Hair porosity refers to the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture. It is determined by the condition of the hair cuticle, which is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. The cuticle consists of overlapping scales that protect the inner layers of the hair.
There are three main categories of hair porosity:
Low porosity hair has a tightly packed cuticle layer, making it more resistant to moisture absorption. This type of hair often repels water, and products may sit on the hair rather than being absorbed. It can be challenging for low porosity hair to absorb moisture, but once hydrated, it retains it well.
Normal porosity hair has a cuticle layer that is neither too tightly packed nor too loose. It allows the right amount of moisture to enter the hair shaft and is generally considered balanced.
High porosity hair has a more open cuticle layer, allowing moisture to be quickly absorbed but also easily lost. This type of hair may be more prone to frizz and can become dry more quickly. High porosity hair is often a result of damage, such as from heat styling, chemical treatments, or environmental factors.
To determine your hair porosity, you can perform a simple porosity test. One common method involves taking a strand of clean hair and placing it in a bowl of water. Depending on whether the hair sinks quickly (high porosity), floats (low porosity), or hovers in the middle (normal porosity), you can gauge your hair's porosity level.
Understanding your hair porosity can guide your hair care routine and product choices. For low porosity hair, it's beneficial to use lightweight, water-based products, while high porosity hair may benefit from heavier, moisturizing products to help retain moisture.