There are three different types of hair porosity: low, normal, and high. How you moisturize your hair will vary depending on your hair’s porosity type. But how do you make sure that your hair type receives the proper tender loving care?
Let’s explore how to generally care for each type of porosity and the type of products that have been known to work well with each kind.
Low Porosity Hair Care
Product Buildup: Because hair with low porosity struggles to absorb moisture, the most common problem with this type of hair is product buildup and oversaturation. Opposite from the desired result of moisturizing the hair, the excessive product buildup causes the cuticles to close even more tightly and prevents any sort of moisture absorption. Therefore, make sure to use shampoo for a thorough hair shaft cleanse after every few co-washes to prevent oversaturation. In addition, using lighter (preferably water-based) products on your hair will help to avoid product buildup.
Heat: Those with low porosity hair should condition their hair with heat. Even though heat is something that we would all like to stay away from, in this case, heat is your friend. Heat causes the hair cuticles to open up and allows for more moisture absorption. Therefore, combining heat to your deep conditioning regimen–either by sitting under a dryer, using a steamer, or using your own body heat by placing a plastic cap over your hair–would help the conditioner absorb through the cuticle into the hair shaft.
Normal Porosity Hair Care
Normal porosity hair is the most ideal to care for, because this type of hair has the least amount of trouble absorbing and retaining moisture.
Maintenance: Lucky you! Because your hair has the appropriate balance of moisture absorption and retention, the biggest challenge will be to maintain that perfect balance. A good way to maintain this balance is to use the right combination of light and heavy products. This way, you will be sure to avoid product buildup (by inadvertently using too many heavy products) while guaranteeing that your hair receives the proper amount of moisture.
High Porosity Hair Care
Hair with high porosity is essentially hair that is damaged and has a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, hair care should be focused on repairing the damaged hair cuticles. The open and worn cuticles result in a lack of moisture retention, which leads to the hair lacking luster and weakening.
Deep Conditioning: A deep conditioner should be incorporated into every wash day. Yes, every single one. To maximize penetration, you should incorporate heat into your this deep conditioning treatment by either sitting underneath a dryer or covering your hair with a plastic bag for at least fifteen minutes. If you cannot find a plastic bag or shower cap, you may also heat your towel and wrap it over your hair for at least fifteen minutes.
Protein Treatments: When dealing with high porosity hair, it is very important to incorporate monthly protein treatments into your hair care regimen. Protein serves as a temporary filler for the wear and tear that is found along the hair shaft. However, it is also very important that you do not treat the protein treatment as a way to moisturize your hair. It should only be used to help mend your hair back to good health. If your hair is highly damaged, you may also consider using a lighter protein treatment every few weeks. In any case, it is recommended that you do the monthly protein treatment and incorporate the light protein treatment only if needed.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar may be used to balance your hair’s pH balance. Balancing the pH may not only help to flatten the cuticle but this flattening will also help your hair retain its moisture.
Heavy Products: Heavy creams and oils–such as shea butter, olive oil, castor oil, and avocado oil–are great products to help penetrate and seal in the moisturize that tends to escape high porosity hair.