"What is my porosity?"

This is a question I have received in my Instagram DMs, via email, and even in person. It is only second to, "What's my curl pattern?"

Well, friend I cannot tell you what your curly hair porosity is simply by looking. Furthermore, I cannot diagnosis porosity, even if you describe your hair strands' characteristics. At best, I can guesstimate what is truly going on with your curls.

That being said, I want to give you the gift of porosity detection in the form of this video featuring me and my fellow NaturallyCurly Editors (and favorite people IRL) Cristina Cleveland and Alexandra Wilson.

3 naturallycurly editors 3 porosity types

Together we explain precisely how curly hair people can best determine their porosity level, and show you how to use Aunt Jackie's brand new Coconut Crème Collection! It is a sulfate-, petrolatum-, mineral oil-, and paraben-free collection that any curly can use, no matter your porosity.

How to Determine Hair Porosity in Less Than 5 Minutes with NaturallyCurly and Aunt Jackie's

In the video, each of us explains the steps necessary to determine our porosity. Each test took us less than 5 minutes to conduct. You can do this, too! All you will need is water, product, and patience.

The Float Test

This test seems straightforward, but in reality, it is the one that tends to cause us curlies to go a little cray cray. Fortunately for low porosity curlies like me, we can tell straight away that our hair is low porosity because our hair strands will float.

Gerilyn Hayes Float Test

Well, what about our medium and high porosity friends?

Float Test in Action

NaturallyCurly.com says:

Take a couple of strands of hair from your comb or brush and drop them into a bowl of water. Let them sit for 2-4 minutes. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity.

If your hair is in liquid limbo, aka literally floating in the middle of the glass, you more than likely have medium porosity hair. However, we want you to be 100% certain. So move on to the next less-than-5-minute test to determine your porosity.

The Product Application Test

This test is self-explanatory and you have probably done it without even knowing it. Simply apply a small amount of a water-based styling product, like Aunt Jackie's Coconut Crème Intensive Moisture Sealant we used in the video, to a section of hair. Gently work the product into your curls.

Alexandra Wilson Product Test

If the product sits on top of the hair and needs to be squished into the strands, you have low porosity hair. If the product absorbs instantaneously into the strands, you have high porosity hair. If the product does neither of these things and only needs a few finger strokes to get the product in easily, you're definitely medium porosity.

Alexandra Wilson Product Test up close

What I love the most about this test is that Alexandra was able to easily and quickly determine her porosity level, and then move on to styling her hair with the Aunt Jackie's Curl Boss Coconut Curling Gèlee. Although she did not use them together, she got the cutest style because she knew what product to use based on her porosity type.

Still need further confirmation? Move right along to the next test!

The Slip and Slide Test

Admittedly, I think that this is one of the most challenging tests (which is why I asked Cristina to do it – LOL!). This can be especially true if you are a new natural or transitioning. However, I just ran my fingers up and down my hair strands and Cristina is right: you can definitely tell your porosity type with this 30-seconds or less test.

cristina cleveland slip n slide test

NaturallyCurly says:

Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the shaft (toward the scalp). If you feel little bumps along the way, this means that your cuticle is lifted and that you have high porosity. If your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair.

Pretty cool, right?

cristina cleveland slip n slide test up close

So, what do you think, NaturallyCurly World? Are you ready to proclaim your porosity?

You know that we absolutely love hearing from you, so tell my girls and me in the comments if we helped you figure out your porosity! If you still have questions about porosity and how to determine what yours is, let me know in the comments.

Learn more about porosity, texture types, curl patterns, and Aunt Jackie's incredible collections for curly hair with these NaturallyCurly articles:

As ever, stay curly!

This post is sponsored by Aunt Jackie's.