I keep hearing a lot about porosity lately, but I’m not sure if some people really understand how it works because I keep hearing it used out of context. So I decide to create a visual that demonstrates exactly how this porosity phenomena works. The official definition of porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture into the shaft of the hair. All hair is porous but your level of porosity will vary based on genetics and the amount of damage that the cuticle layer has been subjected to. Processes such as coloring the hair, heat styling or relaxing are examples that can affect increase the porosity of hair. Also, daily maintenance such as detangling and shampooing can sometimes affect the cuticle layer.
Porosity is usually measured as being low, medium or high. Highly porous hair absorbs a lot of water, but it also means it released moisture fast, meaning it is harder to keep highly porous hair moisturized! Low porous hair will hold on to moisture longer, but it is more difficult for the hair to pull in the water.
HIGH POROSITY RECOMMENDATIONS
If you have highly porous hair, you can try the following techniques to hold in more moisture:
1) Deep conditioning hair to help seal damaged spots on the cuticle surface.
2) Sealing hair with oil or silicone based product to help prevent moisture from escaping your hair.
3) Incorporate an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse every now and then to lower the ph of hair which will help to close cuticles tighter and trap moisture inside the cuticle.
LOW POROSITY RECOMMENDATIONS
If you hair with low porosity, or it’s considered resistant, you can help infuse moisture into the hair by trying the following:
1) Incorporating a steamer into your haircare regimen.
2) Using humectant rich products to draw moisture to the hair, especially in humid climates.
3) Soak the hair in alkaline water for a few minutes just to slightly increase the pH of the hair, thus opening the cuticle more and infusing more moisture into the strand.