Caring for high-porosity hair may appear overwhelming due to its many obstacles, like dry hair, breakage, inability to retain moisture, and persistent tangles. However, I want to assure you that achieving long and healthy curl is entirely possible!
Growing high-porosity hair involves a multifaceted approach that includes practices such as oil therapy, maintaining a healthy scalp, utilizing hair growth actives, avoiding drying ingredients, adopting fiber-friendly grooming techniques, focusing on nutrition, regular conditioning, and preserving your hair’s moisture levels.
To provide accurate and valuable information on this topic, I’ve collaborated with a friend who is an expert in hair science. With a PhD in Chemistry and extensive knowledge as a Cosmetic Formulator, we aim to provide practical strategies for growing high-porosity hair and how to manage new growth. There is lots of valuable information to cover, so read to the end!
Effective Strategies to Combat Hair Loss and Stimulate Healthy Hair Growth
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 serve as an excellent solution for both skin and hair issues. Their benefits extend beyond simply lubricating the hair shaft; they also activate scalp cells and provide essential lipids to both your scalp and hair.
These oils present a straightforward method for treating various common conditions, contributing to stronger, healthier-looking curls with enduring results.
A variety of plant and essential oils have undergone research to evaluate their effectiveness in preventing hair loss and promoting new hair growth. The key to their efficacy lies in their chemical makeup, which includes bioactive molecules, antioxidants, and lipids, all vital for hair health. Some of them are:
Important Tip: When using essential oils on your body, it’s crucial to dilute them with a carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be too potent for direct skin application, potentially causing adverse reactions. Suitable carrier oils for dilution include coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil.
For those who prefer a ready-to-use solution, pre-mixed oil treatments are available. A personal favorite of mine is Righteous Roots Oils, which includes a blend of the essential oils mentioned above. This product has been a transformative element in my hair care routine.
The blend in Righteous Roots Oils helps repair existing damage and promotes hair growth. It achieves this by stimulating the scalp and strengthening the hair, making it an effective addition to your hair care regimen.
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.
Maintaining a healthy scalp is crucial for promoting a normal hair growth cycle, especially for individuals suffering from extremely dry scalps, which can lead to scaling and itchiness. To foster a healthy scalp environment, it’s important to consistently use a gentle, mild, clarifying shampoo. This helps in removing impurities without stripping the scalp of its natural oils. After shampooing, applying natural oils or butter can significantly enhance scalp conditioning. These natural moisturizers replenish the scalp and hair’s moisture balance, alleviating dryness and promoting overall scalp health and vitality.
Hair Growth Actives
Numerous active ingredients are recognized for stimulating the hair follicle and encouraging new hair growth. One such ingredient is Minoxidil, which can produce positive outcomes when applied directly to the scalp. However, it’s important to note that it may take 4 to 6 weeks to see any visible improvements.
On a personal note, my daughter experienced hair loss, and we decided to try Hers minoxidil. The results were impressive, with significant improvements in her hair health observed within a few months. The effectiveness of this product left us quite amazed. You can learn more about her experience in our blog, “Product Review: Hers Minoxidil.” Before considering Minoxidil or any similar hair-stimulating ingredient, it’s crucial to consult with a dermatologist for professional advice.
Additionally, using plant-based extracts to promote hair growth is gaining attention. Extracts from onions and garlic, rich in sulfur, have been shown to aid new hair growth. Similarly, extracts from horsetail and fenugreek are also proving to be effective for this purpose, offering natural alternatives for hair health and growth stimulation.
Avoid Drying Ingredients
If you’re dealing with high-porosity hair, you’re probably familiar with its tendency to dry out. Avoiding certain ingredients in hair care formulations that exacerbate dryness is crucial to prevent your hair from becoming even more parched.
Sulfates should be at the top of your list to avoid. Found in many shampoos, sulfates can break down hair proteins and significantly increase dryness in high-porosity hair, which is already prone to moisture loss.5
Another ingredient to be wary of is drying alcohols, such as ethyl alcohol or methyl alcohol. These are often found in hair styling products and can lead to severe dryness, making them unsuitable for high-porosity hair.
Petroleum-derived emollients, like white mineral oil, are also not recommended. These can leave your hair feeling stiff and looking dry. By steering clear of these ingredients, you can better manage the dryness associated with high-porosity hair and maintain healthier, more hydrated hair.
Fiber-Friendly Grooming Techniques
Effective hair care involves more than routine washing and conditioning, especially for high-porosity hair. Adopting hair-friendly practices during combing, brushing, and styling is crucial to protect your hair from damage and breakage.
It’s important to be particularly cautious with thermal processing. High temperatures can cause significant harm to the hair structure by evaporating water molecules, leaving the hair dry and brittle. By being mindful of these factors and adjusting your hair care routine accordingly, you can help keep your high-porosity hair healthy, strong, and resilient.
Incorporating key minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants into your diet is crucial for optimal scalp health and to stimulate new hair growth. A balanced diet ensures you receive all these nutrients in the required amounts.
Consulting an experienced nutritionist to develop a personalized diet plan can be instrumental in maintaining healthy and balanced metabolic activity. Insufficient intake of these essential nutrients can disrupt metabolic processes and normal follicle function, affecting hair health.
Key Nutrients for Hair Health Include:
- Vitamins C, D, and E
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 Oils
Dietary supplements can be a practical solution for those with busy lifestyles who may find it challenging to consistently eat balanced meals. Supplements such as hair vitamins, multivitamins, biotin, and probiotics can help bridge any nutritional gaps, supporting overall hair health and growth.
Condition High Porosity Hair to Prevent Breakage
Creating a tailored hair care routine is essential for managing high-porosity hair, which requires special attention due to its porous nature. This regimen should begin with a detangling and hydrating shampoo that offers gentle cleansing without stripping the hair. Following the shampoo, it’s important to use a deep moisturizing conditioner followed by a leave-in conditioner to provide the necessary hydration.
For those with high-porosity hair, incorporating deep conditioners into your routine can significantly enhance your hair’s natural look, texture, and smoothness. It also helps in balancing moisture levels in the hair, which is crucial for this hair type.
By adopting this specialized care approach, you can significantly improve the overall quality of your hair. This routine can help reduce thinning, prevent breakage, and minimize further hair loss, leading to healthier, more resilient hair.
Preserve Hair Moisture
Caring for high-porosity hair demands special attention, particularly in retaining moisture to maintain its health. A key aspect of this care involves using products rich in humectants, emollients, and natural oils and butter (i.e. shea butter).
Incorporating products with these ingredients into your hair care routine helps in effectively sealing moisture within the scalp and hair shaft. This approach is essential for high-porosity hair, naturally prone to quickly losing moisture. Choosing the right products can significantly enhance moisture retention, ensuring your hair remains hydrated and healthy.
Additional Care Strategies for Growing Out High Porosity Hair
Minimize Contact with Environmental Stressors
Evaluate whether aspects of your lifestyle or environment might be contributing to increased hair porosity. Adjust these factors as needed to protect your hair’s health.
Environmental elements such as hard water, UV rays from the sun, and dry indoor air can adversely affect hair health. These factors often lead to increased hair porosity, making the hair more fragile and susceptible to damage.
Regular hair clarification is essential to maintain strong and well-nourished hair. If you’re living in an area with hard water, consider investing in a shower filter. The positive impact on your hair’s condition and manageability will validate this decision.
I own this shower filter and LOVE it!: Mineral Stream Shower Head High Pressure.
Cover Your Hair
It’s well-known that the sun can cause significant damage to our skin, and similarly, it can also harm our hair. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can deplete your hair of its natural oils and luster, alter its color, and leave it weak and brittle.
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or scarf can be highly effective to shield your hair from these effects. This simple protective measure can greatly reduce the risk of damage, breakage, and an increase in hair porosity.
Hair Ties Matter
Selecting the right hair ties is crucial for preventing breakage, especially for high-porosity hair, which is particularly prone to damage from friction.
Consider opting for hair elastics made from smooth materials like silk and satin. These fabrics are gentle on your hair, helping to keep it smooth and free from damage.
A personal favorite of mine is Teleties. They’re crafted from a flexible material that doesn’t leave creases in your curls, making them perfect for workouts or daily wear. For more insights, you can check out my review: “TELETIES Hair Ties Review.”
This principle extends to your choice of shower caps and towels as well. Look for items made from soft, gentle fabrics that won’t cause friction or snagging. Avoid materials like cotton and wool, which can be too harsh for delicate hair. A microfiber towel or even an old T-shirt can be a better choice.
Furthermore, using a silk or satin scarf, cap, or pillowcase at night can minimize friction and breakage while you sleep, helping to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
Gently Detangle Curls
While it may be tempting to rush through detangling your hair, taking a patient and gentle approach is key to avoiding damage.
Rough and harsh detangling can be detrimental to your curls, leading to unnecessary breakage that hinders your hair growth efforts.
To reduce the risk of damaging your hair, it’s best to gently and slowly detangle your curls while wet and coated with a generous amount of conditioner. Using a wide-tooth comb, detangling brush, or your fingers to carefully work through your curls can help minimize breakage.
Detangling sprays can also be useful in making your curls more manageable. Another gentle method is to apply oil to dry hair before detangling. I personally use Nutiva Coconut Oil and find it highly effective. With your curls detangled before washing, you can expect easier washing and minimal breakage.
Trim the Ends
Maintaining the health and growth of high-porosity hair requires consistent care, including regular trims.
As your hair grows longer, the ends tend to become more prone to tangling. To prevent breakage, it’s important to trim away any damaged ends regularly, ideally every few weeks.
For those aiming to grow their curls longer, it’s beneficial to lightly trim, or “dust,” the ends roughly every 10-12 weeks. This practice should ideally be scheduled between your appointments for a curly haircut. Regular trims are vital in keeping your curls healthy, strong, and on track toward your desired length.
Use Protein Treatments
Balancing moisture with protein treatments is key to maintaining hair health for high-porosity hair.
Due to its inherent structure, high-porosity hair often lacks the necessary protective proteins, making it more susceptible to damage. Regularly replenishing these proteins is crucial for keeping your hair strong and healthy.
I advise applying a protein treatment every one to two months, adjusting the frequency based on the level of damage your hair has experienced. This routine ensures that your hair receives the essential nourishment it needs.
To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of my top protein treatments for hair: “My 10 Favorite Protein Treatments For Hair.” These treatments are excellent for restoring and maintaining the health of high-porosity hair.
Try Unconventional Methods
Exploring unconventional methods can be a game-changer in achieving your hair growth objectives. A particularly effective unconventional technique I recommend is using an apple cider vinegar rinse. (ACV) rinse. Apple cider vinegar, rich in acetic acid, offers numerous benefits for hair health.
Hair that appears dull, brittle, or frizzy is often more alkaline. An ACV rinse can help balance this by neutralizing the higher pH levels, thereby promoting healthier hair.
Additionally, ACV rinses are excellent for removing product and mineral buildup that can weigh down your curls. Regular use not only potentially strengthens and enhances the shine of your hair but also helps in maintaining a healthier pH balance on your scalp.
Managing New Growth Hair in High-Porosity Hair
Navigating the care of high-porosity hair during its growth phase can seem intimidating, but a few simple changes in your hair care routine can make a significant difference.
- Prioritizing scalp health is essential. Regular cleansing and moisturizing massages help maintain a clean and healthy scalp, creating a conducive environment for hair growth.
- Incorporating natural oils into your routine is beneficial. They provide essential nutrients to hair follicles, which is crucial for the healthy development of new hair fibers. These nascent fibers need nourishment, lubrication, and conditioning to grow strong and healthy.
- Using fiber-strengthening products is also key. Look for products containing natural polymers and bio-active ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants. These are especially important for individuals experiencing hair thinning or shedding; regular use can greatly improve hair strength.
- Finally, consider scalp-soothing and stimulating formulations. Ingredients like green tea and chamomile are renowned for their calming effects on skin tissues and nerves. Products containing these active ingredients should be massaged into the scalp regularly to promote a healthy and relaxed scalp environment.
What is High Porosity Hair?
Hair porosity is critical in understanding your hair’s health and how it interacts with moisture. It refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, which depends on the condition of the hair’s cuticle layer. This characteristic varies among individuals and significantly influences which hair care products will best maintain your hair’s appearance and texture.
There are three primary levels of hair porosity: high, low, and normal.
- High Porosity Hair: This type of hair has numerous open pores with larger pore sizes and more space between the cortex matrix layers. The raised cuticles allow moisture to be absorbed quickly, leading to rapid moisture loss. While high-porosity hair can easily take in hydration, it struggles to retain it, often resulting in a quick loss of moisture.
- Low Porosity Hair: Hair with low porosity has fewer openings and smaller pores, making it challenging to absorb and retain moisture. This characteristic makes such hair types tough to style and hydrate effectively.
- Medium Porosity Hair: Medium or normal porosity hair strikes a balance with neither too small nor too large pores. This allows for optimal absorption and retention of moisture and active ingredients, making it relatively easy to manage.
Understanding your hair’s porosity level is essential in choosing the right products and techniques to keep it healthy, hydrated, and looking its best.
Dealing with Hair Loss in High-Porosity Hair
High-porosity hair is particularly prone to damage, breakage, and thinning if not maintained properly. This vulnerability can lead to noticeable hair loss, a challenge I personally faced in my hair journey. Such hair loss can result from various factors, including chemical treatments, frequent use of heat styling tools, or tight hairstyles like ponytails and buns.
The emotional impact of hair loss is deeply personal and can be quite profound. I experienced this firsthand during the early stages of my healthy hair journey as I struggled with severely damaged and thinning curls, especially at the ends.
Hair loss can be attributed to several causes, prompting a search for effective remedies to stimulate new hair growth. A key factor in hair health is its physical condition, particularly its porosity level. High-porosity hair tends to be more vulnerable and damaged, leading to easy breakage during combing or brushing. This problematic texture often results from overexposure to harsh chemicals, which increase pore density and volume.
Oxidative processes like bleaching, coloring, and straightening further contribute to hair becoming dry, rough, and highly porous.1-2 Additionally, frequent styling and grooming of damaged, high-porosity hair can exacerbate breakage and lead to significant hair loss.3
Understanding the Link Between Damage and High Porosity Hair
The condition of high porosity in hair is primarily a result of extensive damage to its protein structure. This damage often occurs due to harsh chemical treatments that erode the protective cuticle layers and expose the inner core of the hair cortex.
As a consequence, the hair loses its essential proteins, leading to a weakening of the fiber’s integrity and strength. Hair that is damaged becomes more susceptible to issues like split ends, frizziness, and a rough texture that can be felt when touched.
With continued damage, the porosity of the hair increases, and empty spaces start forming within the hair structure. This shrinkage in the hair’s diameter can result in noticeable thinning or even hair loss, particularly in extreme cases where breakage can occur either in the middle or at the tips of the hair.
Curly hair, in particular, is prone to breakage because of variations in fiber diameter along the shaft. These areas of curvature tend to be thinner and weaker, making them more susceptible to breaking compared to other hair types. This makes individuals with curly hair more at risk of experiencing hair loss.
Furthermore, the use of chemical products can have detrimental effects on scalp health. This can lead to dry and scaly skin on the scalp, increasing the likelihood of issues such as dandruff and other dermatological concerns.
These scalp issues not only affect the health of hair follicles but also expedite hair loss while hindering the growth of new hair strands.4 It’s essential to be aware of these factors to take better care of your hair and prevent further damage.
Growing and maintaining healthy, vibrant curls can feel like a challenge, especially if your hair has been exposed to natural elements like the sun and wind or has undergone harsh chemical treatments.
High-porosity hair often exhibits signs of weakness, damage, and frizz. It’s prone to issues like split ends and breakage, which can lead to thinning and hair loss for those who have it.
To counter these challenges, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive hair care routine that promotes new hair growth and addresses the unique needs of high-porosity hair. Deep moisturization and conditioning are vital to restoring the hair’s mechanical strength, protein content, shine, and natural appearance.
In addition, using products designed to stimulate the scalp and strengthen the hair fibers is essential for maintaining the overall health of both the scalp and the hair itself. These steps can make a significant difference in nurturing and revitalizing high-porosity hair.
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.