How To Care For High Porosity Hair

When it comes to caring for your hair and styling it to perfection, knowing your hair type is crucial. While most people are familiar with the texture and thickness of their locks, hair porosity is a category that tends to fly under the radar. The term refers to how easily your hair can absorb moisture, or how "porous" your hair is (via Healthline). High porosity hair is considered porous because the cuticles in the outermost layer of the hair shaft are spread far apart, allowing moisture to get in easily. However, while high porosity hair effectively soaks up oils, products, and water, it is not able to retain that moisture. As a result, high porosity hair tends to feel dry.


Haircare brand NaturAll explains that testing your hair to determine its porosity is easy. The most simple way is with the float test, where you take a few strands of clean hair and put them in a glass of water. Leave them for a few minutes and then come back to see if the strands float or sink. High porosity hair will sink, while low porosity hair will float to the top of the glass. Medium porosity will float somewhere in the middle. Once you've identified that you have high porosity hair, you can alter your haircare routine to make sure your tresses are getting the love and nourishment they deserve.

Which products help with high porosity hair?

Whether your hair is classified as having high porosity due to genetics or damage from heat styling and chemical exposure, knowing how to care for it is vital. Hair product brand Clever Curl explains that high porosity hair can lead to frizz, tangling, and dryness if not properly cared for. As a rule of thumb, this kind of hair requires extra nourishment because it loses so much hydration through its cuticle positioning. Start by incorporating products that are rich in moisture and protein into your haircare routine. In particular, Clever Curl advocates for products that contain anti-humectants as these seal the hair cuticles, preventing them from losing excess moisture.


Naturally Curly also suggests using protein treatments on your hair, as the protein temporarily fills the holes in the hair shaft. This works to make high porosity hair stronger, but it should only be used once a month at most. On the other hand, high porosity hair can benefit from deep-conditioning products every wash, along with butter and oil-based seals to lock in hydration. You can also purchase gels specifically designed for high porosity hair, such as the Curltivate High Porosity Nourish – Styling Gel. These products will fend off dryness by keeping the moisture from escaping the hair shaft.

Other strategies to manage high porosity hair

In addition to nourishing products, you can incorporate a few practices into your haircare routine that your high porosity hair will love. HeyCurls, a beauty brand inspired by natural hair, recommends pre-pooing and finger detangling to prevent hair from getting knotted and damaged when wet. The key is ensuring your hair is always free from tangles before you step in the shower. High porosity hair is generally more fragile than its counterparts, so ensure that you always detangle it gently. Pulling at knots can easily cause damage to the cuticles. After you wash your hair, rinsing with cold water will help the cuticles to lie flat, which can also help to prevent excess moisture from escaping (via The Mestiza Muse).


As hairstylist Miko Branch explained to MindBodyGreen, opting for air-drying over heat-styling is another effective way to care for high porosity hair. The heat from blow dryers and flat irons can further dry the strands. If you can't avoid heat-styling, try to limit it as much as possible and use low-heat settings on your tools. You can't change the structure of your cuticles, but you can nourish your high porosity hair so that it feels hydrated and moisturized. With these simple products and practices, you can kiss frizz and dryness goodbye!