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

Want perfect curls? You’re going to want this download!

I created “The Ultimate Curly Girl Cheat Sheet”(including a guide to my favorite affordable drug store products) to help guide you on your curly girl journey. 

This ebook will help break down the process of caring for and styling curly hair.

Get your FREE Curly Girl Method cheat sheet here!

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 What Is REALLY Causing Your Hair To Be 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 Get your FREE Curly Girl Method cheat sheet here!

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

  1. 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.

  2. My hair is 2A I did water test it floated for a couple seconds then stayed in the middle of the water. My hair I’ve been told is course.

  3. Thanks so much for your email I know now I have low porosity hair and 2b also 2c hair thanks for your help have been looking up things about my hair which help lot also done be for pictures when I start on my hair and after pictures as be
    1 year and half now be days when I am fed up with them try different way do my hair but I know now I need light shampoo and conditioner also light level in conditioner so gone get some.
    I use my level in conditioner cream and gel in warm shower room and to leave the condition long with shower cap while do rest of my body which help lot.
    Still try to find best way to drying my hair.
    I do it on low setting 90 % to 80% dry move it side to side did try up side down but didn’t work for my hair.
    I try last night i try to move hair dry slowly around my roots which give my roots lift as normal I would dry my roots first but not moving the hair drying around and that rest of my hair.
    Will do it again as my roots lifted lot.
    Not sure yet if best put Almond oil be for or after I dry my hair.
    It’s help lot to fufly up when it’s all dry.
    Still finding best way to stop my hair fizzy hopefully when I use light shampoo it be lot better.
    I make sure I use minsofttowels shower cap when it’s drying and minsoft spots towel I got long time ago which really good as so gently on my hair.
    Still trying different clips on my roots when it’s 80 % dry try small ones which was good but pulled to much when taking them out try ducks cilps but wouldn’t stay in and trying medium cilps now which don’t pull when take them out but give bit on box look top of my hair but ok when fufly up I think I might try flat cilps but not sure what best.
    If you got any idea what clips best to use or how to calm down the fizzy or if I am doing right way of drying my hair and best deep clean shampoo or anything else I need would be ready helpful.
    I do use Silk Scarves and cotton hat at bed time.
    Thanks again by for now Jo x


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