Hair porosity 101: How To Know the Level Of Your Hair Porosity

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You may or may not hear about the term “hair porosity” before, but we are sure that you do not understand it thoroughly. Let’s imagine hair as your skin which includes thousand pores for breathing process as well as sweating. These pores in your hair have the same features.

 In short, hair porosity is the ability to absorb and keep moisture inside your hair shaft. Also, it shows how well oils and moisture pass in and out of the cuticles – the outer coat of our hair.

Types of hair porosity

Depending on how your cuticles order, we divide it into three levels of porosity: low, medium and high. Each of them owns different characteristics that affects your hair. Let’s find out the details about them.

Low porosity

low porosity

In this hair type, the cuticles look like the shingles overlapping and lying flat. As a results, the pores are so tiny that moisture and oils go through them slowly. This feature brings in healthy and shiny hair, especially dark hair color. We note that it happens in case the hair has been moistened well because the moisture hardly gets through the cuticles layer into air. Nevertheless, it is challenging to take care of this hair porositydue to:

  • Buildup occurs all the time because the hair cannot absorb them
  • Chemicals such as hair dye cannot penetrate to the hair for new hairstyles
  • It takes long time to wash the hair and dry it out

As a result, we need to plan a great hair care routine to possess healthy and fantastic tresses. Do not forget to add moisture to the hair, but not all of hair products can work well. You need to choose products such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, etc. which soften the hair and open the cuticles. Besides, protein-free conditioning is the key to strengthen your hair. In combination with chemical treatments, you need to add heat for faster and better results.

Medium porosity

Medium porosity

This is the ideal hair type for every girl in the world. People with medium porosity hair own bouncy and elastic tresses that require little maintenance. Thanks to the tightly cuticles, the hair keeps moisture well without preventing oils attraction. One of its big perk is the incredible ability to hold styles and get colored with predictable results. However, these chemical processes lead to wide-space cuticles if you abuse them for better look.

High porosity

High porosity

In contrary to low porosity, this hair type includes lots of big pores which create wide space in your hair. People with this level of porosity usually have dry and frizzy tresses. Although the hair can absorb moisture quickly, but it also releases them faster than others. Besides, in humid environment, the hair get swollen and even tangled more than usual.

To stop the moisture escaping from hair shaft, you need to use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers and sealers to close the cuticles. In case your hair get severe damages, heavy hair butter will work well in filling the gaps and protecting hair from losing too much moisture.

Basic Structure Of Human Hair Knowledge

Which factors create your hair porosity?

Biological factor

Genetics is a big element contributing in your hair type. It’s obvious that African people tends to own coarse hair while Asian people mainly possess silky hair. If you get low or high porosity hair because of your family bloods, there’s no way to change it. However, you still have chance to own healthy and shiny tresses if you find the most suitable hair care routine.


If you move from high humidity environment to low humidity environment (or in reverse), you will experience a great change in your hair. Medium porosity hair, for example, is dehydrated when it’s short of humidity in the air. Then, the hair get dryers leading to opened cuticles (from medium to high porosity). Therefore, you need to adjust your hair routine in different situation.

UV exposure is also a reason to increase the level of hair porosity. You can get UV rays contact when staying under the sunshine (especially in summertime) or some man-made sources such as tanning beds or welding torches. The best way to avoid these harmful rays is to cover your hair with heat protectant products and a hat. 

Besides, air pollution is one of the main outer factors that affects your hair. Although it’s hard to find a great place with fresh air and no pollution to live, you can save your hair by many ways. Click here to find out.

Hair care

damaged hair due to wrong hair care

Styling your hair too often with blow dryer, straightener, curl roller, hair dye/bleach, etc. will damage your hair badly. Hence, your hair cuticles open which allows moisture to move out of the hair shaft easily. Consequently, dry hair, split ends and breakages happen.

At the same time, wrong hair care also causes the cuticles open or closure. The buildup, for instant, gets stuck into the hair pores which lead to low porosity hair. Thus, you need to understand your hair type and choose the best solution for better beauty. In addition, there are some common hair care tips for every hair type that you can follow without any concern.

Hair porosity check

Although it sounds vague about this term but it’s not hard to determine which type your hair is. There are two popular tests you can do at home.

#1 – The Strand test

As far as we all know, the cuticles are like the shingles overlapping which run in the same direction. Hence, to find out how wide they open, you need to use your hand and feel it only.

Take a strand of hair and stretch it as straight as possible (but don’t hurt your scalp!), then put it in between the thumb and index finger and move your fingers from the hair ends toward your scalp. If you find it dense and hard, it’s low porosity. If you feel the smoothness, it’s medium one. In case it rough and dry, it’s absolutely high porosity.

#2 – The Float test

Hair porosity

In this test, we base on the ability to absorb moisture of the hair. Simply put some hair strands to a cup of water. If the hair float in the surface of water, it’s low porosity because this hair won’t let the water in and weight it down. If the hair sinks slowly, it’s medium one. And lastly, if it sinks and reach the bottom of the cup, it’s high porosity hair which get swollen and heavy-weighted.

Understanding your hair porosity will give you a great clue to take care of it. You should not try every hair care when it works with other people because it may not your ideal method but a disaster one instead.



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