I have high porosity hair and as many women in the natural hair world that may seems like a bad thing to hear but for me, it was just something new to find out on this natural hair journey. I want to share my findings along with what I am doing to ensure I keep my hair healthy. Let’s start off with what most of you are wondering:
I have high porosity hair and my hair is healthy!
Yes, you can have high porosity hair and it can be healthy. Many who do have this have suffered from some hair trauma so let’s not get too much into the weeds without discussing what hair porosity is and what types there are.
What is hair porosity?
Hair porosity is extremely important in hair care but most just concern themselves with texture. Hair porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs water or moisture, oils and even chemicals like color or straighteners and it affects the strands and the health of your hair on many levels.
Your hair’s porosity will determine how well your hair takes on color, prevents breakage and even how well you get moisture into your strands. Knowing your hair’s porosity is necessary to know how certain products, procedures and techniques will effect your hair and I know now I have high porosity (the most damaging of them all). Let’s discuss the differences. There are three types of hair porosity: Low, Medium and High.
Hair with low porosity has the hardest time getting moisture, oils and even chemicals in because there is a tightly bound cuticle layer with overlapping scales. What is good about this type is it will hold the moisture in very well. This is why some have a harder time keeping hair moisturized or taking on new hair color.
Medium porosity is the middle of the road and requires the requires the least amount of maintenance of all three. The cuticle layer is less tight and allows just enough moisture in and retains it well.
High porosity can be either inherent or from damage as the strands with this type of hair have gaps and holes in the hair’s cuticle. This is often from over chemical processing from straighteners or color or from heat damage. The problem is not getting moisture in but keeping it in as the raised cuticle can receive as much as it can loose.
Because it can let too much in it is more prone to frizz and tangling and because it can be lost so easily, sealants are necessary to capture it and keep it. It also takes color really well (other chemicals too) so over-processing can occur easily.
I have high porosity hair…Now What?
I had been suspecting I had high porosity hair for a while since my hair gets easily drenched in the shower but before I finish it has shrunken back up. It was confirmed when I used Myavana, a hair care recommendation system that does this by checking your hair under a microscope to find the density, porosity and health of your hair.
There are strand tests but according to the Natural Haven, they are not accurate. So what does this mean for my strands? First off, my hair is also healthy despite being HP. I do not suffer from dryness or frizz and I think a lot of that has to do with me adopting the CGM and ditching direct heat.
The CGM has been helping me with retaining moisture and fighting frizz for three years and I know a lot has to do with ditching shampoos although I have added them back into my regimen. I now just use them when I wait too long to wash my hair or there is product build-up as even shampooing can cause more damage to the hair’s cuticle.
What I plan on adopting to help the situation along is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ) rinses and rinsing hair with cold water. ACV and AVJ are excellent for HP hair. Rinsing my hair with either of them, which is acidic in nature will help flatten and seal the cuticle. While many swear that rinsing with cold water helps to close the cuticle too it there is no scientific proof to that claim. But hey, I have no qualms about doing it so I have been doing it since I officially found out I have HP hair.
I also plan on upping my protein treatments by using better ones (I was just using regular protein conditioners) and doing them more often like monthly as opposed to whenever I think about it. I finally tried ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor and was pleasantly impressed with the results.
I plan on keeping you in the loop on my progress and see if I notice any big changes. (I say I plan on it cause you know me!).
So now I want to know my HP naturals out there! Share your stories below on how you found out or if you think you do have them.
Keeping you in the know Naturals,