Hair Porosity, “ the tendency of hair to absorb and retain the oil and moisture”, is one of the major and frequently seen hair problems among the public. Hair which is considered to be the beauty of an individual is continuously ignored and neglected by everyone nowadays, the main reason behind this is the action-packed schedule of the personalities to survive in this every second growing world, to cope with this vast and fast growing world, we just forgot to take care of our hair.
Not just hair porosity, but there is an endless list of the hair problems this generation of development is facing, the list includes immature graying of hair, thinning of the scalp, hair loss, dandruff, etc., now it’s the time to go back with the time and to look after our hair health.
Just like our ancestors and our Queens and Kings, we must also look after hair and must take all the necessary steps to keep them healthy, we must also include a proper diet and all the essential supplements to restore their health.
But practically it is not possible to go back in history or to ignore our work to look after our hair. So, to solve this problem we are on the fire to make everyone aware and informed and to provide everyone with basic and accurate knowledge.
Let the journey begin!
Table of Contents
What is Hair Porosity?
The concept of hair porosity is simple. It is about how much your hair can absorb and retain moisture. The level of porosity can affect how well oils and moisture can pass through the outer layer which is called the cuticle of the hair.
To understand the concept of hair porosity first we need to learn about the 3 layers of the hair. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair. They look like the scales of the fish overlapping each other to make them strong. The cortex is the thickest layer as it comprises protein fibers. The level of porosity decides how well the oils and moisture can pass through from the cuticle to the cortex.
There are 3 levels of hair porosity :
- First, low porosity in which the cuticles are too close, and due to that oil and moisture cannot pass through.
- The second is medium porosity in which the cuticles are not closely bounded, and the last level is high porosity where cuticles are generally very spread out.
- The capability of your hair to absorb and maintain moisture is genetic but there are several other reasons which can cause low or high hair porosity like washing, harsh products, straightening, and blow-drying hair.
This article will look more closely at what influences the porosity of your hair, how to identify the type of porosity you have, and the best ways to treat your hair based on that porosity.
Why is hair porosity important?
Understanding your hair’s three-layered structure will help you better comprehend the idea of hair porosity. These layers consist of following layers :
- The thick, protective outer layer of your hair known as the cuticle is composed of tiny cuticles that overlap one another, much like the shingles of a roof.
- The thickest part of your hair is called the cortex. It contains the pigment that gives your hair its color as well as fibrous proteins.
- The soft, middle region of the hair shaft is known as the medulla.
Water, oils, and other moisturizing treatments must be able to penetrate the cuticle and reach the cortex for your hair to stay hydrated and healthy. Furthermore, your hair will have a difficult time holding moisture and keeping moisturized if the cuticles are split too widely apart.
What causes low or high hair porosity?
How your hair absorbs and retains moisture is largely due to genetics. So, if low porosity hair runs in your family, there’s a good chance you’ll have low porosity hair, too. But while genetics can affect porosity, it isn’t the only contributing factor.
Blow drying, bleaching, straightening, over washing, and using harsh products can all damage your hair over time. This can cause your hair cuticles to become raised and open, which may make it harder for your hair to retain moisture.
In addition to hair treatments, too much ultraviolet exposure can also increase the porosity of your hair. To protect your hair from the sun, wear a hat or some type of head covering when you’re outdoors.
Is it simple to measure the porosity of your hair?
Using a glass of water to assess the porosity of your hair is one of the simplest methods. This is how you do it:
- To get rid of product buildup, shampoo and rinse your hair.
- Pour some water into a cup.
- After your hair is tidy and dry, place one strand into the glass of water.
- Keep an eye on the strand to observe if it floats at the top or sinks to the bottom of the glass.
Low porosity: You most likely have low porosity hair if the strand floats at the top before sinking.
Normal porosity: Your hair likely has a medium or normal porosity if the strand floats in the center of the glass.
High porosity: You probably have high porosity hair if the strand swiftly sinks to the bottom of the glass.
Running a finger down a strand of your hair will also allow you to determine how porous you are. High porosity hair will feel rough and bumpy because the cuticles are open, as opposed to low porosity hair, which will feel smooth.
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The traits of hair with low porosity:
The cuticles are closely spaced and densely packed in hair with low porosity. As a result, moisture has a difficult time penetrating the hair shaft.
You could have hair with low porosity if :
- Hair products typically sit on your hair and are difficult to absorb.
- When you wash your hair, the water struggles to soak it, and air-drying your hair takes a long time.
The traits of hair with medium porosity:
- Your hair takes color well,
- It is simple to style and holds styles for a reasonable amount of time.
- It tends to seem healthy, shining, or glossy; and it air dries quickly.
- Hair with normal porosity might alter over time as a result of heat damage and other chemical processes.
Traits of Hair with higher porosity:
High porosity hair permits moisture to be taken into the hair shaft quickly, however it is unable to maintain moisture for very long owing to genetics or hair damage. This is due to the fact that cuticles typically have openings or holes between them.
You could have hair with high porosity if:
- Your hair tends to break easily.
- Is frequently frizzy and dry, and absorbs water and other moisturizing treatments rapidly.
- It takes very little time for your hair to air dry.
Can you alter the porosity of your hair?
It’s possible that you can’t modify your genetically determined hair porosity, whether it’s high or low. To make your hair healthier, more manageable, and simpler to style, experts in hair care say there are several things you can do.
For hair with low porosity:
- Use conditioners devoid of protein. These have a propensity to penetrate your hair more readily and can be less prone to result in product accumulation.
- After wetting the hair, condition it. The conditioner could be simpler to take into your hair if it is diluted.
- Check shampoos and conditioners for glycerin and honey among other components.
- Products containing oils should be avoided since they have a tougher difficulty reaching the cuticle.
- Whenever you condition, use heat.
- Use a hooded dryer, steamer, or heat cap. If you don’t have those, cover your hair with a shower hat after adding conditioner.
For hair with high porosity:
- Look for butter and oil-based components in shampoos and conditioners. These components will aid in keeping your hair moisturized.
- Use sealants and leave-in conditioners. These items aid in the moisture retention of your hair.
- On your hair, use a heat-protecting product. Before blow-drying or using other heat-related styling techniques, use this product. Your hair may be shielded from heat damage using this.
- When conditioning and shampooing, stay away from hot water. Instead, use warm water.
How to promote hair growth ?
High porosity hair is frequently prone to breaking, which can prevent hair growth.
The following advice may lessen hair breakage in addition to utilizing nourishing, moisturizing hair care products.
- Avoid silicones, sodium laureth sulphates, parabens, and sulphates. These components can remove a significant amount of your hair’s natural oil.
- Use only lukewarm water when you wash and condition your hair. Hot water may lift the cuticles and cause further damage.
- Dry your hair with a cotton T-shirt. Vigorous drying with a towel can create friction and cause breakage. A smooth fiber, cotton shirt can be more soothing and may help protect your hair from damage.
- Minimize heat styling : You may also style your hair using heat appliances on a low heat setting while using a heat protection product.
The conclusion :
You might not frequently hear the term “hair porosity“. You can manage, treat, and take better care of your hair if you are aware of the type of hair porosity you have and that may result in thicker, healthier hair. If your hair has a high porosity, water and oils can be absorbed quickly, but moisture retention will be difficult. As a result, your hair may become dry, frizzy, and more likely to tangle and break.
However, there are certain items you may use and techniques you can try that can help your hair be healthier and simpler to manage.
Consult your hairdresser about strategies to enhance the texture and general health of your hair if it is breaking or lacking moisture.