Friday, November 2, 2012

What is Hair Porosity?



What is Hair Porosity?

Porosity is the measure of the hairs ability to absorb moisture. To better understand hair porosity, think of your hair strand as the roof of a house and the outer layer or the cuticle as the shingles on the roof. When the shingles lay completely flat, it’s difficult for water to enter or exit the hair shaft – this is low porosity hair. If the shingles are completely raised then moisture will easily enter and escape – this is high porosity hair. In normal porosity hair, the shingles or cuticles are neither completely flat nor raised, but at an optimum angle to allow moisture to enter and remain there.--NaturallyChelsea

Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair is usually harder to moisturize since it is more difficult to get the moisture into your strands. In order to moisturize your hair, you should use more water based, liquid products that will moisturize your hair without coating it and making it greasy. Also, use a light oil like jojoba ro grapeseed oil to seal your hair  since heavier oils like castor oil or olive oil will be harder for your hair to absorb and will simply sit on top of it and weigh it down.

Also, if you really have an issue with your hair absorbing products, try to apply them to damp or dry hair since the strands will have released the water and will therefore be able to absorb the product. A temporary way to open up your cuticles so your strands can better absorb product is to do a baking soda treatment on your hair. Because baking soda is alkaline in nature, it will cause the cuticles of your hair to raise. Simply mix baking soda and water until it forms an aerated paste, apply it to the hair and leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse.

Medium Porosity Hair

If you have medium porosity hair then you’re one lucky natural. This means that you have quite a few options for moisturizing your hair. However, there is a new method of moisturizing the hair called the L.O.C. (liquid, oil and cream) method that many women swear by. This method works so well because each layer of product seals the layer before it (i.e. the cream seals the oil which seals in the liquid). To do this method, apply a liquid leave in or moisturizer, then a light oil to seal it in and finish with your favorite creamy moisturizer or styler on top and your hair should be happy for at least a couple of days.

High Porosity Hair

If you have high porosity hair, it probably has a difficult time holding onto moisture because of its raised cuticles that allow moisture to be lost to the atmosphere. In order to keep your tresses happy, apply heavy products to your hair in layers. Try applying a leave in, then a thick moisturizer then a heavy butter to seal all the moisture in. To keep your hair moisturized throughout the week, mix your favorite liquid moisturizer or leave in with water in a spray bottle with a few drops of oil and spray it on your hair at nights then seal with a butter.

To help close your cuticles temporarily to better hold onto moisture, try doing apple cider vinegar rinseswhen you cleanse your hair. Apple cider vinegar is acidic and will temporarily help to close your cuticles. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water and pour it over your hair after cleansing it, then dry it and style as normal. You can also try adding more aloe vera gel or juice to your regimen.

Testing Your Hair Porosity?

To find out what your hair porosity is, take a piece of shed hair from your comb or brush. It’s important that you get a shed and not broken hair to test. In order to determine if the hair was broken or shed naturally, examine the ends. If you see a little white ball on one of the ends, it means that it was shed.  Take the hair and drop it in a glass of water. If the hair immediately sinks it means that it readily absorbed the water and has high porosity. If the hair remains at the top, floating, it means that it is unable to absorb the water and has low porosity. If it floats to the bottom slowly then it has normal porosity.

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