Healthy Hair Tips for Less Porosity
If someone asked you to explain the way your hair looks you probably can come up with dozens of descriptors – but would porous make the cut. As we think of our hair in terms of length, thickness, and overall health we rarely seek out healthy hair tips for managing the porosity of our hair. In a previous post we explained the importance of maintaining a smooth closed cuticle, well porosity is the result of cuticles that have been too open, for too long.
Certain hair types are more prone to porosity than others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work to minimize the amount of porosity in your hair. But the way to repair hair that has become porous is different depending on the degree of porosity. Don’t know how to determine whether or not you have porous hair to what degree it is damaged? There are a couple of simple tests that you can do at home to understand whether or not your hair is porous. Place a shed hair (don’t pull or cut) into a glass, the degree to which your hair sinks in the water shows how porous your hair is or isn’t. Hair that has high porosity will sink, normal porosity will float in the water, low porosity hair will remain unmoved on top of the water. Don’t have a glass of water handy? Try rubbing thumb and index finger down a strand of hair. If you descend down the strand smoothly you have low porosity hair, a bumpy ride down indicates high porosity.
Characteristics of Porous Hair
Porous hair is damaged hair. When your hair is high porosity, the damage is probably not as visibly damaged but it is damaged. There are certain characteristics that a porous head of hair will have that may lead you to believe that you have something else going on – or hair that is “hard to please”.
- Hair takes a long time to dry – this is because moisture has not been expelled or locked away it is literally sitting inside of your strands.
- Sponginess – it’s wet and has a very distinct look that is very similar to the look of frizz.
- Frizziness – once it’s finally dry what was once spongy now is all out frizz.
- Prone to breakage – because it doesn’t properly retain water or moisture it lacks the elasticity needed to be more resilient to breakage.
- Overuse of product – you know that you’ve oiled it, but because the oil is not being properly held you will find that you’re constantly adding product. The same is true for chemical processes, this over absorption will lead to hair feeling weighed down and further damage your hair.
Don’t be fooled, porosity is not an easy type of damage to detect, porous hair often appears healthy especially if you do take care of your hair. However, it lacks elasticity, which protects hair against breakage and is not voluminous at all – no the swelling spongy effect does not count as volume. Don’t get down if you’ve done one or both of the tests just continue reading to find out what each type of porosity needs to improve over time.
Healthy Hair Tips To Repair Porosity
You’ve dipped your hair in a glass….and if you’re like me you’ve wrangled a few friends into the experiment for fun, so what’s next? Well, each degree of hair porosity requires a different level of care. You must first understand what is best for your particular level or porosity and from there a care regimen can begin.
Low Porosity Hair
Your cuticles are laying tightly together and are pretty resistant to opening up for water and moisture, so frizz is not a huge issue for you. However, just because your hair doesn’t show signs of damage, doesn’t mean that you have an easy road when it comes to a hair care regimen. Not being able to absorb moisture whether through oils or water means your hair probably doesn’t shine as much as you’d like it to. It may also feel as though every product that you put on your hair just kind of sits on top of your hair and feels like tacky buildup. If this is so the word you need to know is alkaline.
- Tip: Beware of products with a low pH level, you should look for a balanced pH or products that are slightly alkaline. High acidity will make the cuticle even more tightly closed keeping much needed moisture locked out of your strands.
Normal Porosity Hair
Your hair is pretty laid back and low maintenance. The cuticles are open enough to get the right amount of moisture inside. Another benefit of having normal porosity is that your hair easily accepts chemical processes than the other two types. Overall your hair absorbs moisture at just the right amounts and you don’t have the shine issues that the high and low porosity hair girls have either.
- Tip: Don’t overdo chemical processes or heat usage. Your hair is pretty perfect right now (where porosity is concerned) but too much coloring, relaxing or heat application will take you from normal to high porosity over time. Keep an eye on the ingredients that you use, deep condition regularly, moisturize, and keep heat to a minimum all of these combined with a constant care regimen like ESSENTIOUS Hair Care will go a long way to maintaining your hair’s health.
High Porosity Hair
Your hair is loosing the battle against chemical processes, heat and quite possibly your natural environment. Your hair sank to the bottom of the glass quickly and with little resistance to water because water was able to get completely inside of the cuticle. High porosity hair tends to take longer to dry and loses product moisture as quickly as it is absorbed. It will take lots of time and care to repair your hair, but if you follow these healthy hair tips you should have no problem restoring your hair ‘s overall health.
- Tip: Limit the number of chemical processes and exposure to heated curlers and straighteners. Thick butters and oils will seal the cuticle and serve as a protective layer. A balanced pH level is important products with a balanced pH will work to close your cuticles and hold the right amount of moisture rather than allowing it to pass through the hair. Try an apple cider vinegar rinse to expel any pollutants in the hair that have made their way through your porous strands. Protein treatments will also be very helpful in filling in the gaps in your lifted cuticle layer. The most important thing to do is focus on your new growth. Your porous ends may already be too far gone, and you can only manage the porosity. But the new growth can be protected and fortified. As it grows out it you will find that your hair is much healthier as a result of your gentle care and attention.
With a little time and patience you will be able to improve the health of your hair in a way that you never knew was possible – especially if you’ve been involved in a long term battle against porosity. Or worse you’ve been fighting a battle against an opponent you never fully understood. Experimentation is your friend when restoring the health of you hair, keep trying until you find a solution that works for you – your hair will thank you.
Healthy Hair Tips – Protein for High Porosity
Our hair is keratinized protein fibers, that’s it. The care that you take to maintain the growth of those fibers is what makes it shiny, dull, voluminous, flat – you get gist. Since hairs are merely protein fibers it would make sense to replenish the protein on the ends with a variety of treatments that are protein rich. We’ve listed a few quick and easy ways to add protein to your hair.
- Deep conditioning – a protein treatment should be part of your hair care regimen regardless of your hair’s porosity. What is important to note is the manner in which you apply the deep conditioner. High porosity hair will not be fully repaired at the ends, you can pay very close attention to your roots and new growth making sure to fortify them so that they don’t face the same overly porous fate as your ends have had to endure.
- Egg wash – this is a great natural protein treatment for your hair. The protein in the eggs will restore and strengthen the cuticle which over time will help them to lay properly. Be careful not to over use egg washes (once to twice a month is optimal depending on the severity of the damage) since too much protein will cause your hair to lose elasticity becoming stiff and prone to breakage.
- Aloe vera gel – Aloe Vera based is great for improving scalp and hair health. It has been long known to help heal damage on the scalp, balance the pH level, help regulate sebaceous function and maintain the proper balance in the scalp, which can help with hair health.
- Coconut oil – the natural hair care wonder oil. Coconut oil has the ability to get inside of the cuticle providing moisture and healing to damaged hair. Aside from using extra virgin coconut oil you should look for products that contain coconut oil such as Essentious Hair Care to ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of moisture and conditioning in your hair care regimen.
What About the No-Poo Method
There is a movement out there of women who are completely abandoning shampoo. If the no-poo method works for you that’s great; however high porosity hair has different needs than the other two levels of porosity so choosing not to shampoo may not be the best idea. Hair that is porous is full of gaps (hence the reason it sinks during the porosity test), those gaps are ideal for all types of pollutants and other chemicals in the air that can cause damage to enter the hair. Until you improve the porosity of your hair you should try using a moisturizing shampoo that is free of sulfates, phosphates and silicone – all of these chemicals are drying and damaging to hair. Once you have built up your hair’s porosity a bit to build your hair’s strength and elasticity, if you still desire to abandon shampoo – feel free. Try to keep in mind that no-poo alone is not a direct connection to your hair’s health, you must adopt a care regimen that will allow you to get the most out of your hair growth process.
The Check List
We’ve covered the different levels of porosity and hopefully you’ve done either the water test or the touch test to determine the level of your hair’s porosity. Once you’ve determined the level of damage to your hair you can move forward with a care regimen that will help restore your hair’s buoyancy and elasticity. We’ve put together a cheat sheet of our best tips for quick reference and no matter how high or low the porosity of your hair is.
- Understand if your hair is alkaline or acidic.
- Limit the chemical and heat processes that you expose your hair to.
- Fill up on protein. Eating plenty of protein as well as using protein masks and deep conditioners will do great things for your hair overtime.
- Don’t over style your hair.
- Keep damaged ends cut – this will minimize frizz which can lead to porosity if unchecked.
- Use products that are gentle on your hair to avoid unintended damage.
- Find oils that work with your hair type and texture to either penetrate closed cuticles or get in the cuticle to improve the health of the hair.
Having porous hair is the reason that none of the healthy hair tips you’ve tried in the past have been working, can be pretty discouraging. But you shouldn’t be, you are now armed with information and better understanding of how to take care of your hair to maximize your hair’s health and growth. Take a little time choosing your products and developing a care regimen that is right for your hair will go a long way in providing you with the look that you desire.
Unlike most hair products, which make your hair look good temporarily, Essentious actually improves the health and condition of our hair over time. With each use, you will see improvement of your hair. It will become more manageable, smoother, shinier, stronger, and more hydrated. You will need less styling products to give your hair a sleek and lustrous look because your hair will naturally look healthy. Essentious Hair Care is a unique system that harnesses the power of nature to gently clean, condition and replenish protein and minerals lost through daily hair care practices. All are Essentious products are Aloe Vera based, pH balanced, and infused with vitamins, proteins, and natural extracts for healthy hair. Order Essentious today!