Did you know that we can moisturize our hair with water alone? Water is actually very essential to the health of our hair; that’s why we like to see it as the first ingredient in our hair products. We can wash our hair and scalp with water. This method is known as the Water only method which a lot of curly heads swear by. Water can even tell us when we apply too little, too much or when we need to replenish. But what water is really telling us is our hair’s porosity level.
Porosity is the measure at which our hair can absorb moisture and retain it. Each of our hair strands are made up of three important sections, the Cuticle (outer layer), the cortex (middle layer) and the medulla (most inner layer). Our cuticles lift depending on the amount of manipulation or processing your hair receives. Lifted cuticles allow moisture or water to penetrate and escape from our hair which is why some of us feel like our hair dries out very quickly. The more open the hair cuticles, naturally the more porous the hair as it can receive more water. But just as quick as porous hair receives moisture, the moisture escapes from the hair just as quickly. This is why porosity plays a big role in reaching our maximum growth potential. It forces us to care for our hair according to our specific porosity level.
There are a few tell signs that let us know immediately what our hair’s porosity level is. Luckily these signs are visible to the human eye so you’ll be able to figure out your porosity level after reading this blog post.
Learn your hair’s porosity by taking our short Porosity test!
1. Do beads of water collect at the ends of your hair just after washing?
2. Is it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture quickly?
3. Does your hair absorb moisture easily?
4. Do you struggle with retaining moisture?
5. Does it take a while for your hair to dry?
LOW Porosity = If you answered mostly YES, you have LOW porosity hair.
HIGH Porosity = If you answered mostly NO, you have HIGH porosity hair.
MEDIUM Porosity = If your answers were in between YES and NO, you have MEDIUM porosity hair.
Characteristics of LOW porosity
- Small beads of water collect at the ends of the hair strands
- Water/moisture does not easily penetrate hair strands
- Hair cuticles lay flat not allowing moisture in or out so alternative methods are used to help lift the hair’s cuticles
- You usually do not have to moisturize hair again for at least 3 days
- Warm up your conditioner before use or apply warm water to hair prior to applying a conditioner or moisturizer for more penetrating results.
- Use indirect heat (green house method, hooded dryer, steamer, etc) to open the hair cuticles, allowing moisture, protein and nutrients to reach the cortex.
- Squeeze and smooth moisture into hair with palms
- Add oils to conditioner for deeper conditioning
- Try the L.O.C. method of moisturizing
Characteristics of HIGH porosity hair
- Hair absorbs water or moisture almost immediately
- hair feels dry even after applying moisturizer
- color treated or chemically processed hair
- lifted cuticles
- Do protein treatments to seal the gaps of the lifted cuticle. This allows the hair to accept moisture easier
- monitor your hair’s moisture and protein levels as too much moisture can make the hair just as supple and weak as dry hair
- Try protective styling to prevent manipulating the hair so often
- Always use a water based moisturizer or pure water alone then seal with a butter or oil. See our plant based hair products here
Characteristics & Tips of MEDIUM porosity
- Can experience qualities of both low and medium
- alternate between deep conditioning and a protein treatment each wash session
I hope you learn something new about your hair every time you leave here. Until next time My Sweets.