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Old 01-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #21
 
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I don't have a whole lot to add to this thread, but I ust wanted to chime in and say that I am SO glad for this new forum! Especially because I'm just now fully embracing the porousity issue. Meaning, I had a hunch that my hair was porous, but I wasn't quite sure just HOW porous it was... (I think I was in denial)... but finally the light bulb went off last month.

So here I am: My name is vegas_curls, and I have high-porousity hair.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:50 AM   #22
 
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How do you know if your hair is porous or not?
Porosity test: Put some strands of hair in a bowl full of water (lay it on top of the water). If it sinks to the bottom it's highly porous, if it stays in the middle it's "normal", if it floats its low porosity.
The float test is a bit hit-or-miss. My hair floated for three days before beginning to sink, but I'm definitely porous.

You may also want to also consider whether your hair feels 'ruffled' when you run your fingers along a single strand from tip to root. If it feels ruffled, those are the raised/missing cuticles you're feeling, and that means it's porous. Porous hair also gets wet/takes on product/dye very quickly, but also dries/loses product/dye very quickly as well.
Thanks for adding. Your hair floated for 3 days?? Did you cut a piece off for the test? My hair's long enough I just put some in while I was sitting next to the bowl.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:26 AM   #23
 
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Porosity test: Put some strands of hair in a bowl full of water (lay it on top of the water). If it sinks to the bottom it's highly porous, if it stays in the middle it's "normal", if it floats its low porosity.
The float test is a bit hit-or-miss. My hair floated for three days before beginning to sink, but I'm definitely porous.

You may also want to also consider whether your hair feels 'ruffled' when you run your fingers along a single strand from tip to root. If it feels ruffled, those are the raised/missing cuticles you're feeling, and that means it's porous. Porous hair also gets wet/takes on product/dye very quickly, but also dries/loses product/dye very quickly as well.
Thanks for adding. Your hair floated for 3 days?? Did you cut a piece off for the test? My hair's long enough I just put some in while I was sitting next to the bowl.
It did indeed. I just took a piece that had fallen out/broken off in the shower and used that - when it didn't sink after an hour, I decided to find out how long it took to sink.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #24
 
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The float test is a bit hit-or-miss. My hair floated for three days before beginning to sink, but I'm definitely porous.

You may also want to also consider whether your hair feels 'ruffled' when you run your fingers along a single strand from tip to root. If it feels ruffled, those are the raised/missing cuticles you're feeling, and that means it's porous. Porous hair also gets wet/takes on product/dye very quickly, but also dries/loses product/dye very quickly as well.
Thanks for adding. Your hair floated for 3 days?? Did you cut a piece off for the test? My hair's long enough I just put some in while I was sitting next to the bowl.
It did indeed. I just took a piece that had fallen out/broken off in the shower and used that - when it didn't sink after an hour, I decided to find out how long it took to sink.
Ok - so now I'm pretty sure I did the float test wrong the first time I did it (a few months ago), cuz I used a lot of hair not just one/two strands. When I did it today my hair floated, but as you said that can be inaccurate. When I do the strand test I can't distinguish between it feeling slick, smooth, or ruffled. Can you give me some guidance here, or try to help me distinguish between those textures a bit? I'm having trouble figuring it out... and I suspect I may not actually be highly porous. Oops.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:08 PM   #25
 
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Basically, what you're feeling for is the smoothness of the hair shaft.

Run your fingers from the tip towards the root on a single strand. What does it feel like? Is it really smooth? Does it feel a bit like it catches on your finger (the ruffling I was referring to)? What sort of things do you notice? If it's generally smooth, it may be normal to low porosity. If it seems to catch, it's probably high porosity. Hair can also have little kinks in it (different from 'kinky' hair - like little bends) - I don't know anyone's figured out quite yet what those mean. I think the best way to distinguish is to do the test slowly - very slowly. If you can't tell (the super slick and super ruffly are fairly obvious), then you're quite possibly medium porosity.

Tiffany's website has a slightly different set of directions for determining porosity (scroll towards the bottom): Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics

No 'test' is definitive, though I tend to think the feel and whether your hair takes on/ loses colour/water easily are more foolproof than the whole whether your hair floats or sinks thing. I think you're best going off what all three of these tests tell you rather than any one, with the whole losing/gaining water/colour thing being the most important one (because it shows the porosity - or lack of there - at work). For example, if you float for a long time but your hair seems ruffly and you take on and lose water quickly - then you're probably porous. If you don't sink (or take a while to sink), don't seem particularly ruffly or slick, but your hair gets wet easily and dries easily, then I'd be tempted to treat it as porous.

Barring that, you can always ask your hairdresser what they think next time you're in for a trim.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #26
 
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Thanks for such an in-depth response. I knew I was looking for how it feels, but I guess I just couldn't tell which mine felt like. I'm going to take all of the tests into account, like you said. I did the test again really slow and nothing super obvious stands out, so I'm guessing I'm medium/"normal," which I think makes sense 'cause my hair takes water on somewhat quickly but not too fast and holds it for a while.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by oddityofwings View Post
Basically, what you're feeling for is the smoothness of the hair shaft.

Run your fingers from the tip towards the root on a single strand. What does it feel like? Is it really smooth? Does it feel a bit like it catches on your finger (the ruffling I was referring to)? What sort of things do you notice? If it's generally smooth, it may be normal to low porosity. If it seems to catch, it's probably high porosity. Hair can also have little kinks in it (different from 'kinky' hair - like little bends) - I don't know anyone's figured out quite yet what those mean. I think the best way to distinguish is to do the test slowly - very slowly. If you can't tell (the super slick and super ruffly are fairly obvious), then you're quite possibly medium porosity.

Tiffany's website has a slightly different set of directions for determining porosity (scroll towards the bottom): Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics

No 'test' is definitive, though I tend to think the feel and whether your hair takes on/ loses colour/water easily are more foolproof than the whole whether your hair floats or sinks thing. I think you're best going off what all three of these tests tell you rather than any one, with the whole losing/gaining water/colour thing being the most important one (because it shows the porosity - or lack of there - at work). For example, if you float for a long time but your hair seems ruffly and you take on and lose water quickly - then you're probably porous. If you don't sink (or take a while to sink), don't seem particularly ruffly or slick, but your hair gets wet easily and dries easily, then I'd be tempted to treat it as porous.

Barring that, you can always ask your hairdresser what they think next time you're in for a trim.
hmmm...

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Thanks for such an in-depth response. I knew I was looking for how it feels, but I guess I just couldn't tell which mine felt like. I'm going to take all of the tests into account, like you said. I did the test again really slow and nothing super obvious stands out, so I'm guessing I'm medium/"normal," which I think makes sense 'cause my hair takes water on somewhat quickly but not too fast and holds it for a while.

Thanks again!
Hmmm... I'm confused... I thought I my hair was highly porous, but the bolded definitely applies to my hair.

I don't know... maybe it's highly porous with medium tendencies... *shrug*...
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:53 PM   #28
 
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To be honest, I think porosity is more of a continuum than just 3 boxes to sit yourself in. Personally, I'm porous - but on the medium side of porous. This means I can overdo protein if I'm not careful, but that I need to find ways of slipping it in most days because without it my hair just loses moisture like crazy and doesn't curl well. This is why I, at least, try to take all of the various porosity tests into account. I think doing them all several times helps as well: I think even porous hair that's just had a PT will probably float for ages; someone who's sealed in moisture with oil may notice their hair takes ages to dry; someone who has build-up of some sort may notice their hair takes longer than usual to get wet; certain leave-ins or stylers make hair take longer to dry - etc. Ideally you'd perform all these tests on 'naked' hair on a normal (ie, non-DT/PT) day.

Hair also changes somewhat. My hair naturally has high-medium porosity, but when I started CG there was no such thing as too much protein - for almost an entire year. It wasn't until I cut off the last of my fried ends that I noticed I could overdo protein. So things may also change over time.

All that to say - knowing porosity is important, but hardly an end-all. I think if you've been treating it as porous and it's been responding, then you're clearly doing something right! I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #29
 
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To be honest, I think porosity is more of a continuum than just 3 boxes to sit yourself in. Personally, I'm porous - but on the medium side of porous. This means I can overdo protein if I'm not careful, but that I need to find ways of slipping it in most days because without it my hair just loses moisture like crazy and doesn't curl well. This is why I, at least, try to take all of the various porosity tests into account. I think doing them all several times helps as well: I think even porous hair that's just had a PT will probably float for ages; someone who's sealed in moisture with oil may notice their hair takes ages to dry; someone who has build-up of some sort may notice their hair takes longer than usual to get wet; certain leave-ins or stylers make hair take longer to dry - etc. Ideally you'd perform all these tests on 'naked' hair on a normal (ie, non-DT/PT) day.

Hair also changes somewhat. My hair naturally has high-medium porosity, but when I started CG there was no such thing as too much protein - for almost an entire year. It wasn't until I cut off the last of my fried ends that I noticed I could overdo protein. So things may also change over time.

All that to say - knowing porosity is important, but hardly an end-all. I think if you've been treating it as porous and it's been responding, then you're clearly doing something right! I wouldn't worry about it.
Great post - thanks!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:13 PM   #30
 
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To be honest, I think porosity is more of a continuum than just 3 boxes to sit yourself in. Personally, I'm porous - but on the medium side of porous. This means I can overdo protein if I'm not careful, but that I need to find ways of slipping it in most days because without it my hair just loses moisture like crazy and doesn't curl well. This is why I, at least, try to take all of the various porosity tests into account. I think doing them all several times helps as well: I think even porous hair that's just had a PT will probably float for ages; someone who's sealed in moisture with oil may notice their hair takes ages to dry; someone who has build-up of some sort may notice their hair takes longer than usual to get wet; certain leave-ins or stylers make hair take longer to dry - etc. Ideally you'd perform all these tests on 'naked' hair on a normal (ie, non-DT/PT) day.

Hair also changes somewhat. My hair naturally has high-medium porosity, but when I started CG there was no such thing as too much protein - for almost an entire year. It wasn't until I cut off the last of my fried ends that I noticed I could overdo protein. So things may also change over time.

All that to say - knowing porosity is important, but hardly an end-all. I think if you've been treating it as porous and it's been responding, then you're clearly doing something right! I wouldn't worry about it.
Agreed. I have been noticing, since I have been on a modified-CG regimen, that my hair is less porous than it was, which is great. It is still porous, but less ridiculously so. It definitely changes, especially with changes in your treatment of your hair.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:33 AM   #31
 
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Why is your hair porous?
It is naturally porous.
What do you do to maintain your hair?
Protein side:
I do IAgirl's gelatin PT every other week. I also mix some Ion effective care into my rinse out. In the summer I use Ecostyler.
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CG method, spritz and condish, overnight coconut oil treatments, mix in honey into my rinse out.
Tell us about what hair products your hair LOVES.
and what it doesnt!
I have to be careful about what products I leave on my hair (leave in, stylers). Oils left on my hair make it greasy (sealing, sotc, in stylers). Many products cause producty frizz. (hair looks like it was rubbed by a balloon). I think I get producty frizz because my hair absorbs so much of the stylers.
Better explanation of producty frizz.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #32
 
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My hair is spongy.

It takes a lot of water to reeally wet it thoroughly, it sucks up water like a sponge.

Is this considered porous?
Hi Hakim

The usual description of low -v- high porosity would be:
Low porosity - takes ages to get wet and then holds on to the water/moisture so therefore takes ages to dry.
High porosity - gets wet easily/quickly but loses moisture quickly therefore dries quickly.

However, your description that your hair "takes a lot of water to really wet it thoroughly" but yet "sucks up water like a sponge" is still an accurate description of porous hair IMHO (although they sound like a contradiction) I think this is because as very porous hair gets wet it almost starts to dry before it gets fully wet (if that makes sense!!). I certainly experience something similar to what you describe on my porous areas (canopy) when I'm under the shower. If I stand under the shower (right side up) and wet my hair and then flip over to throughly wet the underside (more normal porosity) - by the time I flip right side over again my canopy area (highly porous) has let go of some of the water already!

I hope this makes some sense to you!
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:48 PM   #33
 
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Am I the only one irritated by the forum description:

"High porosity is a result of damage to the hair. Chemical processes, harsh treatment, and environmental exposure are all responsible for causing irreversible damage to the cuticle layer. This damage creates gaps and holes in the surface of the hair shaft, resulting in unmanageable and unlovely locks."
I didn't even see this. Can we get an admin to change it?
They changed it! Yay!
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:31 AM   #34
 
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I assume it is naturally like this, since even before CG I air-dried almost all the time. Never colored, rarely straightened...though I did straighten my bangs every day, but I'm almost done growing out that damage.

I'm still deciding whether or not it is normal or high porosity though...I did that test where you slide your finger up the hair shaft, and it was met with some friction/catching, but the hair didn't break.

It also takes about 4 hours to dry, so it doesn't dry too fast, but then again, I have a lot of hair, even though it is fairly short-ish...(shoulder length).

Hey, just wondering, does hard water contribute to high porosity? The shower water at my parents' house is fairly soft I guess, but the water at my dorm is pretty hard.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:22 PM   #35
 
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Why is your hair porous?
It's naturally porous.

What do you do to maintain your hair?
My hair loveloveloves moisture, so I leave a lot of conditioner in my hair every day and follow up with gel for hold. I rake everything through upside-down. Scrunching doesn't seem to work very well for me seeing as how my hair is on the shorter side at the moment and has enough curl as it is! After that I air dry. I've recently been getting back into the groove of treating my hair properly (I hate to admit I'd gotten lazy these past few months). I haven't done a deep treatment in awhile and I haven't done a protein treatment either, but I remember my hair reacting negatively to protein although I'll definitely have to try it again. I know my hair gel has protein in it, however.

Tell us about what hair products your hair LOVES, and what it doesn't.
I haven't been experimenting much recently, so all I basically use is Suave Naturals and L.A. Looks. I'm looking to expand though, and that should happen soon!
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:49 AM   #36
 
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Why is your hair porous?
Probably from years of heat damage and dyeing. It may also naturally be that way; I can't tell yet because I am still waiting for the damaged ends of hair to grow out so I can cut them off. The top layer of my hair has been resistant to curling from years of flat ironing and highlights. Luckily, I got a Deva cut three months ago and the roots growing in are curly! All I know is that if I run my fingers along a strand from tip to root, my hair feels very rough!

What do you do to maintain your hair?
Still trying to figure it all out. I think my hair likes protein, not completely sure. I have only done one deep treatment, with olive oil, which my hair seemed to like. Mostly, I've been conditioning my hair, leaving it in for most of my shower, rinsing all of it out and then adding some back in. I also have been using aloe vera gel before adding gel to style my hair, and adding more condish when necessary either before using AV or after.

Tell us what works and what doesnt!
I still have no clue what really works . I know my hair doesn't like Aveda's Be Curly Style prep-- it doesn't seem to do anything for my hair and makes it dry. I also wonder if my hair likes the aloe vera. I accidentally got aloe vera gel with alcohol in it, which I feel probably isn't helping my hair. (That's what I get for shopping for hair products at Trader Joe's, I also just found out their Refresh Shampoo has sulfates ) I will have to look into getting 100% pure aloe vera, I just hate that I'd be stuck with the gel I have now because the bottle is still mostly full. I'm off to Whole Foods today to get some better products, hopefully I can find stuff that is awesome for my porous hair!

Do you still process?
Nope!! No more flat irons or highlights for me.
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