Pictured: SimplyCyn

While many curly, coily, and wavy girls still look to hair texture or curl pattern as a guide on hair products, knowing your hair’s porosity is a far more important indicator on how to care for your hair. Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and hold onto moisture. There are three types: low, medium and high, and each have its challenges. While it seems rather simple to understand, there is confusion on how to figure out your hair’s porosity and what products and techniques may be ideal for your hair. Today we are going to delve into mishaps to avoid when caring for low porosity hair.

Not sure what your hair type is? Take our quiz to learn your porosity.

What is low porosity hair?

Low porosity means your hair strands have a tightly bound cuticle layer that lays flat and tends to repel water. Depending on your texture, low porosity hair can be shiny and tends to be stubborn with chemical processes. If your hair is low porosity it can become high porosity over time with more mechanical, thermal, and chemical damage, so moderation and trims are important. Here are a few things to remember on what not to do if you have low porosity hair.

1. Do not forgo shampoo

Low porosity hair is more prone to product buildup. Solely using cleansing conditioners or co-washing more than shampoo may not be the best regimen for low porosity hair. If you figure you have low porosity hair and suffer from buildup, try a clarifying shampoo and incorporate shampoos over co-washing to see if that makes a difference. Also, shampoo slightly opens the cuticle for optimal deep conditioning after so do not rely on co-washing.

Read moreTop 30 Sulfate-Free Shampoos

2. Don’t skip the heat with your conditioners

Holding onto moisture is not the issue but getting it in is. Try using heat caps and hooded dryers for deep conditioner. They are great tools to help certain ingredients adsorb onto the hair shaft and makes your curls, coils, and waves feel softer.

3. Don’t use leave-in conditioners too often

Traditional leave-in conditioners are usually formulated with proteins to help strengthen the hair cuticle, so your hair might become stiff from protein overload. Consider using or alternating your leave-in conditioner with a lightweight moisturizer or hair milk with humectants for soft curls, coils, and waves between wash days.

Read moreAvoid Protein Overdose with These Protein-free Moisturizers

4. Don’t use heavy butters and oils

Thick butters and oils are too heavy for low porosity hair, especially for those with fine strands. Thick products accumulate quickly, causing product buildup up that leads to dryness, especially with multiple applications between wash days. If you like sealing your hair at the end of your regimen and refreshing your hair through the week, then consider light oils and light refreshers to rejuvenate your curls.

Read more

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

How to Moisturize Your Stubborn, Low Porosity Hair

This article has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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