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The Best Shampoos for High Porosity Hair and Key Ingredients

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Image of curly girl brushing her wet damaged and tangly hair with three shampoos for high porosity hair at the forefront.

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Understanding the complexities of high-porosity hair can significantly improve your hair care regimen. This type of hair easily absorbs moisture but struggles to retain it, leaving you with dry and brittle hair. As someone who has personally tried most of the shampoos on this list, I can attest to the importance of finding the right product.

In collaboration with a friend who is a hair scientist with a PhD in Cosmetic Chemistry, we’ve determined that the most effective shampoos for high-porosity hair should feature ingredients like humectants, protein-replenishers, emollients, and natural oils. These key components synergize to cleanse, hydrate, and strengthen your hair.

In this article, we’ll dissect the science behind these essential ingredients, helping you understand how they come together to formulate the perfect shampoo for high-porosity hair. Armed with this insight, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision when choosing the right products.

Now, let’s take a look at our top picks of shampoos for high-porosity hair.

Shampoos for High Porosity Hair: Our Top 10 Picks!

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To make things convenient, we’ve included ingredient lists for each product. However, please note that these lists might not be the most up-to-date. For the most accurate and current details, we recommend checking the information on the product bottle. Additionally, make sure to check the size of the bottles, as they may vary on each site.

#1 BounceCurl Pure Silk Moisturizing Shampoo

Drawing upon my years of use with this product, I can confidently say that this particular shampoo is a standout, especially for those in need of an extra moisture boost. When you first apply it, you might notice it doesn’t lather excessively; the secret here is to drench your hair with water for optimal results.

Infused with a carefully curated blend of safflower oil, organic black seed oil, and other key ingredients like pro-vitamin B5 and green tea, this shampoo not only leaves your hair smelling divine but also works wonders from the scalp to the tips.

What sets this shampoo apart is its unique formulation. It doesn’t just moisturize; it nourishes the scalp and enhances the natural luster of your curls. Plus, it cleanses without stripping away essential oils, offering a balanced approach to hair and scalp health. If that weren’t enough, it’s sulfate-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, making it an ethical choice for conscientious consumers.

Ingredients: Water, **Decyl Glucoside, **Hybrid Safflower Oil, **Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, **Glycerin, **Propanediol, **Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polyquaternium-10, **Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, **Vanillin, **Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Biotin, *Nigella Sativa (Virgin Black Cumin) Oil, **Euterpe Olecracea (Olive Oil) Fruit Extract, **Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, **Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, **Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Protein, **Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, **Morinda Citrifolia Extract, **Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, **Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, **Boswellia Carterii Oil, **Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, **Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, **Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Seed Oil, **Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, **Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, **Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, **Geranium Maculatum Oil, **Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, **Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, **Citric Acid. Essential Oil Blend (Scent).

*Certified Organic. **Plant Derived 100% Oil Scent (no synthetic fragrance).

#2 Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

As someone who has tried an array of clarifying shampoos, I can attest that this one truly stands out for those requiring just a touch of moisture. Think of it as a light clarifying elixir that amazingly allows for easy detangling. And don’t be fooled by its light texture; this shampoo generates an impressive lather right from the first use, proving that a little truly does go a long way.

This shampoo’s potency comes from a sophisticated blend of organic black seed oil, pro-vitamin B5, and biotin, among other ingredients. It also incorporates unique elements like pomegranate and pumpkin enzymes, which rejuvenate the scalp and contribute to overall hair vitality. What I find especially compelling is the aromatic blend of 100% essential oils that turns every wash into an invigorating sensory experience.

Ingredients: Water, **Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, **Decyl Glucoside, **Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, **Glycerin **Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, **Propanediol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polyquaternium-10, **Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Biotin, **Vanillin, **Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Protein, *Nigella Sativa (Virgin Black Cumin) Oil, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lactic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, **Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, **Boswellia Carterii Oil, **Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, **Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, **Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, **Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, **Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, **Geranium Maculatum Oil, **Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, **Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Pogostemon Cablin Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Seed Oil, ** Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol.

*Certified Organic. **Plant Derived 100% Oil Scent (no synthetic fragrance).

Bounce Curl Enzyme Gentle Clarifying Shampoo
$35.00 ($4.38 / Fl Oz)

Use 'muse' at Bounce Curl's checkout for a discount.

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03/19/2024 02:59 pm GMT

#3 Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo

As someone who’s constantly on the hunt for shampoos that can rejuvenate my bleached curls, this particular product caught my eye, not just for its affordability but also its easy availability at Marshalls. Designed explicitly for dry or damaged hair, it offers much more than just cleansing; it’s a comprehensive treatment for your hair.

The experience starts with a sumptuous lather that not only purifies but also tames frizz and unruliness, thanks to its enriching plant extracts. But what sets this shampoo apart is its proactive approach to hair care: it goes beyond superficial aesthetics to fortify each strand with a protective barrier. This feature is especially beneficial for those of us who subject our hair to chemical treatments or heat styling, as it helps combat split ends and breakage.

But that’s not all. This formula also breathes new life into limp curls, adding a remarkable bounce and lightness that lasts. Committed to ethical beauty, it’s composed of 100% vegetarian ingredients and adheres to cruelty-free standards, being Leaping Bunny Certified. Additionally, it’s free from sulfates, PEGs, parabens, mineral oils, and artificial dyes, making it a clean and conscientious choice for your hair care routine.

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Valencia Orange) Extract, *Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, *Echinacea Purpurea Extract, *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Macrocystis Pyrifera (Sea Kelp) Extract, *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Extract, *Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glycol Distearate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Natural Fragrance, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Natural Fragrance.

*Organically produced ingredient

#4 SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo 

If you’re dealing with high porosity curls like me, let me introduce you to a shampoo that’s been a game-changer in my routine. This isn’t just another sulfate-free clarifying shampoo; it’s a comprehensive treatment for those of us who frequently color, straighten, or heat-style our hair.

The formula, enriched with Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic shea butter, does more than just eliminate build-up. It actively replenishes moisture and fortifies your strands, substantially reducing breakage and shedding—a godsend for chemically treated or damaged hair.

But it doesn’t stop at surface-level benefits. The shampoo also boosts healthy scalp circulation, which over time can lead to stronger, more resilient follicles. The shea butter, a cornerstone ingredient restores suppleness to the scalp and hair, leaving them not just looking good but feeling incredibly manageable too.

This product is free from silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, and petrolatum. Trust me, this is one product you won’t want to overlook.

Ingredients: Aqua, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Parfum (Essential Oil Blend / Mélange d’huiles essentielles), Glycerin (Vegetable/ Végétale), Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vinegar, Yeast Extract, Niacin, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel

*Certified Organic Ingredient. *Fair Trade Ingredient.

#5 Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Shampoo

It’s been a while since this particular shampoo graced my shower shelf, but it’s a standout recommendation for those with textured hair craving intensive moisture. It’s crafted with a blend of mongongo oil and jojoba oil, along with aloe vera extract and Fair Trade shea butter, this formula deeply nourishes while gently cleansing.

But this shampoo doesn’t just stop at hydration. It also packs a punch in the strength department. The unique blend of natural oils fortifies each hair strand, offering a shield against breakage—whether that’s from overzealous styling or environmental stressors.

As a bonus, the formula protects against humidity, ensuring your hair maintains its newfound softness and smoothness for the long haul.

Ingredients: Water, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Glycol Distearate, Glycerine (Vegetable), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter *, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Ricinodendron Rautanenii (Mongongo) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Peptide, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Vinegar, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Sodium Benzoate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.

* Certified Organic Ingredient. Fair Trade Ingredient.

#6 SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Shampoo

This shampoo is a blend of baobab, coconut, and mafura oils. This trio serves as a revitalizing elixir, specifically targeting dry or coarse curls to deliver unparalleled smoothness and manageability.

But it doesn’t stop there; what sets this shampoo apart is its dual-action formula: it not only moisturizes but also repairs each hair strand. Packed with reconstructive proteins and nutrients, it enhances your hair’s natural shine while offering deep repair. So you’re left with resilient hair that feels as good as it looks.

Certified organic shea butter lays the moisturizing groundwork, elevated by the deeply hydrating manuka honey.

Complementing these key ingredients are yogurt powder and extract—natural proteins that amplify the formula’s nourishing capabilities.

Beyond reversing past damage, this shampoo equips your hair with a protective shield against further damage, whether from styling tools or chemical treatments.

Ingredients: Water (Eau), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin (Vegetable/Végétale), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Honey (Miel), Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, Inulin (Chicory Root), Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Panthenol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Coconut Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Methyltaurate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Tin Oxide, Fragrance (Parfum).

#7 Briogeo Don’t Despair! Repair Super Moisture Shampoo

Experience the transformational impact of Briogeo’s signature formula, carried over from their renowned Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask into this revolutionary shampoo. It is enriched with a potent blend of algae extract, panthenol, biotin, and rose oil, this shampoo is a holistic approach to reviving dry hair.

At its core is algae extract, a powerful ingredient that operates at the cellular level to mend damage from root to tip while also offering protective benefits against the rigors of styling. Panthenol, a hydration powerhouse, ensures that your hair retains moisture, strengthening it from the inside out.

But it doesn’t stop there—biotin and rose oil bring their own unique nourishing qualities to the mix. Together, they work to smooth flyaways and impart a luminous shine, improving your hair’s overall manageability.

If your hair has been calling out for a lifeline, this is it. Offering a seamless blend of conditioning and reparative elements, this shampoo deeply moisturizes dry and damaged strands. It’s more than just a cleanser; it’s a comprehensive treatment for rejuvenating your hair.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate*, Lauramidopropyl Betaine*, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine*, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Glycol Distearate*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Biotin, Panthenol, Glycerin*, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Tilia Tomentosa Extract*, Sargassum Filipendula Extract*, Phospholipids*, Glycolipids*, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil*, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil*, Pogostemon Cablin Oil*, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil*, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil*, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate*, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate*, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride*, Citric Acid*, Fragrance (Parfum), Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol.

*Coconut, vegetable, or plant-derived.

#8 adwoa beauty Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo

While this shampoo is great for high-porosity hair, it also works great for low-porosity hair. It is made from an organic blend that includes aloe leaf juice and baobab oil. This formula is also infused with a cooling trio of wintergreen, spearmint, and peppermint oils.

Together, these elements hydrate and moisturize the scalp and strands without adding weight and dramatically improve hair’s softness and elasticity. The invigorating mix of essential oils delivers a soothing sensation to the scalp, which is particularly beneficial for any dry or itchy patches.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), *Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, +Glycerin, *Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Jamaican Black Castor) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phthalates Free Fragrance, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Oil, *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Opuntia Ficus Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil, *Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, *Lavandula (Lavender) Spica Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Menthol, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Citric Acid. 

*Certified organic ingredient. +Kosher ingredient used.

#9 Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo

During my most recent salon visit, I discovered the magic of this shampoo. Believe me when I say it’s a lifesaver, cutting down your detangling time by an astonishing 30 minutes!

Formulated with the ultra-hydrating blend of avocado and almond oils, this shampoo elevates hydration to luxurious levels without leaving behind any oily residue.

Your hair is left feeling not just soft but silk-smooth to the touch. What sets this shampoo apart is its ability to form a light yet nutrient-packed lather, distributing essential oils and ingredients evenly throughout your hair. This makes your hair look healthier and significantly eases styling and manageability.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropylhydroxysultaine, Acetamide MEA, Polyquaternium-7, Glycol Distearate (and), Laureth-4 (and), Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate,  (and) PPG 2-Hydroxyethyl Cocamide (and), Water, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Fragrance (Parfum), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (and), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool.

#10 Soultanicals Master Hair Cleanse Curl Detox 

If I had to summarize my feelings about this product in a single phrase, it would be: don’t hesitate, just get it! The transformative impact it has had on my routine speaks for itself. If you’re on the hunt for a transformative hair cleansing experience, don’t overlook this product—I can’t emphasize enough how much of a game-changer this product has been in my own hair care routine.

It’s crafted with an all-natural, vegan-friendly formula. Its extraordinary blend of natural ingredients, including invigorating peppermint and antioxidant-rich rosemary essential oils, helps purge impurities from your hair strands while imparting unparalleled softness and definition to your curls. But this is more than just a detox; it’s also a rejuvenation treatment. It goes to work repairing damaged strands even as it deep-cleanses, achieving two goals in one go.

Remarkably versatile, this detox shampoo is especially beneficial for those with tight or kinky hair textures, offering both hydration and the nourishment essential for healthy growth. But don’t let that limit you—it’s equally effective on straight, wavy, or curly hair, proving its universal appeal.

Botanical Ingredients: Organic Aloe Juice Infused with Burdock Root, Dandelion Root, Sea Kelp, Oatstraw, Nettle, Red Clover, Thyme, Bentonite Clay, Blackstrap Molasses, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Bentonite, Potassium Sorbate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citric Acid, Essential Oil Blend of Peppermint, Lavender, Geranium, Lemon.

What is High Porosity Hair

In essence, high-porosity hair (also known as “highly-porous” or “highly porous hair”) is characterized by damaged cuticles with gaps and openings along the hair shaft.1

While this allows for quick moisture absorption, it also leads to difficulty in moisture retention,2 resulting in issues like dryness and frizz.

High-porosity hair acts much like a sponge, readily absorbing water and other products due to its porous cuticle structure.

Characteristics of High Porosity Hair

● Extremely porous

● Very dry

● Frizzy hair

● Feels extremely rough when running your fingers across the hair strands.

● Requires more force and effort when combing and brushing it.

● Hair is rather delicate and can snap when any sort of pressure is applied due to its lack of mechanical strength.

What Causes High Porosity?

Hair is composed of keratin, which is a sulfur-rich protein. Harsh chemical processing of hair drastically causes significant protein content loss, weakening the fibers and further prone to easy breakage.

The cuticles of the hair are severely damaged, revealing a porous surface that gives way to its inner cortex structure. The pore density and the size or volume of these pores increase significantly.3,4,5,6,7

The Key Ingredients in Shampoos for High Porosity Hair

High-porosity hair, often fragile and damaged from treatments like bleaching or perming, requires a tailored approach to prevent further deterioration.

Unlike low-porosity hair or medium porosity hair, it tends to be extremely dry, necessitating a gentle, moisture-rich shampoo formula.

Standard shampoos won’t suffice; this hair type needs extra hydration to replenish moisture levels.

Using sulfate-based shampoos can worsen the condition by stripping essential proteins and lipids from the hair shaft and scalp, leading to increased damage over time.8,9

Therefore, an ultra-moisturizing formula is essential for catering to the unique needs of high-porosity hair.

Now that we’ve established the unique requirements of high-porosity hair, let’s delve into the specific ingredients that make a shampoo effective for this hair type.

Cleansing Agents

Surfactants are essential for cleansing and come in three main types: anionic, amphoteric, and non-ionic.

Anionic surfactants produce a rich lather and quickly wet the hair due to their negative charge.

Amphoteric surfactants offer moderate foaming and excel in conditioning, as they carry both positive and negative charges.

Non-ionic surfactants are neutral, unaffected by hard water ions, and are eco-friendly choices for sulfate-free products.10

While surfactants are powerful cleansers that can remove sebum and residue, some types like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can dry out the hair and scalp,5 as well as strip it of essential lipids (18-methyleicosanoic acid layer) from the outermost cuticle layer and dissolve the protein residue of keratin.8,9

However, advances in surfactant technology have led to milder, eco-friendly options. Sulfate-free shampoos, in particular, offer the dual benefit of gentle cleansing and conditioning, making them an excellent choice for high-porosity hair.11

Suitable mild and gentle surfactants for high-porosity hair:

Glucosides-based Non-ionic Surfactants (e.g. Coco glucoside, Decyl glucoside, Lauryl glucoside) – are preferred due to their strong skin compatibility, low irritation potential, yet effective and efficient cleansing.12 

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – preferred co-surfactant. It generates a voluminous rich creamy lather. It also demonstrates a strong hydrating benefit to scalp and hair fibers.12 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate – a very mild and deep hydrating cleansing agent that also offers a creamy lather with small bubbles.13

Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate – mild amphoteric surfactant for gentle cleansing.10

Cocoamidopropyl Betaine – mild amphoteric surfactant, foam booster.14

Hydrating Ingredients

Moisture is essential for high-porosity hair to thrive. An optimal shampoo must be able to increase the fiber water content, as this is a crucial requirement that high-porosity hairs require.

Sulfate-free formulations can benefit from the addition of several different moisturizing agents. Glycerin is a relatively cost-effective way to provide hydration, but it does have a slightly sticky or tacky texture and may leave behind an unwanted feeling of heaviness.

Fortunately, natural ingredients are becoming increasingly popular due to their green origin and sustainability.

The top choices are:

Betaine is a natural hydrating agent that is highly efficient in delivering water molecules.15

1,3 Propanediol is a corn-derived natural moisturizing agent.16,17

Panthenol is a fiber moisturizing and strengthening active molecule.18

Cationic Polymers

Cationic polymers are the secret to aligning hair cuticles and achieving tangle-free hair. By carrying a positive charge density, they bind to and align negatively charged protein sites on the hair shaft.19

The result is an improved surface smoothness, reducing the force when combing wet and dry hair, and it also helps combat porosity issues.

If you want the absolute best results for high-porosity hair, then two particular cationic polymers should be your top selection. Benefiting from a natural source, these polymers have been expertly modified to enhance their binding with hair surfaces. They are:

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride – A guar gum-derived cationic conditioner.20

Polyquaternium – 10, a starch-derived cationic conditioner.21

Other preferred ingredients

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein – hair conditioning, moisturizing, and fiber strengthening.21

Green Tea Leaf Extract – scalp healing, makes the formulation gentle and mild.22

Shea Butter – fiber conditioning, emollient, detangling, and thermal protection.23

Olive Oil – antioxidant, fiber conditioning, emollient, scalp revitalizing.24

Argan Oil – antioxidant, scalp and fiber conditioning, emollient.25

Castor Oil – fiber conditioning, moisturizing agent.26


Preservatives are essential for maintaining the quality of personal care products. They help keep formulations stable and viable during storage, transport, and use – ensuring that every product is safe to use with the maximum benefit over time.27

Instead of damaging and carcinogenic preservatives, high porosity hairs require gentle, natural, and green preservatives that are better suited for the scalp and hair’s health. The top choices are:

● Sodium benzoate 28

● Potassium Sorbate 29

● Caprylyl glycol 29

● Benzyl alcohol 30

● Phenoxyethanol 31

Ingredients to Avoid

To protect the fragile and damaged structure of high-porosity hairs, it is important to steer clear of certain ingredients.

These ingredients are known for their harsh chemical nature and ability to negatively impact skin cells and hair proteins. As a result, may also cause chronic problems over prolonged exposure.

Carefully examine the ingredient listing to make sure the product does not contain any of the following ingredients:

Sulfate surfactants – e.g. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.32

Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives – Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic and is completely banned in the USA, EU, and other countries across the globe.33

Certain preservatives release formaldehyde when dissolved in water, such as:34

  • DMDM-hydantoin
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Imidazolidinyl urea

Parabens are widely used preservatives recognized for their powerful antimicrobial activity. However, FDA scientists are continuing to study the safety of parabens in numerous published studies. For now, they haven’t come across any evidence that suggests that adverse effects on human health can be linked to parabens used in cosmetics products.35,36

Ultimately, you as the consumer have control over what you choose to put on your head!

Tips for Cleansing High Porosity Hair

● Wash your high-porosity hair with a gentle sulfate-free formulation.

● Remember: Moisture is the key to keeping your high-porosity hair hydrated.

● A deep moisturizing mask is essential for healthy hair.

● A moisturizing leave-in conditioner is a must-have product. 

● Oil therapy is strongly recommended. They provide emollience, prevent water loss, and lubricate the hair and scalp. 


  1. Ruetsch, S. B.; Yang, B.; Kamath, Y. K., Cuticular damage to African; American hair during relaxer treatments; A microfluorometric and SEM Study. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 2009, 31 (3), 244-245. ↩︎
  2. Lee, Y.; Kim, Y.-D.; Pi, L.-q.; Lee, S. Y.; Hong, H.; Lee, W.-S., Comparison of hair shaft damage after chemical treatment in Asian, White European, and African hair. Int. J. Dermatol. 2013, n/a-n/a. ↩︎
  3. Naqvi, K. R., Hair bleaching and dyeing: Chemical Changes in hair fibre. Chemistry review 2011. ↩︎
  4. Robbins, C.; Kamath, Y. In Hair breakage during combing. III. The effects of bleaching and conditioning on short and long segment breakage by wet and dry combing of tresses, 2nd International Conference on Applied Hair Science, Princeton, NJ, Sep 18-19; Soc Cosmetic Chemists: Princeton, NJ, 2006; pp 477-484. ↩︎
  5. Turkoglu, M.; Pekmezci, E.; Sakr, A., Evaluation of irritation potential of surfactant mixtures. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 1999, 21 (6), 371-382. ↩︎
  6. Wagner, R. D. C.; Joekes, I., Hair protein removal by sodium dodecyl sulfate. Colloid Surf. B-Biointerfaces 2005, 41 (1), 7-14. ↩︎
  7. Robbins CR. Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair. 4th ed. New York, NY: Springer; 2002. 483 p. ↩︎
  8. Wagner RDCC, Joekes I. Hair protein removal by sodium dodecyl sulfate. Colloids Surfaces B Biointerfaces. 2005 Mar 10;41(1):7–14. ↩︎
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  10. Farn RJ. Chemistry and Technology of Surfactants. Farn RJ, editor. Chemistry and Technology of Surfactants. Blackwell Publishing; 2006. 1–315 p. ↩︎
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I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

My Favourite Things

Great hair goes beyond using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Shop my favorite must-haves.

After years of requests, I’m finally sharing my go-to skincare products.

Give your space a quick refresh with these ultimate home decor ideas.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure and make sure to pack these essential items to take with you on your journey.

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