Remember when we simply classified our strands by length and texture? Ah, the good ol’ days. Welcome to the new world, where those two characteristics are just the tip of the iceberg. Now, porosity plays a huge role in mane management. We reached out to experts, who discussed how to care for low porosity hair and what defines it. Keep reading for everything to know about low porosity hair, and how to improve its quality.
(Image Source: Unsplash / Thanh Duc PHAN)
What Is Low Porosity Hair?
Let’s start with hair porosity in general. Simply put: Hair porosity refers to the ability of the hair shaft to take in and retain water. Take the two-second toilet test to see if you have low porosity hair!
Low porosity hair has moisture-retention issues, often making conditioners ineffective for this type of tresses. While this type of hair is stronger and can appear healthier looking, “the cuticles tend to overlap each other and are tightly packed together,” Hadney Alexander, Alterna Hair educator, tells Mane Addicts. “The structure of the hair doesn’t allow moisture to be easily absorbed into the hair shaft.”
The Biggest Issues With Low Porosity Hair
Among the greater issues with low porosity hair, it “easily accumulates product buildup,” Alexander says. “Hair tangles easily because the cuticle gets caught. Hair also tends to be too dry and frizzes easily, losing elasticity and resulting in breakage. Chemical processing such as color may also be initially difficult.”
How to Care for Low Porosity Hair
Because products don’t saturate into low porosity hair, it can be difficult to promote growth and general care. You’ll want to start by clarifying the hair.
“Remove the buildup,” Alexander advises, adding that you should generally avoid applying too many products altogether. “Moisturize your hair. Moisture starts at the shampoo bowl. Use the proper professional moisture shampoo and treatments, including leave-in moisture products, before styling. Also, deep condition and apply treatment with a steamer or a heat-activated cap. You’ll also want to use light oils on the hair and avoid wetting it daily. Finally, you can protect hair at night with a satin bonnet to protect ends from being exposed and drying out.” Alexander recommends using products from Alterna’s Caviar collection.
Celebrity hairstylist Kevin Murphy is also a huge proponent of steaming, explaining, “Steam will help by slightly lifting the cuticle to allow your hair to absorb the moisture and products. Try using light oils or creams that are more easily absorbed, especially with the use of steam. If you can’t get a steamer, the greenhouse effect is a great way to produce heat from your body. It involves the use of a plastic cap or is as simple as using plastic wrap to create a turban. This makes a moist and warm environment around your hair and scalp. The humid environment forces your hair to absorb moisture by opening the hair cuticle to let the moisture in.”
Now that you know about low porosity hair, HERE‘s what we can tell you about high porosity hair.