Whether your hair is straight, wavy, curly or even kinky curly it is essential to get to know your hair. Your hair is talking to you right now and telling you how to take care of it but many of us haven't learned our hair's language. Well I'm here to help disable that language barrier so you can better understand your mane and its needs.
One essential feature everyone should know about is their hair's porosity, the amount of moisture your hair can absorb within a relative amount of time. Porosity comes into play when determining if your hair is naturally dry and needs a deep moisture conditioning treatment.
To better understand porosity, think of your hair as having scales along the outer layer of the cuticle.
Depending on how these scales lay along the hair shaft determines if moisture is able to get into the hair and stay in.
Low porosity hair has scales that lay completely flat and compact which makes it difficult for hair to absorb or leave the hair shaft. In order to get moisture in and out of low porosity hair the scales have to be raised.
Traits of Low Porosity Hair
Products sit on the hair
The hair does not absorb hair color or treatments easily
Water beads up on hair
Hair takes a long time to dry
Lack volume and elasticity (stretch)
Use light liquid based products that will not sit on the hair
Use heat to open your cuticles to let moisture in (Hot water, Heated conditioners, Steamers)
Reduce build up on the hair by keeping it cleansed and periodically using a clarifying shampoo
High porosity hair has scales that are completely raised allowing moisture to flow in and out the hair rather easily. This hair tends to be more damaged from chemical treatments or heat styling. In this instance the scales of the hair shaft must be closed or laid down after moisture has been entered in order to maintain the moisture for a long period of time.
Traits of High Porosity Hair
Looks and feels dull and dry
Tangles easily because cuticles get caught onto each other
Hair dries quickly
Hair tends to be frizzy
Use heavy creams and products to make sure that moisture is applied to the hair longer
Use deep conditioning and protein treatments to the hair to deeply penetrate the hair and repair it.
Normal porosity hair has cuticles that are at the optimum angle to allow moisture and retain moisture.
Traits of Normal Porosity Hair
Absorbs and retains moisture
Shiny with lots of volume
No tips! This hair is usually very healthy and maintains great moisture levels allowing it to be soft and manageable with little to no damage.
To check your mane's porosity follow these steps:
Grab a strand of hair from your head
Hold the strand between your index and thumb fingers
While one hand holds the strand taut, starting from the end slide your fingers toward your scalp
If your hair feels bumpy along the ride then you have high porosity hair. If it felt smooth then you hair low porosity hair.
Figure out what your hair is saying to you and use these tips to achieve that healthy head of hair you've always wanted.