Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Verna Meachum
It can be so frustrating to feel like you’ve tried every single thing when it comes to growing healthy, beautiful hair. If your strands have low porosity, making them more resistant to absorbing moisture and other treatments, then you know the struggle is real.
Don’t give up hope just yet—you haven’t heard the full story!
Today on my blog, I’m uncovering all the facts about how to grow low porosity hair so that you can get past those roadblocks for good.
With the right techniques, anyone can learn how to make their low porosity hair thrive! By understanding the needs of your strands, utilizing specific products and styling tips, you can promote growth for your low porosity hair.
It’s not always simple to determine if your hair falls into the low porosity hair category and it’s easily misjudged. So, let’s explore the fundamentals of low-porosity hair and its defining traits.
Low Porosity Hair
Low porosity hair is notoriously stubborn and can be a challenge to assess when trying to determine how best to care for it. Evaluating the porosity level of this type of hair requires considerable effort, making it difficult to identify suitable solutions.
Virgin, natural and non-chemically hair fibers are generally regarded as “Low Porosity” hair. These fibers have relatively smaller pore sizes or space in the hair’s inner structure. This minute porosity level is perhaps due to repeated combing, brushing, exposure to solar radiation, and thermal processing.
While low porosity strands may appear healthy at face value, their ends will start becoming damaged quickly and lead to potential breakage or split ends in time.
Also, regular cleansing with sulfate shampoos can cause protein loss leading to porosity issues on your hair.
Porosity and Hair Loss
Oftentimes, hair is one of the main factors that make up our appearance and enable us to project confidence with ease. Unfortunately, losing these locks can be a major source of distress for many people; thus products that are able to stimulate hair regrowth have become increasingly sought after.
Hair loss is a common issue among both male and female, but it has a more visible impact in males.1-2 Additionally, hair porosity can wreak havoc on hair health, leading to breakage and loss of strands. If not addressed properly with the right care and maintenance routine, this issue will only become more severe over time.
With porous hair, locks are weak and far too susceptible to frizzing out or breaking off.3 This dilemma is likely caused by our everyday hair care practices and products applied.
Can low porosity hair experience hair loss?
Absolutely, even low porosity hair can experience hair loss and impede natural hair regrowth. Let me explain.
Depending on your hair’s texture, the porosity level can range from low to high. If your hair gets damaged, it makes it weak from the inside out which can cause breakage and hair loss.
Not only that, but repeated brushing and combing of hair (especially when wet) as well as thermal styling can actually rupture the protein structure in both cuticles and deep inside your hair’s cortex. As a result, you’ll experience weakened strands and a loss of hair mechanical strength – something no one wishes to endure!
Therefore, continuous processing can cause hair thinning and eventual hair breakage. Premature or accelerated thinning and breakage disturb the hair life cycle and hinder the normal hair growth cycle.
Low Porosity vs. High Porosity
Generally, hairs are characterized by two levels of porosity; Low-Porosity Hair, and High-Porosity Hair. The two levels describe the magnitude of pore size and integrity of inner hair structure.
High and low porosity hair are both susceptible to hair loss, yet they differ in their rate of growth and dynamics. Low-porosity hair is generally flat and smooth due to the density of its cuticles. On the other hand, high-porosity hair has raised cuticles, which can create a rougher texture.
Now, let’s elaborate on some tips to stimulate hair growth for low porosity hair.
How to Grow Low Porosity Hair: Tips to Stimulate Regrowth and Prevent Hair Loss
To tackle the issue of hair loss, we’ve split our strategy into two distinct parts: a nutritional pathway and a cosmetic anti-shedding regimen. Now let’s take an in-depth look at each.
Overall Consumer Health & Nutritional Factors
Our internal metabolic activity has a great influence on the growth and quality of our hair. If we want healthy skin, normal hair growth and vitality in general, then it’s essential to have an active lifestyle accompanied by a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. All these elements are fundamental for follicle prosperity.
1) Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet with sufficient proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and minerals is essential for normal metabolic and follicle activity. When any nutrient deficiency occurs in the body it can lead to an abnormal hair cycle. We highly recommend consulting with an experienced dietician who will be able to help craft out the best individualized plan that meets your unique needs.
Crucial components, such as the following, are essential:
- Vitamins C, D & E
- Omega-3 & Omega-6 oils
2) Physical Activity & Regular Exercise
It is highly recommended to establish a consistent exercise regimen. Not only does physical activity boost the metabolism and build up immunity, it can increase one’s self-confidence as well! Taking walks, cycling, swimming or going to the gym regularly helps promote healthy blood circulation in your muscles that stimulate cell restoration. This results in not just improved bodily health but also minimizes hair fall and facilitates better regrowth of hair – making for an overall healthier lifestyle.
1) Healthy Scalp = Better Hair Growth
Healthy hair life begins with a well-kept scalp. Our follicles rest on the skin’s surface, so it is imperative to keep scalps clean and hygienic for optimal follicle function. When covered in dandruff, debris or product residue, our skin cannot sustain normal activity levels of the follicles.4
It’s essential to take care of your scalp and keep it clean. Washing your hair regularly with good quality shampoo and conditioner is one the best ways to achieve healthy, luscious locks. Treating it with oils or deep-conditioners can add extra nourishment for a softer, more vibrant look.
2) Keep Your Follicles Healthy
Healthy follicles are the key to hair growth, and dead ones cannot generate new hairs. To keep your scalp cells and follicles healthy, oil massaging is essential; natural oils have been proven to be incredibly stimulating for them! When you apply an adequate amount of the right oils to massage your head regularly, it spurs cell regeneration in the scalp as well as providing nutrition that will lead to healthier hairs.
You can select any natural oil or butter of your preference. Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree essential oils provide a therapeutic effect on cell regeneration, boosting blood flow while also displaying antimicrobial activity. Make sure to use a carrier oil such as castor, jojoba or coconut oil to dilute these essential oils before applying to your scalp.
Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Sesame Seed Oil are also recommended for this job. They have a strong antioxidant profile and can minimize oxidative stress in follicles, soothe scalp tissues, and stimulates healthy cellular turnover.
3) Avoid Too Much Sulfates
Shampoos with sulfate-based surfactants are favored in the market due to their budget friendliness and convenience; thus, they have become the go-to choice for hair cleaning.
Yet, sulfates can be excessively irritating for some people and strip away hair proteins. Studies have revealed a decrease in overall fiber protein content after being exposed to sulfate washing- which weakens the fibers of your locks and may even cause hair loss if done too often.
Additionally, sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate may irritate the sensitive scalps, causing redness and itching which may disrupt the hair follicle’s natural growth process.
4) Adequate Hair Conditioning
Everyday styling efforts can be hindered by cuticular damage to the hair fiber, which is often caused by thermal styling. As such, it’s essential to use protective methods when using heat on your tresses.
When we subject our hair to thermal styling, the excessive heating denatures hair proteins, ruptures the upper cuticle layer, and chips them off.6 The same applies with combing and brushing – when done excessively or harshly, it can strip away the cuticles from your hair fibers and cause a loss of necessary proteins.
When our hair is damaged, it requires recovery and restoring to its original state. In order for this process to be successful, consistent conditioning of the hair should occur. Hair conditioners contain cationic detangling agents that help realign the cuticles in our hairs, making them smoother than before which reduces any friction when combing or styling your locks.
To prevent damage to the hair fiber, consumers should refrain from excessive and continuous heat exposure. To guarantee protection against heat-induced injury, a thermal protectant product that comprises of natural oils and butter must be applied prior to any styling with heated tools. This will guard the hair shaft for optimal safety during every use.
5) Pre-Poo Oil Treatment for Extra TLC
Pre-shampooing is a fantastic way to keep your hair hydrated before shampooing it. This is an important recovery step for low porosity hair, as the cuticles of these locks tend to be very close together and resistant to moisture, making it difficult for them to absorb hydration or oils.
Pre-shampooing acts as a barrier from the detergents in shampoo and allows for better absorption of oils. Oils and butters that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants help nourish, protect, and moisturize the scalp and hair strands.
If you want your hair to grow or retain length, it’s essential that you take proper care of it. Health and damage protection are both necessary components when wanting to achieve maximum growth results. The more mindful you pay to the health needs of your hair, the better its growth will be.
Hair Growth Formulations
Looking for something to promote new hair growth? Well, luckily you have some options. A popular choice is Minoxidil, which has shown positive results with topical application – although it’s important to note that it could take up to 4-6 weeks before noticeable progress is made. So if you’re in search of a formulation that helps stimulate hair regrowth, give it a try.
Before using minoxidil or any other substance that promotes hair growth, it is highly recommended to seek advice from a dermatologist.
Plant-based extracts such as garlic and onion with sulfur properties have been found to be successful in promoting hair growth. When applied directly on the scalp and massaged, they can help stimulate new hair growth while also protecting existing strands from shedding off. That being said, these natural methods require a longer period of time before visible results are seen.
Eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly not only keeps your metabolism in check, but also helps maintain the health of both your scalp and hair.
In order to keep your hair in top-notch condition and support the natural growth cycle, it is essential that you maintain a healthy scalp. This entails regularly cleansing your scalp to ensure adequate follicle activity.
To ensure healthy hair growth, be sure to massage your scalp with natural oil or butter. Additionally, don’t over wash your hair and make it a point to condition them using moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioning mask regularly as well.
Should you experience excessive shedding, we recommend that you consult a dermatologist for further assistance.
1. Zviak, C., The Science of Hair Care. Taylor & Francis: 1986.
2. Shiel, S., Hair health and management of common hair disorders. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2007, 6, 12-17.
3. Marsh, J. M.; Gray, J.; Tosti, A., Healthy Hair. Springer International Publishing: 2015.
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.
6. Gamez-Garcia, M., The cracking of human hair cuticles by cyclical thermal stresses. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem. 1998, 49 (3), 141-153.