Many naturals only consider their curl pattern when developing a hair care regimen, but porosity is one of the foremost factors to take into account.
photo courtesy of Jess Keep It Curly

There are many naturals--myself included--who believe that porosity should be one of the foremost factors to take into account when developing a hair care regimen. However, many naturals are unsure of the porosity of their hair, so they rely primarily on their curl pattern when developing their regimen.

Related:  Do you know your hair's porosity?

Low porosity hair has a cuticle layer that lays flat and is tightly bound, making it difficult for moisture (or anything for that matter to enter the hair shaft). Low porosity hair is also typically resistant to chemical treatments such as permanent hair dyeing.

You should note, however, that low porosity hair may become more porous over time if hair is subjected to chemical, heat or mechanical damage. Here are 5 things you should know if you have low porosity hair.

1. Clarifying

  • Low porosity hair is prone to product buildup because products will tend to sit on the hair instead of penetrating it.

This means that clarifying your hair is absolutely necessary or you will only make it that much more difficult for hair to become moisturized. Low porosity hair that is covered with product buildup has two barriers to moisture intake (buildup and tight closed cuticle) and you clearly do not want to make moisturizing your hair more difficult.

2. Deep conditioning

  • Using heat to deep condition with heat to gently open the cuticles and allow moisture to enter the hair.

Deep conditioning will help hair to become and remain hydrated. Sitting under a hooded dryer or steamer will help you to get the most out of your deep conditioner.

3. Layering/Cocktailing

  • Some low porosity naturals find success in layering products on top of each other to increase moisture retention.

Keep your products lightweight to prevent build-up or ensure you cleanse hair often. Co-washing should be done sparingly or not at all, as co-washing coats the hair strands with product leading to product build-up.

4. Seek out humectants and emollients

  • Products containing humectants such as glycerin, honey and castor oil are your best bet to help moisturize your hair as these ingredients help to attract and retain water in the hair.

Emollients such as shea butter are also great in helping hair become soft and will seal moisture into the strands of your hair.

5. Apply product to damp hair

  • This ensures low porosity hair will actually get moisture to enter their hair shaft.

Wet hair has already absorbed some water so the best way of ensuring that your products make it in, is to allow some water to leave the strands and make room--so to speak--for your leave–in conditioner and/or moisturizer.

Using these tips, managing your low porosity natural hair should be easier. As with everything else in your hair journey, your hair will let you know that you are on the right path. Let us know how you keep your low porosity hair moisturized and hydrated.