Hair porosity is crucial to finding the right hair care regimen, even if curl pattern is what most people seem interested in.
Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and maintain moisture, oils, and even chemicals.I suspected I had high porosity hair even before doing a water cup test because when I would wet my hair in the shower it would expand like a garden hose filling with water and fall almost to my breasts. By the time I cleaned my body it was back up past my shoulders. Losing moisture, much? Yea, it was a sign I had very porous hair with serious shrinkage.
I was given the opportunity to try the fairly new service called Myavana, a hair care recommendation system created by four female engineers. They not only test the hairs on your head for density, porosity, and overall health but they recommend products. They solidified what I believed about my hair: that while my hair is healthy, it is highly porous. Armed with this information I got to work treating my hair’s raised cuticles, here are four important habits that have made a noticeable difference with my high porosity hair.
1. Use an ACV Rinse
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and aloe vera juice (AVJ) are a high porosity girl’s best friend. Rinsing my hair with ACV, which is acidic in nature, will help flatten and seal the cuticle since high porous hair has those gaps and/or chips in the cuticle. Try both and see which works best for your hair, then incorporate it into your wash day routine.
2. Beef up on protein treatments
You may know the importance of protein treatments and use them from time to time, but if you have high porosity it can be very beneficial to stick to a monthly regimen and give stronger protein treatments a try. I normally try regular protein treatments but this past week I tried ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor, which many love. I may opt for ApHogee 2-Step Protein Treatment and Balanced Moisturizer next time since I have heard a lot of great things about both. I’ve noticed a difference already and figure I need a more potent protein treatment to temporarily repair my hair’s cuticle.
Not sure which protein treatments are strong, medium and light? Here's our quick guide to finding the best protein treatment for you.
3. Make a point to look for moisturizing products
When you have high porosity hair, you cannot solely rely on water for your moisturizing efforts. The climate will also play a role in how much moisture your hair does or doesn't need. For example, I make sure to look for anti-humectants whenever I am in humid climates. It is very important to maintain a balance between moisture and protein, so as you experiment with finding the right strength of protein treatment for your hair, it will be equally important that you are keeping up your moisture as well. Here are a few of our favorite products for high porosity hair, including the conditioners, leave-ins and deep conditioners that will help you in your journey.
4. Avoid damaging habitsThere are habits that we know are damaging, we know they will negatively impact our hair health, but we do them anyways. I for one will usually dye my hair yearly around summer for fun. While I understand the need to steer clear of chemicals (for me) since they are doing me no favors I have typically opted for SheaMoisture’s Moisture- Rich Ammonia-Free Hair Color System f or coloring my strands since I’ve gone natural. Now I have since decided avoid color completely and instead embrace my grays naturally because chemical hair color penetrates my high porosity hair too easily and the formula can further weaken strands. Instead, I can opt for natural coloring methods like henna, or hair teas . I use coffee rinses sometimes and I know that can help darken hair so I’ll be using that more often for darkening the grays if they get too out of hand. This is my choice and despite the fact that I can color using chemicals and just enlist the help of a stylist who will properly apply the product for the correct time allotted for high porosity hair, I prefer to not even fool with it.
If you similarly have damaging practices in your hair routine that you know are putting your curls at a disadvantage, now is the time to try cutting them out - even if they seem "necessary." If you use heat styling tools, try to find heatless ways to achieve the same or a similar style. If like me you dye your hair regularly, try out a natural rinse or embracing your natural color.
Knowing one’s porosity is extremely helpful, and while I had no real complaints I know I can give my hair what it needs to be healthy.