Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Verna Meachum
While caring for high-porosity hair may appear overwhelming due to the many obstacles it presents like dryness, breakage, inability to retain moisture and tangles galore – you CAN get your curls long and healthy!
We’re here today with a comprehensive guide that will demonstrate how to grow high porosity hair as well as conquer any difficulties this type of mane involves.
Before we begin, it’s imperative to ensure you understand your hair porosity to guarantee you’re utilizing the most fitting advice for your specific hair type.
To maintain healthy, natural hair, you must understand and learn what your hair requires. A complete comprehension of your hair includes knowledge about its porosity level – high, medium, or low.
Once you’re aware of this information, you’ll be able to provide optimum care for your beautiful curly hair.
What is High Porosity Hair?
Discovering your hair’s porosity level can be an eye-opening experience.
Hair porosity is a term used to gauge the physical state of one’s hair. Essentially, it measures how easily moisture can pass through the cuticle layer, which varies from person to person due to its naturally porous nature.
It’s crucial to understand the degree of porosity your hair possesses to choose the most suitable products for preserving its appearance and texture.
The level at which your hair can absorb substances affects how it looks and feels, so understanding this aspect is key.
Generally speaking, there are three categories of porosity: high, low, and normal.
When hair has an abundance of open pores, larger pore size, and abundant spacing between the cortex matrix layers it is classified as “High Porosity Hair“.
If you have high porosity hair, the cuticles are likely to be lifted and raised. While this characteristic of your hair lets moisture absorb into it quickly, unfortunately, that same quality allows for its rapid loss as well.
As a result, your mane can hold onto hydration efficiently yet also forfeit it in an accelerated manner.
In contrast, “Low Porosity Hair” possesses significantly fewer openings with smaller pore sizes. This type of hair has significant difficulty absorbing and maintaining moisture, making it tricky to style and hydrate properly.
The cuticles and pores of “Medium Porosity Hair” are just right – neither too small nor large, allowing active ingredients and water to penetrate it with ease.
Hair Loss and High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair is more susceptible to breakage or thinning hair (or hair loss) if it’s not cared for properly.
If you can relate to my hair journey, then you may have witnessed a dramatic amount of hair loss due to chemical treatments, heat styling tools, or even wearing your hair in tight ponytails and buns.
Losing your hair impacts you in ways that only you can understand how it feels.
Several factors can lead to hair loss, leaving you to urgently search for remedies that will reverse the process and prompt new hair growth.
A major factor influencing hair quality is the physical condition of its fiber, particularly in terms of porosity.
High-porosity hair is vulnerable, damaged, and easily breaks when combed or brushed. This kind of problematic texture results from excessive exposure to damaging chemicals that increase pore density and volume.
Oxidative processes such as bleaching, coloring, and straightening can also cause the hair to become dry, rough, and highly porous.1-2
Frequent combing, brushing, or grooming damaged high-porosity hair can lead to breakage and a significant amount of hair loss.3
Next, let’s dive deeper into how we can prevent hair loss, breakage, and thinning in high-porosity hair.
More importantly, let’s discuss effective methods to promote new growth while caring for this type of hair as it grows out.
How Can High-Porosity Cause Hair Loss?
Porosity is mainly caused by excessive damage to hair protein structure. Harsh chemical treatments erode the cuticle layers and expose the inner core of the hair cortex.
Consequently, hair loses its proteins and weakens the fiber’s integrity and strength. Hair with damage will become prone to split ends, frizziness, and a rough texture that can be felt to the touch.
As hair experiences more damage, its pore density increases, and empty spaces develop inside the hair structure. This causes the diameter of the hair to shrink, resulting in a noticeable thinning or loss of hair. In extreme cases, it can lead to breakage in the middle or at the tips of the hair.
Curly hair is particularly susceptible to breakage due to the variation in fiber diameter along the shaft. At the points of curvature, they tend to be thin and weak which makes them more prone to breaking than other hair types. This could lead those with curly hair at greater risk when it comes to losing their hair.
In addition, chemical products can be detrimental to scalp health. As a result, the skin may become dry and scaly with increased chances for dandruff or other dermatological issues.
Not only does this interfere with follicle health, but it also accelerates hair loss while hindering the production of new hair.4
Tips: How to Prevent Hair Loss and Kickstart the Growth of Healthy New Strands
To stop hair loss and promote new hair growth, it’s important to take a holistic approach.
Here are some of the essential practices discussed that should be implemented:
Natural oils are a fantastic remedy for skin and hair concerns. They do more than just lubricate the hair shaft – they stimulate scalp cells and deliver essential lipids to your scalp and hair.
Natural oils offer an easy way to treat common ailments naturally with long-lasting effects for stronger, healthier-looking curls.
Several plant oils and essential oils have been researched to assess their ability to prevent hair loss and stimulate the growth of new hair.
Their chemical composition highlights the presence of bioactive molecules, antioxidants, and lipids.
Some of them are:
Side note: To use essential oils safely on your body, it’s necessary to dilute them with a carrier oil. Without dilution, the potency of this natural remedy is too strong for direct application – which could lead to an adverse reaction.
A great carrier oil includes coconut oil, sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba, and olive oil.
If you are not into mixing oils, seek out pre-made oil treatment. One of my favorite oil blends that include the essential oils listed above is Righteous Roots Oils. It was (and still is a game-changer) for my hair.
This oil blend not only helps treat existing damage, but it encourages hair growth by stimulating the scalp and strengthening your hair.
For Healthy Hair, Focus on the Source: Your Scalp
The scalp is the surface from where new hair emerges. It contains thousands of follicles responsible for the birth of new hair fibers.
Without proper scalp maintenance, the hair follicles can become clogged with product residue, dead skin cells, dirt, and pollution particles. This obstruction of the follicle’s activity can lead to an unhealthy head of hair and even dandruff – so it is essential that we keep our scalps clean for healthy hair.
Oftentimes, those with drastically dry scalps experience scaling and itchiness; however, it is essential to sustain a healthy scalp for hair growth for a healthy normal hair life cycle.
For a healthy scalp, make sure to regularly use a gentle mild clarifying shampoo and then apply natural oil or butter for extra conditioning. Oils and butter condition the scalp ad hair by restoring its natural moisture levels.
Hair Growth Actives
Several active ingredients are known to stimulate follicles and the growth of new hair. Applying Minoxidil directly to the scalp may yield positive results, yet it can take up to 4 – 6 weeks before you begin noticing any improvements.
My daughter recently experienced hair loss and we discovered the incredible results of Hers minoxidil. We saw a significant improvement in her hair health within a few months, leaving us stunned by its effectiveness.
You can read about her story here: Product Review: Hers Minoxidil.
It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a dermatologist before using minoxidil or any other hair-stimulating active ingredient.
To further explore potential hair growth benefits, plant-sourced extracts are used. Onion and garlic extracts, which are high in sulfur, can help to promote new hair growth.
Moreover, horsetail and fenugreek extracts have also been found to be highly beneficial for this purpose.
Avoid Drying Ingredients
If you have high-porosity hair, you’re likely already aware of how dry it is. To keep your locks from becoming even drier, be sure to stay away from formulations containing susceptible ingredients that can cause further dryness.
Sulfates are at the top of the list. Sulfate shampoos may dissolve hair proteins and can increase the dryness of already vulnerable high-porosity hair.5
Drying alcohols (ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, etc.) are commonly used in hair styling products. They can cause severe dryness and should not be used.
Likewise, petroleum-derived emollients e.g. White Mineral Oil can make the hair appear rigid and dry.
Fiber-Friendly Grooming Techniques
Great hair care necessitates combing, brushing, and styling. Those with high-porosity hair should use fiber-friendly techniques to preserve their hair from damage and breakage.
Heat-based styling should be kept to a minimum for the best results. Before blow drying or straightening, always use heat-protecting products for optimal safety and protection from damage.
It is essential to exercise caution when using thermal processing, as it can severely damage the hair structure due to the high temperature which causes water molecules to evaporate from the hair, leaving it dry and brittle.
To promote a healthy scalp and new hair growth, it is essential to include vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in your diet. Achieving balance with your nutrition will ensure that these nutrients are all consumed in their necessary amounts.
To ensure healthy and balanced metabolic activity, it’s essential to have a diet plan formulated by an experienced nutritionist. A deficiency of these essential nutrients can disturb metabolic activity and normal follicle activity.
Some essential food ingredients:
- Vitamins C, D & E
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 Oils
If you do not have time to always eat balanced meals, then taking supplements can be beneficial. Dietary supplements such as hair vitamins, multivitamins, biotin-rich foods, and probiotics can help to increase the nutrients present in your body, thus increasing hair growth and improving its health.
Condition High Porosity Hair to Prevent Breakage
High-porosity hair needs a customized hair care regimen to adequately condition porous hair. It should include a detangling and hydrating shampoo for gentle mild cleansing. It should also be followed by a deep moisturizing conditioner or leave-in conditioner.
Those with high-porosity hair should use a deep conditioning mask to restore their hair’s natural appearance, texture, and smoothness, as well as balance the moisture levels.
Through this practice, you can improve the quality of your hair and reduce thinning, breakage, and further hair loss.
Preserve the Moisture
High-porosity hair requires extra effort to retain moisture and maintain its health. Part of preserving the moisture in high-porosity hair involves using products with humectants, emollients, and natural oils and butter.
Using products that contain these types of ingredients will prevent moisture from evaporating from the scalp and hair shaft.
Other Tips for Caring for High Porosity Hair When Growing it Out
Minimize Contact with Environmental Stressors
Assess and examine if any elements of your lifestyle or environment may be causing your hair’s porosity to increase, and then adjust them accordingly.
The environment is full of elements that can take their toll on our hair, including hard water, UV rays from the sun, and dry indoor air. Unfortunately, this increases hair porosity making it fragile and prone to damage.
To ensure strong and nourished hair, it is essential to regularly clarify your hair. If hard water is an issue in your area, then do not hesitate to invest in a shower filter – the results are worth it.
I own this shower filter and LOVE it!: Mineral Stream Shower Head High Pressure
Cover your Hair
We all know the damaging effects the sun can wreak havoc on our skin. The same holds true for our hair.
The sun’s harmful UV rays strip your hair of its natural oils and shine, changing its color, and making it weak and brittle.
Covering your hair with a wide-brimmed hat or scarf can help protect it, thus reducing the chances of damage, breakage, and an increase in porosity.
Hair Ties Matter
Thoughtfully choosing the right hair ties can make a world of difference in avoiding breakage. High-porosity hair is extremely vulnerable to friction, making it difficult to maintain.
Try using elastics made of silky materials such as silk and satin, as they will help to keep your hair smooth and intact.
Another great hair tie that I love and own is the Teleties! They are made with a flexible material and will not leave any creases in your curls! I wear it every time I go to the gym.
You can read about my review here: TELETIES Hair Ties Review
The same applies to your shower caps and towels, as they should also be made of soft fabrics that won’t cause friction or snagging.
Avoid using cotton and wool, as they are too rough for delicate hair. Instead, opt for a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt.
Additionally, using a silk or satin scarf, cap, or pillowcase can reduce friction and breakage while you sleep, allowing you to keep your hair hydrated.
Gently Detangle Curls
Although it’s tempting to detangle your hair fast, the best way to do it is with a lot of patience and gentleness.
Too much rough and harsh detangling can cause serious harm to your curls, causing unnecessary breakage, which makes it difficult for you to achieve your hair growth goals.
To minimize the risk of breakage, gently and slowly detangle your curls when they are wet and with loads of conditioner. You can also use a wide-tooth comb (or finger detangle) to carefully comb through the sections of your curls.
You can also use a detangling spray to help make your curls easier to manage. Another great way to gently detangle your curls is to use oil on dry hair.
I use this oil and it’s amazing: Nutiva Coconut Oil. With curls detangled before washing, it’s easier to wash with minimal breakage.
You Have to Trim the Ends
No matter how much progress you make with your high-porosity hair, regular trims are essential to keep it healthy and growing.
I’ve noticed that as my hair grows, the ends become more and more tangly. To avoid breakage, please trim away any damaged ends every few weeks.
If your goal is to grow your curls to great lengths, then dust the ends approximately every 10-12 weeks in between curly-cut appointments.
Use Protein Treatments
While it’s important to moisturize high-porosity hair, it is equally important to use protein treatments every few weeks.
High-porosity hair is especially prone to damage due to its lack of protective proteins. As such, it’s essential to replenish these proteins to keep your hair healthy.
I recommend using a protein treatment every month or two (depending on how much damage your hair has sustained) to ensure that your hair is getting the nourishment it needs.
Here are a few of my favorite protein treatments: My 10 Favorite Protein Treatments For Hair
Try Unconventional Methods
There are plenty of unconventional methods out there that may help you to achieve your hair growth goals.
One unconventional approach that I highly recommend is using an apple cider vinegar rinse. Apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance that packs an abundance of beneficial acetic acid.
If your hair is looking lackluster, brittle, or frizzy, chances are it’s on the more alkaline side of the pH scale. ACV works to level out this higher pH and restore balance for healthier hair.
ACV rinses also help to remove product and mineral build-up, which can weigh down your curls. Not only could it help strengthen hair and boost its shine, but this product can also lower your scalp’s pH.
How to Take Care of New Growth Hair in High-Porosity Hair
Discovering how to properly care for high-porosity hair during the new growth phase can be an intimidating task.
However, with just a few small adjustments in your routine, you will find that managing and styling your newly grown hair is pretty easy.
● Scalp health is the key; keep it clean and healthy with a regular cleansing and moisturizing massage.
● Natural oils are recommended to deliver nutrients to follicles. This shall ensure the healthy growth of newborn hair fibers. They are nascent and weak in the beginning and require nutrients, lubrication, and conditioning for healthy growth.
● Fiber-strengthening products containing natural polymers and bio-actives (vitamins, antioxidants) are strongly recommended. Those with hair thinning or hair shedding problems should use these products on regular basis.
● Scalp soothing and stimulating formulations are also beneficial. Green tea and Chamomile floral extracts are popular for their soothing and relaxing impact on skin tissues and nerves. Formulations containing these active ingredients should be massaged regularly.
Growing healthy, resilient, and bouncy curls can seem daunting at times, especially if it’s been damaged by natural elements like sun and wind or chemically treated with harsh products.
High-porosity hairs are weak, damaged, and frizzy. They have split ends and suffer breakage. Consumers with high-porosity hair are vulnerable to hair thinning, and hair fall.
An adequate hair care routine is vital to stimulate new hair growth. These high-porosity hairs also need deep moisturizing and conditioning formulations to recover hair mechanical strength, protein content, shine, and natural outlook of hairs.
Scalp-stimulating and fiber-strengthening products are required to keep the scalp and fiber in good health.
1. Topalovic, T.; Nierstrasz, V.; Bautista, L.; Jocic, D.; Navarro, A.; Warmoeskerken, M., Analysis of the effects of catalytic bleaching on cotton. Cellulose 2007, 14 (4), 385-400.
2. Syed, A. N.; Ayoub, H., Correlating porosity and tensile strength of chemically modified hair. Cosmetics and toiletries 2002, 117 (11), 57-64.
3. Zviak, C., The Science of Hair Care. Taylor & Francis: 1986.
4. Harkey, M. R., Anatomy and physiology of hair. Forensic Sci.Int. 1993, 63 (1-3), 9-18.
5. Wagner, R. D. C.; Joekes, I., Hair protein removal by sodium dodecyl sulfate. Colloid Surf. B-Biointerfaces 2005, 41 (1), 7-14.