You may have heard the term hair porosity repeated by a few curly-haired influencers here and there. However, many people do not truly know what the term refers to and why it is important.
Haircare is much more accessible these days, especially for women with curly and coily textured hair. The natural hair movement and increase of digital influencers who focus on hair have made so much more information available.
While haircare has become easier to understand over the years, there are some things some still don’t know. Hair porosity is one, so we decided to unpack what it means and the importance of being aware of it.
What Is Hair Porosity?
Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb hydration and retain it. A strand of hair is made up of cuticles which determine how much oil and moisture can penetrate the hair, thus determining your porosity.
Hair needs enough moisture from oils and water to stay as healthy as possible. However, too much moisture can cause damage to the hair, which is where the cuticles come in to ensure your hair gets just the right amount.
Unfortunately, hair cuticles do not always work perfectly due to genetics or damage. Tight hair cuticles make it more difficult to absorb moisture, and widely spread cuticles make it more challenging to retain moisture.
These opposing porosity types are identified as low porosity and high porosity, respectively. Medium or normal porosity refers to hair that absorbs and retains moisture without issues, like a sponge.
How To Test Your Porosity
If you are already a little bit familiar with porosity, you may have heard of the float test. This test claims that it requires no more than a single strand of hair and a cup of water to determine the hair’s porosity.
Unfortunately, according to experts, this easy test is not an effective way to determine your hair porosity. Many have recommended the Curls Bot porosity quiz as a more accurate alternative for identification.
The quiz helps you navigate and identify how your hair reacts to hair products and ingredients. Identifying the patterns between your hair and the products you apply on it will present a more accurate porosity type.
Why Knowing Your Porosity Type Is Important
Knowing your hair’s porosity type will help you navigate how to take care of your hair most effectively. Low porosity hair and hair that is highly porous have differing characteristics that need different treatment.
Low porosity hair strands dry slowly, and hair products tend to sit on the hair instead of absorbing quickly. Highly porous hair strands feel and look dry, are excessively frizzy, and air dries faster than most.
Using products that don’t address the characteristics of your porosity type may be the reason your hair isn’t reaching its full potential. Once you identify your porosity type, you’ll know how to care for your hair better.
Even those with hair that is already healthy have noticed the benefits in caring for hair depending on porosity. This may also help you save money on products and treatments you may no longer need.