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Tips For Caring For Low Porosity Hair

November 30, 2021


Verna Meachum

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 We treat our blog with a curious, open-minded, and customer-focused attitude. We ask lots of questions about everything.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2022 by Verna Meachum

If you have low porosity hair, it can be a challenge to find the right products that will work for your type of hair. Hair porosity is a term that’s used to describe the hair’s ability or inability to absorb water or chemicals into the cortex.

All hair is naturally porous and permeable to water, but only to the degree of porosity and it varies from person to person. Porosity is generally categorized as high, medium, or low porosity.

What is Low Porosity Hair?

Your hair is made up of dead cells that are positioned in a specific three-layer pattern:

  • The outermost layer of your hair is known as the cuticle. It’s made up of overlapping individual cuticles, much like a roof’s shingles.
  • The cortex is the middle and thickest layer. It contains fibrous proteins and as well as pigments.
  • The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair shaft, sitting between the cortex and cuticle.

The cuticles of low-porosity hair overlap and are firmly packed together, thus, water and other chemicals, including oils and conditioners, have a difficult time getting to the hair shaft. In case you didn’t know, low porosity hair is usually inherited.

Heat, styling, chemicals, and overexposure to the sun can damage the cuticle layer, which is more likely to result in high porosity hair. This means the cuticles have been lifted and there are gaps between them. The hair shaft is unable to retain moisture as a result of this.

Low Porosity Hair Characteristics

There are a few more attributes of hair than the curl pattern. For example, density, porosity, length, elasticity, and width (the actual thickness of the strands of hair and not the volume of hair). While all are good to know, out of all, the porosity is the most important one.

Takes a long time for hair to get fully wet. Why? The goal of a hair strand’s cuticle layers is to protect the more delicate layers beneath them from wear and tear.

When hair with tight cuticles is wet, water seeps in gradually. Water beads are produced as a result of the tight cuticles, allowing it to take in what it needs and reject the rest.

These water beads are a big indication that your hair is more than likely low in porosity.

Products build-up easily. Product build-up happens because the hair’s tight cuticles make it difficult for creams, oils, and conditioners to penetrate, which results in the product sitting on top of the hair.

As you add more and more products, the layers thicken and harden, which makes your hair feel less flexible.

Single strand knots are created easily (usually in more kinky, tighter curls).

How to Take Care of Low Porosity Hair Every Day

Some people with low porosity hair want to use more products than they should. This will not work to your benefit because the cuticles are so tightly close together that not much product will penetrate.

The key is to find products that work well for low porosity hair. You will want to find ingredients that can penetrate your hair easily.

Look for ingredients that offer loads of moisture like water-based conditioners, natural glycerine, avocado, film-forming humectants (flaxseed, aloe vera, marshmallow root, beet extract, honey, etc.).

If any of these ingredients don’t work for you, then don’t use them.

Don’t shy away from Hydrolyzed protein. It will act as a hydrating mechanism as it will slow down the water loss from hair.

Smaller proteins are perfect because they can seep under the cuticles and keep the water in your hair longer. Stick to smaller proteins like amino acids, peptides, silk, collagen, keratin

Always provide and maintain adequate water, as low porosity hair needs it.

Another important tip is to apply products when your hair is wet and warm. Heat can lift the hair cuticle, allowing oils and moisture to more easily penetrate the hair shaft.

Here is a list of some low porosity hair products:


As I Am Clarity

As I Am Co Wash

EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash

SheaMoisture African Water Mint Detox & Refresh Shampoo

Suave Daily Clarifying Conditioner


As I Am Dry & Itchy Scalp Conditioner

Bouncecurl Super Smooth Conditioner

Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Conditioner

Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor Giovanni

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus

Leave-In Conditioners / Curl Creams

As I Am Naturally Leave-In Conditioner

Curls Blueberry Bliss

Giovanni Leave-In Direct Conditioner

Original Moxie Leave-In Cream

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie


BioSilk Rock Hard Gel

Curlkeeper Original Gel

Jane Carter Gel Curls to Go Gel

Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel

Mop Top Gel

Deep Conditioners

As I Am Hydration Elation

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner

Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner

OBIA Naturals Babassu Oil Deep Conditioner – Moisturizing

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey


Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Oil

Righteous Roots Oils

THE MANE CHOICE Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Oil

How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair Daily

If your hair is always dry and you’re looking for a way to moisturize low porosity hair on a daily basis, try using water and a leave-in conditioner. Moisturize whenever your hair feels dry.

For extra-dried hair, two to three times a week is normal. For others, once a week should be enough. Make sure to use water-based moisturizers.

Tips For Caring For Low Porosity Hair

Here are some low porosity curly hair care suggestions to assist you!

1) Clarify your hair at least once a month. Low porosity hair is susceptible to build-up if not washed regularly. Product accumulation builds up a barrier on each hair strand, preventing it from getting enough water.

2) Avoid shampoos with sulfates. The chemicals in these products remove the natural oils from low-porosity curls, leaving them dry and brittle.

3) A good way to lock in moisture is to mist and seal it with light oil, like grapeseed oil.

4) Use indirect heat when deep conditioning. It needs heat to allow moisture to penetrate the hair. After applying a deep conditioner, use a plastic cap, hand-held steamer, bonnet steamer, or thermal cap to help the product penetrate the hair.

5)Always let your hair be your guide. Get to know your hair. My most important advice is to keep an eye on how your hair is responding and experiment with the solutions that seem to work best.

Curl care

 We treat our blog with a curious, open-minded, and customer-focused attitude. We ask lots of questions about everything.

We think that people should take what information they need and leave what they don't. We suggest things we enjoy and believe are worth your attention.

Above all, we value your trust above anything else. We're so glad you’re here!

Hi,I'm Verna

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