HELP!!! Hair Porosity?? What does this mean?

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  • 1 Post By nana_banana
  • 1 Post By *Marah*

Soooo as I have been cruising through this site I had come across several threads that mention hair porosity..I dont quite understand it all. I'm so new new NEW to all of this and even the simplest of instructions seem to give me a hard time. What is hair porosity and it's signifigance to my hair?? Why does it matter in regards to my curls and how is that different from dry hair?? Both me and my daughter have dry hair..her hair more so than mine but mainly in the back of her head. I'm in search of a conditioner and moisturizer that is all natural and contains no mineral to help her curls. As for me I'm transitioning, last relaxer was Sep 09 my hair is soft, easy to detangle I wouldnt say it's dry but I wouldnt say it's oily, to me it's normal but I need help determing my hair porosity. I tried to perform this test on my hair, it ruffled i guess but not a lot and it didnt break. I wouldnt say I take as best care for my hair as I could but I definitely dont neglect it, I came to this site to find a proper regimen for both me and my daughter that will promote healthy hair growth because my goal is to have healthy, natural hair. Thanks for any advice or comments in advance.

P.s. My daughter is 3b/3c I'm thought to be 3c/4a judging from my new growth.
GorgeousCurlyMe,

Porosity is how easily matter goes in and out of your hair shaft. Such as water or any other sort of matter.

In all likelihood your hair is porous. You've had relaxers and relaxers do make the hair porous as well as hair dye that contains any sort of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. So if you have relaxed your hair within the last couple of years or dyed it with chemical dye..then your hair is probably porous. Unless you have totally cut all the relaxer and dye out of your hair and have a head full of natural virgin hair. Which it doesn't sound like to me you do.

Porosity plays a key role in how to care for your hair because knowing what your porosity is will help you determine what products that you should be using, specifically what products will benefit the health and overall look of your hair.

You said your hair ruffled during the test. It means you have porous hair. That means water (and other matter) go in and out of your hair shaft very easily.

Porous hair usually needs a little protein to help fill in the cracks and holes in the hair shaft. Basically, you would need to either use a conditioner that contains a little protein or you would need to give yourself occassional protein treatments.

You would also need to make sure your hair has a moisture balance. It's very important to keep the hair moisturized. Meaning getting the hair wet and then sealing it so you can retain moisture.

Product recommendations:

A good price point product recommendation would be the Tresemme Naturals Aloe and Avocado Conditioner. You could start off with this as a leave in. It contains a little protein and has moisturizing properties to it as well which is the best of both worlds all in one bottle. I recommend this product because it's a very good product, doesn't have tons of protein in it but enough for daily application. It doesn't cost that much and it can be picked up at any drugstore or market. Like Walgreens, RiteAid, Walmart, CVS, etc.

Another product that might help you out is something called Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I don't use this product but quite a few curlies love it that have porous hair. It doesn't contain mineral oil and has a lot of natural sort of ingredients like coconut fatty acids, fruit extracts, ginseng root extracts, etc.

Here is what you would do:

Basically, you would wash your hair with either a non-sulfate shampoo or silicone free conditioner. Then condition the hair like usual and rinse out. Then use one of these products as a leave in and then seal your hair with some sort of oil like extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, safflower oil, etc.

The sealing with an oil or (butter such as shea butter) will help to keep the moisture in your hair. And the protein from the conditioner will act to help fill in those holes and cracks in your hair shaft adding strength to help prevent breakage.

Having said that..keep in mind that you don't have to seal with an oil or butter if you don't like those things. Plenty of products are on the market that can act as sealer. A lot of people like to use a styling cream or lotion instead because their hair doesn't like certain oil and butters. For instance something like Curls Whipped Cream, Curls Milkshake, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding can be used instead of a regular oil or butter.

If you want some product options that you can investigate all in one place.. including all natural products check out curlmart here on NC.com. http://www.curlmart.com/

All you have to do is look over to the left after you click the link and you will see listings for whatever type product you are looking for.. such as conditioners, shampoo, stylers, etc. Just click on a link and it will take you to the products and it will tell you exactly what ingredients are in each product.

You may also want to try some weekly deep treatments. That's basically where you apply a conditioner to your hair, put on a plastic cap and either sit under a hooded dryer for about 15 -20 minutes. Or just apply conditioner, put on a plastic cap and let the conditioner sit on the hair for many hours. Some people put a warm towel over their plastic cap if they aren't going to sit under the hooded dryer. Then you just rinse it out and go about your normal styling.

Hope this helps..if you don't understand something.. just ask.. if I can assist you. I will.

Last edited by Marah Mizrahi; 03-21-2010 at 03:08 PM.
Wow thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I love the fact that you were detailed. I recently purchased the Curls line and it should arrive one day next week. I purchased the curliscious shampoo, the coconut conditioner, the exstacy deep conditioner and the hair milkshake and godess glaze. I was thinking about maybe purchasing a few repairing treatments that are all natural that I saw featured on the website from Myhoneychild and a few other brands that I saw had positive reviews that had plenty of oils. I was also told to deep condition at least once a week. I usually wear my hair in a wash n go and was going to try the Mixed Chicks to see if it could stop my hair from becoming frizzy I was going to use the leave in conditioner.

Do you have any information or recommendations in regards to products for me to use on my daughter. Right now I use carols daughter tui shampoo, conditioner, leave in and oil but it doesnt do enough. She has 3b/c hair and the back tends to dry out faster than the front. I tried to do the porosity test and my fingers slide right to the top with no probem. The hair by her ears is extremely thin. I have no idea how to keep her curls moisturized =/
Wow thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I love the fact that you were detailed. I recently purchased the Curls line and it should arrive one day next week. I purchased the curliscious shampoo, the coconut conditioner, the exstacy deep conditioner and the hair milkshake and godess glaze. I was thinking about maybe purchasing a few repairing treatments that are all natural that I saw featured on the website from Myhoneychild and a few other brands that I saw had positive reviews that had plenty of oils. I was also told to deep condition at least once a week. I usually wear my hair in a wash n go and was going to try the Mixed Chicks to see if it could stop my hair from becoming frizzy I was going to use the leave in conditioner.
Originally Posted by GorgeousCurlyMe
A lot of people do like the Curls line and some of their products do indeed have protein in them so it would be good for someone looking for daily protein and moisture balance. You would just need to select the proper products out of the line to suit your hair issues.

I have heard pretty good things about Myhoneychild as well but this line does use a lot of oils and butters in it's ingredients so you have to be careful not to overkill with this line. Because your hair still has to strike a protein and moisture balance since your hair is porous.

I've used the Curls line before. I can't say I was overly impressed but I did really like the Curls Souffle and the Curls Milkshake. I did find the products to be moisturizing and they didn't make my hair stiff, but I wasn't so impressed that I felt I needed any of the products as staples.

Mixed Chicks on the other hand..a lot of curlies have reported that it leaves their hair crunchy and they don't care for it because it contains certain ingredients that many curlies like to avoid like silicones, waxes, and quite a few parabens. If you are looking for a more natural product line.. I personally can't recommend Mixed Chicks to you. Frankly, I would say with your hair being porous..avoid this line. Because what will happen is that you will like it initially but later after continued use..your hair will be dry and straw-like.

Do you have any information or recommendations in regards to products for me to use on my daughter. Right now I use carols daughter tui shampoo, conditioner, leave in and oil but it doesnt do enough. She has 3b/c hair and the back tends to dry out faster than the front. I tried to do the porosity test and my fingers slide right to the top with no probem. The hair by her ears is extremely thin. I have no idea how to keep her curls moisturized =/
I have used Carol's Daughter in the past and I have to be honest. I couldn't stand the product line. I have thick 3c hair with 3b curls in front, back, and crown..but my hair is mostly 3c. And I couldn't STAND Carol's Daughter. It didn't really do anything to my hair besides make it greasy and flat.

And I mean I tried hard to use it because it was so expensive and like an idiot I bought tons of the stuff. I just couldn't stand the heavy smells of the line either..it literally made me sick and my family loathed the smell of it. I personally would rather people didn't smell me before I even enter their vicinity. So I wasted tons of money and tossed it out.

But if you can stand the smell.. I have actually heard some naturals really do like the line depending on their hair texture and porosity. I do know Carol's Daughter uses a lot of natural ingredients but some of their products do contain silicone. The good thing about the line is that you can indeed find products that are sulfate, silicone, and paraben free.

You said your fingers slid up your daughter's hair with no problem.. I wondering if you mean it zipped up really fast and felt slick or did you mean your fingers just smoothly glided up and you felt no ridges ?

If your fingers slipped up fast and it felt a little slick.. It means she has low porosity. Low porosity hair is actually NOT a bad thing at all. It just needs to be taken care of in a specific way. Low porosity hair means that it has a tightly bound cuticle layer so it's difficult for moisture and other matter to leave and enter the hair shaft. It's also hard to process this hair with chemicals (which doesn't have to be a bad thing cause chemicals cause damage anyway), but this sort of hair is pretty much healthy overall. If the hair sort of repels water when you first try to wet it..that's an indication of low porosity hair.

The thing with low porosity hair you have to watch out for is to much protein and focus more on getting moisture inside the hair shaft. An overkill on protein on this type of hair can be a disaster. It can leave the hair dry as straw and feeling brittle! Also coating this hair with a bunch of oil can be a bit of a problem as well since it needs to retain moisture. So this kind of hair needs A LOT of moisture, emollients, and humectants. This sort of hair often benefits from products that moisturize and draw moisture to the hair.

I wouldn't recommend Carol's Daughter for a person with low porosity hair. Carol's Daughter utilizes a lot of oils in their line and well for a person with low porosity that can be a bit of a problem because oils can actually block out moisture. And since low porosity hair already has a tightly bound cuticle layer..the last thing it needs is over kill on oils which can act as a moisture blocker.

Oil and water do not mix...keep that in mind as a rule of thumb. Contrary to popular belief oil is not a moisturizer. It's more of a sealant that can keep the hair moisturized when applied AFTER applying a moisturizing product.

Low porosity hair is a good canidate for constantly doing good very moisturizing deep treatments under a hooded dryer or with some sort of way to keep warmth to the hair while it's conditioning so those tightly bound layers can open and that moisture can get inside.
Wow, MM!! What a wonderful reply, very informative. *bookmarking this thread in my hair folder*
NaturalBabyDoll likes this.
Hair type: Mostly 3C, medium porosity to high porosity depending on the day, dense, fluffy, dry, tangly!



Great information. Water beads up on my hair and I have difficulty getting it to absorb moisturizer or product unless I let it air dry awhile after washing. Any advice for lower porosity?
Great information. Water beads up on my hair and I have difficulty getting it to absorb moisturizer or product unless I let it air dry awhile after washing. Any advice for lower porosity?
Originally Posted by adthomas
Yes, I would like to know also?
Great information. Water beads up on my hair and I have difficulty getting it to absorb moisturizer or product unless I let it air dry awhile after washing. Any advice for lower porosity?
Originally Posted by adthomas

Did you get a chance to read the bottom section of the post I made to GorgeousCurlyMe ? I put info in there about low porosity hair.

Basically what you need is moisture and be aware of protein build up with low porosity hair. You really won't need to do much protein treatments with sort of hair at all. With this hair you need to find ways to open the hair shaft and get moisture inside and then try retaining that moisture as much as possible.

In my opinion the best way to do that is with moderate heat. A hooded dryer specifically or a plastic cap with a warm towel wrapped around it.. but often that's not enough to open the shaft well. So using a hooded dryer set on medium to medium low heat with a plastic cap on top of the hair works well. But if you don't do the heat thing.. you will have to do the warm towel and plastic cap thing for a good amount of time (few hours or longer) to try to open the shaft.

Look for products that are moisturizing and don't over kill with adding to much oil to the hair unless you are just trying to add a bit of shine and/or seal the hair after it has been well moisturized. Low porosity hair often does well with some sort of humectant...like a product containing pathenol or glycerin.

Some people with low porosity like to add a little baking soda in their moisturizing conditioner. Baking soda is alkaline..so it will raise your cuticle and open up the hair shaft..which can help to allow emollients and moisture inside. Many people report their hair is softer and feels more moisturized after doing the baking soda trick. A cool water rinse is a good idea after this treatment.
NaturalBabyDoll likes this.
MM, great information on such a confusing topic. Now that you've talked extensively about low porosity what about high porosity?
Great information. Water beads up on my hair and I have difficulty getting it to absorb moisturizer or product unless I let it air dry awhile after washing. Any advice for lower porosity?
Originally Posted by adthomas

Did you get a chance to read the bottom section of the post I made to GorgeousCurlyMe ? I put info in there about low porosity hair.

Basically what you need is moisture and be aware of protein build up with low porosity hair. You really won't need to do much protein treatments with sort of hair at all. With this hair you need to find ways to open the hair shaft and get moisture inside and then try retaining that moisture as much as possible.

In my opinion the best way to do that is with moderate heat. A hooded dryer specifically or a plastic cap with a warm towel wrapped around it.. but often that's not enough to open the shaft well. So using a hooded dryer set on medium to medium low heat with a plastic cap on top of the hair works well. But if you don't do the heat thing.. you will have to do the warm towel and plastic cap thing for a good amount of time (few hours or longer) to try to open the shaft.

Look for products that are moisturizing and don't over kill with adding to much oil to the hair unless you are just trying to add a bit of shine and/or seal the hair after it has been well moisturized. Low porosity hair often does well with some sort of humectant...like a product containing pathenol or glycerin.

Some people with low porosity like to add a little baking soda in their moisturizing conditioner. Baking soda is alkaline..so it will raise your cuticle and open up the hair shaft..which can help to allow emollients and moisture inside. Many people report their hair is softer and feels more moisturized after doing the baking soda trick. A cool water rinse is a good idea after this treatment.
Originally Posted by Marah Mizrahi

this was very helpful to me.

how is the porosity test performed?
Hair Today.. Gone Tomorrow!
MM, great information on such a confusing topic. Now that you've talked extensively about low porosity what about high porosity?
Originally Posted by tsha74
Alright.. here is the deal with high porosity hair.

What is high porosity hair ?

High porosity hair is simply hair that is overly porous. Basically, high porosity hair it has an open cuticle layer that allows moisture and other matter to enter and leave rather easily.

What does having high porosity hair mean ?

Basically it means there are cracks, gaps, holes, and/or lifting in the hair shaft that have come about because of some damage being done to the hair via chemical services (relaxers, texturizers, bleaching, coloring that involves lifting the hair with hydrogen peroxide and/or ammonia, etc), environmental factors, or harsh and rough manipulation from combing, brushing, etc.

How do you test hair for high porosity ?

If you take a strand of clean dry hair between your index finger and thumb and run it UP the strand of hair and it feels bumpy, rough, ruffled, and/or uneven. That means the hair is overly porous/high porosity. Do several strands all over the head to be sure.

What are some issues to be aware of with high porosity hair ?

High porosity hair can have a tendency to absorb HUGE amounts of moisture. So much so that the the hair can start to be frizzy if the air has a lot of moisture in it or if the hair is soaking wet for long periods of time. The elasticity in the hair can be compromised and breakage can occur if the hair is allowed to absorb an excessive amount of moisture.

How does one treat high porosity hair ?

High porosity hair needs strength and some sort of agent to help fill in the cracks, gaps, holes, and or lifting of the hair cuticle. Protein treatments can be very effective in helping to fill in those cracks, gaps, and holes. It will help add strength to the hair as well.

High porosity hair also has a need to be kept moisturized and nurtured with emollients. When in areas with high humidity high porosity hair often benefits from being sealed. Sealing the hair basically means using some sort of agent that keeps moisture from leaving or entering the hair shaft. This process is usually done after the hair has been moisturized well. Sealing can be done with a bevy of things like natural oils, butters (like shea, cocoa, mango), and/or emollient rich hair lotions and creams.

Rinsing high porosity hair with an acidic solution or cold water will help to close the cuticle some to prevent the hair from frizz and help with giving the hair a smoother look. An example of an acidic solution would be apple cider vinegar diluted with cool water.

What are you trying to achieve when you treat high porosity hair ?

Since there really is no "cure" for high porosity hair what you want to ultimately achieve is striking a good balance between protein for strength and moisture to combat dryness. This will help the hair appear less damage and feel better to the touch.

If you do a protein treatment, it is vital that directly afterwards you actually moisturize the hair to prevent the hair from becoming hard and brittle. Over doing it with protein can actually make the hair brittle and hard..which can lead to breakage.

Again, what you want is balance and to acheive that.. you need to keep both ends of the scale even. One side with protein the other with moisture. That doesn't mean overkill on both ends either. Hair that has high porosity but isn't in terrible condition may only need a daily conditioner with a little protein in its ingredient list to help. More damaged high porosity hair may need to be hit with regular actual protein treatments to help strengthen the hair. So it's important to be aware of how or how little protein the hair actually needs and to balance it out with moisture.

I'll post some other things about high porosity in a separate post.
this was very helpful to me.
how is the porosity test performed?
Originally Posted by CurlyAfroCuban
Glad it was helpful. Here is the info you requested.

States of Porosity:

1.) Low porosity: means the hair has a tightly bound cuticle layer and doesn't let moisture go into the hair shaft easily. A sign of that would be it takes a while for the hair to actually "feel wet" when water is poured over it. This hair is often difficult to chemically process.

2.) Normal porosity: means the hair is pretty balanced. It allows moisture to enter the shaft and prevents over saturation of moisture/water. The hair can be chemically processed normally but once a chemical process is done on the hair it will no longer be "normal" porosity hair.

3.) High porosity: Simply another way of saying "overly porous". Moisture goes into and out of the hair shaft easily. The hair shaft is not smooth and has some sort of damage to it in the form of cracks, pits, holes, and or lifting. High porosity hair is the result of some sort of damage to the hair via chemical services, harsh manipulation, and/or environmental factors.

How to test for porosity:

Start with clean dry hair. This is important so that the results of the test will not be altered.

Grasp a strand of clean dry hair between your index finger and your thumb. Run those two fingers up the strand of hair. Take note of how the strand of hair feels against your two fingers.

If the two fingers went up the strand of hair rather quickly and the hair felt slick, the hair is low porosity.

If the two fingers went up the strand and the hair felt smooth and easily were able to move to the top with no feeling of uneven (rough or ruffled) texture, the hair is normal porosity.

If the hair felt rough, ruffled, uneven, wrinkled and/or if the fingers felt a “catch” as it was moving up the strand, the hair is high porosity.

Basically, the more ruffled, uneven, rough, and/or wrinkled the hair strand feels.. The higher the porosity. Test several strands all over the head to be sure. Test a few strands in front, at the ears, at the crown, and at the nape of the neck.

 What can make the hair overly porous/high porosity ?

Chemical treatments such as bleaching, dyeing with chemicals that contain hydrogen peroxide and or ammonia, relaxers, texturizers, jheri curls, curly perms, reverse perms, harsh manipulation such as brushing, combing, flat ironing with high heat, curling irons, marcel irons, hot crimpers, hot combs, heat curling brushes, high heat rollers, blow drying, chlorine, harsh sulfates found in many shampoos and detergents, environmental factors such as over exposure to sun and wind.
this was very helpful to me.
how is the porosity test performed?
Originally Posted by CurlyAfroCuban
Glad it was helpful. Here is the info you requested.

States of Porosity:

1.) Low porosity: means the hair has a tightly bound cuticle layer and doesn't let moisture go into the hair shaft easily. A sign of that would be it takes a while for the hair to actually "feel wet" when water is poured over it. This hair is often difficult to chemically process.

2.) Normal porosity: means the hair is pretty balanced. It allows moisture to enter the shaft and prevents over saturation of moisture/water. The hair can be chemically processed normally but once a chemical process is done on the hair it will no longer be "normal" porosity hair.

3.) High porosity: Simply another way of saying "overly porous". Moisture goes into and out of the hair shaft easily. The hair shaft is not smooth and has some sort of damage to it in the form of cracks, pits, holes, and or lifting. High porosity hair is the result of some sort of damage to the hair via chemical services, harsh manipulation, and/or environmental factors.

How to test for porosity:

Start with clean dry hair. This is important so that the results of the test will not be altered.

Grasp a strand of clean dry hair between your index finger and your thumb. Run those two fingers up the strand of hair. Take note of how the strand of hair feels against your two fingers.

If the two fingers went up the strand of hair rather quickly and the hair felt slick, the hair is low porosity.

If the two fingers went up the strand and the hair felt smooth and easily were able to move to the top with no feeling of uneven (rough or ruffled) texture, the hair is normal porosity.

If the hair felt rough, ruffled, uneven, wrinkled and/or if the fingers felt a “catch” as it was moving up the strand, the hair is high porosity.

Basically, the more ruffled, uneven, rough, and/or wrinkled the hair strand feels.. The higher the porosity. Test several strands all over the head to be sure. Test a few strands in front, at the ears, at the crown, and at the nape of the neck.

 What can make the hair overly porous/high porosity ?

Chemical treatments such as bleaching, dyeing with chemicals that contain hydrogen peroxide and or ammonia, relaxers, texturizers, jheri curls, curly perms, reverse perms, harsh manipulation such as brushing, combing, flat ironing with high heat, curling irons, marcel irons, hot crimpers, hot combs, heat curling brushes, high heat rollers, blow drying, chlorine, harsh sulfates found in many shampoos and detergents, environmental factors such as over exposure to sun and wind.
Originally Posted by Marah Mizrahi
you're a wealth of information! i've read your other posts here and they've helped me a lot too.

i performed the test, and i think my hair (for now at least lol) is in the normal range. it didn't feel super slick, but it definitely didn't feel "rough" or sorta "catching"..

my hair seems to DRINK moisture though.

thanks again.
Hair Today.. Gone Tomorrow!

The thing with low porosity hair you have to watch out for is to much protein and focus more on getting moisture inside the hair shaft. An overkill on protein on this type of hair can be a disaster. It can leave the hair dry as straw and feeling brittle! Also coating this hair with a bunch of oil can be a bit of a problem as well since it needs to retain moisture. So this kind of hair needs A LOT of moisture, emollients, and humectants. This sort of hair often benefits from products that moisturize and draw moisture to the hair.

I wouldn't recommend Carol's Daughter for a person with low porosity hair. Carol's Daughter utilizes a lot of oils in their line and well for a person with low porosity that can be a bit of a problem because oils can actually block out moisture. And since low porosity hair already has a tightly bound cuticle layer..the last thing it needs is over kill on oils which can act as a moisture blocker.

Oil and water do not mix...keep that in mind as a rule of thumb. Contrary to popular belief oil is not a moisturizer. It's more of a sealant that can keep the hair moisturized when applied AFTER applying a moisturizing product.

Low porosity hair is a good canidate for constantly doing good very moisturizing deep treatments under a hooded dryer or with some sort of way to keep warmth to the hair while it's conditioning so those tightly bound layers can open and that moisture can get inside.
Originally Posted by Marah Mizrahi
Fantastic thread! My issue is that in addition to having low porosity, I also have very very fine hair (but extremely thick) so protein seems to be good for me in terms of texture. I guess its all just part of the balancing act!
:::::::joie de vivre:::::::
last relaxer: November 2008
big chop: November 2009
4a, fine, dense, teeny weeny coils with low porosity


Fantastic thread! My issue is that in addition to having low porosity, I also have very very fine hair (but extremely thick) so protein seems to be good for me in terms of texture. I guess its all just part of the balancing act!
Originally Posted by cassadie3

Do you mean that you have fine but extremely dense hair ? Density simply refers to the amount of hairs on the head. It's measured by the number of hair strands found per one square inch of the scalp.

So I can see what you mean if you are saying your hair texture is fine but you have extremely dense hair meaning you have a lot of it packed in the scalp by square inch. My hair is similiar in that reguard but I have dense thick hair. It's not fine by any stretch of the imagination. LOL!

I am asking because thee opposite of fine would be thick (another way of saying coarse) hair as far as texture (the measure of the circumference of a hair strand) is concerned.

I don't see how one could have both unless you mean some parts of your hair seem fine and other parts seem thick ?

Protein is good for some fine hair types because it helps sort of bulk up the hair some giving it a volumized effect.. this is why a lot of those "thickening" and "volumizing" poos, conditioners, and etc have protein/keratin in them and are marketed to people with limp, fine, flyaway hair. But of course as you stated.. balance is key. Never want to overkill with protein..it could be disasterous.
ah I see where you might have been confused. you're right, I have fine, densely packed hair. ( I was writing using the definition that the opposite of fine is coarse, not thick).

So yes, right now I am working on balancing moisture and protein because I think with fine hair that has low porosity, this is ::key::

(would love if you jumped in on the 4a discussion on fine hair titled "4a and Fine"!!)

Fantastic thread! My issue is that in addition to having low porosity, I also have very very fine hair (but extremely thick) so protein seems to be good for me in terms of texture. I guess its all just part of the balancing act!
Originally Posted by cassadie3

Do you mean that you have fine but extremely dense hair ? Density simply refers to the amount of hairs on the head. It's measured by the number of hair strands found per one square inch of the scalp.

So I can see what you mean if you are saying your hair texture is fine but you have extremely dense hair meaning you have a lot of it packed in the scalp by square inch. My hair is similiar in that reguard but I have dense thick hair. It's not fine by any stretch of the imagination. LOL!

I am asking because thee opposite of fine would be thick (another way of saying coarse) hair as far as texture (the measure of the circumference of a hair strand) is concerned.

I don't see how one could have both unless you mean some parts of your hair seem fine and other parts seem thick ?

Protein is good for some fine hair types because it helps sort of bulk up the hair some giving it a volumized effect.. this is why a lot of those "thickening" and "volumizing" poos, conditioners, and etc have protein/keratin in them and are marketed to people with limp, fine, flyaway hair. But of course as you stated.. balance is key. Never want to overkill with protein..it could be disasterous.
Originally Posted by Marah Mizrahi
:::::::joie de vivre:::::::
last relaxer: November 2008
big chop: November 2009
4a, fine, dense, teeny weeny coils with low porosity


GorgeousCurlyMe,

Porosity is how easily matter goes in and out of your hair shaft. Such as water or any other sort of matter.

In all likelihood your hair is porous. You've had relaxers and relaxers do make the hair porous as well as hair dye that contains any sort of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. So if you have relaxed your hair within the last couple of years or dyed it with chemical dye..then your hair is probably porous. Unless you have totally cut all the relaxer and dye out of your hair and have a head full of natural virgin hair. Which it doesn't sound like to me you do.

Porosity plays a key role in how to care for your hair because knowing what your porosity is will help you determine what products that you should be using, specifically what products will benefit the health and overall look of your hair.

You said your hair ruffled during the test. It means you have porous hair. That means water (and other matter) go in and out of your hair shaft very easily.

Porous hair usually needs a little protein to help fill in the cracks and holes in the hair shaft. Basically, you would need to either use a conditioner that contains a little protein or you would need to give yourself occassional protein treatments.

You would also need to make sure your hair has a moisture balance. It's very important to keep the hair moisturized. Meaning getting the hair wet and then sealing it so you can retain moisture.

Product recommendations:

A good price point product recommendation would be the Tresemme Naturals Aloe and Avocado Conditioner. You could start off with this as a leave in. It contains a little protein and has moisturizing properties to it as well which is the best of both worlds all in one bottle. I recommend this product because it's a very good product, doesn't have tons of protein in it but enough for daily application. It doesn't cost that much and it can be picked up at any drugstore or market. Like Walgreens, RiteAid, Walmart, CVS, etc.

Another product that might help you out is something called Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I don't use this product but quite a few curlies love it that have porous hair. It doesn't contain mineral oil and has a lot of natural sort of ingredients like coconut fatty acids, fruit extracts, ginseng root extracts, etc.

Here is what you would do:

Basically, you would wash your hair with either a non-sulfate shampoo or silicone free conditioner. Then condition the hair like usual and rinse out. Then use one of these products as a leave in and then seal your hair with some sort of oil like extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, safflower oil, etc.

The sealing with an oil or (butter such as shea butter) will help to keep the moisture in your hair. And the protein from the conditioner will act to help fill in those holes and cracks in your hair shaft adding strength to help prevent breakage.

Having said that..keep in mind that you don't have to seal with an oil or butter if you don't like those things. Plenty of products are on the market that can act as sealer. A lot of people like to use a styling cream or lotion instead because their hair doesn't like certain oil and butters. For instance something like Curls Whipped Cream, Curls Milkshake, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding can be used instead of a regular oil or butter.

If you want some product options that you can investigate all in one place.. including all natural products check out curlmart here on NC.com. Curly Hair Products for Luscious Locks - CurlMart

All you have to do is look over to the left after you click the link and you will see listings for whatever type product you are looking for.. such as conditioners, shampoo, stylers, etc. Just click on a link and it will take you to the products and it will tell you exactly what ingredients are in each product.

You may also want to try some weekly deep treatments. That's basically where you apply a conditioner to your hair, put on a plastic cap and either sit under a hooded dryer for about 15 -20 minutes. Or just apply conditioner, put on a plastic cap and let the conditioner sit on the hair for many hours. Some people put a warm towel over their plastic cap if they aren't going to sit under the hooded dryer. Then you just rinse it out and go about your normal styling.

Hope this helps..if you don't understand something.. just ask.. if I can assist you. I will.
Originally Posted by *Marah*
I just read these blogs and they gave me a lot of good informations. I have I think type 3a hair and since I have gray hair in the front I have to color them regulary so I think that means I have high porosity hair as well. About 7 months ago I did permanent keratin therapy on my hair which is probably mostly gone by now. My hair now is very dry, very brittle and very frizzy specially in the partial front that I keep on coloring. I am also losing hair in the front and the most annoying thing is that I have a lot of little hair that are about 1 or 2 inches and they frizz up and drive me crazy. So as you see I am desprate for some advice on what to do , what product to use .

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