Hair Porosity 101: The Secret to Luscious Locks

Hair porosity – ever heard of it? It doesn’t get talked about as much as hair texture or structure, but mastering yours is the key to attaining luscious, hydrated locks. The good news is that it really isn’t that difficult.

Let’s dive in as we cover all things hair porosity: what it is, why it matters, and how you can determine your natural hair porosity to unlock your best hair.

Why Hair Porosity Matters

Let’s start by defining what hair porosity is. When it comes to determining the true identity and “personality” of your natural hair, there are three things you need to know: texture, structure, and porosity. Texture and structure refer to the shape and pattern of your hair.

Porosity differs from texture and grit. It’s directly linked to the amount of moisture your hair can absorb – the rate at which it does. There are three things that are considered when you’re looking at porosity: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla.

  • Cuticle – This is the very outermost layer of your hair. Cuticles overlap each other to protect the outside of each strand of hair.
  • Cortex – This layer falls just below the cuticle, and it’s the thickest by far. It’s made up of fibrous proteins and it’s also where your natural color is stored.
  • Medulla – The medulla is the very innermost part of your hair shaft. It’s super soft and vulnerable to damage if you don’t take care of the cuticle and medulla.

The 3 Types of Hair Porosity

There are three general types of hair porosity: low, medium, and high.

  • Low porosity – Your outer, defensive cuticles are close together, which means your hair probably doesn’t hold on to its moisture very well. Generally, low porosity hair also has a thicker grit and texture. Thick, high-moisture conditioners and masks are perfect for low porosity hair.
  • Medium porosity – You have an average amount of cuticles on each strand. This type of porosity falls right in the middle, and it can be tough to find products that give you enough moisture without weighing you down. Try balancing out your moisturizing routine with a balancing shampoo, when it’s needed.
  • High porosity – Your cuticles are widely spaced, which allows your hair to absorb moisture – quickly. Lightweight, oil-free conditioners are a must-have to keep high-porosity hair looking and feeling its best.

Determining Your Hair Porosity

Finding your natural hair porosity is a simple process. Start by washing your hair. Skip the conditioning this time. Fill a glass with water, then drop a single strand in the glass. Here’s what you might see:

  • It sinks – Your hair is high porosity. It absorbed all that water and sank straight to the bottom like a rock.
  • It floats in the middle – Your hair has average porosity. It’ll absorb moisture, but not so much that it drowns itself.
  • It floats at the top – You’re looking at low porosity, baby. As hard as you try, your hair doesn’t accept moisture well – which leaves it floating at the top of the glass.

Keep in mind that hair porosity is determined mostly by genetics. However, overwashing, heat styling, chemical treating (i.e., coloring), and product buildup can all affect your natural hair porosity.

Conclusion: Work with Your Natural Porosity for the Hair of Your Dreams

Whether you’ve got low, medium, or high porosity – there’s a haircare routine that will work for you. The key is to determine your natural porosity and find products to complement it. Remember: the more porous your hair is, the more moisture it will absorb. Finding that perfect balance will help you achieve voluminous, moisturized locks for life.

Still struggling to find a product routine that works for you? Reserve your consultation with a SAS expert so we can help you achieve all your wildest hair dreams.

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