Many of us tend to focus on their hair’s curl pattern while ignoring a very important aspect of providing their hair with the proper care and maintenance that it needs….

POROSITY. 

But what is hair porosity, and why should you care about it?

The Issue: What Is It?
Hair porosity is your hair strand’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. While you may have a certain curl pattern, that does not wholly dictate the way that your hair will behave with certain products. Therefore, you must know your hair’s curl pattern AND porosity in order to provide your hair with the products that work for your hair type and porosity.

                                                    Image Source: Huffington Post

                                                    Image Source: Huffington Post

The Analysis: Types of Porosity
There are three different types of porosity levels: low, normal, and high.

Low porosity means that the hair cuticles are tight. This is the type of hair that has the most difficulty absorbing moisture. Therefore, this hair needs the most care to facilitate moisture absorption. However, once that moisture is absorbed, the hair is able to retain the moisture much more efficiently than the other two types.

Normal porosity hair is the type of hair that does not have much difficulty absorbing moisture. It is also able to retain moisture, but not as efficiently as low porosity hair. Therefore, the hair would need some additional maintenance to retain that moisture.

High porosity means that the hair cuticle has gaps, tears and openings. This is the type of hair that easily absorbs moisture. Unfortunately, this hair is also the worst at retaining moisture. Therefore, this hair would need the most maintenance in retaining moisture.

                                                   Image Source: Pampered Roots

                                                   Image Source: Pampered Roots

The Conclusion: The Hair Porosity Test
So what does this all mean? This means that you must determine the type of porosity that your hair has in order to maximize hair care and maintenance. This is where the hair porosity test comes into play. 

The hair porosity test–while not fail proof–serves as a great point of reference in determining your hair porosity. Plus, the test is really easy! All you have to do is take a strand of your clean hair and drop it in a glass of water and watch.

  • If the strand doesn’t float and immediately sinks to the bottom, your hair is high porosity.
  • If the strand doesn’t float but lingers in the middle of the glass without immediately sinking to the bottom, your hair is normal porosity.
  • If the strand doesn’t linger in the glass but floats towards the top and then takes a while to sink to the bottom, your hair is low porosity.
                                                        Image Source: Shiny Tresses

                                                        Image Source: Shiny Tresses

Epilogue
If you have never determined your hair porosity, I encourage you to take the hair porosity test. There are not shortcuts to achieving great results, and this also applies to hair care!