When searching for hair enlightenment, the toilet was the last place we imagined ourselves looking–but alas…here we are. A simple toilet porosity test can help you determine your hair porosity and consequently, what products are actually helpful and which to stay away from. Find out if you have high porosity, medium porosity or low porosity hair in no time!
The Actual Test
The test goes like this: use a brush to comb through your hair. Your brush will catch and collect loose hair that has naturally fallen from your head. Take said hair and carefully drop it atop a clean, flushed toilet. Wait for a few minutes to see if your hair floats or if it sinks. Floating strands mean your hair has low porosity, sinking strands mean your hair has high porosity.
Why Porosity Matters
Porosity is determined by the hair’s outer layer called the cuticle. Its a good indicator of how well your hair is able to take in moisture and retain moisture. While genetics can be accountable for your hair’s porosity, other factors can include chemical treatments, heat, and environmental exposure. If your hair’s porosity is high, it means products, oils and other substances your hair comes into contact with can pass in and out of it with ease. Low porosity means your hair retains moisture well but its also hard for moisture to enter your tresses organically.
What If I Have High Porosity?
If your hair sank to the bottom of the toilet bowl faster than the Titanic, we are sorry to be the bearers of bad news. High porosity hair is the hardest to manage but can be done if you know exactly what will benefit your mane. Characteristics of this type of hair include fast absorption of product and quick drying strands. High porosity hair benefits from a regiment of heavy conditioners in the shower and leave-in conditioners after every wash. Using deep conditioning masks is also recommended 2-3 times a week. Consider also using a sealer to help hair lock in moisture. Be gentle whenever you are detangling hair (and opt for a wide toothed comb) as breakage is a characteristic for this level of porosity. The final genius tip for high porosity hair is to rinse it with cold water after your hot shower to help seal the cuticle.
What If I Have Low Porosity?
This type of hair is typically healthy but resistant to chemical treatments. Because the cuticle provides such a good barrier in this category, its hard for products to penetrate. For this reason, highly emollient products are the only type of conditioners you should be using. Look for products with shea butter and oils like coconut or jojoba. If you want products to really penetrate, you can “raise” the cuticle by applying heat and then applying product. Once product makes it into the hair shaft, low porosity will allow for it to remain there and benefit hair health.
What If I Have Medium Porosity?
If you have medium porosity, pat yourself on the back and thank your lucky stars! This type of hair is the healthiest and easiest to manage. Medium porosity is characterized by shine as the cuticle layer we chatted about earlier is looser. This allows enough moisture to seep into hair and stay there. Using chemicals on your hair and/or coloring it can tip it into high porosity territory over time so don’t get too confident. Opt for deep conditioning treatments once a week to keep your hair in check.
Instead of dumping your money down the drain (pardon the pun) with products that aren’t right for your hair, take a few minutes to take this test and discover your porosity once and for all!