How to know the porosity of your hair and the appropriate care

You have often heard the termlow porosity hairandvery porous hair , orhigh porosityversuslow porosity , without really knowing what that meant? Find out what porosity is and why it matters in yourhair care .

What is porosity?

Porosity refers to the "pores" found on a solid material. When we talk about hair porosity, we are therefore talking about the "holes" that are found on the cuticle, the outer surface of the hair.

To understand this, imagine that each hair is a house, with a roof, doors and windows. Inside the house are valuable possessions. When the house is locked and in good condition, it is protected and it is hard to enter without the key.

However, it sometimes happens that the door is not properly closed, that the roof leaks, and the windows remain open. What happens then? One can easily get in and out of the house and valuable possessions are at risk.

That's a bit like porosity, and its link with hydration. When the cuticle (outer surface) of the hair is in good condition, substances have a harder time penetrating into the hair core. And when the cuticle is very "perforated", the hydration passes easily but can escape immediately.


What are the different porosities?

low porosity

We speak of low porosity (little porous hair) when the cuticle is in a state where it has very few “holes”. It is well smoothed. You probably have low porosity hair if:

  • Your hair takes time to absorb water and products
  • Your hair is easily greasy or oily
  • Most products leave a white residue on your hair
  • Your hair takes more than a day to air dry
  • You have difficulty moisturizing your hair with cream butters
  • Your hair quickly becomes “hard” with certain products

High porosity

We speak of high porosity (very porous hair) when the cuticle is in a state where it has many holes, among other things because it is damaged by certain chemical treatments or physical attacks. You probably have very porous hair if:

  • Your hair is very dry quickly after being moisturized
  • Your hair is often dull
  • Your hair often has uncontrollable frizz
  • You have difficulty moisturizing your hair with sprays
  • Your hair is very brittle
  • You have hair treated with products with chemical content (coloring, relaxers, texturizers)
  • You very often use a hair dryer and/or a straightener

Medium porosity

We speak of medium porosity (normal hair) when the cuticle is in a state where it lifts easily to allow substances to pass through. Most products are fine.

Why is this important?

What's the point of knowing your porosity? It might help you know which types of moisturizers to focus on because hair reacts differently to different ingredients and product textures.

For example, the hairslightly porousare less tolerant of being saturated with heavy and fatty products because they find it difficult to absorb them. So do not use butters in priority if your hair is not very porous . You could also use a heated cap when doing treatments to help the hair absorb the products better.

Conversely, very porous (damaged) hair will never be truly hydrated with a simple spray of water. They require more restorative care to restore the hair and give it more shine and strength. They like richer products that will constantly nourish the weakened core.

It is therefore quite interesting to know its porosity to better hydrate your hair in the long term. Because as we know, hydration is the key to hair that stays healthy and grows longer!


6 things to know about porosity

1. Most of the time, the level of porosity is natural

2. We can have different porosities on the head, for example the ends are often more porous because they are older and damaged. And if we had damage on certain wicks (or if we bleached certain parts), they will be more porous.

3. You can make hair more porous because you damage it, but it's more difficult to go from naturally very porous hair to less porous hair.

4. You cannot open and close the cuticle like a door. It is a very thin and fragile protective layer.

5. The famous glass of water test is not very effective. Indeed, it would be necessary to have really very very clean hair (without any product on it), to see the effect. The temperature and type of water can also vary the result. Also, refer to point 2 to understand how this test can vary.

6. Porosity is not cast in concrete and very sharp. You can use a treatment marked " low porosity " even if you have porous hair and vice versa, if you make an advantageous combination for you!

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Esther Nelsa

Esther Nelsa

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