Low vs High Porosity Hair: What’s The Difference?

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Are you still confused about your hair porosity? This article will help you better understand the difference between low vs high porosity hair and the best ways to care for it.

The porosity of your hair determines how effectively it can retain and absorb moisture. Hair porosity is classified into three types: low porosity hair, normal porosity hair, and high porosity hair.

Cuticles in low porosity hair are very close together, whereas cuticles in medium porosity hair are slightly less bound and those in high porosity hair are more widely spread out.

Hair Porosity

There are several simple hair porosity tests you may take to determine the porosity level of your hair. Beforehand, it is important to know the difference between low vs high porosity hair.

Low vs High Porosity Hair. What’s The Difference?

There is a significant difference between low porosity hair vs high porosity hair, and you must know all of the particularities between both if you want to grow your hair faster while still keeping it healthy and glowing. 

Let us now first look at low porosity hair meaning and characteristics

Low Porosity Hair Meaning

Low porosity hair resists moisture owing to its intrinsic structure, making it difficult to maintain and style. This implies that getting moisture into your locks may be challenging, but once you do, moisture does not dry out your hair as quickly.

If you have low porosity hair, it can be said that your hair is technically healthy, which contradicts the prevalent misconception that low porosity hair is unhealthy.

Low porosity hair is basically healthy hair that is not properly hydrated or moisturized. The cuticle layer is intact, but you are not correctly moisturizing it, causing it to get dry and knotted.

Characteristics of low porosity hair
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Low Porosity Hair Characteristics

  1. Hair naturally resists water, therefore it takes a long time to absorb it completely.
  2. Products begin to build on the outer layer of the hair rather than penetrate into the hair shaft.
  3. Chemical and colour treatment is difficult. Highlights Color does not adhere properly to low porosity hair.
  4. Natural oils do not easily absorb into your hair and instead sit on top of it, leaving low porosity hair dry and coarse.
  5. Hair strands might seem dull or glossy depending on the amount of buildup.
  6. Hair does not have a lot of elasticity or thickness.

Hair Care Tips for Low Porosity Hair

If you have low porosity hair, all is not lost; as previously said, there are things you can do to help your hair acquire the moisture it requires to grow.

The following hair care tips will help you in maintaining your low-porosity hair.

1. Keep Protein Away From Your Hair

Protein is beneficial to your hair since it strengthens the cuticles, but remember that too much of anything may be damaging.

Furthermore, low porosity hair is protein sensitive. When protein is used excessively, especially on low porosity hair, the hair suffers from protein overload which leads to rigid and brittle hair. This raises the possibility of constant hair breaking.

hair breakage

However, to hydrate your hair, you can use a protein-free daily conditioner containing humectants (moisturizers) like honey or glycerin.

2. Use a Lightweight Oil

The low porosity hair has a tight cuticle so it is essential to apply lightweight products that can easily penetrate the cuticle and feed your hair.

Lighter-weight oils, like almond oil and argan oil, are suitable to use on low porosity hair since they are quickly absorbed while not being too heavy to weigh down your hair.

light weight oil

These oils are more absorbent and may hydrate your hair in ways you may not have realized were possible. Lightweight oil like argan oil contains moisturizing properties that allow it to build a layer around your hair, allowing moisture to be locked in until your next wash.

3. Clarify Your Hair

Clarifying your hair is very important if you have low porosity hair. Treatments and oils are less likely to enter low porosity hair, therefore they are more likely to linger on the hair and scalp.

The product build-ups can block the hair follicles which in turn affect your hair health. 

clarifying shampoo

If you have low porosity hair, it’s best to include a clarifying shampoo into your hair care regimen, since the formula will help purify the scalp without depleting it of essential nutrients.

If you don’t want to shampoo your hair too frequently, make sure your products are mild so that product build-up is minimized. Also, try to avoid using those hair products that include alcohol.

4. Steam Your Hair

Deep moisturizing treatment is excellent for hair with low porosity. To reap the benefits of deep conditioners, your hair cuticle must be open. So, how do you get the cuticle open?

Steaming your hair is a great way to open your cuticles and allow moisture to be absorbed. It will not only hydrate your dry hair, but it can also help moisturizing products work better.

hair steaming treatment

You can also use an actual steamer or a hooded dryer to moisturize and prepare your hair. Another option is to thoroughly condition your hair while wearing a hair steam cap and let it sit for a few minutes.

This steam treatment is cost-effective and will make a lot of difference in your hair growth.

5. Apply a Nourishing Hair Mask

The product build-up can make low porosity hair feel cakey and greasy, looking drab and unclean, and make it difficult for further products to reach the hair’s core. There are several effective natural hair masks for treating low porosity hair and removing buildup.

hair mask for low porosity hair

Baking soda is one such natural method for removing product buildup from your hair. You can dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda in 2-4 liters of warm water or in your shampoo.

Mix thoroughly until the baking soda is well dissolved, then pour over your hair. Rinse well before shampooing and conditioning as normal. And voila!

Moving on, let us now discuss the meaning of high porosity hair and how it differs from low porosity hair.

High Porosity Hair Meaning

Hair with a high porosity attracts and loses moisture quickly. Water, oils, and other types of products can be easily absorbed by high porosity hair, but since it is very porous, it may not be able to retain the moisture well.

Hair porosity can be caused by heredity or by certain hair treatments. Straightening, blow-drying, bleaching, hair dyes, or using other chemical treatments on your hair can all result in high porosity hair.

Keeping high-porosity hair moisturized is a difficult task. This is why hair with a high porosity might seem dry and frizzy.

Characteristics of high porosity hair
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High Porosity Hair Characteristics

  1. Hair absorbs water easily and quickly since it is so porous.
  2. Hair takes a long time to dry. Taking hours, or perhaps a day or more, if drying naturally.
  3. Because of high porosity, hair absorbs and accepts color very effectively.
  4. Protein is a great and necessary ingredient for high porosity hair.
  5. Hair is frequently frizzy and knotted.
  6. High Porosity hair is prone to breaking and broken ends.

Hair Care Tips for High Porosity Hair

Although care for high porosity hair might be difficult at times, the following hair care tips will help you retain moisture and prevent frizz.

1. Detangle Your Hair Gently

As high porosity hair has open cuticles, it is more prone to tangles. As a result, it’s important to use the correct tools and techniques to gently untangle your hair.

You can use a brush with a widely spread flexi-bristles to glide through your hair without causing breaking or damage to the strands.

detangle hair gently

Another easy way to detangle your hair is by using your fingers.  However, before you begin detangling your hair, it’s better to use oils or a serum that gives you easy slide-through fingers. Do not attempt to detangle wet hair!

2. Get a Trim

Hair that has already been damaged will not suddenly mend itself. The first step in repairing your damaged mane is to remove split ends.

hair trim

This may seem to be a hindrance to your hair goal of retaining length, but regular trims can actually promote your hair to grow stronger. Taking this step is the best way to get started on the path to healthy, well-conditioned hair.

If you have color-treated hair and notice that your strands are prone to split ends, a decent trim is your best bet.

3. Use Moisture-Rich Products

The first thing you should do is toss aside anything that contains sulfates. Rather for such hair type, you should go for ultra-moisturizing cleansers that don’t include harsh, drying sulfates. 

Moisture rich products

High porosity hair benefits from products that replenish moisture levels, minimize frizz, seal in moisture, and protect the hair from heat. Since this hair type loses moisture quickly, it is preferable to go for thick, dense hair products. 

Thick leave-in conditioners, hair masks, and serums formulated with natural butter and oils will help to lock moisture in your tresses, making them seem healthy and nourished.

4. Go for Protein Treatments

Highly porous hair is weaker and more prone to breaking than normal hair. To avoid this, protein treatments should be included in your hair routine if you want your hair to grow stronger and not break as easily.

Protein hair treatment

Protein treatment temporarily plugs the gaps in the hair shaft and strengthens the highly porous hair. I would recommend you to go for such treatments at least once a month.

In addition to the monthly heavy protein treatment, you can apply mild protein hair masks at home every few weeks for an extra boost.

5. Deep Conditioning Regularly

Hair with high porosity is already prone to dryness, thus deep conditioning is frequently required. Deep conditioning treatments include nourishing elements that will help to reduce the problems of your high porosity hair.

Deep conditioning treatment

It nourishes your hair by replenishing moisture, promoting elasticity, increasing strength, and smoothing the cuticle. Regularly deep conditioning will help to revitalize your dead hair. 

Summing up: Low Porosity vs High Porosity Hair

That’s all there is to it! Having high or low porosity hair does not have to prevent you from having beautiful, healthy hair.

Low vs High Porosity Hair
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Understanding the porosity means you’ve already won half the battle. Your hair porosity types should define your hair care regimen, ensuring that it receives the proper care and treatment.

Because everyone’s hair is unique, no two people’s hair care routine can be the same. Using the hair care tips stated above can definitely help you retain healthy, moisturized natural hair.

Leave a comment to tell us how you efficiently care for your low vs high porosity hair.

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Swaliha Baza, born and raised in Mumbai, India writes fashion-related blogs focusing on modest fashion. She provides readers with a wide selection of modest clothing ideas, outfit inspiration, and styling guides in order to assist them in finding the right modest style for themselves.

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