04 Jan Identify your hair permeability and the right routine for it
You must have heard about “hair permeability” or “porosity” either from your friends or came across it on social media, and if that word is confusing you, don’t worry we shall discuss in details in here.
What is Hair Porosity?
It is the ability of the hair shaft to absorb and retain moisture, and it’s not related to your hair type, either it’s Straight or curly, voluminous or thin.
The hair shaft has a protective layer on it called cuticle, which is responsible for the protection of the hair shaft, and to keep moisture in. Healthy hair should be able to absorb and release moisture slowly, but in case of cuticular damage, due to different factors like, permanent waves, coloring, high temperature, or even pH changes, moisture in hair shaft can escape quickly making your hair dry, brittle with split ends.
In other words, the less or more permeable your hair is than normal, the more prone it is to damage and dehydration.
What’s my hair permeability?
There is a simple test that you can do yourself at home to know your hair permeability type, but first you need to know that there are 3 types of hair permeability, it’s either low, medium, or high.
- Make sure that your hair is clean, free of any silicone residues from products that you may be using.
- Brush your hair gently, and pull a hair or two from your scalp. (if some hair falls into your brush you can use them instead)
- Make sure that your hair you will use is dry, and medium or small in length.
- Bring a glass of water (at room temperature) and push your hair with your finger quickly into the deep.
- Wait for 5 minutes to see the result.
- Low Porosity: if the hair strand stayed floating on the surface, you likely have low porosity hair.
- Medium Porosity: if the hair strand floats somewhere in the middle, then your hair is of medium (normal) porosity.
- High Porosity: when the strand sinks quickly to the bottom, this means high porosity.
What are the characteristics of my hair?
Now that you have determined your hair porosity, you should know what is its characteristics and how you should treat your hair.
Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair:
The hair cuticles are very close together. This makes it harder for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft.
You may have low porosity hair if:
- Using hair products are more likely to sit on your hair and are not absorbed easily
- It is hard for water to saturate your hair when washing and it takes a long time for air dry your hair as well.
Characteristics of Medium Porosity Hair:
With medium or normal porosity hair, the cuticles aren’t too close to each other, but aren’t too distant either. This allows moisture to penetrate easily, and it also makes it easier to retain moisture for a longer period of time, thus keeping the hair hydrant.
You may have medium porosity hair if:
- your hair looks healthy and shiny.
- your hair is easy to style and can hold styles for a good length of time
- It doesn’t take too long for to dry your hair.
Heat and other chemical processes like bleaching can cause normal porosity hair to change over time.
Characteristics of High Porosity Hair:
High porosity hair allows moisture to be absorbed into the hair shaft easily, yet it isn’t able to retain moisture for long.
You may have high porosity hair if:
- your hair tends to break easily, become frizzy, or dry
- Water and other moisturizers are absorbed quickly into your hair, yet it dries quickly after applying them.
How to treat my Hair then?
For low porosity hair:
- Avoid protein conditioners, these tend to be more easily absorbed into your hair and may be less likely to cause product buildup.
- Apply conditioner (silicone-free is preferred) to hair that’s already wet. the conditioner when diluted may become easier to be absorbed into your hair.
- Apply heat when you condition your hair. Use a steamer, heat cap. if you don’t have those, put a shower cap over your hair once you added the conditioner.
- Look for natural ingredients like glycerin and honey in your hair products. Avoid products with oils, as these tend to have a longer time penetrating the cuticle.
For high porosity hair:
- Use leave-in conditioners which can help your hair retain moisture.
- Look for natural ingredients like butters and oils in your hair products, as these ingredients will help moisturize your hair.
- Avoid hot water when washing your hair, and try to use lukewarm water instead.
- Use a heat protectant product on your hair, before you dry it like a serum, which can protect your hair from heat damage.
At the End, either your hair is of high or low porosity, now you have known how you can treat and care for your hair, to make it healthy and strong again.