hair porosity

Everything You Need To Know About Hair Porosity

If you’re new to the curly girl method, chances are you’ve heard about or maybe even taken the hair quiz.  

For a curly girl newbie, getting labeled as high porosity, 3A, medium-density curlie…….is pretty confusing.

Like…that’s great now what? I got you, girlfriend <3

But first, have you taken the mistake finder quiz?

When it comes to caring for curly hair and choosing the right products, there are 3 classic mistakes people make that destroy their hair and cause frizz.

Take this FREE 60 second quiz to see which mistake you are making.

Take The Mistake Finder Quiz!

Now, onto the meaning of hair porosity.

What the heck does hair porosity mean?

It seems a little confusing at first but it’s quite simple. 

Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture and is broken down into three categories: low, normal and high.

How Do I Know My Hair Porosity?

Let’s do a little science experiment to help you figure out exactly what category your hair falls into. Don’t panic, this will be painless <3

You can see my porosity test below.

The best way to identify the level of porosity in your hair is to drop a strand of clean hair into a glass of water. If it floats to the top of the glass you have low porosity, if it lingers in the middle of the glass it has normal porosity (yay) and if it sinks it has high porosity.

Ok, I Figured Out My Hair Porosity, Now What?

Let me break it down by category and tell you a little more about each one, kk?

Low Porosity: If the strand floats toward the top of the water and takes a while to sink, you have low porosity strands. 

Meaning, your hair cuticle is tight and resistant to receiving water and moisture. Which is why your strand lingered toward the top of the glass. The water had a hard time penetrating the hair shaft and weighing it down. 

People with low porosity hair should stick to products that are more alkaline based because it will help lift the cuticle. Avoid low ph products because the acidity keeps the cuticle closed. Avoid using oils and butters.

Quick Question! Do you ever wonder why some people have effortlessly soft shiny hair while others struggle with unmanageable frizz? 

Take THIS 60 Second Quiz to find out which mistake you are making that is causing your hair to become frizzy.

Recommended treatment for Low Porosity hair:

Steamers help lift the cuticle and allow moisture in. Always style on damp hair. Avoid overusing oils and butter.

Normal Porosity: If the strand lingers toward the middle of the glass, it has normal porosity. 

Meaning, your hair holds moisture and shine for an extended period. Some people naturally have a normal level of porosity to their hair. 

However, that can change. Using heat or chemically processing your hair can cause it to become more porous.

Recommended treatment for Normal Porosity hair: It’s important to develop a healthy hair care routine to keep your hair porosity healthy.

High porosity: If the strand immediately sinks to the bottom of the glass, you have high porosity hair. 

Meaning that your hair strand is full of gaps and tears. Most chemically processed and heat damaged hair falls into this category. Highly porous hair absorbs moisture quickly but loses it quickly as well. 

Recommended treatment for high porosity hair: 

Butter and oils are your best friend. They help lock in moisture that your strands naturally lose. 

  • Rinsing your hair regularly with an apple cider vinegar mix
  • Apply aloe vera gel 
  • & protein treatments (be careful not to overdo it)

These tips can all help fill in the gaps in your high porosity hair.

There is no way to completely change high porosity hair, but experimenting with different treatments can make a dramatic difference.

This photo shows the difference between damaged, too much protein, or a healthy balance.

  • The far left was my hair before I had treated it at all.
  • The middle is after I went a little crazy with a deep conditioning treatment and leave-in conditioner.The result was my curls feeling stiff and brittle. This is bad for your curls and a big no no. Just be careful how much protein you are adding to your routine. Experimenting is key!
  • The far-right photo is after I washed everything out and styled using less leave-in and the bowl method to lock in moisture.

Repeat after me….I will not overload my hair with protien.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s hair is very different.

What works for me might not work for you.

Take the time to get to know your specific hair type and experiment on your own to find a routine that works for you.

Because curls were meant to be free and ultimately they are going to do what they want. It’s your job to figure out what that is 🙂



P.S CLICK HERE To Take Take The Mistake Finder Quiz!

2 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Hair Porosity”

  1. Adrienne Richards

    Thank you for the information on hair porosity! I knew my hair was dry due to having gray hair (which I color on a regular basis) and having curly hair. I did your experiment by placing one of my curls in a glass of water and it went straight to the bottom. I had both my daughters try it and theirs stayed at the top. Not fair, but they are teenagers and do not color their hair. I decided to try the Apple Cider Vinegar mix and was surprised at how well it worked. My hair looked healthy again and my curls were better than ever. I have to admit it was difficult dealing with the smell in the shower and while my hair was wet. As my hair dried it gradually got better. My hair did better for the next few days as well. I used the ACV mix again a few days later and once again my hair looked healthy and my curls looked great. When I went to my hair dresser for my color I told her about the ACV mix and she was concerned it had faded my color a lot. Have you had any issues with this (if you color your hair) or has anyone else? I like the results from the ACV rinse, but I don’t want my color to fade. Any suggestions.

    Also, I use all Deva products and I am a believer in the Curly Girl Method. I had tried some of their deep conditioners, but they leave my hair too soft with no life in my curls.

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