October 19, 2023
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Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Verna Meachum
Are you constantly battling dry, frizzy, or brittle hair despite your best efforts? Whether you have straight, wavy, coily, or curly hair, you might be dealing with high porosity hair, which is essentially a form of damaged hair. Simply put, this damage manifests as tiny cracks in the protein structure of your hair, leading to pores. The presence of these pores or cracks is an indicator that the hair is damaged.
Factors like chemical treatments, heat styling, environmental damage from sun exposure, or mechanical stress from rough brushing often cause this issue.
So what’s the solution for repairing or taking care of high porosity hair? To set your hair on the path to recovery, consider adopting a personalized hair care routine. Focus on keeping your hair well-moisturized, treating it to deep conditioning sessions, replenishing lost protein through targeted treatments, using a leave-in conditioner to shield against sun damage, and incorporating natural oils to keep your strands soft and smooth.
To give you the most reliable advice on how to take care of high porosity hair, I’ve consulted with an expert in the field of hair science—a friend who holds a PhD in Chemistry. Let’s get into it.
In short, porosity is a measure of hair damage. There are three main porosity levels; low, medium, and high.
Now, let’s look into some factors that can lead to this type of damage:
Here are a few characteristic features of high-porosity hair fibers:
High-porosity hair is delicate, prone to breakage during combing or brushing, and often feels dry and coarse to the touch. It lacks luster, may exhibit an undefined curl pattern, and can have visible split ends.
To ascertain your hair’s porosity, you can perform a straightforward test (explained below) in the comfort of your home.
To gauge hair porosity, hair experts recommend the “Floating Test,” a practical and easy-to-follow method.
Here’s how to do it:
Because high-porosity hair is fragile, it needs a tailored hair care regimen to restore its natural texture, body, and volume. Here are some of the pivotal methods I used to restore my severely damaged hair:
Moisture retention is key to keeping your hair hydrated and maintaining its moisture level.
Aim for a minimum of twice a week.
Maintaining hair health requires proper cleansing. For those with high-porosity hair, a twice-weekly wash is recommended. Your cleansing routine should include:
Absolutely! I once believed that using a steamer on high-porosity hair, which already has lifted cuticles, would be unnecessary. However, I’ve since realized I was mistaken.
Experiments have demonstrated that using heat via a hooded steamer or warm air over hair covered with a plastic cap enhances the penetration of active ingredients. Also, more cationic conditioning agents bond to the hair surface when heat is applied.
Incorporate a leave-in conditioner as this is a must-have product for your routine. It offers continuous moisturization with adequate emollience. It also eases combing and styling and protects your hair against photodamage.
Look for products that have shea butter, aloe vera, and jojoba oil as key ingredients. Shea butter helps your hair retain moisture, aloe vera is known for its hydrating and healing benefits, and jojoba oil closely resembles the natural oils in our scalp.
Utilize natural ingredients, such as oils as they provide much-needed emollience and lubrication to the hair shaft and reduce fiber-to-fiber friction. Oils with strong penetration ability can go deep inside the cortex (i.e. coconut oil) and reduce the porosity level.
It’s essential for individuals with high porosity hair to choose their products with care. Before purchasing a new product, always check the list of ingredients.
Before applying a new product to the entire scalp, always conduct a patch test. A standard hair care routine for high-porosity hair should include:
|A gentle clarifying shampoo||Once a month|
|A mild hydrating, conditioning shampoo||Twice a week|
|A rinse-off hydrating conditioner||Twice a week (right after washing)|
|A leave-in conditioner||Daily|
|A natural oil-blend||Twice a week|
|A deep hydrating/conditioning protein treatment (which will depend on your hair’s health and circumstances)||Maybe once a week|
Absolutely! This regimen should encompass cleansing, conditioning, protein treatments, and the right styling methods (that do not cause stress to the hair follicles).
Regular use of hydrating, conditioning, and hair-strengthening products is key. Look for formulations that include vegetable proteins, keratins, and micro-polymer molecules.
Proteins have been scientifically shown to enhance the hair’s strength and restore its natural sheen. Additionally, cationic conditioning polymers can enhance hair quality, reducing its porosity.
Through such a routine, you can effectively improve and achieve healthy hair.
A deep hydrating protein treatment. Because high-porosity hair is often dry, coarse, and lacks volume, it needs an adequate level of moisture to restore its natural texture.
Therefore, hydration is essential and should be paired with proteins.
Proteins work both on the surface and deep within the hair fiber, rejuvenating its natural texture and enhancing strength. This combined hydration and protein approach is the go-to solution for treating high-porosity hair.
The best way to keep high-porosity hair moisturized begins at the foundation – with cleansing and conditioning using hydrating products that contain a mix of mild surfactants, humectants, and emollients. Incorporate a deep hydrating protein mask into your routine.
When applying the mask to wet hair, ensure it covers each strand evenly. Consider covering your hair with a cap and applying heat, either with a blow dryer or a hooded dryer, to enhance the penetration of conditioning ingredients deep inside the hair fiber. This method offers superior results making hair evenly moisturized and conditioned.
For more strategies on this, check out my blog titled, “How to Moisturize High Porosity Hair: Key Ingredients.”
Absolutely not! Proteins are excellent hair conditioning actives for this type of hair. These multifunctional ingredients are essential for high-porosity hair health.
They impart moisture to dry strands, improve the surface texture, and recover protein loss from chemical or heat treatments.
Multiple scientific studies have shown that protein treatments increase hair tensile strength and elasticity, leading to decreased hair breakage.5
Hence, using proteins is highly recommended for high-porosity hair. It’s recommended to apply a protein treatment at least biweekly for optimal hair fiber reconstruction and conditioning.
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