Have you ever tried a hair product that everyone swears works like a magic potion for strengthening and regrowing strands… But instead of lush locks, it actually makes yours look worse? That might be because you’ve never figured out your hair porosity.
What is hair porosity?
As you might guess from the name, it’s all about the pores sitting on your strands. More specifically, high porosity means there are more pores that can soak up moisture easily, while low porosity is the opposite and can make it difficult to absorb any hydrating products.
OK, but how do you figure out your own hair porosity? Don’t worry, there’s no need to invest in a microscope. Instead, you can use an easy test where you drop a strand of your hair into water and see how it floats: High porosity will sink to the bottom and low will rise to the top.
Take a look at the clip below:
That short video has been viewed more than 5 million times, so it seems like a lot of us had no clue just how important it is to know our hair porosity — or how simple it is to figure it out.
We also reached out to Annagjid “Kee” Taylor from Deeper Than Hair salon in Philadelphia, host of Deeper Than Hair TV, and author of the new children’s book All Hair Is Good Hair (Buy on Amazon, $11.49), for more info.
Taylor says that although this hair porosity test works pretty well, lingering products on the strands or even the natural oils from your scalp can throw off the accuracy of your results. You can avoid this by making sure to use a strand from freshly washed and air-dried hair. Or, you can just test out different products. “If you’re putting product on your hair and it’s just sitting there you have low porosity,” Taylor explains. “If it seems to disappear in a flash, that’s high porosity,”
For those with high porosity, Taylor says it’s important to condition it with high-protein treatments that will restore moisture and strengthen the strands. There are some DIY methods, like rinsing with rice water or a chickpea hair mask. Taylor also offers a keratin-rich Deeper Than Hair Resurrection Masque on her website.
If you’ve used protein-rich products because everyone raved about how great they work, but ended up confused about it making your hair dry and brittle instead, you probably have low porosity hair. This type is easily overloaded by protein, so Taylor recommends using a water-based optios, like E’tae Carmelux Hair Care Deep Penetrating Shampoo and Conditioner (Buy on Amazon, $35.96). You can tell a product is water-based by looking at the ingredients, water should be the first one or near the top. They will also dissolve quickly in water.
Remember, giving your hair what it needs to thrive is the key to avoiding any breakage or thinning strands — and knowing your porosity level will make a huge difference!
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