Always wondering why your hair is either dry and frizzy or is not so bouncy and sitting down? And why even after trying so and so many hair products, your hardwork to get healthy and lush locks bringing in tons of compliments, turns to a fiasco? Well, you might be missing a point here; knowing the level of porosity of your hair. With this, you can customize your hair-care regimen and avoid damage to your hair that you have been keeping on doing unintentionally. After understanding your hair’s porosity, you will be well-equipped with the knowledge to tame your hair better- if you should add the moisture components or not, and much more.
What exactly is hair porosity?
To understand the hair porosity means to know the ability of your hair strands to soak, hold and retain moisture. Hair is essentially made up of three layers-
- The Cuticles- These form the outermost layer of your hair. It is strong and protective in nature. The cuticles are like shingles overlapping over one another acting as a passage for water and moisture into the next layer of the hair.
- The cortex- This keratinized (protein-rich) layer is next to cuticles and is the thickest layer of all. It provides pigmentation and colour to the hair.
- The medulla- This is the innermost layer of the hair strand and is very soft and fragile.
For your hair to be healthy and luscious, the cuticles should be well spaced for the hydrating components like water, oils and moisturisers to seep through them and enter into the cortex.
Uneven spacing between cuticles can result in least retention of moisture content making your hair look dry, rough and frazzled. Needless to mention your hair porosity level depends upon cuticle spacing.
Types of hair porosity
Hair’s porosity level is of three types depending upon how far or close the cuticles overlap. Let’s know more.
1. Low porosity hair
When the cuticles overlay over one another, and hardly provide any space for the hydrating components to percolate into the cortex, this is when your hair repels moisture.
- Can develop build-up causing dandruff
- Difficult to dry your hair after washing
- Hair can get tangled easily
2. Medium/ normal porosity hair
The cuticles in medium porosity are adequately spaced and this provides an easy flow to water and other hydrating ingredients into the cortex.
- Have a glossy look.
- Reacts better with bleaching and colorants.
- Hold styling for long duration
3. High porosity hair
In this case, cuticles are spaced far away and this makes them gain as well as lose the moisture quickly.
- Hair look frizzy and rough
- Dull due to lack of moisture
- Dry up quickly
Knowing and understanding the level of hair porosity can effectively help you in taking better care for your hair
To update your hair-care game
You must have active hair care routines planned on your washdays. But many times you do not end up getting expected results. And most of us are unaware of the fact that porosity levels do affect the type of hair you have, irrespective of the products you use.
For example, you might have been struggling with using conditioners on your hair. This is the case when you have hair with a low level of porosity. And since now you know, you will be able to switch to the conditioners that actually work with your hair-type like- Re’equil’s babassu anti-frizz and smoothening hair conditioner which is protein free. In this way, you can update your hair-care regime and bring the best out of your hair.
To understand what to use and what to avoid
With numerous products available in the hair-care range, it is quite easy to get confused with what actually works best for you. Eventually, you tend to waste a lot of money buying the ones that do not suit your needs.
And when you are clearly aware if your hair is less porous or highly porous, you will definitely invest in the products your hair craves. For instance, high porosity hair has so many pores that it loses moisture quite easily. It also lacks protein. So it's better to use protein-rich hair products and avoid the ones which are loaded with glycerin.
How to determine hair porosity?
Now you know how hair porosity levels can differ as well as affect the outcome of your hair on washdays. Let’s understand how you can determine your hair porosity levels easily at home.
1. Floating test
- Take a strand of dry and clean hair.
- Take a glass of water and put the hair strand in it.
- If it floats on the surface, this indicates low porosity.
- If it stays in the middle of the glass, it signifies medium/normal porosity
- If it settles at the bottom of the glass, it has high porosity.
2. Spray test
- On a very small section of your dry hair, spray some water using a spray bottle.
- Observe closely.
- If water beads stay on your hair, your hair has low porosity.
- If hair quickly absorbs water, you definitely have high porosity hair.
- If it takes a few minutes to absorb it, your hair has medium/normal porosity.
Hair-care tips for low porosity hair
1. Hair steaming can be your best friend
Cuticles in such low porosity are tightly packed and this leads to difficulty in absorption of moisture. For this, you can steam heat your hair before washing them. Steaming helps in opening the cuticles and promotes better hydration.
Another important benefit of steaming is when you steam your hair before applying conditioners. This will reduce the build-up from products and soak in more moisture.
2. Avoid using heavy butters and oils
Heavy butters and oils can weigh your hair pretty down and since they cannot be absorbed by hair much, there are chances of product build up. So try opting lighter butters and oils if you have low porosity hair.
Murumuru butter can be a great choice for such hair. They can help in adding gloss and also improving elasticity of your hair.
3. Do not overdo proteins
Low porosity hair already has the hair structure that has a lot of keratin or protein making them sensitive to proteins. Therefore it generally does not go well with protein-based products. Try using the ones that are protein-free like Re’equil’s babassu anti-frizz and smoothening hair conditioner.
It has Babassu oil as an active ingredient which not only moisturises your hair and helps retain it, but also imparts a smoothness and shine to your hair to make it more manageable and frizz-free.
Hair-care tips for high porosity hair
1. Add protein treatment to your hair-care regimen
Hair products loaded with proteins can work like magic on your high porosity hair. Due to the large number of pores, high porosity hair is more prone to breaking. Incorporating protein hair-care can help protect your hair. It also aids in sealing moisture. You can always use Re’equil’s Murumuru damage repair hair conditioner which is loaded with protein and is absolutely silicone-free.
2. Look for moisture sealing components
Retaining moisture can be a great challenge for high porosity hair. Leave-in conditioners that are protein-based to lock in the moisture content can absolutely work for you. Consider avoiding humectants that have high-concentration of honey, butters and oils. Ceramides also help in holding moisture and are actually great for highly porous hair.
A balanced amount of such ingredients is perfectly recommended. Regular use of hair masks like Re’equil’s Pea Protein & Ceramide Hair Mask which has the goodness of Ceramides and amino acids to give you that nourished, moisturised and repaired hair.
3. Take a break from heat styling tools and color treatments
Being highly porous, your hair might be harmed with excessive or even regular exposure to heating tools and of course, color treatments. Even trichologists advise to limit and take break from such exposures that can damage your hair to the core.
Handful tips for medium hair porosity
If you have hair with medium/normal porosity, it can retain a sufficient amount of moisture. But sometimes this porosity level can change with certain habits of your daily regimen. Here’s how you can maintain your medium porosity hair generously.
1. Do not under-do or overdo everything
To create a balance, and keep your hair at a good level of porosity, you must not overdo as well as under do anything.
You should not use protein-based products daily in your hair-care routine as this can increase the porosity. But on the flip-side, do add conditioners, masks containing proteins periodically to keep-up the nourishment.
2. Use lightweight products, try hydrating and moisturizing conditioners
To avoid the alteration in your hair porosity levels, you should keep your hair hydrated and moisturised with conditioners that are lightweight.
Hair care can be quite a handful task if you do not know much about the type of hair you carry. Knowing your hair’s porosity can actually help you in getting the locks you have been wishing for from so long! You can easily update your wash care routine once you have determined your hair porosity level. Why wait when you can start it right away!