Have you ever wondered why some haircare products work wonders for some people and don’t really do anything for you? The long-awaited reason behind this is hair porosity.
Hair porosity is a measure of the health of the hair and is determined by how tightly the keratin scales of the hair cuticle overlap on the hair strand. This, in return, impacts how easily/much moisture and chemicals will flow to and from the hair strand.
Before we take you through a simple test by which you can determine your hair porosity, let’s quickly take you through the different types of hair porosity and the behavior of each one.
Here, the cuticles sit tightly on the hair strands, hence not allowing moisture and/or chemicals to flow easily in and out. This type of hair is still considered healthy and is generally shiny.
This is considered the least maintenance type of hair and is by far the healthiest. It responds nicely to moisture/chemical treatments. However, too much chemical processing might turn this type of hair into damaged/high porosity.
The hair cuticle here is raised, hence allowing moisture and chemicals to easily flow in but also out of the hair strands (hence very difficult to hold on to them). This is mostly caused by chemical damage or harsh environmental factors.
To test your hair porosity, take a glass of room-temperature water and follow these easy steps:
1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo only (to remove products and environmental build up) and rinse it off.
2. Take a hair strand and place it in the water, then wait for a few minutes.
3. Observe how your hair reacts to the water; if it floats, this would indicate low porosity hair, if it sinks then you have high porosity hair, and if it doesn’t sink nor float then it’s of medium porosity.