Is your hair always dry? Does it have trouble reacting or responding to products? Does it frizz easily? Its porosity could be at the root of the problem.
If you have curly hair, then it is essential to know your porosity. By understanding your porosity, you will be able to make better decisions about what ingredients and products work best for your hair type.
Porosity isn't all there is to hair, but it is an important aspect to factor in.
What is porosity? Porosity is the hair's ability or inability to absorb water or chemicals into the hair shaft.
All hair is porous, but the level of porosity will vary based on genetics, and the amount of damage to the cuticle layer. Hair porosity is categorized into three levels; Low – Normal – High
Low porosity. This level can be on the stubborn side- the hair strands have a tightly bound cuticle layer that lays flat and tends to repel water, which makes it challenging to absorb moisture.
Products tend to sit on the hair, which makes it more prone to build up, so solely using cleansing conditioners may not be the best cleanser for low porosity hair. We suggest using our clarifying shampoo to help remove the build up.
Tips for Low Porosity Hair:
- Use indirect heat when deep conditioning.You can use a thermal heat cap or hooded dryer to help the penetrating ingredients seep into your hair shaft. Be careful not to apply too many products, as your cuticles will only be able absorb so much.
- Don’t use heavy butters or oils too often. These ingredients can accumulate quickly, causing build up, which can then lead to dryness, especially with multiple applications between wash days.
- Protein use. Some low porosity hair responds well to specific proteins, or only in specific amounts. Our leave-in conditioner and clump and define cream are both protein-free and may be ideal for low porosity hair.
Medium porosity. This level easily absorbs and retains moisture. It can hold curls and hairstyles well, and can hold lots of moisture and shine for an extended period of time.
Tips for Medium Porosity Hair:
- Focus more on maintaining an already balanced proportion of moisture/protein.
- Alternate weekly; one week do a 20-30 minute deep conditioning treatment after shampooing, then the next week, do a protein treatment after you shampoo. Depending on your styling needs, any of the Bounce Curl products may help.
Note: Always remember this will vary from person to person.
High porosity. This level absorbs moisture quickly, but also releases it just as fast. If you have high porosity hair, that doesn’t mean necessarily your hair is damaged. There is a difference between high porosity and damaged porous hair.
If your hair is damaged and porous, it means that the cuticle layer is compromised. This can cause your curls to lose moisture, leading to dryness and brittleness.
High porosity hair is more prone to damage and breakage than other types of hair. It can also look frazzled, feel dry and coarse, and tangle easily because the raised hair cuticles catch onto each other.
Tips for High Porosity Hair:
- Use products with protein and moisture.
- High porosity hair can get away with layering more products. Try our Bouncecurl’s medium moisture shampoo and conditioner for cleansing and conditioning. For styling, try our leave-in conditioner, clump and define cream, and gel.
- Add protein treatments to reinforce the cuticles, as needed.
- Rinse your hair with cool water to help cuticles lay flat.
- Incorporate deep-conditioning treatments.
- Because this type hair is more fragile, it is crucial to be gentle when detangling hair.
What causes hair to become porous? Porosity is genetic, but elements like environmental stressors, hard water, heat-styling, chemical treatments, daily wear and tear, UV damage (prolonged exposure to the sun) can also affect where your hair lies is on the porosity scale.
In conclusion, don't determine your hair’s porosity based on someone else’s hair. Just because you have the same curl pattern doesn’t mean you have the same porosity.
Give your hair the best chance at success by following these steps: test, evaluate, and adjust product usage as needed. It's a learning process, but you're now equipped with the knowledge to get your hair off to a great start.