All about hair porosity and its importance for the health of your hair

You may not often come across the term "hair porosity," but in reality, it's a highly significant concept when it comes to hair care and health. Thus, when it concerns hair health and maintenance, porosity, daily routines, and the right way to clean your hair play a crucial role in the condition of your hair, particularly concerning its ability to retain moisture and water. In this article, we'll delve into the key concepts related to hair porosity and how to determine your hair's specific porosity type.

What is Hair Porosity?

Simply put, hair porosity is a term that reflects how well the hair absorbs and retains moisture through its impact on the movement of oils and moisture within and outside the hair's outer layer and the scalp. Hair porosity can have different levels - low, medium, and high, and it's essential for an individual to identify their hair's porosity type for a proper care routine.

Types of Hair Porosity

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Hair porosity is typically divided into three categories:

  1. Low Porosity: Hair with low porosity faces challenges in absorbing moisture and water, making it difficult for it to stay adequately hydrated.
  2. Medium Porosity: Hair with medium porosity has a relatively balanced ability to absorb moisture and maintain it.
  3. High Porosity: Curly hair, for example, tends to be more porous compared to straight or wavy hair, as the skin or scalp is often oily and quickly absorbs moisture and water, as well as other products.

Hair Characteristics According to Porosity Type

The characteristics and traits of each type of hair vary based on its porosity type, which we'll outline below:

1. Low Porosity Hair Characteristics:

  • It struggles to become fully saturated with moisture during hydration.
  • It takes a relatively long time to dry after washing.
  • Most products, even oils, tend to accumulate on the hair strands rather than being absorbed.

2. Medium (Normal) Porosity Hair Characteristics:

  • It doesn't require extensive care and is generally flexible and resistant to breakage.
  • It's easy to style and maintains that style for an extended period.
  • Typically, it's healthy and shiny.
  • Drying doesn't take too long when it's wet, and it takes on color well.

3. High Porosity Hair Characteristics:

  • It can't retain moisture for an extended period because there are gaps or spaces within the cuticles.
  • It absorbs water and moisture products at a high rate.
  • It consistently needs care, relying on oils and hair products, and is more prone to breakage.
  • It tends to be frizzy, dry, and prone to breakage.
  • It dries quickly when wet and readily takes on added color, such as that found in shampoos, for instance.

Factors Affecting Hair Porosity

There are numerous factors that can contribute to having a particular type of hair porosity or lead to changes in porosity levels. Some of the most well-known factors include:

  • Excessive Hair Drying, Coloring, and Frequent Washing: Over-drying your hair with excessive dyeing and washing can cause your hair cuticles to open and expand, making it difficult for your hair to retain moisture.
  • Use of Harsh Hair Products and Treatments: The use of harsh hair products and treatments can damage and weaken your hair over time, negatively impacting its porosity.
  • Excessive Exposure to UV Rays: Prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun can increase your hair's porosity levels. It's always advisable to wear a hat or cover your hair to protect it from the sun.
  • Genetics: The type of hair porosity you have might be inherited. For example, if high porosity hair runs in your family, there's a high likelihood that you also have high porosity hair.

Can I Change My Hair Porosity Type?

If your hair porosity is determined by genetic factors, it can be challenging to change it. However, according to hair care specialists, there are things you can do to ensure your hair remains healthy, especially during styling.

  • For Low Porosity Hair: It's advisable to use shampoo and conditioner that contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin and honey. Avoid products with heavy oils that are challenging to penetrate the scalp and scalp, and apply conditioner to wet hair to help with moisturization.
  • For High Porosity Hair: Using shampoo and conditioner with beneficial ingredients such as butter and oils is recommended. Steer clear of hot water when washing, opting for lukewarm water instead.

    Ways to Determine Your Hair Porosity Type

    You might wonder, "What type of hair porosity do I have, and is there an easy way to test it?" The answer is yes, there are various tests you can perform to determine your hair's porosity type, and the most important ones are:

    The Float Test:

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    • If your hair strands quickly sink in water and stay at the bottom, your hair has high porosity.
    • If your hair strands float on the water's surface, your hair has low porosity.
    • If your hair strands gradually sink, indicating a normal or medium porosity level.

    The Fragrance Test:

    • If your hair absorbs the scent of your environment and carries it even after leaving, your hair has high porosity.
    • If your hair doesn't absorb the scent and retains its natural scent, it has low porosity.
    • If your hair slightly takes on the fragrance of the environment, it has medium porosity.

    In Conclusion

    Understanding the significance of hair porosity helps you select the right hair products and care routines to maintain its health, ensuring well-hydrated and strong hair. It's a crucial factor for healthy, beautiful hair.