March 7, 2023
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Leo possesses more than 17 years of valuable experience as a researcher and lecturer within the fields of Biology and Genetics. Holding a PhD in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina...
High porosity hair, characterized by its lifted cuticles and a heightened ability to absorb moisture, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for those who possess it. At a microscopic level, the hair shaft of high-porosity hair has gaps and holes, making it more susceptible to moisture intake but also to moisture loss.
This structural distinction, rooted in the intricate science of hair biology, necessitates a tailored approach to care. Understanding the molecular dynamics of high-porosity hair is the key to unlocking its potential, and ensuring it remains hydrated, resilient, and radiant.
This guide delves deep into the art of managing high-porosity hair, offering product recommendations and strategies to maintain its health and beauty.
In short, high porosity hair (also known as, “highly-porous”, or “highly porous hair”) is damaged hair. The cuticles, or outer layers, exhibit gaps and openings along the hair shaft, impacting the hair’s ability to manage moisture. Although it can absorb moisture swiftly, retaining it is a struggle, leading to common issues like dryness and frizz.1,2,3
Think of high-porosity hair as a sponge; it soaks up everything around it, whether it be water or product. Thus, because of the numerous pores in the hair cuticle, porous hair will take on water and other chemicals readily.4
From a structural and chemical standpoint, high porosity in hair is a result of gaps and openings in the hair’s cuticle layer.3 Several factors contribute to this condition:
Do not determine that the porosity of your hair resembles anyone else’s simply because you both have a similar curl pattern. Just because you and another person have a similar curl pattern doesn’t mean you have the same hair porosity. Even if your hair textures look alike, porosity can differ between individuals.
You may have high porosity hair if you observe the following characteristics:
Those with medium porosity hair (also known as normal porosity hair) have medium-sized cuticle openings and a medium amount of pores, which permits active ingredients and water to enter their strands without difficulty.
With a large amount of pores and plenty of empty spaces or gaps along its shaft, high-porosity hair is easily recognized. It’s often drier, more brittle, and tangles more easily than other type of hair.9
Damaged hair is challenging to reverse, and often, cutting it off is the most effective way to start afresh. However, there are measures you can adopt to maintain hydration, enhance elasticity, manage hair porosity, and shield it from further harm.10
Establishing a consistent, healthy hair regimen is vital. Focusing on smoothing down the cuticle layers can significantly address porosity concerns.11
And a crucial tip: always observe how your hair reacts to various products and treatments. Knowing what suits your hair best is fundamental to its well-being.
To read more about my healthy hair journey, read: A Brief Look Into My Healthy Hair Journey.
For optimal hair strength and health, it’s essential to maintain a consistent hair care routine focused on regular moisturization. Deep conditioning treatments or hair masks are ideal for high porosity hair, as they enhance its moisture retention.12
To learn more about the key ingredients that should be included in deep conditioners for high-porosity hair, check out my blog, “Deep Conditioners for High Porosity Hair: Key Ingredients.”
Protein treatments provide significant benefits to hair by filling in the gaps between cuticles along the hair shaft with essential amino acids.
These treatments bond hydrolyzed proteins to both the external and internal layers of the hair, ensuring a smoother texture that retains moisture, resists breakage, and helps prevent further damage.
Notably, high porosity hair may not always necessitate protein treatments unless it has been damaged by the factors previously mentioned.
Choose a protein treatment that resonates with your hair type and experience the benefits firsthand! To learn more about the specific proteins to look for high porosity hair, check out my blog, “Protein Treatments for High Porosity Hair (Learn the Best Type of Proteins to Use).”
Using a pre-poo oil treatment has transformed my hair routine. By applying oil to dry hair before shampooing, it guards against excessive water absorption (waterlogging), preventing hair swelling.14
I highly recommend coconut oil, especially Nutiva organic virgin coconut oil. Let it sit in your curls overnight for the best results. If coconut oil isn’t your preference, grapeseed or olive oil are great alternatives.15,16
Using oils on damp hair also helps in retaining its moisture. The LOC (liquid-oil-cream) and LCO (liquid-cream-oil) methods are particularly effective for this. They seal in moisture on your hair strands and release it slowly, ensuring lasting hydration.
To maintain a healthy porosity level, it’s essential to use pH-balanced products. Hair and sebum naturally have a pH between 4.5 and 5.5, so it’s crucial to keep products within this range.17
For more immediate porosity control, consider incorporating an acidic rinse or solution, like diluted apple cider vinegar, into your weekly routine.
However, always ensure you dilute the vinegar to achieve a pH of 4 and be attentive to your hair’s responses. Remember, every hair type is unique, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy.
For rejuvenating your cuticles, Green Beauty’s pH Stabilizing Spritz is a fantastic choice. This liquid formula effectively tightens and lifts raised or lifted cuticles, and it’s even convenient for post-workout use.
If you’ve experienced the aftermath of chemical processing on your hair, you’ll appreciate Roux Rejuvenating Porosity Control Corrector & Conditioner.
This product is my top pick for restoring hair strength, guarding against future damage, and maintaining healthy locks following any chemical treatment.
I can vouch for its remarkable effectiveness, especially when I thought my highlighted hair was beyond repair; it truly worked wonders in restoring its condition.
Product and Care Tips:
To unlock the full potential of your high porosity hair and nurture its unique needs, here is my curated selection of the best products designed to restore and revitalize your hair.
For more shampoo suggestions for high porosity hair, as well as a list of ingredients to watch out for, this comprehensive guide has all the answers: The Best Shampoos for High Porosity Hair and Key Ingredients.
If you’re searching for ideal conditioners specifically tailored to high porosity hair, this guide can help: Rinse-Out Conditioners for High Porosity Hair: Key Ingredients – Learn Which Ingredients You Should Look For!
This is my all-time and go-to product since the beginning of my healthy hair journey. It's especially good for color-treated.
It contains Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic shea butter to nourish, moisturize, and support elasticity for hair that resists breakage during detangling. It literally heals your curls!
For more Curl Creams designed specifically for high porosity hair, and what ingredients to be aware of, peruse this comprehensive guide: The Essential Ingredients You Need to Consider in Curl Creams for High Porosity Hair.
If you need more gel suggestions for high-porosity hair, plus the exact ingredients to include and avoid, this thorough guide has all the answers: Best Gels for High Porosity Hair: Key Ingredients.
If you’ve been looking for a deep conditioning treatment to fortify and soften your dry, brittle hair, then this is it. This is my absolute current favorite deep conditioner!
This luxurious formula is enriched with sunflower oil, providing essential moisture, softness, shine, and protection for dry hair.
Regular use can reduce breakage and enhance hair elasticity, promoting a healthy and lustrous appearance. Plus, a little goes a long way due to its concentrated nature.
To use, apply a palm-sized amount of this moisturizing mask from roots to ends, ensuring even distribution with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.
Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Whether you have thick or fine hair, this nourishing mask deeply penetrates strands, leaving them soft, silky, and thoroughly moisturized.
On another note, here is a comprehensive guide offering the perfect deep conditioners for high-porosity hair, as well as an all-encompassing list of ingredients that are beneficial or should be avoided: Deep Conditioners for High Porosity Hair: Key Ingredients.
This thorough guide provides helpful information about the oils beneficial for high-porosity hair, as well as a comprehensive list of ingredients that are advantageous or should be avoided: Discover the Most Beneficial Oils for High Porosity Hair.
Here is an extensive guide to the ultimate protein treatments that provides beneficial details on how high-porosity hair can be nourished and repaired, as well as an in-depth list of ingredients: Protein Treatments for High Porosity Hair (Learn the Best Type of Proteins to Use).
If you need a good dandruff shampoo, check out my blog, ‘The Best Dandruff Shampoo for Curly Hair: Find the Right Solution for You.’
When it comes to using hair products, it’s essential to test, assess, and make adjustments as necessary. It’s a learning curve, but armed with this information, you can start your journey towards healthier hair.
Remember that your hair’s porosity can change over time. It’s a good practice to check it twice a year to ensure you’re maintaining the right care routine and not inadvertently causing damage.
If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends and leaving a comment. Your feedback is always appreciated.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it all depends on your hair’s condition. High porosity hair can often be more prone to dryness, frizziness, and tangling, but with the right products and routine, it can also be very manageable.
Again, this is a question with no definitive answer. Low-porosity hair can be harder to moisturize and style, but it often has more shine.
High-porosity hair can be more prone to dryness and frizziness, but it can also be easier to manage if you find the right products and routine.
If your hair often feels dry, rough, difficult to style, tangles easily, seems like it never gets hydrated or moisturized, gets wet pretty quickly, or has a lot of frizz, then it is likely that you have high porosity hair.
If your hair is resistant to styling products, takes a long time to get fully wet or dry, is often frizzy, or absorbs products slowly (products seem to sit on top of your hair, rather than penetrate it), then it is likely that you have low porosity hair.
Yes, it tends to dry quickly, but it can also be affected by different factors.
For example, if you live in a humid climate or if the air is very dry and/or heated then both high and low porosity hair will take longer to completely dry than they would otherwise.
To keep high-porosity hair healthy, use moisturizing products with ingredients such as glycerin, honey, and aloe. As well as deep conditioners, pre-poo oils, and protein treatments for when your hair needs an extra boost!
With these easy steps in hand, you can easily manipulate the styling of even the most porous of hairs.
No, it does not mean that you have a bad scalp. High porosity simply refers to the condition of your hair’s cuticle and how easily water and other products can penetrate your hair.
This is another question that does not have a definitive answer.
Some people with high porosity hair feel the need to wash their hair every day due to their lifestyle, while others can go several days or even a week without washing and still have healthy-looking hair.
It all depends on your scalp and lifestyle, as well as how much product you use and how often you use them.
Hair porosity is largely determined by your hair’s structural characteristics, such as the cuticle’s condition. While you can change your hair’s inherent porosity with chemicals and other external treatments, these alterations may come with risks such as damage to the hair structure.
You can however improve its health and manageability with proper care. By adopting a suitable hair care routine, you can enhance the overall health of your hair.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to grow high-porosity hair may vary depending on your hair type, condition, and genetics.
However, some tips for growing high-porosity hair include using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and applying deep conditioning treatments regularly. Also, use a leave-in conditioner, moisturizing styling product, and protein treatments (as needed).
Again, this depends on your routine and the products you use. If you are using a lot of drying ingredients in your products, then you will need to replace them with more moisturizing options.
Don’t wash your hair with hot water. Don’t touch your curls as they’re drying. Lastly, avoid using heat-styling tools as much as possible.
This is another question that does not have one answer.
Some people with high porosity hair do not respond well to protein treatments, but others need them to look their best and reduce frizz.
Many factors can play into this (such as the type of protein treatment used), so it is always a good idea to start slowly and pay attention to how your hair responds.
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