After years of manipulating my hair's natural texture and color during the early stages of my teen years, I suffered from damaged hair for too long!

shannon

When I finally started the natural hair journey and transitioned for over a year, I had to pay close attention to my new (natural) hair type as I was going to have to treat it differently than I had done in the past.

By looking at my hair and studying the hair types guide I could see that my hair was around the 3b-3c category, however, finding out your hair type to me is more than just looking at the pattern of your curl. This can help distinguish what may work for you, but to get a better idea of what your hair is going to like and dislike, I decided to focus more on finding out my hairs porosity instead of the typical hair types.

What is porosity?

Your porosity level is going to determine how well your hair takes to moisture, which in turn allows you to work out what products and routines you need to be using to get healthy curls. Finding out your hairs porosity level can help you cater your whole routine to your hair type. Now that I know I have low porosity hair, I know that it is naturally hard for my hair to hold on to moisture, because of this I use some steam when deep conditioning and use certain products that work well with my type.

How to Test Your Porosity

Below are 3 different ways you can test for your hair type. The jug method is the most popular but if you want to double check your results are right, try out all 3! Before testing, make sure you complete the below methods on freshly washed hair for accurate results.

Porosity test jug method

1. The Jug Method

For this method, you will need a jug or glass full of water. Take a strand of your hair and place it into the jug. Leave it for 1-2 minutes.

  • If the strand floats = Low porosity
  • The strand slowly sinks = Normal porosity
  • The strand sinks = High porosity

Water method porosity test

2. The Direct Water Method

For this method, you will need a spray bottle full of water. Spray around 2-3 pumps of water to a clean section of hair.

  • Visible drops of water that are not absorbed = Low porosity
  • Water absorbs quickly = High porosity
  • Water sits on hair and then absorbs = Normal porosity

Strand method

3. The Strand Method

For this method, grab hold of one strand of hair between your fingers. Swipe your finger up from the end to root, feeling its texture all the way along.

  • If the strand is smooth = Low porosity
  • If the strand is bumpy = High porosity

What your results mean

Low Porosity: You may find it harder to keep your hair moisturized. Your hair's cuticles are tight and don't allow moisture into your hair easily. You can use steam to help for this process.

Product Recommendation: Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Normal Porosity: Your cuticles aren't as tight, so will allow in just the right amount of moisture! This porosity level takes well to heat and color, you should, however, avoid protein in everyday use and you can deep condition every few weeks or so (up to you!).

Product Recommendation: SheaMoisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque

High Porosity: Allows too much moisture which makes it prone to tangling whilst in humidity. When water hits the hair this can actually cause breakage and damage! To prevent this you need to make sure your hair is sealed, you can do this by layering products e.g. LOC method. This will help the hair to hold on to the moisture it's given instead of soaking up any more than needed.

Product Recommendation: Mop Top Citrus Medley Medium Hold Gel

Top 15 Products for High Porosity Hair

Now that you know your hair type, it's going to make your hair journey from now forward a much easier process when it comes to choosing hair products and finding out what routine will work best for you!

Read more to find out your hair type

Curly Hair Guide: What's YOUR Curl Pattern?

How to Moisturize Your Stubborn, Low Porosity Hair