Hair porosity is simply your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. There are three ways to determine where you would fall on the porosity spectrum: low, normal or high.
#1 – THE STRAND TEST
Gently stretch a tiny section of curl strands from different areas of your head – front hairline, nape, crown and temple. Place the stretched curl between your thumb and finger and slide it up the hair strand from the tip towards the scalp. If your fingers move easily up the strand and it feels dense and hard, you have low porosity hair. If it feels smooth, you have normal porosity hair. And if the strand feels rough or dry or it breaks, you have high porosity hair.
#2 – THE SHEDDING HAIR TEST
Another way to check your hair porosity is to drop hair that’s been shed as a result of combing into a glass of water. If it floats, your hair is low porosity. If your hair sinks slowly, it has normal porosity, and if it sinks immediately, your hair is high porosity.
#3 – THE H20 TEST
To determine your hair porosity level using water, spritz a small section of curls with water and watch how your hair reacts – does your hair absorb the water quickly (indicating high porosity) or does it remain on top (indicating a low porosity level)?
While these three tests are good places to start in determining your hair porosity-level, there are other tell-tale signs you should look out for:
Characteristics of Low Porosity Curly Hair
• Curls take a long time to dry
• Products tend to build up on curls rather than absorb
• Natural oils don’t readily penetrate, but rather sit on your hair
• Curls take much longer to get fully saturated when you wet them
Characteristics of Normal Porosity Curly Hair
• Curls are full of bounce and elasticity
• Requires very little maintenance
• Easily accepts and retains moisture inside the cuticle
• Holds styles well and can be colored with good results
Characteristics of High Porosity Curly Hair
• Curls easily absorb water, however, it requires more products
• Curls often look and feel dry
• Curls are often frizzy
• Curls dry quickly
Now that you’ve got the 411 on low, normal and high porosity hair, it’s time to get armed with the right care for your hair. Click your porosity level to find the right hair care collection for your porosity!
Low Porosity – Closed cuticle lay flat onto the hair strand, hair is typically dry and does not easily absorb or release moisture. Low porosity hair requires a moisture regimen 2-3 times a week.
Medium Porosity – Slightly opened cuticles. Hair can receive moisture easily, this type of hair doesn’t require much.
High Porosity – Damaged cuticles with extremely open cuticles, breaks and holes. High porosity hair needs to undergo protein treatments to re-strengthen the cuticles and moisturizing treatments to seal/heal cuticles.