If you have high porosity hair, you know it can be challenging to keep it looking and feeling its best. The good news is that you can manage it with the proper care and products! This guide will discuss everything you need to know about caring for high porosity hair. We’ll discuss what causes high porosity hair, how to determine your porosity level, and how to treat high porosity hair. This information lets you keep your hair healthy and shiny.
What is Hair Porosity?
Hair porosity is its ability to absorb and retain moisture.
The word porous means full of tiny holes and permeable by liquid.
All hair is porous to some degree, but high porosity hair has larger holes that readily absorb water but have difficulty retaining moisture.
There are three types of porosity: high, medium, and low.
Low porosity hair has difficulty absorbing products and moisture.
High porosity hair absorbs too much moisture leading to frizz, while normal or medium porosity hair is in the middle.
Most people have a mix of all three types on their heads. For example, you can have high porosity in the front and low in the back.
Your hair’s cuticle determines its porosity. The cuticle is the outermost layer of your hair and comprises overlapping cells that protect your hair shaft.
If your cuticle is raised or damaged, your hair will be more porous and have a more challenging time retaining moisture.
On the other hand, if your cuticle is smooth and flat, your hair will be less porous and have an easier time retaining moisture.
Check out our article on everything you need to know about hair porosity to learn more.
Now that we know what porosity is let’s talk about high porosity hair specifically.
What is High Porosity Hair?
If your hair is high porosity, it means that your hair cuticles are raised or damaged, which makes it difficult for your hair to retain moisture.
Raised cuticles can lead to dry, frizzy, and brittle hair.
Also, heat and chemical treatments make your hair more susceptible to damage.
How Can You Identify High Porosity Hair?
There are a few ways that you can identify high porosity hair. It may have many of the following characteristics:
- It feels dry or frizzy even after deep conditioning
- It lacks lustre and shine and looks dull
- Products absorb very quickly
- It takes a very short time to air dry
- Raised cuticles
- Tangles easily
- Breaks easily
If you can relate to any of the above characteristics, you will likely have high porosity hair.
What Causes High Porosity Hair?
A few things can cause highly porous hair, but the two main factors are genetic disposition and damage to the hair shaft.
1. Genetic Disposition
You were born with raised or damaged cuticles if you have high porosity hair due to genetics.
This high porosity is usually the result of a genetic mutation. You can’t do much to change highly porous hair due to genetic disposition.
Fortunately, there are still ways to manage highly porous hair, even if it’s due to genetics.
2. External Damage
If your high porosity hair is due to damage, it means that something has happened to raise or damage your hair cuticles.
The cause could be anything from over-processing with chemical treatments to damage from heat styling.
It can include bleaching, colouring, straightening, and curling your hair.
Another common cause of highly porous hair is environmental damage. This damage can include sun exposure, wind, and chlorine from swimming pools.
If your high porosity hair is due to damage, there are things that you can do to help repair the damage and improve the health of your hair.
How to Determine Your Porosity Level
There are a few different ways that you can determine your porosity level.
1. The Hair Strand Test
One way is to do a strand test. To do this, you can take a strand of clean, dry hair and place it in a clear glass of water.
If your hair:
- Sinks immediately, then you have highly porous hair
- Takes a few seconds for your hair to sink, then you have normal or medium porosity hair
- Floats on the surface of the water, then you have low porosity hair
2. Observe Hair Ends
Another way to determine your porosity level is to look at the ends of your hair.
High porosity hair will make your ends look very frayed and damaged.
On the other hand, if your hair is less porous, your ends will be very smooth and healthy looking.
You can also ask your stylist to determine your porosity level. They can tell by the condition of your hair and how it reacts to products and treatments.
Now that you know how to determine your porosity level let’s talk about how to care for high porosity hair.
How to Treat High Porosity Hair
Fortunately, high porosity hair due to damage is often reversible.
However, severely damaged hair may require a trim to remove the damaged ends.
If it is the result of genetic disposition, there are still ways to manage it and improve the health of your hair.
Here are a few tips on how to treat high porosity hair:
Use products that contain protein: Protein helps repair damaged hair, and it can also help prevent further damage.
It temporarily fills in the gaps in the hair shaft and gives your hair strength and elasticity.
There are a few different ways that you can do protein treatments:
- You can use protein products such as conditioners, deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and masks.
Look for products that contain ingredients like keratin, collagen, and silk amino acids.
- Or you can do at-home protein treatments such as mixing an egg with a tablespoon of olive oil or mayonnaise.
Apply the mixture to your hair and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing and conditioning.
Avoid Heat Styling
Heat styling can cause further damage to hair, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
If you do heat style, use a heat protectant and be sure not to use too much heat.
Also, try not to style your hair every day. Give your hair a break in between styles to allow it to recover.
Deep Condition Regularly
Deep conditioning is a must if you have highly porous hair.
It helps hydrate and nourish your hair, and it can also help repair damage.
Deep conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients that can help replenish the moisture in your hair.
Look for deep conditioners that contain ingredients like glycerin, honey, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera.
Pre-poo Oil Treatment
Pre-poo oil treatment is a great way to prevent your hair from hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue is when your hair swells from too much moisture and then shrinks back down as it dries out.
Excess water uptake can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and damaged.
A pre-poo oil treatment helps to protect your hair from hygral fatigue by creating a barrier between your hair and the water.
Massage a generous amount of oil into your dry hair and scalp for pre-poo oil treatment.
Cover your hair with a shower cap and let the oil sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
Then shampoo and condition as usual.
You can use any oil for this treatment, but some good ones are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
Pre-poo treatments can also help detangle your hair and make it easier to style.
Seal Your Ends
Sealing your ends is one of the best ways to care for high porosity hair.
Sealing your ends helps prevent moisture from escaping and protects your hair from further damage.
You can seal your ends with an oil treatment or butter. Some good oils are coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil.
Avoid using too much oil, as it can weigh down your hair.
Start with a little bit and then add more if needed.
Use Thick Products
When styling high porosity hair, it’s best to use thick products.
Thin, runny products can evaporate quickly, and they won’t be able to coat and hydrate your hair correctly.
Instead, opt for thicker products like creams, butters, and oils. These will help seal in moisture and keep it hydrated.
Look for products that contain ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Other tips for caring for high porosity hair:
- Ditch shampoos and conditioners that contain sulphates, as these ingredients can strip your hair of moisture.
- Avoid using hot water when washing your hair, as it can further dry out your hair.
- Use a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to gently blot your hair dry instead of rubbing it.
- Sleep with a silk scarf or pillowcase to prevent your hair from drying overnight.
- Don’t overwash your hair, as it can strip away the natural oils that your hair needs.
- Be gentle when handling your hair to avoid causing further damage.
- Trim your ends regularly to get rid of split ends and damaged hair.
Does high porosity hair need moisture or protein?
It needs both moisture and protein. Moisture helps hydrate your hair, and protein helps strengthen and repair it.
You can find products containing moisture and protein, or you can use separate products for each.
How often should I wash high porosity hair?
You should only wash it when necessary. The frequency can be anywhere from once a week to once every two weeks.
Over washing your hair can strip away the natural oils it needs and dry out your hair.
What is the best way to style high porosity hair?
The best way to style it is to use thicker products. Thin, runny products can evaporate quickly, and they won’t be able to coat and hydrate your hair correctly.
Instead, opt for thicker products like creams, butters, and oils. These will help seal in moisture and keep your hair hydrated.
You should also avoid using hot tools, which can further damage your hair. If you do use them, be sure to use a heat protectant product.
What are some common high porosity hair problems?
Some common problems include dryness, frizziness, and breakage.
It is more susceptible to these problems because it has many open cuticles. It means that moisture can easily escape, and your hair can become dry and damaged.
Using the right products and being gentle with your hair can help to reduce these problems.
What are some good high porosity hair products?
Some excellent products include deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and oils.
Deep conditioners help hydrate and repair your hair
Leave-in conditioners help seal in moisture and protect your hair from damage
Oils help seal in moisture and add shine to your hair
Look for products that contain ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. These ingredients will help to hydrate and protect your hair.
Is high porosity hair good or bad?
It is neither good nor bad. It just means that your hair has an increased number of open cuticles.
Genetic disposition or damage from chemical treatments, heat styling or environmental factors cause high it.
However, high porosity hair can be healthy and beautiful with the right products and care.
High porosity hair needs special care to stay hydrated and healthy. Look for moisture-rich products like honey, aloe vera, and glycerin. Avoid using hot water or hot tools on your hair, as they can further damage it. Be gentle with your high porosity hair to avoid causing breakage. Trim your ends regularly to get rid of split ends and damaged hair. With the proper care, high porosity hair can be healthy and beautiful.
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