What is hair porosity?
Long ago, I wrote about this on my old website, specifically “Why does my hair take so long to dry” and believe it or not this was one of my most popular posts. So I thought I would revamp and rewrite this post, as clearly people want to know why their hair is behaving this way.
So I should first start off by explaining what hair porosity is.
The definition of porosity is the quality of being porous, or full of tiny holes. Liquids go right through things that have porosity.
In essence, this all stems down to what the quality of your hair strands. If you have more holes in your hair cuticles, it means you are more likely susceptible to more breakage due to the volume of liquid your hair can absorb, as it can strain the hair. It also means your hair lets in way too much moisture and you’re often prone to frizz and tangling – not fun!
Let’s jump into how you can test the porosity of your hair at home and find out what situation you are dealing with on your head!
Hair porosity test
You’ll need some loose strands of your hair for this (obvs) so go grab your hairbrush and hopefully you should have some strands to play with. If not, if you are like me, sometimes when I run my fingers through my hair I’m able to get out the odd strand. Or maybe go to your bathroom wall and see if you let any stuck to the wall. Side note, my boyfriend hates me when I do this, but I know I’m not the only girl to do this – don’t leave me hanging. Okay, so you’ve got your hair now, let’s head over to the sink!
Place your hair strands into some water and leave for 2-4 minutes
After the time is up, go look at see what your hair has done! If you got a floater (that sounds wrong, and I’m sorry for that) then you have low porosity, if your hair sank to the bottom, then you have high porosity.
So what does this all mean?
Well, knowing the porosity of your hair can help you when you make decisions for what products you use on your hair & just how to generally care for your hair
- This is considered to be healthy hair (and often shiny)
- This hair type repels moisture when you try to wet it (resists penetration from chemicals)
- Prone to build up from protein/rich conditioners
How to combat this?
- Avoid protein treatments
- When moderate heat when applying protein free conditioning treatments, as this helps open up the hair cuticles
- Use hair moisturisers such as coconut oil or shea butter, as this holds more moisture to your hair.
- Your hair cuticles are rather damaged from chemical processing, heat etc
- There are lots of gaps & holes in your cuticles, which let too much moisture into your hair, making your hair prone to frizz & tangles in humid weather
- Simple acts of bathing, swimming & shampoo can create more damage & breakage.
How to combat this:
- Use leave in conditioners, as moisture leaves this hair type very quickly
- Use protein treatments on the hair
So after reading this post, what did your hair turn out to be? I was a floater. Let me know in the comments below if you were a floater or a sinker.