If you have low porosity hair, you know that moisturizing can be a real challenge. Your hair is less likely to soak up moisture, making it challenging to keep your locks looking healthy and hydrated. This article will discuss the 10 best ways to moisturize low porosity hair and keep it looking its best. We’ll cover everything from the products you should be using to the best techniques for your specific type of hair.
So let’s get right into it!
The ten best tips to moisturize low porosity hair are:
- Use a pre-poo treatment
- Clarify your hair
- Always deep condition with heat
- Use protein treatments sparingly
- Seal in moisture with an oil
- Use light-weight oils & products
- Use water-based styling products
- Try the baggy (greenhouse) method
- Incorporate hot oil treatments
- Embrace satin/silk (scrunchies, bonnets & pillowcases)
What is low porosity hair?
Before we get into the tips, it’s essential to understand what low porosity hair is and how it differs from other hair types.
Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
High porosity hair soaks up moisture like a sponge, while low porosity hair has trouble absorbing and retaining moisture.
The high porosity hair cuticle (outer layer of the hair) is raised or lifted, allowing moisture to enter the hair shaft easily.
On the other hand, the low porosity hair cuticle is tightly sealed and does not easily allow moisture and products to enter the shaft.
Low porosity hair is typically characterized by:
- Being difficult to moisturize
- Products sitting on your hair lead to a lot of build-ups
- Being susceptible to heat damage
- Washing and drying take longer
- Water tends to bead up and roll off hair (rather than absorb into it)
As a result, low porosity hair can experience challenges, including dryness, frizz, and split ends.
Ways to determine if you have low porosity hair
Look out for the following things if you’re not sure whether or not you have low porosity hair.
First, try the strand test. Take a single strand of hair and drop it into a cup of water.
If the strand floats, you have low porosity hair. If it sinks, you have high porosity hair.
Another way to tell is by doing the elasticity test. Wet your hair, and then try to stretch it out. If it stretches easily and does not return to its original state, you have high porosity hair.
If it snaps back into place or is difficult to stretch out, you have low porosity hair.
Finally, you can try the slide test. Take a single strand of hair and slide your fingers up towards the scalp.
If you feel resistance or “snagging,” you have low porosity hair. If you don’t feel any resistance, you have high porosity hair.
So now that you know what low porosity hair is let’s move on to the tips!
1. Use a pre-poo treatment
A pre-poo treatment is an excellent way to moisturize low porosity hair.
Pre-poo stands for pre-shampoo, and it is a treatment you apply to your hair before shampooing.
These treatments help protect your hair from the harshness of shampoo and add moisture at the same time.
You can use many different pre-poo treatments, but some of our favorites include oils, conditioners, and leave-In conditioners.
To use a pre-poo treatment, apply it to your hair before shampooing.
Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual.
2. Clarify your hair
If you have low porosity hair, you may find that products build up on your hair easily.
This build-up can make your hair feel heavy, greasy, and even dull.
Clarifying your hair is a great way to give your hair a fresh start. It helps remove build-up from the hair and allows moisture and products to penetrate the hair shaft more easily.
You can use a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar (ACV) to clarify your hair.
Some of our favourite clarifying shampoos include:
- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
- Zotos Quantum Clarifying Shampoo
- Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
ACV is a natural alternative to clarifying shampoos, and it is very effective at removing build-up.
Mix one-part ACV with four parts water and pour it over your hair to use ACV.
Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse out with cold water. Follow up with a conditioner.
You can also add ACV to your regular shampoo to help clarify your hair.
Just add a few tablespoons of ACV to your shampoo and use it as usual.
3. Deep condition with heat
Using deep conditioning treatments is a must for maintaining moisturized, low porosity hair.
Deep conditioning help hydrate and nourish the hair, and you can do them weekly or bi-weekly.
When deep conditioning, be sure to use heat. The heat will help open up the cuticle and allow the conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft more easily.
You can use a hooded dryer, steamer, or even sit in the sun for a few minutes.
It is essential to use heat treatments sparingly and in the lowest setting possible.
Once you’ve applied the conditioner, cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic bag and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse it out with cool water and follow up with a leave-in conditioner.
Some of our favourite deep conditioners include:
- Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
- TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque
4. Use the LOC method
The LOC method is a great way to moisturize low porosity hair.
LOC stands for Liquid, Oil, Cream and helps seal in moisture and prevent water loss.
Start with a water-based leave-in conditioner or moisturizer to use the LOC method.
Apply it to your damp hair and then follow up with a light oil.
You can use jojoba oil, Argan oil, grapeseed oil, or another light oil of your choice.
Finally, seal in the moisture with a cream-based product.
Apply it to your hair and then style as usual.
The LOC method is a great way to keep low porosity hair moisturized and prevent water loss.
5. Use light-weight oils & products
When choosing products for low porosity hair, it’s essential to select light-weight oils and products.
Heavy oils and products are harder to penetrate the hair shaft. They sit on the hair and make it feel greasy and weighed down.
Instead, opt for light-weight oils and products that low porosity hair can easily absorb.
Some of our favourite light-weight oils include:
- Argan oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Grapeseed oil
And some of our favourite light-weight leave-in conditioners include:
- Camille Rose Naturals Honey Leave-In Treatment
- As I Am Naturally Leave-In Conditioner
- Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner
- Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
6. Use protein treatments sparingly
Protein helps strengthen and repair hair by filling in the gaps in the hair shaft.
If your hair is damaged, meaning gaps along its shaft, you may benefit from protein treatments.
However, if you have low porosity hair and it is healthy, protein treatments will sit on the hair’s surface. As a result, the excess protein deposits will cause your hair to become dry and brittle.
Use protein treatments sparingly and only when your hair requires a protein boost.
A great way to tell if your hair needs a protein treatment is to do a strand test.
Take a strand of hair and stretch it out. If the hair stretches out and then:
- Snaps back, then it needs protein
- Breaks, it is dehydrated, has too much protein, and requires moisture treatments
Also, pick treatments with hydrolyzed protein as it is small enough to penetrate the hair shaft.
Some of our favourite protein treatments include:
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner
- Aunt Jackie’s Coco Repair Deep Conditioner
- It’s A 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner
When using protein treatments, follow up with a moisture-rich conditioner to keep your hair hydrated.
7. Use water-based styling products
When choosing styling products, be sure to pick water-based ones.
Water is the best way to moisturize low porosity hair. Water-based products will help add moisture to the hair and prevent it from feeling dry and brittle.
They are also are easier to absorb and won’t sit on the hair’s surface.
Be sure to avoid products with alcohol as it will dry out your hair.
Products with humectants are also a great choice as they help attract and retain moisture. Humectants include ingredients such as :
- Aloe vera
- Hyaluronic acid
- Butylene glycol
Some of our favourite water-based leave-in conditioners include:
- Kinky Curly Knot Today
- Camille Rose Naturals leave-in conditioner
- OYIN leave-in conditioner
- Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
8. Try the baggy (greenhouse) method
The baggy method is a great way to add moisture to low porosity hair.
To do this method, put your freshly moisturized hair in a plastic bag and then cover it with a shower cap or towel.
Leave it on for 2-3 hours (or overnight) and then remove it. You will notice that your hair is softer and more hydrated.
The plastic bag creates a “greenhouse effect” by trapping in heat that helps to lock in moisture.
The baggy method is an excellent way to moisturize low porosity hair if you live in a dry climate or if your hair is dehydrated.
You can also apply this method to just the ends of your hair by putting your hair in a bun and bagging the bun alone.
With this method, it’s easy to over-moisturize low porosity hair if you leave the plastic bag for too long. Be sure to test and determine the amount of time that gives the best results for your hair.
The baggy method is an excellent way to infuse moisture into low porosity hair before styling it.
9. Incorporate hot oil treatments
Hot oil treatments are a great way to add moisture to low porosity hair. The benefits of doing hot oil treatments include:
- Maintain a healthy moisture balance by penetrating the cortex and sealing cuticles
- Prevent dry scalp and flaking by adding moisture
- Reduces frizz and adds shine by smoothing the cuticle
- Stimulates blood flow to the scalp that promotes hair growth
First, to do a hot oil treatment, shampoo your hair as it works best on clean hair.
Then, warm the oil for a few seconds and apply to your hair and cover it with a shower cap or towel. Warm oil helps lift the cuticle so the oil can penetrate the hair shaft.
Apply heat for 15-20 minutes (you can use a hooded dryer, sit under the dryer, or use a heated towel).
Rinse out the oil and then condition as usual. You will notice that your hair is softer and more hydrated.
Be sure to use a light plant-based oils. Avoid mineral and heavy oils such as castor oil or petroleum jelly as low porosity hair will not readily absorb them.
Some of our favourite oils to use for hot oil treatments include:
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
- Avocado oil
It is best to use a hot oil treatment once a week or every other week.
10. Embrace satin/silk
Using satin or silk hair accessories is a great way to maintain moisture in low porosity hair.
These fabrics are non-absorbent; thus, they help keep the hair’s natural oils and moisture locked in.
The smooth texture of satin or silk fabrics helps reduce friction and prevents the hair from becoming dry and brittle.
Satin or silk bonnets and pillowcases are a great way to protect your hair while you sleep and keep it moisturized.
They help keep the hair in place while you sleep so that you don’t have to worry about it getting tangled or matted.
Some of our favourite satin or silk haircare accessories include:
Low porosity hair is often challenging to moisturize, but you can readily remedy this with the proper knowledge and products.
By incorporating some or all of these tips into your hair care routine, you will notice a significant difference in your low porosity hair’s moisture level and overall health.
Don’t hesitate to experiment and find what works best for your hair type.
And as always, consult with a professional stylist if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks for reading! We hope this was helpful. 🙂