key to understanding the condition of your hair and healthy hair journey…
What’s Your Porosity Level?
High Porosity: Easily opens/receives water and loses water/moisture within seconds to 2-3 minutes, hair may be highly porous.
Low Porosity: Smooth, tighter strands (cuticles) that do not easily open to receive water-sometimes harder to relax but can mean healthy balanced moisture and strong.
Normal Porosity: Hair strands (cuticle) receives necessary amount of moisture/water needed to maintain supple, moist and strong.
Self-porosity testing can identify your high porosity level.
1. If you see that your does not retain moisture long, quickly dries after wetting and using conditioners/moisturizers/natural oils without petrochemicals, tangle/snarls & knots easily (even after wet or moisten), relaxers/straightens (perm) too speedily before distributing evenly/completely, then chances are, it’s damaged and/or highly porous…
2. If your hair feels rough, crinkly or bumpy while gliding fingers from root to ends of hair strands, chances are, you may have highly porous hair.
3. If hair soaks up water/moisture quickly when soaking, showering or dipping, and gets heavier, chances are, your hair is highly porous. The cuticle s is lifted very high and immediately (too quickly receives moisture which means retention of water will be low and easily lost.
Causality of Porous Hair (damaged) and Strengthening Hair (low porosity)
Overly or Very Porous hair is usually referred to as damaged due to hair strands (Medulla, Cortex & Cuticle) weakened and not able to return to natural ability to stretch, curl, wave (original state) usually by using chemicals to alter your hair’s texture and over stretching…but this has been argued by many who feel that their hair is still considered health even with chemically relaxed hair.
Highly Porous Strands: can absorb and lose a lot of water simultaneously (not retaining moisture) which makes the hair vulnerable to dry, overly porous and weakened hair strands.
Low Porous Ends/Hair Strands: (low porosity) does not absorb as much water and can easily retain moisture from water, air and from products. This is where steam-moisture treatments and deep conditioners/moisturizers produce best results/response/outcome.
Hair manipulation/Cosmetic treatments Alter hair strand:
Carefully manipulating the hair during cleansing, grooming and styling is also a MAIN key to maintaining strength, healthy porosity and length. Overly rubbing, scrubbing, processing, shampooing and heating also causes high porosity and weakening of hair strands.
This is why in cosmetology school, my instructors stressed the importance of rubbing scalp with finger tips (NOT FINGER NAILS!!!) to use less physical manipulation (rubbing, brushing, combing, rubbing hair with towel/cloth, etc.), and cracking of the scalp-causing irritation, and cuts/openings in the skin. Another reason why one is not supposed to manipulate hair or scalp prior to chemically treating hair, thus, we know causes quick burning, scarring and damage.
Check out video educating on Trichology: Scientific study of hair and scalp:
Cosmetically treating hair is the use of chemicals to alter hair’s texture to lift and open cuticles (outer layer- made up of tiny keratin scales that overlap each other) to receive/respond to chemical (relaxers/colors/bleaching), and using heating implements to dry, smooth and curl hair’s cuticle along with exposing hair to the sun (without protection-conditioner, oil or moisturizer), using strong/harsh/drying shampoos with overly high pH levels, damage hair by causing dryness and higher porosity, and environmental factors also contribute/cause highly porous hair strands (weather, humidity, debris, etc.).
*Thus, Why Chemicals Do Not Agree with Your Hair Type/texture right now!*
Solutions that many use to correct this problem of highly porous hair:
Ø Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (Acid Rinse) after shampooing…usually ½ cup poured over hair for 3-10 minutes and rinsed out with Luke-warm water to tighten/close/smooth cuticles
Ø Luke Warm/Cold Water Wash Rinse
Ø Hair Smoothing/Strengthening Products (keratin/protein based shampoos, moisturizers & conditioners)
Davis-Sivasothy, A. (2011). Is my hair porous: 3 Simple tests.
Lam Institute for Hair Restoration. (2008). Hair physiology. Retrieved 3/16/15 from http://www.hairtx.com/hair-growth/hair-physiology/
V.N.E. Robinson. A Study of Damaged Hair. (1975), Retrieved 3/16/15 from http://www.beauty-review.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/A-study-of-damaged-hair.pdf
Learning Institute for Beauty and Science (LIBS) My Cosmetology education and background.