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Fine, fragile, high porosity hair needs extra love as it grows out. This porosity type tends to be temperamental when it comes to products, techniques and the weather, prone to breakage, and apt to tangle.

What is high porosity hair?

High porosity hair can easily absorb moisture, but just as easily loses moisture. Hair can be naturally high porosity and it can also become high porosity due to chemical processes like lightening or coloring the hair. The tips below will help you retain your hard-earned hair growth if you're growing out high porosity hair.

1. Avoid environmental stressors

Determine if there are any factors in your routine or environment that are contributing to the increase in your hair’s porosity, and then change them if you can. Sometimes, hair can just have a naturally higher than normal porosity. Naturally finer strands are easily damaged by environmental stressors such as hard water, the sun, and dry indoor air, all of which can increase hair’s porosity. Porosity can change due to hormones at different times in your life, too. For example, curlies who have always had normal or even low porosity hair may find that their porosity changes after menopause. Other times, heat styling, chemical processes, and product or hard-water buildup can really wreak havoc on your halo. It’s important to clarify regularly, and to avoid bleaching or relaxing your hair. If hard water is an issue, it’s worth it to invest in a shower filter.

2. Avoid knots and tangles

High porosity hair tangles easily, and can then break when you try to detangle. It also tends to stick to itself, which can also contribute to detangling challenges. Avoiding tangles in the first place is key. Put your hair in protective styles, and sleep with a satin sleep cap.

3. Use strengthening products

Make sure your products strengthen as well as moisturize. Because high porosity hair loses moisture easily (along with its curl pattern which leads to frizz), we tend to focus on hydration. While this is important, products should also contain some hydrolyzed protein in addition to moisturizing properties. Protein can help to make strands stronger, smoother, and less prone to breakage.

Here are the Top 8 Protein Treatments for Natural Hair.

4. Smooth your ends

If you tend to slather on conditioner, comb it through, rinse, and then rake in a leave-in and stylers, you may be skipping one important step: smoothing. Smoothing conditioning masks and creamy leave-ins into dry, parched ends will help them absorb moisture. This will also aid in making the hair more slippery for detangling.

5. Commit to snipping split ends

High porosity hair requires regular trims to keep it healthy and to prevent frayed ends from splitting up the hair shaft. If you want to keep your length as well, get the ends dusted every 10-12 weeks. If you have heat or chemical damage, you may want to trim your ends even more frequently. You can learn to give yourself a dusting trim in between stylist appointments.

6. Protect your hair and scalp from the elements

Sun, wind, and freezing rain can dry out your scalp and hair. When you are out and about, don a satin-lined beanie, or wear your hair in an easy protective style.  

7. Give your hair breaks

At the beginning of our curly hair journeys, many of us tend to overdo it with our routines, using lots of product every day, washing more than we need, and over-moisturizing. This can be too much for high porosity hair, and lead to hygral fatigue and product build-up. You may find that your hair seems to grow faster if you put it up on your busiest days and leave it alone, or go product-free on some weekends when you are relaxing at home.

What are your tips for caring for your high porosity hair when you are growing it out? Let us know in the comments. 

Read next: How to Condition High Porosity Hair - And KEEP It Moisturized

This article has been updated with additional resources.