porosity natural hair, dry brittle ends natural hair

Porosity: The Silent Culprit of Dry Hair

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porosity natural hair, dry brittle ends natural hairMost people assume that when their hair is dry, it’s because they aren’t moisturizing it enough, they’re using something that clogs the hair cuticle, too much heat or drying it out some kind of other way. This isn’t always the case. I’m here to tell you that while all these reason may be a factor, there is something that is rarely discussed as far as dry hair is concerned. That is the porosity  issue. Just like a flower has to open up and receive sunlight, our hair cuticle has to be open enough to receive moisture, as well as keep it locked in.

Porosity is the measure of the hair’s ability to absorb moisture.  This is another reason why I rarely get caught up with hair-typing. Someone can have the same hair type as you but your porosity could be completely different from theirs. Because of this difference, all hairtypes are different and have individual needs. Pictured in this article is the hair strand in all three of its forms: compact, normal and raised.

Your hair may be on one of two ends of the spectrum. On one end, your hair cuticle may be entirely too compact. This would be called low porosity.When the hair cuticle isn’t receiving much moisture because it isn’t open wide enough, it’s compact and harder to penetrate. Lighter products would allow for the penetration of the cuticle in this situation.  You shouldn’t overdo the products in this case because you want to avoid build-up on the hair cuticle. Your hair could also be on the other end of the equation, which is called high porosity. When this happens, the hair cuticle is open entirely too much, which results in the hair having an insatiable quench for moisture because it doesn’t hold it.  Heavier moisturizers and leave-ins would accommodate a situation such as this. If your hair is thirsty, let it drink! Also be sure to use butters and oils to seal the moisture in. I have highly porous hair and have to moisturize more often than not.

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Have you ever tried correcting your porosity?

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  1. Madison Barras says:

    Great info! Thanks!

  2. hmmm– this is good info! I’ve been wondering if I need to change up my products because my hair stays dry! How do you test to see if you’re high or low porosity?

    1. Fill the cup with water and drop your shed hair strand in it. If you hair sinks to the bottom immediately, well, you just found out that your hair has high porosity. If it floats on the top, your hair has low porosity. If it slowly sinks to the bottom, then your hair is normal.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Also, make sure the shed hair has no product on it. The product will weigh the hair down and let it sink down quickly, which may make some think they have high porosity when they may not. If the hair floats back up after it sinks, then you know that the product weighed it down (after the product is washed off by water, the hair behaves like it normally would)

      1. Thanks for the lesson

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