- Water and oils have to penetrate the cortex through the cuticle for your hair to be moisturised and healthy.
- When widely spaced, the hair will not be able to retain moisture and stay hydrated.
Other than knowing your hair type, you should know your hair porosity. These two help you choose products best for your hair and those that will let your hair thrive.
Hair types include, type 1(staright), type 2(wavy), type 3(curly, and type 4 (coily).
Hair porosity is the ability of your hair to retain moisture. It can be low, medium, or high.
Low porosity is when your hair is water-resistant, making it harder for moisture to be absorbed into your strands.
When you have low porosity your hair cuticles are tightly bound together, in medium porosity they are spaced out a bit, and in high porosity, they are widely spaced.
Your hair is made up of 3 parts, the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla.
Water and oils have to penetrate the cortex through the cuticle for your hair to be moisturised and healthy.
However, how your cuticles are spaced determines if the water and oils will get to the cortex.
If they are tightly bound together it is difficult for water and oil to get to the cortex and therefore your hair retains little to no moisture.
When widely spaced, the hair will not be able to retain moisture and stay hydrated.
Hair porosity is majorly due to genetics but bleaching, blow drying, use of harsh washing and hydrating products can damage your hair.
Too much ultraviolet heat can also increase the porosity of your hair. When outdoors and it is too hot wear a cap or a head covering.
You can test your hair porosity at home. How?
Wash your hair with shampoo and rinse thoroughly
After your hair is dry, drop a single strand of your hair into a glass with water.
Observe if it sinks or floats.
You have low porosity if your hair floats before sinking, medium porosity if it dances somewhere in the middle of the water in the glass, high porosity if it sinks immediately or quickly.
Changing low hair porosity
The goal is to increase the hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture.
When choosing conditioners, select the ones that are protein-free, they are easily absorbed by the hair. They are likely to cause no or little product build up.
Wetting your hair before applying conditioner makes it easily absorbable.
Avoid products with oil, instead, be on the lookout for products with honey and glycerine. This can be when choosing shampoos or conditioners.
Apply heat once you condition your hair through a heat cap or steamer.
For high porosity hair
High porosity hair easily absorbs moisture, but it's harder for the hair to retain or hold onto that moisture.
The goal here is to increase the hair's ability to retain moisture.
Use shampoos and conditioners with oils and butter. They are heavier ingredients and help retain the moisture in the hair.
Apply conditioner or a sealer (seals the moisture within the hair strands).
Before blow drying or heat styling treatment, apply heat protectant products to your hair.
Use lukewarm water instead of hot water when shampooing your hair.