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What is Hair Porosity and Why Is It Important for Healthy Hair?

Image: Ali Pazani on Unsplash

You've spent hours researching hair products, creating a collection that promises soft, shiny hair. But despite your efforts, your hair still falls short of your expectations. What could be missing from your routine? Enter hair porosity—the often overlooked key to unlocking your hair's true potential.

What is Hair Porosity?

Hair porosity refers to your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. Think of it as your hair's thirst level—the higher the porosity, the more thirsty your strands are. This crucial aspect of hair health is determined by the condition of the hair's outer cuticle layer.

Why Does Hair Porosity Matter?

Understanding your hair's porosity is essential to create an effective hair care routine. While your hair type (coily, curly, wavy, or straight) guides your styling techniques, porosity dictates which products will work best for your hair's needs. From shampoos to serums, choosing the right products tailored to your porosity level can make all the difference in achieving your desired results.

The Three Levels of Porosity

Image: Boldkulture.com

 1. Low Porosity Hair: This hair type features tightly bound cuticle layers, making it resistant to moisture absorption. While low porosity hair is naturally strong and elastic, it can be prone to product build-up and may require special attention to ensure proper hydration.

2. Medium Porosity Hair: Falling between low and high porosity, medium porosity hair has a balance in moisture absorption and retention. This hair type is generally healthy and versatile, but consistent care is key to maintaining its optimal condition.

3. High Porosity Hair: With lifted cuticle layers, high porosity hair readily absorbs moisture but struggles to retain it. This hair type is often prone to frizz, dryness, and damage from external factors like UV exposure and heat styling.

How to Determine Your Hair Porosity

Simple at-home tests can help you identify your hair's porosity level:

  • The Float Test: Drop a strand of clean hair into a glass of water and observe its behaviour.
  • The Strand Test: Slide your fingers along a strand of hair to feel for bumps or smoothness.
  • The Spray Bottle Test: Mist a small section of hair with water and observe how quickly it absorbs.

hair porosity - low, medium, high

Image: Getty Images

Caring for Your Porosity Level

Tailoring your hair care routine to your porosity level is key to maintaining healthy, vibrant hair:

  • Low Porosity Hair: Opt for lightweight, water-based products and incorporate steam treatments to enhance moisture absorption.
  • Medium Porosity Hair: Use balanced moisture products and indulge in occasional deep conditioning treatments to maintain hydration.
  • High Porosity Hair: Reach for nourishing, protein-rich products to repair and seal the cuticle layer, preventing moisture loss.

By understanding and embracing your hair's porosity, you can unlock the secrets to healthier, more manageable hair. 



  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/dta.1652
  • https://www.curlsbot.com/porosity/
  • https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Porosity
  • https://myrevair.com/blogs/news/hair-porosity
  • https://www.instyle.com/hair/all-natural/what-is-hair-porosity
  • https://www.rossanoferretti.com/rw/what-is-hair-porosity-and-why-does-it-matter/
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