What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

porosity

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.

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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?

YES       NO

2. Is it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture quickly?

YES       NO

3. Does your hair absorb moisture easily?

YES       NO

4. Do you struggle with retaining moisture?

YES       NO

5. Does it take a while for your hair to dry?

YES       NO

RESULTS

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.

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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

TIPS:

  • 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

TIPS

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.2-Treatments & Protective Styles

Treatments

We usually apply a treatment to our hair when all else fails or periodically and consistently if we love our hair and want it to love us back. What are treatments you ask? The activity of small but mighty microscopic bonds joining together to restore and defend the health and balance of our hair strands and scalp. It’s truly science at work. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we consider the norm in the natural curly hair community.

Protein Treatment (frequency: monthly)

Protein bonds help fill the gaps of where our hair cuticles are fragile. Protein treatments help our damaged hair strands absorb and retain water more efficiently. Just as we have different curl patterns on our head, we also have different porosity levels in different areas of our head. Porosity deals with your hair’s ability to hold onto moisture. Because of the nature of our hair cuticles opening and closing, the more open your cuticles are, the more porous your hair is and the more water is able to escape.

Typically if your hair is very porous (high porosity) it absorbs water too quickly and constantly needs moisture applied. Frequent protein treatments fill those gaps  Medium porosity hair can retain and absorb moisture just fine. However, monthly protein treatments are still good. Low porosity hair is difficult to absorb moisture and needs steam to open the hair cuticles to allow moisture in. However, once moisture is absorbed, it stays for a while.

There are different protein treatments on the market today like Aphogee. My personal favorite is Green Beauty’s REAL Protein treatment.

Hot oil Treatment (frequency: 2-4 weeks)

I especially love hot oil treatments in the cooler months when your hair and scalp tend to be the driest due to the lack of moisture in the air and low temperatures. My scalp tends to attract build up and get dry quickly and while I refrain from using too much oil on it now, my hair can still benefit. A hot oil treatment is just a mixture of your favorite oils heated up and applied directly to the scalp and hair strands for the ultimate moisture boost. Put on a plastic cap and let the oil get into the hair shaft as your body heat creates steam and lifts the hair cuticles. You can add oil to your shampoo so that it isn’t so drying or take your deep conditioning sesh to the next level.

We handcraft a super hydrating and lightweight oil which is how it got its name, Supersonic Hair Tonic. We fill each bottle with organic essential oils and other botanical ingredients like coconut oil, Argan and Jojoba oils. Our new line will be infused with dried medicinal herbs so be on the look out for these total luxurious hair and body oil blends.

 Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (frequency: when needed)

Dandruff is a layer of dead skin cells that sit on top of the scalp. It forms due to the scalp’s inability to produce a natural oil known as sebum at a normal rate. When natural oils cannot be produced on the scalp it results in a dry and itchy scalp, similar to how ash appears on the epidermis (skin). When scratched, the dead skin cells on the scalp will flake off. It’s not dangerous but it can be unsightly and embarrassing. Unfortunately there is no cure for dandruff and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek a dermatologist prior to attempting to treat this condition with store bought anti-dandruff treatments. This could make your symptoms worse or create a problem that was never there in the first place. Instead try all natural treatments like an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse or the use of essential oils.

For a natural remedy to dandruff I recommend ACV or mixing tea tree essential oil in your shampoo. About 6 drops per ounce is the 1% recommended ratio. If you experience itchy scalp or see flakes, add 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to an ounce of distilled water and spritz your scalp every day until the itching subsides. Tea tree oil and ACV are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so they help fight the symptoms of dandruff. You can also just apply organic apple cider vinegar with the Mother to your scalp and let it sit for a few hours then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Other treatments

These are some oldie but goodie treatments that are not as popular anymore but they’re still effective.

Onion Juice Treatment

Inversion Method

Maximum Hydration Method

Protective Styling

Now that you have restored balance to your hair and scalp, don’t you want to protect it and put it away for a little while? I know I do. If I don’t throw in some braids, Im wearing two flat twists for the week or if I’m feeling it, I’ll rock medium sized Two-strand twists for a few weeks so I can have a super defined twist out later. Whatever your preference, tucking away your ends via protective styling is the best way to ensure healthy hair. However, there are some pros and cons to everything that’s good in life right?

Pros

  • Low maintenance hair care for a month or two
  • More time on your hands
  • Less time to prepare
  • The best accessory for that fresh OOTD
  • Keep your hands out of your hair
  • Hair grows A LOT

Cons

  • Tight braiding can cause alopecia and balding
  • Tension can cause damaged hair follicles
  • Itchy
  • Neglecting hair underneath

Protective styling is a curly girls/guys saving grace. Just don’t get so accustomed that you neglect your actual hair underneath. Continue to follow the three steps in Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen just water down the shampoo and conditioner and I guarantee your hair will thank you. And if you’re worried about your style frizzing out, I have some tips and tricks for that too. See you soon.

Thanks for dropping by. If you found this information interesting or helpful, leave a comment and let’s chat!

xo, Andy