A lot of us obsess over natural curls. However, what goes behind taking care of those tresses is a mystery. Haircare greatly depends on the hair type. One of the most important characteristics of hair type is hair porosity. In simple words, hair porosity is the ability of the hair type to retain moisture. Hair porosity can be affected broadly by two categories:
Genetics factors: Ethnicity, hair growth speed and hereditary diseases
External factors: Combing, shampooing, chemical treatments, etc
To test the porosity of hair, one can follow these simple tips at home
Follow these steps to understand your hair type with a float test
- Gently comb hair
- Take 2-3 hair strands, which are dry, clean and oil-free
- Put those strands in a glass of water at room temperature
- If the hair floats, it is of low porosity
- If the hair sinks slowly in the water, it is of middle porosity
- If the hair sinks immediately, it is of high porosity
Following tips will help understand the hair porosity
- Slide your finger from the end towards scalp
- If it is bumpy, it is of high porosity hair
- If the hair feels smooth, it is of low porosity hair
Hair Care For Curly Hair As Per Hair Porosity
Hair With Low Porosity
- Low porosity curls prevent water and moisture from penetrating and escaping the hair. Curls are also prone to product build-ups, especially protein-rich products tends to sit on the curls.
- Condition your hair daily with protein-free humectants (products that attract moisture) like honey and glycerine.
- Use high-moisture products like jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil, or mineral oils. These products will help in retaining moisture and will remove the protein build-up on hair cuticles.
- Use a clarifying shampoo to remove residue on a weekly basis and opt for indirect heat or steam treatments to help open up tight cuticles.
Hair With Medium Porosity
- Medium porosity curls have loose cuticles, allowing moisture to retain and absorb in the cuticles. Medium or normal porosity curls naturally look good and healthy. However, caring for them is also important.
- Avoid protein in daily hair products. Use mild products if you wash your hair daily.
- Deep condition your hair with a protein product once in a week.
Hair With High Porosity
- High porosity hair curls has gap and holes in the cuticle layer. It is because of this property they tend to absorb more water and loose the moisture content instantly. High porosity curls easily get frizzy, tangled in humid conditions, and dry during dry weather conditions. Care for this type of hair is important as they are more prone to breakage.
- Products with humectants, especially when it’s humid, will seal cuticles and prevent hair from absorbing too much moisture. Look for products having raw shea butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and palm oil.
- In dry weather, leave-in conditioners and moisturisers provide high porosity hair curls the required moisture throughout the day. Use a hair serum like avocado oil to hold moisture and prevent dryness.
There is nothing like good or bad hair type. It is how we care for the hair. Different products are required for hair with different porosity type. However, a conditioner is essential for all hair types. Avoid external heating like straightening, chemical treatments like rebonding, etc. Let your curls be the style statement, do not try to change the hair type, just focus on the porosity.
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