Monday, September 14, 2015

How To Determine Hair Porosity

The Hair Porosity Test

Along with figuring out what kind of hair type I have, I decided to see what hair porosity was all about. I wanted to see if finding my porosity would provide me with information I could use towards getting my hair healthy and keeping it there.

What Is Porosity?

Just like hair typing, porosity has been something I've run across quite often during my natural hair journey. Before moving forward, let's understand what hair porosity is:
Porosity refers to your hair's ability to absorb moisture and is broken down into three categories: low, normal, and high. Low porosity means your hair has difficulty retaining moisture; high porosity means your hair easily retains moisture; and normal porosity means your hair holds moisture for an extended period of time with no problem. ~Source

How Do You Determine Hair Porosity?

There are two simple tests you can do at home to determine what type of hair porosity you have.

FLOATING HAIR TEST
There are three simple steps:
  1. Grab a glass and fill it with room temperature water.
  2. Take a strand or two of clean hair and put it into the glass of water.
  3. Watch the hair for 2-4 minutes.
If your hair continues to float, that means you have low porosity. If your hair sinks, you have high porosity. If your hair slowly sinks and remains floating somewhere in the middle, it has normal porosity.

It turns out that I have low porosity. When I did the test, my hair floated on top of the water for all 4 minutes.

THE SLIDE TEST
I hadn't heard about this test until writing this post, however, the steps for this test are just as easy!
  1. Take a strand of hair (still connected to your head)
  2. Starting from the end of the strand, slide your fingers up the strand of hair
When you slide your fingers up the strand of hair, you will either have a smooth ride or a bumpy one. If you have a bumpy ride, you're feeling the lifted cuticles on your hair shaft meaning you have high porosity. If you can move up the hair strand smoothly, your cuticles lay flat and you have low porosity.

My results from this test matched my results from the floating hair test. I had a smooth ride, so that means low porosity (x2).

How Can You Use This Information?

Knowing the porosity of your hair can provide you with good information to aid in caring for your hair just like knowing your hair type can.

Here are some traits of low porosity hair:
1.) Cuticles are closed, so moisture does not enter easily / hair is resistant to moisture.
2.) Products sit on your hair.
3.) Water beads up on hair.
4.) Hair takes a long time to dry.
~Source  
AND here are some ways to care for low porosity hair:
1.) Use heat to open the cuticles to let the moisture in. Use warm water to wash and condition hair and also utilize heated deep conditioning.
2.) Use lighter products with humectants and lighter oils such as Argan Oil.
3.) Reduce build up on your hair.
~Source 1 & Source 2
The information I gathered from determining my hair porosity is actually helpful to me. I've already started using this information and plan to put more to use soon. I've gone through a lot of different things with my hair since my last post, so I'll be working diligently to get this information out to you within the next couple of weeks!

I'm sure hearing about hair porosity isn't a new concept to most of you reading this. I want to hear from you!! Have you tried either of these tests? What were your results? Have you used your hair porosity to help with hair care? Has knowing your porosity helped? Let's talk!!


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