Low Porosity, What Does It Mean?

For more on the hair cuticle, check out this post: Picture It: Hair Cuticle

Hair porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
If you have low porosity hair, the cuticles of the hair shaft are tightly bound, making it harder for moisture to penetrate into your hair.

Determining if you have low porosity hair: A quick way to determine whether your hair is low porosity is to collect strands from a brush or comb and drop them into a glass of water. If your hair sits on the water and takes a noticeably long time to sink or never does, your hair is low porosity. Low porosity hair also takes a while to get wet (a while to absorb water into the hair), frequently feels dry because moisture doesn’t penetrate into the hair, and is protein sensitive.

Caring for low porosity hair:

  • As mentioned above, low porosity hair needs a little help in the moisture department. Deep conditioning with heat via a hooded dryer, steamer, conditioning cap, or even simply wrapping a hot towel around your hair when deep conditioning will help moisture from your conditioners penetrate into your hair.
  • Baggying/Greenhouse method. To use this method, simply apply the moisturizer of your choice and then cover your hair with a plastic cap.
  • Minimize use of protein products and focus on moisturizing products.
  • Do no overuse products with low pH levels (below 5.5/6) that further close your already tightly bound cuticles.

 

26 Comments

  1. This came right on time! I'm doing the porosity test right now and my hair has been floating in this water for about 15 minutes now. I thought I was protein sensitive, so I cut back on that. Is it ok for me to use Roux Porosity Control?

  2. HYDROLIZED WHEAT PROTEIN is fantastic on my low porosity hair.
    Audrey Sivasothy, author of Science of Black hair says that this protein is the ideal weight to penetrate hair.

    But my Low Porosity Hair hates every other protein (feels crunchy).

    It only likes coconut oil with water (otherwise feels crunchy)

    My best leave-ins are:
    Darcy's Peach Kernel.

    I seal with high quality coffee butter found in England at Sheabuttercottage.

    My hair has stopped breaking and splitting but still needs work because of single knot strands.
    That's why I am thinking of texlaxing.

    Is there a special TEXLAXING procedure for LOW Porosity Hair?

  3. I have low porosity hair and it is not holding onto moisture. It is severely dry. I am mixed so my curls are actually very very loose, my hair has a different appearance than African American hair but it is dry and it is breaking badly. My hair is rear end length, I already cut it and it is still breaking. I want to try loc but I wonder if Shea Moisture is okay to use as a cream. It is not hot where I live, the humidity is high but that is why I use humectant based products to no avail. I am breastfeeding but I don't test deficient in any nutrients. I made some dietary adjustments which are not helping and I also take supplements.

  4. Is it ok to use the ROUX PC on low porosity hair?

  5. hello i have low porosity,protein sensitive,high density hair in other word it can be like a dry forest..no wheat are silk proteins ever go near my head unless i want a brillo pad textured hair so it's zero protein for me usually i use moisturizing/humectant conditioners.

    once every other month i'll make my version of a protein treatment it consists of mayo,an egg,a drop are two of olive oil and a little lemon juice.

    i feel my hair does need a little protein sometimes just not as often

  6. My hair has been floating for about 15 minutes now. Lol. Now it all makes sense! I've been experiencing breakage so I started adding protein treatments regularly and I'm still experiencing breakage. Perhaps my weekly use of Roux PC and K-Pak or PM Super Strong is causing my (newly discovered) low porosity hair to not get the moisture it needs?! At least I hope that's what it is. Thanks for the post!

  7. I have low porosity hair as well. I made the mistake of thinking that my hair needed protein because it was otherwise healthy but shedding like mad, and I bought two products with wheat protein in them. I don't like the results after using them. Sigh…

  8. Just did the test and I have low porosity no wonder protein based products were the worst for me. Great post Jeni

  9. Is it ok to use acv on low porosity hair?

    1. Author

      I wouldn't advise using it frequently. ACV has a low pH level that will further close the cuticles.

  10. Great post. Always knew my hair was on the dryer side, did the test & my hair is still sitting at the top of the glass, lol!!! I've always focused on use more moisture based products, but how do you know the ph of products?

    1. Author

      Hi Alexandra, you can test the pH level of products using pH strips.

  11. My hair is in between thank god. I am always reading you blog and not commenting so I just wanted to let you know I Googled…i cant remember what it was but I was frustrated about my hair and jumped on Google and came across your you tube channel. Long story short you were my inspiration to start my hair journey. http://daintyffany.blogspot.com/

  12. Thank you for replying. I use and like the African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Leave In. It does really well in my hair.so far. Also I find that products that contain Aloe works well,also. I'll remember to look for moisturizers that doesn't contain protein. Thanks again!

  13. Low porosity hair may sound scary, but it is considered to be the healthiest type of hair. You just have to care for it differently. After conditioning low porosity hair, rinse with warm water instead of cool. This leaves the cuticles open enough to receive more of your leave ins. Also, apply your leave ins on damp or dry hair as opposed to wet hair so that your hair can release some water, making room for your leave ins. Low porosity hair is harder to moisturize, but it also retains moisture better than normal & high porosity hair. This is what I find with my hair. I only have to moisturize once/week. I'm so glad I have low porosity hair!

    1. Miss Jones,my hair is low porosity also. I am having a hard time finding a moisturizer. What do you use? And what would you suggest I try? Thanks for your help.

    2. Currently, I just apply my homemade whipped shea butter on damp hair. Other products that work really well for me are the African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Leave-In Conditioner & Luster's Pink Smooth Touch Hydration Vibe Olive Oil Hair Lotion. When searching for different leave-in moisturizers to try, I always make sure they don't contain any protein and they usually work well for me. I definitely recommend trying the L.O.C. Method. HTH

    3. Hello Miss Jones, would you recommend Roux Porosity Control Conditioner for low porosity hair? I was reading about Roux and it said that Roux seals/tightens the cuticle but if you have low porosity hair, you don't want your cuticle to be sealed/tighten, correct? You want the cuticle to be open so moisture can get in, correct? So that's why I wasn't sure if Roux was good to use for Low Porosity hair. Can you give advice on this ? thank you…Charnetta

  14. Just did this test and my hair simply sunk to the bottom. I'm guessing this is good.

    1. Author

      Hair that quickly sinks to the bottom is high porosity hair. The cuticles are lifted allowing for faster water absorption. A post for high porosity will be up tomorrow.

    2. No, that's a sign of damaged hair… Low porosity is hair at it's natural state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.