(Last Updated On: June 4, 2018)

What is Hair Porosity?

Hair porosity is the capability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture. You have seen people with relatively moist hair while others have it dry. Well, the difference is brought about by porosity.
You hair porosity is determined by the flexibility of its outer layer. Flat outer layers mean that your hair does not easily absorb and retain moisture. On the other hand, raised hair is able to absorb and retain moisture for long.
As much as hair porosity is a natural and inheritable thing, it is also affected by external factors such as chemical treatments and other artificial processes.
It is crucial to know your hair porosity. It will help you to choose and use the most appropriate products which may not adversely affect it. Everybody wants a healthy looking hair. Keeping it moist is a good start to that end. It all starts with knowing and understanding you hair porosity. From there, you will know exactly how to take care of it.

Levels of Hair Porosity:

Hair porosity is categorized into three types. The categorization is based on the ability of each type to absorb and keep moisture. The range from the least to absorb and retain moisture to the type that absorbs ad retains lots of moisture. The 3 types are:

  • Low porosity hair
  • Medium porosity hair otherwise known as normal porosity
  • High porosity hair

Low Porosity Hair

These are the hair types which absorb and retain the least of moisture. In most cases, they never absorb or retain any moisture. They have to depend on additives to be able to absorb and keep adequate moisture needed by the hair to stay healthy.
Those with this type of hair inherit it from their parents. In some cases, it is brought about by artificial processes such as heat and chemical treatment.

Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair

  • The cuticles are closed off: this means that moisture from outside cannot be absorbed. The closed cuticles are like a moisture resistant layer which though it may let out moisture, it never allows any to enter.
  • Hair care products seem to float on the hair: even when one tries to use moistening products, they never penetrate the air. Everything stays on the outer layer. The effect of such products is never felt and the hair remains dry.
  • Water beads formation: when sprinkled or washed with water, there are so many water beads floating on the hair. The water cannot penetrate the hair and have to be wiped with a towel.
  • Takes longer to dry: water on this hair does not dry easily. It is not being absorbed so it will stay on the hair for as long as it takes to dry.
  • It is not elastic: the hair may seem just fine from a distance but it is very rigid. It is not elastic. This is brought about by the fact that it is always dry.
  • Mostly shiny: the hair is very dry most of the times hence it appears shiny.
  • Very low volume: the hair is never thick. Most of times it is only one-layer thick. This is because it does not have a very conducive environment to grow.

Light Oils for Low Porosity HairTips on How To Take Care of Low Porosity Hair:

  • Heat treatment: helps to open the cuticles to increase moisture penetration and retaining.
  • Use of light oils: light hair products such as grape seed and Argan oils are good.
  • Avoid build ups: you can achieve this by washing it with apple cider vinegar.

Medium Porosity Hair

This is referred to as the normal hair type. It does not absorb and retain too much moisture. However, it has better absorption and retention of moisture than the low porosity type.


  • Moderate absorption and retention of moisture: this is the average type in terms of absorbing and keeping moisture. You do not need to find ways to supplement its level of moisture as is with the case of low porosity hair.
  • Thick in volume: given the optimal moisture environment, the hair is able to grow. It is able to pile layers over one another and has the potential to keep growing.
  • It is shiny: optimum moisture keeps the air shiny. It is therefore easy to take care of even when it is very thick.
  • Healthy: this is what is considered as the normal type of hair. It does not need rigorous maintenance since it is already in optimal environment.

Tips on How To Take Care of Medium Porosity Hair

This is considered as the most desired type of hair. It needs no extra care. You just have to keep it clean to keep it healthy.

High Porosity Hair

This type of absorbs lots of moisture but the problem is that it never retains it. It is inheritable or in some cases it is as a result of adverse processing such as heat and chemical treatments.


  • Absorption of too much moisture: the cuticles have huge gaps which allow moisture in.
  • Does not retain moisture: this is the irony with this type of hair. The moisture absorbed is never retained. It is lost the same fast way it is absorbed.
  • It is dull and dry: the exaggerated rate of losing moisture keeps it dry and dull. It looks unhealthy.
  • It is easy to tangle: the loose cuticles are able to tangle with each other hence not easy to comb.
  • It is frizzy: it is curled most of the time giving it a bad look if not maintained.

Tips to Care for High Porosity Hair:

  • Egg washing: helps repair the loose cuticles. However, this should not be done too often since it makes the hair very stiff and delicate.
  • Heavy products such as coconut oil are good to help the hair in moisture retention.
  • Deep processing: chemical and heat treatments are recommended to repair the cuticles

Voila! There you go. You now know about hair porosity. Probably, given the characteristics, you know your hair type. This knowledge is very important to the health of your hair. To sum it up all, you know how exactly to take care of your type of hair. What else do you need to keep your hair healthy? You have all you could ask for. Make your hair your pride.
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