Let us talk Porosity!
Porosity is something that we have been hearing about in 2016. I wanted to update my self and my blog on the importance of identifying hairs porosity. Being aware of what your hairs porosity is gives you the benefit of taking better care of your hair while getting to know it and understand it on another level. So first, what is hair porosity anyway?
Hair porosity is basically your hairs ability to absorb and retain moisture. This is determined by the hairs cuticles. When the cuticles are flat that means the hair is low in porosity. When the hair cuticles are raised slightly, the hair is medium porosity which is also said to be normal in porosity. And when the cuticles are highly raised, that means the hair is high in porosity. But what exactly does all of this mean? Well when the cuticles are flat, it makes it harder for moisture to get into the hair but when it does, moisture builds up and can weigh the hair down. When the cuticles are highly raised, moisture gets easily into the hair but also easily leaves the hair, leaving it dry.
Here is an example:
Finding out your hair porosity
Water test - There are a few ways that you can find out your hairs porosity, but I am most familiar with the water test. I've seen it on many blogs and have heard people talk about it so i decided to I try this test on my self to find out my hairs porosity. It's very easy to do, and pretty much a common way to find out your hairs porosity. However, it is not always accurate due to weather change, if you've used chemicals in your hair, use a lot of heat, and if you hair is clean. All you need is water and a glass cup. I used a shot glass. Fill the glass with room temperature water, take a clean piece of hair, or two and place it on top of the water. No need to dip it into the water, just let the strand(s) sit on top of the water and wait about 10-15 minutes to get accurate results of your water test. My hair remained at the top of the glass which would mean that my hair is low in porosity. If the hair remains in the middle of the cup, your hair is medium to normal porosity and if the hair sinks to the bottom, your hair is high in porosity.
Caring for your hairs porosity
So now that you know your hairs porosity, it's time to maybe make some changes in your hair routine. Another great tip that I learned from watching SunKissAlba's (one of my favorite Youtube vloggers|lifestyle bloggers) video on hair porosity, is that when you wash your hair with warm water, the cuticles open up and to close the cuticles you want to end your wash with freezing cold water. This is a great tip for hair that is low in porosity since the cuticles are naturally closed, using hot water will open those cuticles up and welcome any beneficial moisturizing products you may want to use for your hair during your wash. (Deep conditioning with a cap is probably great for low porous hair!) Ending your wash with cold water will lock the moisture in. So that is how I will be washing my hair from now on. If your hair is high in porosity, you want to avoid heat as much as possible. Of course you don't want to wash your hair in freezing cold water the entire time, but wash with lukewarm water so that your cuticles do not open up any more than they already are. Rinsing with cold water at the end of your wash would be a good benefit too. Deep conditioning is great but instead of conditioning for 20-30 mins, condition for maybe 10-15 instead.
Shea Moisture High|Low Porosity line
Shea Moisture has created a line that caters to low and high porosity hair. Our prayers have been answered! Now we can take one step further to caring for our hair. And I must say... I love the low porosity line!
Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oil - High Porosity
This product is THEE product to use if you have dry, rough and bumpy coils and curls. Below is the shampoo moisture-seal masque. You can check out the entire High Porosity line here
Shea Moisture Baobab Tea Tree Oil - High Porosity
The low porosity products are great for keeping curls and coils that are resistant to moisture. The shampoo and conditioner work together to keep the hair balanced and moisturized. The leave in detangler is amazing and really keeps the hair feeling soft and manageable for styles.
In addition to taking the water test, please visit Porosity411 to take the online porosity test created by Shea Moisture!