Understanding Porosity: difference between low and normal and what products are best?

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  • 3 Post By artemis513

I'm trying to understand porosity. I read a lot about it on some other threads, but I'm still not quite understanding the difference between low and normal porosity, and I'm pretty sure I don't have high/overly porous hair. Ive seen the definitions but I'm interested if anyone here can explain it differently. What are some signs of low or normal? I think I have normal, because I dont have an issue absorbing/retaining moisture at all, even though my hair is very dry. Ive never felt that I had a specific issue in picking out types of products, but im still interested to know what types of products/ingredients are best for normal or low porosity.

The "test" for porosity is mainly what confused me: slide the thumb and index finger of your other hand from end to scalp (opposite direction as for texture test). If your fingers "catch" going up the strand, or feel like they are ruffling up the hair strand, your hair is overly porous. If it is smooth, you have normal porosity. If your fingers move very fast up the hair strand and it feels exceptionally slick, you have low porosity. I guess I dont know what the difference is between smooth and exceptionally slick lol By this test alone, I would say low, but low porosity means difficulty absorbing and maintaining moisture, from my understanding, and Ive never really noticed that about my hair. I feel like if that was an issue, then I would have taken note of it.

Also isnt there a "strand in a cup of water" test for porosity? I did it, but I dont know what the results mean. My strand of hair floated, it never sank.

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Your hair sounds normal to me. I did the same tests and my hair is definitely not low porosity. I did the live curly live free analysis too, though. If you're really unsure you can pay for that service.
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Last relaxer: December 20, 2008
4a/b, medium-fine, normal porosity & elasticity, thick
General Guideline aka YMMV (got this info from LHC)--also keep in mind porosity is on a continuum.
Note: you also want to consider the texture of your strands (fine/medium/coarse) when choosing products since that impact how much protein or moisture on any given day.

Repels water, color, and products
Needs moisture
Needs humectants
Needs no protein
Color fades slowly
Color takes slower
(when testing - feels slick)

Absorbs and retains water and products
Needs occasional protein
Keep a balance between moisture and protein
(when testing - feels smooth)

Overly absorbs water, color, and products
Needs moisture
Need emollients
Needs protein
Color fades fast
Color takes quickly
Dry, fragile, brittle
Do not use soap bars
Needs ACV rinses
Use gels, oils, and butters
(Caused by heat damage, hard water/chlorine saturation, using harsh ingredients)
(when testing - feels ruffled)
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4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
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Pull a piece of your hair out from the root. Make sure it is dry and natural. No conditioners or shampoos or anything on it.. Then put it in a bowl of water. If it floats on top all night you have low porosity hair. If it goes down slowly, you have normal porosity. If it sinks straight to the bottom you have high porosity hair.

Low- repels water
Normal-good balanced hair
High-retains lots of water

Hope this helps.

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