Part II. DENSITY/POROSITY
It is important to understand your hairs’ density. You may have heard or came across what is known as hair porosity; which is the ability to absorb water and retain moisture into your hair. Porosity is measuring the density of your hair. This will help you understand how easily moisture and oil will pass in and out of your hair.
There’s low porosity and then there’s high porosity. With low porosity hair it is hard to absorb water but you retain moisture. With high porosity hair it easily absorbs water but you can not retain moisture. Porosity is key information to understand about your curls because this will tell you which product to use and how often to use it. Porosity will also tell you how often to wash, and how often to wet/rinse your hair. (We will cover this when I dive into shampoos/conditioners.)
**Visual Learners here’s your moment, lets review characteristics differentiating the two. Imagine your hair and cuticles are a house with a roof made of shingles.
Low porosity repels water and retains moisture. The cuticles or shingles in this case are tightly packed together protecting the roof making it hard for water to pass but retaining enough not to dry out.
High porosity quickly absorbs water but does not retain moisture. Usually characterized as frizzy, damaged hair by excessive coloring, relaxing, frequent heat and harsh products.
Make sense? Now its your turn, test your hair! Wash your hair, pat it dry and pull a strand from your head or your brush. Place the clean strand in a glass cup with warm water. Does it float to the top, sink to the bottom or float in the middle? That determines the porosity of your hair. Be sure to choose a strand from the middle.
Once you have identified your porosity here are some common quick tips.
· Avoid heavy products it will sit on top of the hair instead of absorbing into them
· Does not need protein as it already carries a lot of its own natural protein, keratin
· Under a microscope hair will look like the smooth skin on a snakes’ back
· Use moisture rich products as well as get a dose of protein but be mindful of drying out
· Under a microscope hair would look like a Christmas tree
· Aim for less manipulation & more protective styles
More importantly, porosity is also genetics but it can shift depending on how well you have cared for your hair. Don’t beat yourself up if you have high porosity hair we will be getting it back into shape, healthy coils are possible!
"You can't control everything. Your hair was put on your head to remind you of that"--quote