Understanding Low-Porosity Hair

Understanding Low-Porosity Hair

Understanding Low-Porosity Hair

Understanding & Taking Care of Low Porosity Hair Textures

If you have low-porosity hair, you and your hair probably have a love-hate relationship with moisture. While it may be great at locking in moisture, the difficult part about low-porosity hair is getting the moisture into the hair follicle in the first place. Low-porosity hair is dedicated to all the hair types and textures that can get their hair wet and still somehow come out with their mane partially to completely dry. It's all fun and games until wash day comes around, and your conditioner doesn't even reach below the top layer of your hair. The great part about low-porosity hair is the more you understand it, the better you will get at keeping your natural hair healthy and moisturized.

Picture of man with water beading up on his hair and example of low porosity hair. Water is beading up on the outer layer of his hair. Most of his hair is relatively dry. This is an example of low-porosity hair.

What is Hair Porosity?

Your hair's porosity is determined by its ability to absorb and retain moisture. The three main categories people use when talking about hair porosity are high-porosity hair, medium-porosity hair, and low-porosity hair.

High porosity hair can easily absorb moisture but fails to retain it very long. Low porosity hair has difficulty absorbing moisture but often works well to retain it once it has penetrated the hair cuticle. Medium porosity hair falls between these two and is pretty good at absorbing and retaining moisture. Once you get a general sense of where your hair falls, it's easier to start finding the right natural hair products for your hair care routine.

Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair

Each strand of hair on your head comprises 3 different layers. The outer layer is made of cuticles that protect the hair. The cuticles in your hair overlap, similar to how shingles are formed to protect the roof of a house. The cuticles are more densely packed together when your hair has low porosity. So water will sometimes hit the hair and fall off without being absorbed much, if at all. Low porosity hair can also cause your hair products to sit on top of the hair for long periods. Your hair might also take longer to dry once you have washed and conditioned it properly.

Hair porosity is a genetic trait passed down from your family line. You can't change the porosity of your hair without damaging it, and even then, you can only ever increase the porosity of your hair. For example, heavily heat-damaged or chemically treated hair may have a higher porosity due to the stress placed on the hair. The damaged cuticles struggle to function as they normally would. It's best to find natural hair care products and methods to help you take the best care of your low-porosity hair.

How to Care for Low-Porosity Hair 

Many thick hair textures tend to fall under the low-porosity hair scale. The more curls, kinks, and coils in your hair, the lower your hair's porosity. This happens because curly hair, or type 3 hair, forms an S-shape along the hair strand. In contrast, Type 4 hair is kinky and coily textures that form Z-shaped hair strands. Not only are the cuticles densely compact together in these hair types, but the natural shape of the hair strands is also compact. There are a few different methods that can help you take proper care of your low-porosity hair. The first tip for low-porosity hair is to eliminate unnecessary and harmful ingredients in your hair care products. Look for products free of sulfates and silicones that do more harm than good for your hair. A great way to avoid these ingredients is to look for extracts, oils, and hair treatments designed from natural ingredients like those found at Butters & Blacksoap.

Picture of black woman with healthy low porosity afro hair

If you have low-porosity hair, you want to find deeply moisturizing products that will not weigh your hair down. This is where the power of deep conditioners, co-washes, leave-in conditioners, warm oil treatments, and other moisturizing products comes into play. While you want to avoid direct heat from styling tools, warmth can help open up the hair's cuticles. Rub warm oil into the scalp to promote strength, elasticity, and growth for your low-porosity hair. Another method is to apply product to the hair after running under warm water
to open up the hair and allow moisture to penetrate the hair follicles deeply. With some patience, you can find the perfect hair care products and tricks for your low-porosity hair.



Jar of low porosity hair butter
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.