Low Porosity... What should I be doing?

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  • 3 Post By *Marah*
  • 5 Post By *Marah*
  • 1 Post By guthak01
  • 2 Post By kathymack
  • 1 Post By multicultcurly

So all over this forum I see everyone saying your hair properties are more important than curl pattern. I am not trying to bash that statement, but what I am having trouble understanding is: how should my hair routine (methods and products) differ from those with normal porosity and high porosity? I see some things about oils, which I totally get as my hair takes forever/never absorbs oil.

Are there any other things I am missing out on that would make my routine better?

I am not sure if I am making any sense, but I am just having trouble grasping what the big deal is about porosity. Hopefully someone can enlighten me.
3a/3b, Fine Hair, Low porosity, Medium Density
Poo- CHS Treatment Shampoo
Low-poo- Devacurl Low Poo
RO- Devacurl One Condition
Leave-In- KCKT/Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
Hi,
Can you please explain to me what GVPCB, JCRR, and LALSG, CK, and BRHG stand for ?

I use Yest to Carrots too! And I find for my hair it works really nicely.

I used to have long high porosity hair (that I made that way from dyeing) and I cut it very short back in Dec. Naturally my hair is very low porosity but I've normalized it a bit so that's where my hair is now but it definitely is still leaning low porosity.

I find that certain oils don't work for my hair anymore now that it's back to being low porosity. Oils that work pretty good for me are jojoba oil and castor oil. I suspect it's because both act as humectants and can draw moisture to the hair. I can't use coconut oil anymore unless it's just rinsed out after a hair coloring (coconut oil helps the hair retain protein and for me a little protein after hair coloring helps strengthen my hair). Extra virgin olive oil still works pretty good for me. I use it to cut my castor oil. I really like macadamia nut oil and sweet almond oil in small doses. I guess cause these have some protein in them is why I can't use a lot of it.

I find products that are water based and have some emollients in it work pretty good for me. I try to avoid products with high protein (even though I do use gels with protein..but I spray my hair with a glycerin and water solution so that helps counter act it some).

I am super cheap so most of my stuff comes from the drugstore. I really like these conditioners: Yes to Carrots, Garnier Fructis Creme Fortifying Conditioner, and Tresemme Naturals. I also like Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine and Suave Naturals Mountain Strawberry.

For gels I really like: Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera, Fantasia IC with Sparklelites, Kiss My Face Upper Management, Luster's S Curl Stylin Gel, and Ecostyler.

Now.. a note about Ecostyler. It has protein which can be a hot mess for my low porosity hair. For me the blue Ecostyler probably is really ideal since it's (the protein) not so high on the ingredient list but I use the pink and the Olive Oil kind too. When I use those two.. I just spray the heck out of my hair with my glycerin and water spray first and make sure I have enough of my leave in too. It counter acts any hardness as it dries.

Now some products that I've heard are good for low porosity that I haven't tried yet are Paul Mitchell The Conditioner and Curl Junkie.

Paul Mitchell The Conditioner does contain silicone but from what I understand is that they are water soluble. And I've known low porosity people that use it and love it. There is supposed to be a generic version of it at Sally's Beauty Supply store that doesn't contain any cones. I'd check though if I were you. I intend to do so.

A lot of people of all porosity types LOVE Curl Junkie because they have a range of products that can cater to your needs. Check out their webpage with product recommendations for different porosity issues:
Product Selection Guide

I certainly intend to purchase some in the future..I've just been stubborn because I'm cheap and to me Curl Junkie products are a little high. But from what I understand from just about everyone I've talked to that use it..say their line is certainly worth the price.

Some controversial treatments for low porosity hair is the baking soda treatment. Where you take a curly girl friendly conditioner (one without silicones, mineral oil, or petroluem..an example would be Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition or Tresemme Naturals) and put a teaspoon or so of it in some conditioner and apply it to the hair, slap on a plastic cap for a while, then rinse it out. You can then do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (that's just 1 part ACV and 4-5 parts water). It's suppose to help the cuticle go back down. I don't do the ACV rinse at all. I just do the baking soda in some conditioner as I said and I rinse it out really well with warm water and I shampoo my hair the next day with a sulfate free shampoo like Aubrey Organic Honey Suckle Rose or Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo.

Baking soda is alkaline so it helps to lift the cuticle and allow moisture and other ingredients into low porosity hair. ACV is acidic so it's to tighten the cuticle back down.

Another alkaline product that some low porosity people like is very diluted castile soap (just small bit in lots of water..you can just pour some in a bottle and then fill the rest of the bottle up with lots of water and use like any other shampoo), Like Dr. Bronners, Dr. Woods, or Desert Essence to wash their hair.

Last edited by *Marah*; 06-25-2012 at 08:34 PM.
A controversial trick that I used to normalize my porosity a bit is hair dye.

Since I cut my hair back in Dec. I've used Clairol Natural Instincts non-permanent dye in #36 Midnight Black 3 times and spaced it apart about 30 days. Then 30 days later I used a permanent dye on the 4th time I dyed my hair. I made sure the dye was a little lighter than I usually dye my hair (used Garnier Fructis permanent dye in Mahogany Brown) so that it could do some serious lifting of my cuticle. I sat under a hooded dryer for 15 minutes with a plastic cap with the dye on my hair. After that I let it sit on for 15 more minutes. I rinsed it all out with warm water until it ran clear. I then applied Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor and left it on for 10 minutes. and rinsed. It's a protein conditioner that works EXTREMELY well. It's my favorite protein treatment for a quick treatment. And then I did a deep treatment with Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner mixed with some jojoba oil.. The results: This color DID NOT lighten my hair very much at all. Instead of jet black hair my hair turned an off black. It looked really rich and shiny. My hair porosity has normalized now and I find that my hair accepts moisture better and doesn't feel super dry anymore. My curls look very plump, clumped, and moist. And best of all my hair is soft. Now, It still does take bit for heavy products to absorb (that's how I know it still leans low porosity) and if I use too much I have to towel blot some of it out but after I do that it's no problem. My hair is moisturized, does not dry hard or crispy, and it has bounce and movement. That is as far as I'm going with any permanent dye. Now I ONLY use non-permanet dye..my normal Natural Instincts dye in the black.

I say this way is controversial because you really have to know what you are doing and you have to make sure you use dye that isn't too much lighter than your hair because serious damage can occur. That is why I only went a shade or two up from the color I usually dye my hair. Furthermore, after you do this.. you have to be diligent with hair care. I am extremely diligent with my hair care and take very good care of my hair with no exceptions. So if you aren't going to do that period..then I'd HIGHLY advise not to go the dye route. And stick with the baking soda treatments, the castile soap, heat, warm water, and using water based products that contain emollients to help with low porosity issues.

Also do your own research. You know your own hair better than me. I'm just sharing what worked extremely well for me and continues to work.

I hope this helped. I know it was a lot but I love natural hair and I love to help people with natural hair in anyway I can. If you have any questions.. I'll do what I can to help and hopefully others come in to explain what works for their low porosity hair as well.

Last edited by *Marah*; 06-25-2012 at 08:40 PM.
Here go some other products that some with low porosity like:

Giovanni Smooth As Silk
Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner
Oyin Hair Dew
Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner
CURLS Milkshake
Kinky Kurly Knot Today
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk
Darcy Botanicals Vanilla Delight Daily Leave-In Conditioner

If I find more.. I'll add them.
Thank you so much for the reply. Sorry it took so long to get back to you to say so.

All the product recommendations were helpful and it cleared up some products which i was on the fence about trying. I had never heard of the baking soda trick. I think i will give it a try, but I think I should get some ACV before I do. I always wondered why so many people rave about ACV rinses. I have heard of them being conditioning, but I didn't know they help tighten the cuticle. I was wondering how I could get moisture back into my hair without using tons of heat to swell the cuticle. I have been swimming so much that I am scared my hair will dry out. So I think this should be good for getting moisture back in. Right?

GVPCB- generic value products conditioning balm
JCRR- Jessicurl Rocking Ringlets
LALSG- L.A. Looks Sport Gel
CK- Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
BRHG- Biosilk Rock Hard Gellee

I ended up returning the BRHG because it had so many ingredients that were not natural, and I didn't feel like I needed quite as much hold as it gave.

PS I wish I was confident enough/had enough skill to try and normalize my porosity. In the freezing winter it would be nice to be able to diffuse for a tiny bit of time, then have my hair dry quickly.
curlygoinggray likes this.
3a/3b, Fine Hair, Low porosity, Medium Density
Poo- CHS Treatment Shampoo
Low-poo- Devacurl Low Poo
RO- Devacurl One Condition
Leave-In- KCKT/Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
Low porosity is not a bad thing! No reason to try to normalize it.

To reduce drying time by removing water, use curl towels (or a cotton tee shirt.) After putting in products, I wrap my hair in a Curlease towel while dressing and doing make up. Scrunch out more water with a CLU towel. Then, I diffuse, no reason not to do a little. I don't pixie curl--never touch my hair with anything while drying or it gives me frizz. If you keep the dryer away from your hair a bit, you shouldn't cause damage.

This will all cut down on the drying time.
AdrienneSerena and txwvy32 like this.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix and CCCC
I do like that my hair is low porosity. as it has always been really healthy. I do use the clu towels. Have any of you tried micro fiber towels? I was wondering if those would do a better job.
3a/3b, Fine Hair, Low porosity, Medium Density
Poo- CHS Treatment Shampoo
Low-poo- Devacurl Low Poo
RO- Devacurl One Condition
Leave-In- KCKT/Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
I do like that my hair is low porosity. as it has always been really healthy. I do use the clu towels. Have any of you tried micro fiber towels? I was wondering if those would do a better job.
Originally Posted by guthak01
For me, microfiber is like terry cloth--pulls on your hair and makes it really frizzy!
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix and CCCC
I do like that my hair is low porosity. as it has always been really healthy. I do use the clu towels. Have any of you tried micro fiber towels? I was wondering if those would do a better job.
Originally Posted by guthak01
For me, microfiber is like terry cloth--pulls on your hair and makes it really frizzy!
Originally Posted by kathymack
All this time I thought I was the only one! I use t-shirts, paper towels or a Curls like us cloth.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
For me, microfiber is like terry cloth--pulls on your hair and makes it really frizzy!
Originally Posted by kathymack
That's what I was scared of.
3a/3b, Fine Hair, Low porosity, Medium Density
Poo- CHS Treatment Shampoo
Low-poo- Devacurl Low Poo
RO- Devacurl One Condition
Leave-In- KCKT/Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
I see some things about oils, which I totally get as my hair takes forever/never absorbs oil.
Originally Posted by guthak01
This is my biggest problem. Whenever I try to put an oil on my hair it never absorbs, or just barely. I've left things on overnight and it just sits there. After an hour or so I usually wash it a little just to get enough off that I've don't get oil all over the place, so it's not liquidy anymore. The only thing that gets it out is shampoo, and usually not one of my natural ones (I'm really natural/organic/hippie). I've got to use one that has something harsher, at least some form of a sulfate, which then makes my hair dry and defeats the whole purpose! I just got a shampoo bar that has a lot of oils in it and it left my hair pretty soft but it's still somewhat dry and when it's dry, it's frizzy. It doesn't give me 3a/b curls either, and the more moisture I have the curlier my hair gets. Does anyone know what I might be able to do? I really have to work the oil in so I end up using quite a bit, but maybe I should just use a little and put it on more superficially? I've only used coconut oil, but I might put sweet almond on tomorrow and leave it on all day to see how it soaks in.

~Frankie
Mariah mentioned using baking soda to lift the cuticle then adding moisture. Then to use an ACV rinse afterwards to tighten the cuticle. Perhaps you could try something like that.
3a/3b, Fine Hair, Low porosity, Medium Density
Poo- CHS Treatment Shampoo
Low-poo- Devacurl Low Poo
RO- Devacurl One Condition
Leave-In- KCKT/Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion
Baking soda, while it cleans my hair well, dries it out severly. ACV or lemon rinses just sit on my hair too and don't particularly do much for my hair anyways it seems.

~Frankie
You can always saturate your hair with water, add lots of deep conditioner, some oil on top of that (grapeseed, olive, almond, olive, etc.) , and then sit under a hair dryer for 30 minutes. That should make it easier to penetrate the hair shaft. I've never used baking soda, but I love acv for removing buildup. I also use Suave Naturals shampoo as needed which has a sulfate in it - not sodium lauryl though.
BelleDeLis likes this.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
A controversial trick that I used to normalize my porosity a bit is hair dye.

Since I cut my hair back in Dec. I've used Clairol Natural Instincts non-permanent dye in #36 Midnight Black 3 times and spaced it apart about 30 days. Then 30 days later I used a permanent dye on the 4th time I dyed my hair. I made sure the dye was a little lighter than I usually dye my hair (used Garnier Fructis permanent dye in Mahogany Brown) so that it could do some serious lifting of my cuticle. I sat under a hooded dryer for 15 minutes with a plastic cap with the dye on my hair. After that I let it sit on for 15 more minutes. I rinsed it all out with warm water until it ran clear. I then applied Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor and left it on for 10 minutes. and rinsed. It's a protein conditioner that works EXTREMELY well. It's my favorite protein treatment for a quick treatment. And then I did a deep treatment with Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner mixed with some jojoba oil.. The results: This color DID NOT lighten my hair very much at all. Instead of jet black hair my hair turned an off black. It looked really rich and shiny. My hair porosity has normalized now and I find that my hair accepts moisture better and doesn't feel super dry anymore. My curls look very plump, clumped, and moist. And best of all my hair is soft. Now, It still does take bit for heavy products to absorb (that's how I know it still leans low porosity) and if I use too much I have to towel blot some of it out but after I do that it's no problem. My hair is moisturized, does not dry hard or crispy, and it has bounce and movement. That is as far as I'm going with any permanent dye. Now I ONLY use non-permanet dye..my normal Natural Instincts dye in the black.

I say this way is controversial because you really have to know what you are doing and you have to make sure you use dye that isn't too much lighter than your hair because serious damage can occur. That is why I only went a shade or two up from the color I usually dye my hair. Furthermore, after you do this.. you have to be diligent with hair care. I am extremely diligent with my hair care and take very good care of my hair with no exceptions. So if you aren't going to do that period..then I'd HIGHLY advise not to go the dye route. And stick with the baking soda treatments, the castile soap, heat, warm water, and using water based products that contain emollients to help with low porosity issues.

Also do your own research. You know your own hair better than me. I'm just sharing what worked extremely well for me and continues to work.

I hope this helped. I know it was a lot but I love natural hair and I love to help people with natural hair in anyway I can. If you have any questions.. I'll do what I can to help and hopefully others come in to explain what works for their low porosity hair as well.
Originally Posted by *Marah*
I find this very interesting since I've just about tried everything....with little to no luck.
Can you use any permanent hair color brand? And do you just need to dye your hair once with it?
Well, this is a complete revelation for me. Looking back, I realize that my hair has been the shiniest AND most effortlessly curly when I have applied temporary hair dye.

In fact, before reading this post, I've been tempted to do it again (apply temp dye) because I wanted to see if it would help my hair!

But I was afraid to do it, because

a) I didn't want to damage it, and

b) I was worried about whether or not hair dyes, or at least the conditioners that come with them, have silicones in them, which I am trying to avoid, and if I would need to sulfate-wash after dying (which I am trying to avoid, too) in order to get the silicones in the dye/conditioner out of my hair.

So, I haven't used any dye, temporary or otherwise.

Now, though, that I'm see I'm not the only one to notice the effect this has on my hair, I'm thinking about trying it!

My questions, though, would be:

How often would you need to do this to maintain the benefits of it?

and, follow up to that,

How much damage would this do to your hair to the point that your hair became stripped and uncooperative, ie unhealthy, or even began to lose its curl?

Or fall out completely. Eek!

In any case, this is very very interesting! I'll echo others' sentiments.
I think getting oils to absorb is part the type of oil and part technique. I can't leave EVOO in my hair but before every shampoo I slather it on, put on a conditioning cap and sit under hooded dryer for 15 to 20 minutes. This does wonders for opening my cuticle. And makes my shampoo less drying since I only use clarifying shampoos and makes detangling easier. When I seal I have to be careful. I like castor but I have to use it alone and when I'm doing oil and conditioner styling. Coupled with any other oil or a styling product that has oils then it is too much. My hair likes the microfiber towels. I do my blotting then apply my li then let it dry some more before I apply either oil or styler. Layering is difficult if I don't allow drying time in between nothing absorbs. Also since I have started doing henna I think my hair has moved slightly more toward normal. Still lp but not as lp.
Well, this is a complete revelation for me. Looking back, I realize that my hair has been the shiniest AND most effortlessly curly when I have applied temporary hair dye.

In fact, before reading this post, I've been tempted to do it again (apply temp dye) because I wanted to see if it would help my hair!

But I was afraid to do it, because

a) I didn't want to damage it, and

b) I was worried about whether or not hair dyes, or at least the conditioners that come with them, have silicones in them, which I am trying to avoid, and if I would need to sulfate-wash after dying (which I am trying to avoid, too) in order to get the silicones in the dye/conditioner out of my hair.

So, I haven't used any dye, temporary or otherwise.

Now, though, that I'm see I'm not the only one to notice the effect this has on my hair, I'm thinking about trying it!

My questions, though, would be:

How often would you need to do this to maintain the benefits of it?

and, follow up to that,

How much damage would this do to your hair to the point that your hair became stripped and uncooperative, ie unhealthy, or even began to lose its curl?

Or fall out completely. Eek!

In any case, this is very very interesting! I'll echo others' sentiments.
Originally Posted by amberashockl
Temporary hair dye has no ammonia or peroxide, so it won't really cause any damage. I use it too sometimes but I've checked the ing's and basically it contained lots of conditioning agents and proteins. The worst thing it had was sulfates. If by temporary you mean a demi those have to be used with a peroxide developer and are more likely to normalize porosity. They are generally not damaging at all. I'd personally avoid permanent hair dyes, which contain both ammonia and higher concentrations of peroxide.
2a/b
medium/thick
high porosity (from coloring)

Shampoo: Mop Top Gentle Shampoo
Co-wash: Chistophe Robin Lemon Cleansing Cream
RO: CJ strengthening, Kenra moisturizing
LI: Jessicurl Aloeba
DT: CJ rehab, Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Mask
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 minute
Stylers: Jessicurl RR, SS Firm Hold Gel
Oils: caudalie, sweet almond
Also, the conditioners that come with them almost always contain cones but you don't have to use them. Its quite possible that the hair dyes themselves contain cones as well. If you do want to use a semi/temporary color, I highly recommend the ion one at Sally's Also, for anyone that wants to try this but doesn't want to actually change their hair color, there is both a semi and Demi permanent clear glaze.
2a/b
medium/thick
high porosity (from coloring)

Shampoo: Mop Top Gentle Shampoo
Co-wash: Chistophe Robin Lemon Cleansing Cream
RO: CJ strengthening, Kenra moisturizing
LI: Jessicurl Aloeba
DT: CJ rehab, Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Mask
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 minute
Stylers: Jessicurl RR, SS Firm Hold Gel
Oils: caudalie, sweet almond

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