Although I haven't used direct heat at all since returning natural, I permanently color my curls. That with genetics have contributed to my high porosity hair.
Porosity is how easily your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture and chemicals. Your hair can be low, medium, or high porosity.
I have naturally curly hair that has high porosity.
Although I have refrained from using direct heat throughout my entire natural hair journey, I have permanently colored my hair. Aside from genetics, the chemicals in hair dye have contributed to me having raised, damaged cuticles. As a result, my curls also have the following characteristics:
This is how I work with and against each element of having high porosity hair.
High porosity hair sucks up any bit of moisture it can find in the atmosphere. For this reason, frizz happens. To combat that halo atop the crown of my head, I use an anti-humectant product to seal in moisture. Anti-humectants prevent moisture from the air from entering the hair shaft and causing strands of hair to expand and lose definition.
For some naturals, this is when non water-soluble silicones come into play. In 2015 I had sworn off using silicones as much in my regimen, as they can clog my scalp, which isn't great for someone who wants their hair to grow at a healthy rate. To combat this, I'll sometimes skip pre-pooing and jump straight to clarifying with a good pH-balancing shampoo on days I use a styling product with silicones.
Lanolin and beeswax not only block humidity from entering, but fight frizz. When applied in sections, a wax can add incredible definition and clumping to my head of high porosity curls. Certain fatty alcohols also have the same effect on porous hair, making for great styling ingredients.
I usually wash and condition my hair at night before bed, sealing with a moisturizing butter and oil blend. This gives plenty of time for the cocktail to penetrate deep into my hair shaft and replenish any weakened curls.
At night, put my hair in a multi-pineapplebecause a single one doesn't do any justice for my haircut. If you're a crazy sleeper like I am, put a satin cap over your entire head and wrap a satin scarf around your edges. This will further fight a chance of frizz the next morning.
High porosity hair absorbs water quickly; it also loses it just as fast. This results in hair that feels dry, coarse, and brittle to the touch. Choosing a reliable leave-in conditioner with slippery, hydrating emollients will be just the refreshment porous hair needs on most days.
By nature, textured hair has a hard time retaining moisture throughout the entire length of the strand compared to straight hair. Because of this, I try not to go without getting trims every four months or so to preserve my hair's overall health.
Twice a month, a good deep condition with hydrolyzed proteins is also imperative to softening and strengthening my curls. This makes for easier manipulation throughout the weeks, only having to rely on co-washing and moisturizing to re-define.
In order to make sure I'm paying equal attention to each high porosity curl in my head, a twist-out, Bantu knot-out, or twist-and-curl are reliable ways to evenly distribute moisture to dry curly hair. An added benefit is that these styles give naturals a damage-free stretch to their usual curl pattern.