The ability of the shaft of the hair to take in and hold other substances, such as water and various cosmetic products, is referred to as the “porosity” of the hair.
Low porosity hair allows less moisture to absorbed in your hair shaft and does not easily allows moisture to escape.
The shaft of human hair is typically composed of three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. These layers are listed in this order.
The layer of the skin that is closest to the surface is called the cuticle. Its construction resembles that of shingles on a roof in that it is made up of plates that are stacked one on top of the other to form the structure.
The cuticles of low porosity hair are tightly pressed against one another and lie flush against one another, leaving no gaps through which moisture can penetrate the hair shaft.
Because of this, it is physically impossible for moisture or treatments to penetrate the hair in any way.
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What is Low porosity hair?
The outside layer of hair, which has less porosity than the inner layers, lies rather flat. Because of this, the hair has a lower propensity to take in water and other substances that are chemically active.
On top of that, it suggests that the hair will be able to retain moisture for a longer period once it has reached the surface.
The low porosity of human hair makes it resistant to the effects of treatments and the absorption of water. Your hair may have poor porosity if it takes a long time to wet and dry after being washed.
It is more common for hair care products to adhere to the surface of your hair than for the hair to absorb the product. The results of hair care techniques are thus diminished as a consequence of this.
People who have naturally curly or coiled hair are more likely to have hair with a high porosity than people whose hair is normally straight.
Reasons for Low porosity hair
There is a possibility of low porosity hair if: –
- Any type of hair product will accumulate on top.
- The hair becomes more rigid as a consequence of protein treatments.
- It takes more time to get completely soaked in the shower or the bathtub.
- Drying takes extra time.
- Straighter hair is more likely to be found in individuals with lower porosity.
What factors define hair with low porosity?
The amount of time it takes for the hair to dry and the build-up that might occur as a result of the products you use not being absorbed entirely are two of the most prominent characteristics of hair with low porosity “The continuum runs from extremely greasy to extremely dry.”
According to the knowledgeable individual, “conditioners and leave-ins might not work properly because they go through the hair without remaining on the strand and might be an excessive amount of weight.”
Because textured hair has a natural tendency to be drier, it can be challenging to maintain the proper level of hydration for low-porosity strands. Natural scalp oils have a harder time penetrating textured strands, which results in textured strands being inherently drier than straighter strands.
How do You get to know about your low porosity hair?
The term “porosity” refers to the capacity of your hair to both take in and hold onto moisture. Imagine the shingles on a roof and your hair cuticle as the roof.
When you have low porosity hair, the shingles are laid closely together, making it difficult for moisture to enter or exit the strands. When you have hair that has a high porosity, the shingles are elevated.
This makes it simple for your hair to take in moisture, but it also makes it tough for your hair to keep the moisture in. If you have low porosity hair, getting it to absorb moisture may require some extra effort and care, but once it does, the moisture will remain in your strands for a longer period of time, which will help prevent damage, breakage, frizz, and static.
When you find that it is difficult to moisturize your strands, regardless of how much you try to hydrate your hair with water or other hair care products, it will take some time for your hair to get totally hydrated, which is a clear indicator that your hair has poor porosity.
Your hair also takes a long time to dry naturally, and products tend to sit on your hair rather than being properly absorbed because of its low porosity, which is another hallmark of low-porosity hair.
The porosity test is another option that you have: Place a piece of your hair, one of your strands specifically, into a glass of water. If it quickly falls to the bottom, this indicates that your hair has a high porosity. If it stays on top, it indicates that your hair has low porosity.
Testing Method of Hair porosity
The analysis of pore size and gas absorption involves determining the pore size and the amount of gas absorbed by a sample of hair that has been exposed to nitrogen. The findings illustrate not only the size of the pores in the cuticle but also the distribution of nitrogen that is absorbed by the hair.
Spray Analysis: This can be accomplished by atomizing water onto freshly washed and dried hair and then analyzing the results. Hair with poor porosity takes a longer time to dry and also takes longer to absorb moisture. The hair may have visible water beads in it.
Dynamic vapor sorption: With this test, the weight of the hair after it has been subjected to moisture is determined. It is not something that can be done at home by the majority of individuals.
Fiber Swelling Test: The size of a hair fiber after it has been exposed to water can be measured using the term “fiber swelling.” This is not something that could easily be accomplished at home.
To choose the best products and design a hair care routine that keeps your hair healthy, it is essential to understand the porosity of your hair.
How to Care of Low Porosity Hair?
Different hair textures require different porosity care methods. Low porosity can result in a feeling of brittleness and dryness, which is the most difficult obstacle to overcome for people with curly, kinky, or coily hair.
However, because straighter strands are inherently oilier than hair with structure, the amount of product that must be used and the frequency with which it must be washed are both varied depending on the kind of hair.
Having said that, both types of hair require a routine that focuses on adding moisture and products that can permeate the hair shaft without making the hair feel heavy.
Because of the way its natural structure is constructed, hair with low porosity is highly resistant to moisture. This makes it difficult to maintain and style, as it is more difficult to control how much moisture it retains.
The following are some helpful pointers that can assist you in controlling the low porosity of your hair, as well as giving it moisture to make it smooth and flexible:
Clarify: The procedure of clarifying your hair involves using a shampoo with a high level of cleansing agents to remove the accumulation of old products that have accumulated on your scalp and hair.
Because hair with low porosity is more resistant to treatments and oils, there is a greater possibility that these substances may build up on the hair and the scalp. These accumulations are detrimental to the condition of your hair since they restrict the hair follicles.
Moisturize your hair: If you want your hair to retain its suppleness, elasticity, and sensitivity, it is vital to preserve some moisture in your hair at all times. It’s possible that the internal reservoir of moisture that each strand of your hair contains is insufficient to keep it flexible.
This could be the case if your hair has become dry. Because of this, you should make it a habit to nourish your hair by using products that moisturize the hair daily, including leave-in conditioner and other similar products.
In-depth treatment with intense heat: After applying a product that conditions your hair, heats it by using a steamer, thermal cap, or hooded dryer in conjunction with the product. This will help your hair retain its condition longer.
The densely woven cuticle is freed up by heat, which then enables the conditioner to permeate deeper into the hair shaft. Heat opens up the cuticle. The cuticle can be caused to close by rinsing off with cold water, which is an efficient method for retaining moisture in the hair.
Humectants: These compounds, which are known as humectants, have the capacity to both draw in and hold onto moisture. In the category of substances known as humectants, some examples are honey, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
You can find them in shampoos, conditioners, and deep conditioners that are designed specifically for the maintenance of your hair.
Lightweight oils: There is some evidence that products containing lightweight oils can help prevent moisture absorption. Coconut oil was shown to be the most effective in penetrating the hair shaft out of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil, according to a study that was conducted in 2003.
On the other hand, a more recent study (a trusted source) concluded that utilizing coconut oil did not lead to an improvement in the health of the hair.
Also, keep in mind that oils can prevent the absorption of water, so it may be beneficial to use a light oil sparingly and only in conjunction with the application of steam or a humectant.
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Precautions for Low porosity hair
Silicones: Silicones such as dimethicone are commonly included in hair care products because of their ability to smooth the cuticle. On the other hand, hair that already has a low porosity will have a smooth cuticle. Silicones might not be necessary, and if they are used, they might leave a residue.
Use of too much product: Even if the formulation is correct, using less product may be of assistance. This is because hair with low porosity absorbs less of any kind of product than hair with other types of porosity.
Protein treatments: It’s possible that these won’t be able to penetrate low-porosity hair very well. In addition to this, the protein might potentially build up on the surface of the hair, causing it to become rigid and reducing the amount of moisture that can penetrate.
Butters: Components such as shea and cocoa butter have a high viscosity and are resistant to the penetration of water. When applied in sufficient quantities, they have the potential to coat the hair and prevent water from reaching it.
When compared to hair that has a greater porous, hair that has a lower porosity is less capable of absorbing moisture and treatments that are intended specifically for the hair. It’s possible that treatments won’t actually get into the hair shaft and will just sit on top of the hair instead.
The porosity of straight hair is often lower than that of curly hair. If the hair is coily or curly, it is more likely to have greater porosity than straight hair would. You may assess the porosity of a person’s hair at home by monitoring how quickly a clean strand of hair sinks in water and using that information to decide.
It is impossible to achieve a higher level of absorption in hair that already has a low porosity over time using any method. However, it may be helpful to keep the moisture in the hair by using steam, products containing humectants, and products that leave behind little residue.