Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Verna Meachum
Our curls are one-of-a-kind, and we will do anything to take good care of them. To ensure that our strands thrive, it is essential to be familiar with the products or ingredients which work best for them.
Fortunately, oils are a natural and effective way to boost the moisture levels in your hair. These ingredients offer emollience, slip, and exceptional shine. However, not all oils can provide the same benefits!
Today, I’m here to talk about those very oils—the cream-of-the-crop oils that work best with high-porosity hair.
We will also review the benefits of using oils for high porosity hair and how they should be used to get the maximum benefits.
With the right oil blend and routine in place, achieving healthier hair is within reach.
So grab a cup of tea (or something stronger!) and get ready – we’re about to dive into all the amazing benefits these powerhouses have for our manes!
What is High Porosity Hair?
When hair has a plethora of open pores, larger pore size, and more spacing between the cortex matrix layers, it is then determined as “High Porosity Hair“.
If you have high porosity hair, the cuticles are likely to be raised or lifted. This incredible quality of your hair enables it to absorb moisture quickly and efficiently but unfortunately also means that moisture is lost as rapidly.
Conversely, “Low Porosity Hair” has significantly fewer openings with minuscule pore sizes. Low porosity hair has difficulties both taking in moisture and retaining it, making hydrating and styling a struggle.
Those who have hair with “Medium Porosity Hair” have cuticles and pores that create an ideal balance – not too small or large. This enables active ingredients and water to enter their hair easily and effortlessly.
In search of the perfect solution to porosity issues, we as consumers search for effective, natural, and user-friendly solutions to rectify moisture retention issues.
Oils can contribute immensely to the aesthetic feel of your hair and scalp, retaining moisture and protecting it from water loss. Furthermore, oils reduce fiber-to-fiber friction when combing and brushing.3
Why Does High-Porosity Hair Need Oil?
Highly porous hair is often incredibly dry, fragile, weak, and damaged due to harsh chemical treatments such as bleaching, dyeing, or relaxing. These procedures lead to a severe loss of hair protein content.1-2
Despite this fact, there are still many side reactions occurring within the fibers of your hair due to these harsh chemical treatments.4-6
Hair proteins are highly susceptible to oxidation, often resulting in cystine being oxidized into cystic acid; thus altering the chemical makeup of the hair fiber.
As a result of these aggressive treatments, hair loses some of its proteins during these chemical treatments, leading to hair becoming weak, porous, and prone to breakage.
Repeated and continual use of such treatments results in extremely damaged and brittle strands, lacking their original natural body, texture, and shine.
Furthermore, your hair feels like sandpaper when you run your fingers through it. When your hair is in a bad condition, it can be hard to style, manage, and retain moisture. Not only are roughness and dryness unpleasant but they also require immediate attention.
This is why high-porosity hair needs oils to address the issues of dryness- they help to seal in moisture and offer protection against external aggressors.
Natural emollients and lubricants such as oils or butter work wonders for hair. They make strands soft, tangle-free, and even impart shine.
Choosing the right oils for your hair should be based on their ability to not only moisturize but also seal and protect the cuticles from moisture loss.
Benefits of Using Oils on High-Porosity Hair
Oils can offer a multitude of benefits for both your scalp and hair, making them multi-faceted ingredients to add to any hair regimen.7-9
Hair care can drastically be improved by utilizing natural oils, some of which include the following advantages:
Lubrication, Decrease in Fiber to Fiber Friction
Oils are a magnificent lubricant for hair, as they cover the fibers and reduce the friction between them.
This helps to prevent curls from becoming tangled or knotted which makes it easier to style your hair each day.
Ease in Combing
By lessening fiber friction, the surface becomes significantly smoother which decreases the amount of force needed to comb through strands.
Hair Conditioning: Penetration
Those with high porosity hair have a higher pore density and pore volume, allowing for oils to penetrate the hair shaft.
By passing through the cuticle channels and reaching deep inside the hair cortex, these oils condition damaged hair fibers, prevent further protein loss, and improve hair’s inner structure.
Oils are an excellent solution to dealing with frizz. Frizz can make the hair appear messy; however, when you apply oil to the shaft of your hair it creates an impenetrable water-resistant coating that guards against drastic fluctuations in the humidity and temperature.
Your hair will remain healthy while its fibers stay aligned – giving you a well-defined style.
Control Hair Hygral Fatigue
Hair swells upon absorbing moisture. Under extreme osmotic pressure, hair may suffer severe pressure known as, ‘Hygral Fatigue,’ which may eventually lead to cracks along the hair shaft.
High-porosity hair is more vulnerable to this pressure due to its higher pore density and volume.
Oils can be applied as a defense against water molecules entering the strands since they contain strong hydrophobic properties, thus addressing hygral fatigue.
Applying oil to the scalp and hair works to preserve moisture content, locking in hydration while preventing water loss from the surface. This offers a solution for those suffering from severe dryness of both their scalp and hair.
Oils are vital for soft, healthy hair. High-porosity hair in particular can be particularly rough to the touch; however, oils help smooth out and align the cuticle surface, leaving your hair feeling soft and lubricated.
To learn more about my healthy hair journey, read: A Brief Look Into My Healthy Hair Journey.
The level of luster or gloss a surface produces is directly related to its smoothness. When light hits an uneven, rough surface, it scatters in random directions and creates a dull appearance.
Meanwhile, on a sleekly polished surface, the incoming illumination reflects consistently which causes the object to emanate brilliance and shine.
By using oils (which are lubricants), you can dramatically increase the surface smoothness and light reflection of your hair, making it appear to have a glossy finish.
Opt for lightly textured oils for a fine coating and shine (mentioned below).
Your scalp is the foundation of healthy hair; therefore, oils can be beneficial by providing lipids, antioxidants, and related bioactive molecules that nourish skin cells. These materials also help prevent dryness while promoting healthier follicular activity for your hair.
Not only do they remove dead cells, but these products also increase cellular turnover to promote new cellular growth. This revitalizes the entire scalp surface, invigorating hair follicles for new hair growth and controlling thinning or excessive shedding.
Suitable Oils for High Porosity Hair
Although many oils are beneficial for hair, not every type is appropriate for high-porosity hair.
Some oils boast more significant molecular weight and size, while others have smaller molecules of fatty acids. Certain oils can penetrate the shaft, while others stay on the surface, creating a thin coating over the shaft.
For hairs with high porosity, a combination of penetrating and coating oils is the ideal approach. This allows for improving both the outer surface quality as well as the damaged inner core of the hair cortex.
Check out this carefully curated list of oils specifically designed to nourish, protect and improve the texture of high-porosity hair:
● Shea Butter – excellent conditioning agent for high-porosity hair, gives shine, and improves sensorial feel.
● Mango Butter – offers a unique and luxurious feel upon application, amazing emollience, immersing your hair in an incredible emollience that offers softness to dry, rough hair.
● Castor Oil – a deeply moisturizing oil with a highly lustrous glossy appearance.
● Coconut Oil – coconut oil is an excellent option for hair conditioning and treatment. It penetrates hair fiber due lower molecular weight/size of its fatty acid. It addresses the problem of dryness and improves hair shine.
● Argan Oil – anti-frizz oil with moisturizing properties and promotes a healthy scalp.
● Baobab Oil – unique natural product for superior texture and sensorial touch.
● Jojoba Oil – a liquid wax that has remarkable conditioning properties for both skin and hair.
● Apricot Kernel Oil – a nice light textured oil with moisturizing benefits.
● Avocado Oil – a nourishing recipe for dry scalp and hair.
● Righteous Roots Oils – an all natural blend of eleven essential oils that helps control frizziness, stimulates healthy hair growth, and detangles hair.
How to Use Oils for High Porosity Hair
Natural oils and butter are versatile materials that can be used in several ways.
Applying oils on hair and scalp before going to wash hair. They can be applied at night and left over to wash hair the next morning. It gives time oils to work and penetrates deep.
If you apply oils to your hair and scalp before washing it, the results can be even more impressive. Give yourself some time – let them soak in overnight, as this will give the oils time to do their magic and penetrate the hair.
Blend with Conditioner or Hair Mask
A few drops of chosen oil can be added to your favorite conditioner, leave-in conditioner, or deep conditioning mask. This would dramatically enhance the moisturizing and soft properties of the product.
Oil as a Leave-in Treatment
I make sure to coat my hair with oil regularly as a leave-in treatment, and it’s one of the best solutions I’ve found for keeping my high porosity hair hydrated.
Oils are ideal for high-porosity hair as a leave-in treatment, as long as they’re non-greasy and lightweight.
Jojoba oil, shea butter, mango butter, and argan oil all make great options – just be sure to use them sparingly to avoid a heavy build-up.
Oils are excellent solutions to hair and skin problems. Applying oil to hair and scalp regularly can have a long-lasting impact on hair quality, its life, and new hair growth. It can also prevent early-age hair shedding or thinning.
To ensure a healthier scalp and hair, we encourage you to apply the natural oil of your preference at least once each week.
Oils or Emollients to Avoid
Petroleum-derived white mineral oil, petrolatum, or petroleum jelly are also emollient, moisturizing, and hair-conditioning ingredients.
Unfortunately, these products are derived from petroleum and thus are not considered green or sustainable. Also, they do not decompose easily in the environment.
Furthermore, these oils have high molecular weights which makes them greasy. All in all, it would be best to opt for natural plant-extracted oils as they are not only superior but also offer a myriad of benefits.
High-porosity hair can be brittle and weakened, making it more prone to harm. It will always appear dry with a lack of luster and needs a combination of penetrating oils as well as sealing oils to moisturize and lubricate its shafts to preserve the moisture content.
Natural oils are the remedy to these problems. These non-greasy, light formulas are perfect for hydrating and nourishing your hair.
Regularly applying these remedies can make a world of difference when it comes to improving the health of your hair while providing them with an impressive shine and natural texture.
1. Robbins, C., Chemical aspects of bleaching human hair. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem. 1971, 22 (6), 339-348.
2. Gummer, C.; Marsh, J.; Dahgren, M.; Meinhert, K., Understanding the effect on hair fibers of coloring and bleaching formulations using high-pressure differential scanning calorimetry (HPDSC). J. Cosmet. Sci. 2007, 58 (1), 90-91.
3. Kaushik, V.; Kumar, A.; Gosvami, N. N.; Gode, V.; Mhaskar, S.; Kamath, Y., Benefit of coconut‐based hair oil via hair porosity quantification. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 2022.
4. Zavik, C.; Milliquent, J., Hair bleaching. In The Science of Hair Care, 2nd ed.; Bouillon, C.; Wilkison, J., Eds. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC London, 2005; pp 246-268.
5. Naqvi, K. R., Hair bleaching and dyeing: Chemical Changes in hair fibre. Chemistry review 2011.
6. Wolfram, L. J.; Hall, K.; Hui, I., The mechanism of hair bleaching. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem. 1970, 21 (13), 875-900.
7. Rele, A. S.; Mohile, R., Effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Part I. J. Cosmet. Sci. 1999, 50 (6), 327-339.
8. Schueller, R.; Romanowski, P., Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin. Taylor & Francis: 1999.
9. Rele, A. S.; Mohile, R. B., Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J. Cosmet. Sci. 2003, 54 (2), 175-192.