By Choya Randolph
Knowing your hair porosity is great for your hair’s health. Hair porosity is how our hair absorbs moisture. Our hair can be either low or high porosity. Low porosity means your hair struggles at absorbing not only water but the products you’re probably lathering on to it. High porosity hair is the opposite meaning it absorbs water quite easily.
To know your hair porosity, take a strand of hair from your denman brush or comb. If your denman brush is clean then take a strand of hair out of your head. Put that strand in a cup full of water. If the strand begins to sink to the bottom of the cup, you have high porosity hair. If it floats at the top, you have low porosity hair. Low porosity hair has tighter hair cuticles that make it harder for hair to receive hydration. Here are ways to make your stubborn low porosity hair easily receive and retain moisture.
Steam treatments incorporate heat when deep conditioning. The heat opens up the hair cuticles so the deep conditioner can penetrate the hair even further to give you more hydration. If you want to DIY your steam treatments instead of sitting under the dryer at the salon, you can buy a steam cap or thermal heating cap online. If you ain’t got time for alladat, you can simply put a shower cap on your head when deep conditioning. This won’t incorporate much heat but it’ll still help to add extra hydration to your hair. If your hair porosity really got your hair feeling and looking parched, you may want to invest in a thermal heating cap. You can be cheap like me and spend $15 or go the expensive route by investing in a portable hair dryer.
When struggling to keep your hair moisturized, you may find yourself being heavy handed with your products. When you don’t know your hair porosity, it makes sense to feel dry hair and want to apply more leave-in conditioner or cream. However, that could only lead to product build up which is especially bad for low porosity hair. That additional product could block your hair from receiving moisture and even clog up your scalp. To combat product build up, clarifying your hair is the way to go.
For those who don’t know about hair clarifying, it’s the process of getting rid of product build up which makes our hair cleaner, lighter, healthier, and easier to style. You can buy a hair clarifying shampoo or even make your own. If you’re already in love with your shampoo but still want to incorporate hair clarifying, you can try using a clay mask on your hair. This works as a hair clarifier and detoxifier. Making sure your hair is clarified takes cleaning your hair to the next level which will make it easier for your hair products to moisturize your hair.
Hot oil treatments
The name may insinuate that you should put boiling hot oil in your hair but a hot oil treatment is actually just putting oil all over the hair then incorporating heat. This allows the oil to penetrate the hair shaft for intense hydration that your low porosity hair may need. When doing your own hot oil treatments, go for lighter oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or argan oil. Using a thick oil will not only lead to product build up but will also fail at penetrating your hair.
Hot oil treatments can easily be done at home. If you already have a thermal heating cap for deep conditioning, you can use that cap to incorporate the heat for your treatment. Apply the oil throughout your hair and don’t forget to massage your scalp. Then use your thermal cap and let the oils do their thing for 20-30 minutes. If you don’t have a heating cap, you can put your oil applicator bottle in hot water so it heats up. It should not be scorching hot but definitely warm.
Having low porosity hair may feel like an L but natural hair, no matter its porosity, is beautiful. Sometimes our hair requires a little more attention and that’s okay. Understanding your hair is part of loving your hair and all hair porosities deserve some love.