The Most Important Element For Your Hair Journey

It’s a new year and you want do something different with your hair… Maybe even your life. You have started by watching YouTube videos to get ideas, researching different regimens, and all that jazz. It does not matter whether you are relaxed or natural BUT, before you do any of that you need to learn about your… Wait for itBoom, your HAIR POROSITY type/level.

So let’s get started, what is hair porosity? Porosity is defined as “your hair’s ability to absorb water or other chemicals into the shaft of the hair. All hair is porous but your level of porosity will vary based on genetics and the amount of damage that the cuticle layer has been subjected to.” I heard this term thrown around in multiple YouTube videos and never really understood why it mattered. But determining your porosity is the key to successfully growing your hair out… well, it’s the key to figuring out what type of hair products will work best with your hair.

Hair Porosity
What’s your hair porosity?

There are 3 types of porosity levels: Low, Normal, and High.

Low Porosity: Your hair is very resistant to absorbing moisture. You have product build-up often. When you use too many oils, creams or lotions your hair is weighed down heavily. You probably clarify more often that most hair types. Your hair cuticle is very closely compact. When you moisturize your hair, your hair is able to retain it. However, your hair does not like protein which is why you don’t have elasticity in your strands. (Elasticity is the ability to stretch out a strand to its full length without it breaking)

Normal Porosity: You essentially have healthy hair. Lucky you. You would be classified as “Normal Hair” and should use hair systems that accommodate that regimen type. It holds moisture and shine very well.

High Porosity: Your hair takes in moisture easily and quickly because your cuticle is raised (open). You either have issues with getting too much moisture or not retaining the moisture because just as quickly as it comes in, it goes right out. This hair type is usually damaged because of chemical processing, coloring, or heat damage. If you have this hair type you are prone to breakage and experience a lot of shedding. But you’re hair loves protein and keratin because they can fill the cuticles.


Next question: How do you know which hair type you have? There are a couple of ways to determine:

1. Strand Test: (most accurate in my opinion) Grab one strand of hair and slide your hand UP the hair shaft. Not down but UP the shaft. Starting from the bottom to the top. If you feel ridges in your strand then you have high porosity hair. No ridges = Low Porosity hair.

2. Water Strand Test: (personally don’t prefer this method but to each it’s own) Take a clean strand of hair and drop it in a glass of water Let it sit for a few minutes. If the strand immediately sinks to the bottom, then your hair has high porosity. If it floats to the middle, then it’s of normal porosity. If it stays on the top, then your hair is most likely low porosity


Why does knowing this help?

  • It helps you determine what products are best to use with your hair type
  • It directly correlates to your hair’s pH balance. Yes, there is science behind hair. Learning the science of hair will help you to achieve long healthy hair. I won’t go into the science just yet, but the overarching idea of pH balance is that as you use different chemicals or products in your hair it alters your pH level. Hair thrives at a pH level of 4-5.5 which is more on the acidic side. When your hair gets in contact with acidic products that causes the cuticle to rise or swell up. hence; hair colorists, relaxer, perm friendly people have to find products that counteract the high pH level. For a more in-depth science lesson, check out this link.
  • When picking products for your hair you have to consider which products work best for your porosity type. It is so easy for me to eliminate products that are suggested to me if I know they aren’t for my hair porosity type.
  • The overall goal of your hair should be health. You should be striving for a full head of normal porosity hair. When you have that it’s easy to determine a regimen that works for you.

Whatever your hair goals are I hope you achieve them. This is a fundamental place to start. This year I am considering transitioning back to natural hair; I will keep you all updated as I track my progress and share all my growth tips. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment below with your hair porosity type!

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