the hair surface in product and ensure the product penetrates the hair cuticle using heat. Following these tips and using the right products can keep your low-porosity hair healthy, moisturized, and looking its best.
Some people also swear by chemical dying or bleaching, and while chemically treated hair is often more porous, the damage caused comes with its own set of haircare requirements. So it may be a toss-up between having low porosity hair or caring for colored or bleached hair. However, if you have low porosity hair, it would be best to avoid straightening keratin treatments, as they will seal the cuticle even more.
Low-porosity hair can be a joy, as it's often glossier and less frizzy than its high-porosity counterpart. However, to remain healthy, it needs a particular routine. For example, since the hair shaft is less porous, you may be wasting your expensive haircare products as they need to get into the hair and do their job. Low-porosity hair is also much more likely to suffer from product build-up, which causes dull hair and a loss of texture.
When shampooing low-porosity hair, it's essential to use a residue-free shampoo. This will help prevent product buildup and ensure your hair gets the proper cleansing it needs. Additionally, diluting your conditioner can help ensure it penetrates your hair cuticles and provides the necessary moisture. Using water-based products can also help keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
A clarifying shampoo used regularly can also help improve the look and feel of your hair. Even if you are a Curly Girl Method enthusiast, your low-porosity hair is much more likely to accumulate surface deposits and may be overwhelmed by rich products. Low porosity curlies sometimes find a sulfate-free shampoo routine that cannot deal with product build-up. So make sure to check if this is the case for you.
Deep conditioning is essential for low-porosity hair, as it helps to open up the cuticles and allow for better moisture absorption. You should use a deep conditioner at least once a week and leave it on for at least 30 minutes to fully penetrate your hair. However, heat is critical to avoiding the deep conditioning treatment just sitting on the surface of your hair. Use a steamer or hooded dryer to help open up your hair cuticles and allow for better absorption of the conditioner.
While heat can damage low-porosity hair, it can also help allow products to penetrate your hair cuticles. However, it's essential to be careful not to use too much heat, as this can cause damage to your hair. Consider using a steamer or hooded dryer to help open up your hair cuticles and allow for better absorption of products. But a hot oil treatment can be precisely what your hair needs.
If you have time, spending 15 minutes steaming your hair before washing it, combined with a pre-shower treatment, can work miracles on low-absorption hair. At the very least, use a scalp massager and be ready to properly wet your hair when you are showering, spending a few minutes just making sure it's properly soaked before you add shampoo.
Protein treatments can be helpful for low-porosity hair, as they help to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. However, it's essential not to overdo it with protein treatments, as too much protein can cause your hair to become brittle and break. Consider using a protein treatment once every 4-6 weeks.
If your hair snaps when you gently stretch it, it's time to lay off the protein treatments and opt for some heavy-duty hydrating treatments instead. Since low porosity hair means tightly closed hair cuticles, striking the perfect balance between moisture and protein is more important than for any other hair type.
Moisturizing treatments are essential for low-porosity hair, as they help keep it hydrated and healthy. Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to help lock in moisture and prevent dryness. However, be wary of silicones which may coat your hair surface and make it even more difficult for moisture to enter the hair shaft.
When styling low-porosity hair, using lightweight products that won't weigh your hair down is essential. Use a water-based styling cream or gel that won't leave any residue instead of a heavy oil or silicone-based one. Additionally, using a diffuser when blow-drying your hair can help prevent frizz and ensure that your hair dries evenly.
Caring for low-porosity hair requires a bit of extra effort, but keeping your hair healthy and hydrated is well worth it. Using the right products and techniques ensures your hair looks and feels its best.
Keratin treatments deposit even more protein inside the hair shaft, smoothing and reducing texture and fixing some hair damage. This is great if your hair is high porosity, but it can throw the moisture-protein balance off in low porosity hair. For this reason, it's worth consulting with your hairdresser and ensuring you have a high-moisture routine to ensure your low-porosity hair doesn't become dry and brittle.
For all those low porosity curlies (They exist, and often they have type 4 curls which come with their own set of challenges in getting moisture to those tips), does the curly girl method work on low porosity hair? The answer is, sadly, not really. Commonly used products in a CGM routine, such as coconut oil, aloe, or glycerin, can make your hair frizzy, fragile, and a mess, throwing off your protein-moisture balance and causing product build-up that weighs down your curls. Low porosity hair needs to be clarified often or washed with shampoo instead of co-washing to remove the surface deposits.
However, the specific haircare requirements of low porosity hair mean that it can benefit from some aspects of the curly girl method, depending on your hair texture and situation. The best thing you can do is learn to love and know your particular hair and work with its requirements and your environment. Maybe an oiling treatment every so often works great; perhaps you don't need a shampoo with sulfates. If you live in a dry climate, glycerin may be a savior. But remember to test and avoid using a hair technique just because a book says your hair pattern needs it.
In conclusion, low-porosity hair is a unique hair type that requires special care and attention. It is characterized by its inability to absorb moisture and hair treatments easily, which can lead to product buildup on the hair's surface. However, low-porosity hair can thrive and look its best with the proper care and products. One of the most important things to remember when caring for low-porosity hair is to use products specifically formulated for this hair type.
For best results, you may need to tweak how you apply products. Look for lightweight, water-based products that won't weigh down your hair or cause buildup. Avoid heavy oils and butters that can sit on the surface of your hair and make it difficult for moisture to penetrate. Because this hair type is not very absorbent, it's important to use techniques that help to open up the cuticles and allow moisture to penetrate. This can include using heat, such as a steamer or hooded dryer, or the "baggy method" to trap moisture.
In addition to using the right products and techniques, being gentle with your hair is also essential. Low-porosity hair can be fragile and prone to breakage, so avoid using harsh brushes or combs and be gentle when detangling. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle, and start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. Caring for low-porosity hair can be challenging, but with the right products, techniques, and gentle care, it can be a beautiful and healthy hair type. Remember to be patient and consistent in your routine, and don't be afraid to experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for your hair.