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Understanding Hair Porosity And What It Means For Your Hair

With the number of factors that could affect your hair, it’s a difficult task to keep your hair healthy these days. To do that, and to give your strands the most love, you need to determine your specific hair type. This involves more than knowing that your hair is straight or coily or naturally oily or prone to dryness. You need to familiarise yourself with hair porosity so that you can start treating those locks properly.

You may have heard this term somewhere and been a bit confused by the concept but understanding your hair porosity can significantly transform your mane. That’s because it allows you to develop a daily haircare routine that’s suited to your hair’s porosity level. Read on, therefore, to determine whether you have low or high porosity hair and learn how to adjust your haircare routine accordingly.

Everything You Need To Know About Hair Porosity

How your hair responds to haircare products has a lot to do with your hair’s porosity level. So, if you’re wondering why your hair quickly soaks up your hair cream or dries easily, your hair porosity will give you an answer.

What Is Hair Porosity?

In essence, hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and hold on to moisture. It determines how well water and oils pass in and out of the cuticles, which are your hair’s outermost layer. Each of your hair strands has an outer shell of cuticles. They’re like doors that open and then close to channel moisture in and retain it.

Low Hair Porosity Versus High Hair Porosity

Your hair’s porosity level depends on how closed or open your hair cuticles are. If you have highly porous hair (meaning the cuticles are open), your strands absorb more water or moisture. However, although moisture can enter freely, the cuticles remain open and can’t retain moisture, leaving your strands dehydrated. That’s why highly porous hair tends to feel and look dry, has excess frizz and air dries unusually fast.

On the other hand, low porosity strands dry slowly because the cuticles are tightly shut. Although it may be difficult to inject moisture into the hair shafts, they hold on to moisture once they have absorbed it. Also, the products you apply tend to sit on top of the hair instead of sinking in quickly, eliminating frizz and reducing static.

Why Do You Have Highly Porous Hair?

Several factors can affect your hair’s health and raise its porosity levels, including your genes. But genetics is not the only contributing factor. Other external aspects, such as ultraviolet (UV) exposure and chemical processes like bleaching or hair relaxing, can increase your likelihood of having high porosity hair.

The sun’s UV rays can damage your hair cuticles, making your strands brittle and more prone to breakage. Since they cannot hold moisture, it can also lead to dryness and broken or split ends. However, the consequences of chemical damage are more immediate.

How To Test Your Hair Porosity

Are you still unsure whether you have high or low hair porosity? Thankfully, conducting a hair porosity test is so easy you can do it at home using a glass of water. First, take a strand of your hair and drop it into the glass of water. Then, watch to see if the strand remains afloat or sinks to the bottom of the glass. If it floats, you likely have low porosity hair. If it quickly sinks to the bottom of the glass, it means your hair is highly porous.

3 Tips For Caring For Your Porous Hair

If you find your hair has high porosity, don’t fret! The following tips will help you adjust your haircare routine for shiny and healthy-looking locks.

Focus On Hydration

Now that you know your strands cannot retain moisture, your goal should be to keep them hydrated by replenishing their moisture levels. Therefore, invest in a moisturising and hydrating shampoo and conditioner and use a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week.

Protect Your Hair From Heat

Whether it’s from the sun or your hot tools, you must ensure your hair receives all the protection it needs from heat damage. Guard your hair with a heat protectant if you can’t give up your curling iron or blow-dryer. It’s also best to use products with UV filters to shield your hair from UV damage.

Minimise Chemical Treatments

We’ve already established that chemical processing can impact your hair porosity levels. To help manage your highly porous hair, therefore, try to steer clear of bleaching, colouring or hair relaxing.


Hair porosity matters. That’s why it’s always best to consider your hair’s porosity level when choosing the products to use, the haircare system to buy and even your styling routine. So, if you don’t know your hair porosity yet, now is the time to take the porosity test and adjust your haircare routine.

Regardless of the porosity of your hair, you’re still susceptible to hair loss if the gene runs in your family. If you are experiencing scalp or hair issues, book a complimentary consultation at Vinci Hair Clinic. Our hair specialists look forward to welcoming you!