Hair porosity is one of those things that doesn't seem important until it is, especially if you’re just starting out your curl journey. Because moisture levels are so important for curly hair, your hair porosity plays a big part, especially if you have high porosity hair.

What is high porosity hair?

Unlike low porosity hair, which can actually repel moisture, high porosity hair can absorb moisture fairly easily, but since its cuticles are lifted, it can also lose moisture just as easily if you’re not careful. Porosity levels are also one of the highest perpetrators of frizzy hair and tangles.

What causes high porosity?

Your hair’s porosity levels can be genetic or the result of how you care for your hair. Chemical and heat damage, for example, can both create high porosity hair by damaging and separating your cuticles.

If this sounds like you, we’ve gathered a roundup of a few protein treatments that can help restore some of the strength to your hair, making it a little less likely to lose moisture (resulting in breakage and frizz).

Why do you need a protein treatment?

Your hair is made up of proteins called keratins which can be damaged by sun exposure, environmental pollutants, poor hair care, chemical treatments, and heat tools. High porosity hair, specifically, is at a higher risk of damage because the hair cuticles don’t snap together tightly, leaving the hair follicle at a greater risk of damage.

By molding hydrolyzed proteins (large protein molecules that have been broken down into smaller particles) directly to the outer layer of your hair follicle, protein treatments help solidify the spaces and gaps between the hair cuticles. What this does is smooth them out and decrease the amount of damage and moisture loss your hair can experience.

Which is also why some protein treatments are designed with high porosity hair in mind.

But do protein treatments have silicones?

Some do, some don’t. Whether you like silicones in your products or not is often a personal choice. Silicones can have a place in your hair care products if you want them to, but they can also be pretty easy to avoid if you’d rather go silicone-free. Whatever you prefer, we’ve listed a few silicone and silicone-free products below.

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1. Curly Hair Solutions Pure Silk Protein Deep Moisturizing Treatment

This deep moisturizing treatment is perfect for high porosity hair thanks to the large concentration of Silk Amino Acids that help fill in the spaces between your cuticles. All you have to do is apply it to clean, wet hair for at least 10 minutes (no heat required) before rinsing to leave your hair soft and moisturized.

Silicone free? Yes

2. Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment 

Unfortunately, high porosity hair has a higher chance of damage and breakage than low porosity hair. With that in mind, Aphogee developed a two-step process to strengthen over processed and chemically damaged hair – one which can even be used as a pre-treatment to coloring your hair. The process, however, is a little different than other treatments, so make sure to follow the directions closely.

Silicone free? Yes

3. Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack

Formulated with hydrolyzed keratin and hydrolyzed silk, these disposable deep conditioning protein packs can be used as a weekly in-shower treatment after shampooing. They’re also packed with beneficial oils to leave your hair feeling soft and hydrated.

Silicone free? No

4. Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor

Designed for high porosity hair with Glycine Soja, a large soy protein, this treatment only needs to be massaged into wet hair and left for about 10 minutes before rinsing in order to re-energize your frizzy, critically damaged hair.

Silicone free? Yes

5. ORS HAIRestore Hair Mayonnaise

Made with Whole Egg Protein, this intensive treatment mask makes a great addition to your weekly hair care routine. All you need to do is apply it to wet hair and cover with a cap and heat for approximately 15 minutes, or you can leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour before rinsing if you don’t have heat available.

Silicone free? No

6. IGK Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray

Unlike the rest of the high porosity hair protein treatments on this list, this one is designed to be misted over damp hair and combed through before you blow-dry and style as usual. Through heat activation, this Hydrolyzed Keratin spray will mimic the results of a full keratin treatment, so it’s perfect for those days when you’re in a rush.

Silicone free? No

7. Aphogee Curlific! Texture Treatment

Made with Hydrolyzed Quinoa, a natural protein, and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl, a vegetable protein and silicone blend, this high porosity hair protein treatment is designed to be used in the shower after shampooing. By leaving it on for just a minute you can improve your hair’s elasticity and help eliminate hair loss from breakage.

Silicone free? No

8. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Designed to repair dry, damaged hair, this weekly treatment is scientifically proven to double the strength of your hair after just three uses. This mask functions both as an in shower deep conditioner when left on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing, or as a weekly deep condition under a cap and heat before rinsing.

Silicone free? Yes

9. Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment

With a light, tropical coconut scent, this once a month treatment will help fill in those gaps between your high porosity hair cuticles with a major dose of protein power. You can apply it to wet hair and either leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing or go for a deeper treatment by adding a cap and some heat to leave your hair ultra moisturized.

Silicone free? Yes

Do you use protein treatments in your hair routine? Let us know your favorite in the comments,