Texture, Porosity, and other Hair Type Madness

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I am trying the porosity test too running my fingers up the hair shaft ... what does it mean if your fingers don't "catch" on anything but it doesn't feel completely smooth? the end-to-root direction definitely had more friction compared to running my fingers root-to-end, but not enough friction that I would call it "catching" on anything. Does that mean my hair is normal porosity or overly porous? It would be nice if I could feel the "control group" hair for this test so I can compare mine.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
That is how I would describe mine too.
Originally Posted by xcptnl
That is how I would have described mine, yesterday, too. After reading this thread, I went and got a restructuring treatment--I got Ion brand at Sally's. I did a protein treatment followed by a deep treatment today, and now my hair feels smooth in the end to root direction. I'm guessing that yesterday qualified as overly porous. My hair is a bit fuzzy, but it seems to be curling much better today than normal.
Originally Posted by winnie_p
very interesting! I guess my hair is overly porous too then.

Is that why my hair hates shampoo, because my hair is really porous? Shampoo has always changed the shape of my hair in very strange ways. I read somewhere that shampoo particles get stuck inside porous hair and can't fully rinse out.

my hair is really protein-sensitive so I'm not sure if a protein treatment would help me but according to StruttsWife's blog I need acidity ... that makes sense to me. My hair has reacted very badly to all of my alkaline experiments ... baking soda, Dr. Bronner's soap, etc. my hair definitely hates protein and shampoo and anything alkaline.
Struttswife,

Based on your experience, what textures of hair are more prone to low porosity? Also, does climate play a factor in porosity level?

Thank you.
I've just done the porosity test where you run your finger and thumb up the hair strands from ends to scalp.

I can't say that i felt much but my hair strands sure "squeek" loud and clear!

Does this indicate the level of porosity if your hair makes noise like this? I'm assuming it might be high porosity as my hair is extremely frizzy(hence my name) an and dry and damaged w/ little to no defined curl pattern.

I'm using Loreal Vive Pro conditioner w/ Pearl protein but I can't see that it's helping at all. Am I using the wrong thing? Should I use something for moisture vs. protein?
Originally Posted by Frizzly
My hair's sqeek that way too(end to root). Some strands are smooth and others have nicks. Can't wait to hear what it means! And as I mentioned on the board before my strands are sinking
3a/b medium/coarse but mostly moderately coarse, dense, strong strands
Komaza analysis current: medium to thick/ strands(mostly coarse), very strong elasticity, low porosity(some is), healthy strong hair
Goosefootprints: moderately coarse with some medium; low porosity at roots, normal thru shaft, porous ends.
LCLF:medium,normal,normal
I have been lurking on this thread for some time trying to figure out what it all means to me and my hair. My hair also squeaks but less than it did a week ago so that's good.
My question is this - is it possible to have a combination of fine, coarse, slightly overly porous hair, or am I using too many adjectives. I think that I have a mixture of individual strands that are thin and thick, coarse and fine, and it is all porous. So if this IS possible, what the heck do I do with it to make it happy. I am currently riding a thin line of protein sensitivity and being overconditioned .

3b/c mix; mixture of fine, med. and coarse texture with med-high porosity


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Okay. Are you all ready for the test? JUUUUUUUUST kidding, LOL

So that I can stay more focused, I'm going to swing the conversation back to hair properties and leave any discussion on product or weather for later ... so hold those kinds of thoughts Speaking of hair properties, I have posted an entry about the last two hair properties -- Hair Elasticity and Density -- on my blog.

If you have a regular stylist, you might find it helpful to ask him or her to assist you in determining your hair properties -- we are trained in that sort of thing and it might make the process a bit less confusing.

I have hard water as well -- the only good compensation I've found for that is doing a baking soda scrub every six weeks or so. Luckily, my hair doesn't seem to retain mineral deposits that much, but then again, I have low porosity so it's harder to get stuff into my hair shaft. When I hit the lottery, I'm installing a water softening system

If you run your fingers up your hair shaft and they don't catch, but you feel some very slight roughness, it means you are a little bit porous, but nothing to write home about. Using more acid-balanced products normally does the trick on this type of hair without any further intervention.

In the overall scheme of curl life in its purest form, I would guess that fine hair likely has the most tendency to have the lowest porosity, simply because the melanin pigment molecules and amino acid chains are packed in there so tightly: there really isn't room for much else to maneuver around.

You can easily have several different textures and several different porosities all over your head. For example, the crown of our head is where we get the most abuse from the elements: sun, wind, rain, etc. The underneath or nape, is almost always well protected, if it is covered by our hair length most of the time. So, in that example, it would make perfect sense for the crown to have high porosity, but the nape to have low porosity.
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

I understand why a hair that snaps too quickly is low elasticity, but one that stretches too far too or doesn't come back? That isn't too-high elasticity?

In practice though, this one I understand. It's what I use to determine when I need a hit of protein.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Good morning, RCC - go, Steelers! Didn't our boys do awesome!!!

/derail

There really is no such thing as high elasticity. Your hair either bounces back into its original shape or it doesn't, so you are either normally elastic or you don't have enough elasticity. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on that!
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

StruttsWife:

Which condition has more influence on the definition of curls: porosity, elasticity, density, etc.? Or is it all of the above?
Yes they did! Woot! Loved the Polamalu Coke commercial too.

Interesting about the elasticity then. I just going by visuals - didn't stretch or stretched too much and had applied terms in my head that way.

Back when I was having protein/moisture issues, my hair would snap right away. Cutting out protein helped a lot. FInding good moisture helped more. Now, I just know to add a hit of keratin when I start to get too stretchy, and that remedies it for me.

I wanted to address all of those on my blog before I tackled proteins, but you did all of the work for me! All I have to do is link to you since you did such a thorough job of it.

Next color job, I am totally asking my stylist about all of this.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
They each have their role, Greatcurls. Porosity determines the amount of moisture retained within our hair, directly affecting how our curls are shaped. Texture determines what kinds of product ingredients are most effective and healthy for our maintenance routine. Elasticity drives how well our curls can keep their shape.

From strictly a curl definition perspective, you'd want to look at porosity and texture first. But it is how all the hair properties work together that ultimately determines how you present visually.
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

SW, my hair has low porosity which seems to repel moisture. What kinds of conditioners should I be looking for? I've tried every texture of conditioner out there. Oddly, my hair feels very soft when it's dry, but I never get that "seaweed" feeling when it's wet, even with conditioner.
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So hair w/low elasticity needs more moisture not more protein?
3a/b medium/coarse but mostly moderately coarse, dense, strong strands
Komaza analysis current: medium to thick/ strands(mostly coarse), very strong elasticity, low porosity(some is), healthy strong hair
Goosefootprints: moderately coarse with some medium; low porosity at roots, normal thru shaft, porous ends.
LCLF:medium,normal,normal
I've been reading this thread (and your blog, SW) avidly as I have just never managed to understand what my hair is in terms of all these different properties, which is probably why it always looks ordinary at best. I'm going to the hairdresser tomorrow, so I'll ask what she thinks about it all and go from there, whilst waiting patiently for your info on products and weather!
I, for one, really appreciate the time and effort you're putting into this for us poor lost curly souls!
3b in South Australia.
They each have their role, Greatcurls. Porosity determines the amount of moisture retained within our hair, directly affecting how our curls are shaped. Texture determines what kinds of product ingredients are most effective and healthy for our maintenance routine. Elasticity drives how well our curls can keep their shape.

From strictly a curl definition perspective, you'd want to look at porosity and texture first. But it is how all the hair properties work together that ultimately determines how you present visually.
Originally Posted by StruttsWife
Thank you! I'll do the porosity test later this week.
I'm ever so happy you started this thread. I noticed that a particular area of my hair is a different texture while the rest of it is more or less the same. I've been told it was heat damage or left over relaxer. But I found it extremely hard to believe that one whole section could be heat damaged and another section isn't. I have been using different products for different sections.

I did the test and discovered the front left of my hair is fine textured. The rest of my hair is medium textured with low porosity throughout. This makes a lot of sense because I always have soo much trouble keeping my hair moisturized.
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I blogged today about how I use StruttsWife's categories in my routine and product useage. It's brief, and I still don't understand porosity, lol, but it's a start. I don't know if what I do is the right, precribed thing, but it's what works so far.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
I had a "aha!" moment in the shower today. There are so many comments about problems detangling hair. In recent memory, my hair has only tangled a few times--after castor oil and my third use of Dairy Whip. Obviously from ingredients it doesn't like. I don't ever remember having problems with tangling--even when I had waste length hair.

While I'm sure my frequent hair cuts have something to do with it. I'm thinking that texture and porosity have more to do with it. I have always been told my hair is fine. I also think I have low to medium porosity. Any thoughts on 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, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I don't actually have a relevant comment, but I think this thread should be renamed "Ask Struttswife"!

I guess I can come up with a comment actually. In response to the comment that fine hair may have a tendency toward lower porosity, I'd consider my hair fine and when I slide my fingers up a strand of hair it feels smooth to me. Just some support for the idea
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Fine/thin 2c/3a, Low-Medium Porosity, Dry!
I only tangle at the tightest part of the coil. I can run my fingers through from the scalp to the part that starts to coil then all bets are off. That is why I can't "refresh" my curls. I can't really spritz and separate the curls; once they are dry it's like they are glued together. Fingering through them just ruins the curl. First day hair is the only hair I get. I have fine/porous hair around my hairline and medium/medium porous everywhere else.

From your description, fine texture and medium porosity isn't prone to tangling. From my description I would be more prone to tangling because I am more porous?

Would a weekly/bi-weekly protein treatment make my hair less tangled?
3b spirals, fine texture, normal porosity, dense
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I don't actually have a relevant comment, but I think this thread should be renamed "Ask Struttswife"!

I guess I can come up with a comment actually. In response to the comment that fine hair may have a tendency toward lower porosity, I'd consider my hair fine and when I slide my fingers up a strand of hair it feels smooth to me. Just some support for the idea
Originally Posted by Laura Lee
Actually, my hypothesis is that fine, low porosity hair doesn't tangle. This thread was discussing implications for product, I was wondering if this is another implication?
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, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams

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