So, here’s the thing about hair care — the only way that you can get optimal results is if you really understand what type and texture of hair that you have (you can watch these videos to figure out your hair texture:
Shoot, even then, in order to avoid frizz and breakage, so that you can get the best-looking curls while keeping as many inches as possible, you need to know what type of hair porosity you’ve got — high, normal or low.
And just what is hair porosity all about? The long short of it is, it’s how easily your hair is able to retain moisture. And since moisture is critical to hair styling and hair growth, I wanted to share some insights on that today; more specifically, what you should do if you happen to have low porosity hair which actually is rarer than the other two. Are you ready to learn more about it? Let’s do this.
What Exactly Does It Mean to Have Low Porosity Hair?
While I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard terms like “low porosity”, “high porosity” and “normal porosity” before, I wouldn’t blame you one bit if there was a random exam with a million-dollar prize and you still we’re able to break things down into Layman’s terms.
Probably the best way to describe everything is low porosity is when the cuticles of your hair are so closely knit together that it’s difficult for your strands to absorb the moisture that they need to remain healthy.
High porosity is when your cuticles are so widely spaced apart that it’s very easy for things like oils, water and other conditioners to penetrate your tresses; problem is, the moisture has the ability to leave as quickly as it came.
Normal porosity is when your cuticles are positioned in such a way that it’s relatively easy for moisture to get into your hair and remain moisturised.
Since this particular article is all about low porosity hair, a “pro” to having this kind of hair is it does tend to be pretty strong and, when it is well-moisturised, it tends to offer a beautiful sheen (especially when it comes to dark hair).
Two of the biggest challenges include the fact that it can become dry and brittle quicker than the other two porosities and it can be difficult for dyes and other forms of chemical processing to take to it.
These issues can lead to frizzing, split ends and hair that lacks in length retention, if you’re not careful. And just what are some of the signs that you could actually have porosity hair? If your hair is dry more times than not, it takes a long time for it to get wet when you’re in the shower or it’s very prone to product buildup, that could be exactly what’s going on.
This is why it’s so important to know what kind of hair porosity that you have because again, at the end of the day, healthy hair consists of moisturised hair and you can’t figure out what works best for you without knowing if low, high or normal is what you’re personally dealing with. And just how do you figure it out? Luckily, there are all kinds of hacks that can assist you. Check out these videos to work out your hair porosity:
6 Things to Keep in Mind About Low Porosity Hair
Pre-poo for sure
If you happen to have low porosity hair, since retaining moisture is such a challenge for you, it’s important that you pre-poo your hair prior to shampooing and conditioning it.
The reason why is because shampooing (especially if you use one that contains sulfates) can dry out your hair, so you need to add some oil to your locks, before washing them, so that you can maintain a balance of moisture which will keep your hair soft and so much easier to detangle. A cool pre-poo routine that can walk you through the process is featured here.
You’ll have to go above and beyond to get products to penetrate.
Unfortunately, for you, getting your hair to maintain moisture isn’t as easy as just putting on a conditioner and letting it sit for five minutes.
You’ll definitely need to deep condition your hair (let a thicker conditioner sit on your hair for no less than 30 minutes) and you might want to consider applying what is known as the LCO method.
It stands for Liquid, Cream, Oil and it means that you should apply these items, in this order, for maximum moisture retention on your wash days. This brings me to my next point.
Best deep conditioners for low porosity hair
Opt for water over oil
When it comes to products that you choose to put onto your hair to get it the moisture that it craves, you might think that oil-based ones are best; not true for low porosity hair.
However, did you see that in the LCO method, it was liquid that was mentioned first and oil that was listed last? Water is always going to be the best moisturiser for both hair and skin, so when you’re looking for products to use, definitely make sure that “water” is the first ingredient listed on the label. That means it has more water in it than anything else; for you, that’s a good thing. Very.
Best leave-in conditioners for low porosity hair
Do some steaming
When you’re in the process of deep conditioning your hair, something that you may want to do is steam it.
Steaming helps to open up your hair’s already tight cuticles, so that it’s a lot easier for your tresses to take your products in. Although there are many steamers on the market, one that gets pretty impressive reviews is the ZENY 2 in 1 Mini Ozone Facial Steamer and Hair Steamer; that’s because it’s portable (a tabletop model) and you can use it on your face as well.
You’ll need to use a clarifier (or a couple of ‘em)
Remember what I said about product buildup earlier? If you’ve got low porosity hair, something else that you’re going to need to do is clarify your locks more than other hair porosity types need to do.
All this means is you will need to shampoo your hair with a brand that uses sulfates to remove product buildup. Or, if you want to take a gentler approach, you can always apply an apple cider rinse once you’re done shampooing your hair; it’s awesome because it will also remove buildup while restoring your hair’s pH balance, encourage shine and keep your hair pretty soft in the process.
Protein isn’t exactly your friend
This one might sound wild yet that doesn’t make it any less true.
Although your hair is made up of mostly protein (keratin), because your cuticles are already pretty strong and protein has a way of making hair even stronger, you should probably scale back on routine protein treatments (which are recommended every six weeks or so) because they could make your strands so stiff that they end up breaking off.
Instead, consume foods that are high in protein (like meat, fish, eggs, beans and yogurt). Also, when it comes to hair products, look for the kind that are protein-free. And what if you really want to add some protein onto your hair?
Honey has traces of protein in it and, by adding a tablespoon or so to your conditioner, it can be great for your hair because it’s loaded with nutrients (like copper, iron and zinc) and it acts as a humectant. That’s awesome because humectants literally draw moisture from the hair into your hair.
While I could go on and on about this topic, consider this to be a “cheat sheet” when it comes to low porosity hair. If confirm that you’ve got this kind of hair and you follow these tips, I’m certain that you will be on the way to having the kind of hair you want and deserve — full, long and moisture-rich. Enjoy!