You might have come across the term hair porosity at some point. Knowing your hair porosity is extremely important if you want to grow healthy hair.
There are actually 3 different types of hair porosity and they all have to be handled in different ways. Hair porosity affects all hair types no matter if you have curly, kinky or straight hair.
Low porosity hair: Hair that finds it difficult to absorb moisture into the hair shaft as the cuticles are very closely knitted together.
Normal porosity hair/ Medium porosity hair: Hair that is more neutrally balanced. The cuticles are neither too wide nor too tight.
High porosity hair: The cuticles are very open meaning that moisture goes it very quickly but your hair is unable to hold onto that moisture.
If you believe that you may fall into the low porosity hair category then here are a few low hair characteristics that you should be on the lookout for.
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What Causes Low and High Porosity Hair?
There are a few reasons as to why a person has either low or high porosity hair. Sometimes its to do with genetics. For example, members of your family may have low porosity hair.
Another reason could be down to heat damage. If you have previously straightened your hair or have used a lot of heat on it in the past it might have had an effect on the porosity of your hair.
10 Low Porosity Hair Characteristics You Should Know
1. Prone To Tangles
Have you noticed a strange number of tangles in your hair recently? Tangles are not unusual to hair but if you are getting more than your fair share of them it could be down to the fact that you have low porosity hair.
Low porosity hair tends to tangle more than usual because the hair is unable to retain moisture which means that there is a lot of friction and no way for the strands of hair to pass each other smoothly. This leads to tangles.
2. Products Don’t Sink In
When you have low porosity hair it’s very difficult for moisture to penetrate the hairs cuticles. This makes it difficult for many hair products to sink in and actually be effective.
You may find that when you apply products to your hair that they don’t actually sink in and just sit on the top layer of your hair. This can also lead to product build-up on your hair and scalp.
3. Takes A While Before Your Hair Gets Wet
I have low porosity hair and one of the first things that I noticed once I started looking into porosity was that my hair took an unusual amount of time to get wet when I washed it.
For the longest time, I thought this was completely normal.
I would be in the shower and have to wait for my hair to get wet even though the water was streaming down it.
You may have noticed the same thing with your hair. This is one of the more obvious characteristics of low porosity hair.
4. Your Hair Needs To Be Clarified A Lot
If your hair needs to be clarified quite frequently it might be because it is low porosity.
Low porosity hair tends to have a lot of build-up because there is nowhere for the product to go once it is applied. Remember that with low porosity hair the cuticles are tightly closed meaning the products don’t get much of a chance to penetrate the hair strands.
5. No or Little Elasticity After Washing Your Hair
Low porosity hair tends to have problems with elasticity. Elasticity is the ability for your hair to return to its original shape or curl pattern after being stretched.
If you have low porosity hair then the chances are that when you have just washed it, it has good elasticity and good volume. However, after it has dried it begins to look flat and lifeless.
6. Hair is Dull and Frizzy
Another characteristic of low porosity hair is when your hair looks dull and frizzy in appearance.
Low porosity hair can look dull in appearance because of the lack of moisture in your hair. Think of it in terms of your skin. When your skin is not cleaned and moisturised it can often look very dull and lifeless. This is the same for your hair.
When your hair does not get enough moisture it will become lifeless and look very dull and frizzy.
Also, you have to remember that shine in hair is to do with light reflection. When you have strands of hair that are tightly shut you don’t tend to get a lot of reflection. Your hair looks dull because of a lack of light reflection rather than a lack of shine!
7. Product Builds Up Easily on Your Scalp
Product build-up is annoying at the best of times, for everyone but when you have low porosity hair product build-up is even more troublesome.
For those of us with low porosity hair product build-up happens much more easily because there is nowhere for the product to go when you apply it. Remember that with low porosity hair the cuticles are closed so water and other products don’t penetrate deep enough into the hair follicles for them to be effective.
They just sit there built up on your scalp.
8. Hair Doesn’t Colour Easily
If your hair doesn’t take colour very well it could be a characteristic of having low porosity hair. As the cuticles are tightly closed it makes it extremely difficult for the colour pigment to be absorbed into the hair.
It could take several attempts for you to start to notice any real colour change.
9. Split Ends Due To Lack of Moisture
Have you noticed a huge number of what seem like never-ending split ends? Well for low porosity hair this can happen. If your hair is not properly moisturised it leads to dryness which in turn leads to split ends.
Split ends can happen to any hair type but if you have low porosity hair you are more susceptible to it.
10. Takes A While For Hair To Dry
This has got to be one of the more annoying things about having low porosity hair. It can take absolutely ages for it to dry.
The reason for this is because when you have low porosity hair your strands are tightly closed so whilst moisture finds it difficult to penetrate it will also sit on the surface of the strands.
When this happens it makes the hair feel wet for a longer period of time as the water is unable to evaporate properly.
As a result of this, your hair will take a lot longer to dry than normal porosity hair.
Final Thoughts on The Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair
You might have noticed that your hair has a few of the characteristics listed above. It is entirely possible that you have some of the characteristics but not necessarily all of them.
You can also do the float test to help determine your hairs porosity. You can read more about the float test here: Low Porosity Hair Care
12 of the best oils for low porosity hair
How to moisturise and seal low porosity hair
6 Signs of high porosity hair you need to know