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Porosity and Natural Hair Care

Do you find that your hair struggles to absorb moisture –no matter what it is you do? If so, it could be that you are suffering from low porosity or hair that is not absorbing moisture.

Thanks to tightly closed or flat cuticles, hair with low porosity not only deflects water but it does not readily absorb any products that have the intention of instilling moisture. Instead, the product lays atop of hair, creating a build-up.

Meanwhile, hair with medium porosity has an incredible ability to not only absorb moisture, but it is also able to retain moisture.  Unlike low porosity hair which can feel hard, dry and brittle, hair with medium porosity is moisture-rich, soft and healthy in appearance.

Methods to Check for Low Hair Porosity

How do you know for sure if your hair suffers from low porosity? Here are two ways to test for low porosity.

The Misting Test

Grab your spray bottles and fill it with room temperature water. Next, pull out a small section of your hair, pinning your hair back. Next, spray the loose hair with water. There is no need to saturate hair. A simple mist will do. If you find that water appears to be sitting on top of your hair, you have low porosity hair but hair that drinks the water or absorbs it like a sponge is indicative of hair with high porosity.

The Float Test

To use this test, you must first ensure that hair is clean and free of any hair products, including hair oils.   


  1. Fill a cup with room temperature water.
  2. Place a few strands of your clean hair in the water.
  3. Wait five minutes.

Did your hair sink or did your hair float? If your hair fell, how fast did this happen? If your hair did not fall within three minutes of initiating the test, the chances are that your hair has low porosity, but if your hair immediately absorbed water, your hair has high porosity. Anything in between indicates hair of average porosity.

Solving for Low Porosity3b21f76514a6ccdc799fb00c00d90ea9

If you are one who has low porosity hair, here are a few steps that you can take to improve low porosity.

Natural Ingredients Are Not a One-Size Fits All

Beware that not all natural ingredients are not a one-size fits all. What works for one natural diva in the way of natural ingredients intended to restore moisture will not necessarily work for another. The porosity of hair dictates the effectiveness of the ingredient.

Use a Clarifying Products

While it is important to avoid excessive shampooing because it tends to strip hair, shampooing with clarifying products like clarifying shampoos or even baking soda can help to remove excess product build-up from hair. Once you remove the build up from your hair while simultaneously opening your cuticles, your hair will better receive moisture.


A heating cap, steamer or dryer during deep conditioning activities can vastly support your efforts to improve porosity. The mere idea of heat may be traumatic for some naturalistas, but now is not the time to quibble about your core natural hair care beliefs. Your hair is crying out for your help, and low porosity hair thrives under the influence of heat. Should you choose not to use an electric heating cap or hooded dryer, you can also wrap a warm towel around the plastic conditioning bag covering your hair during the conditioning process. You can also pull a hot towel from the dryer and wrap it around the conditioner cap on your head to create heat. Heat is your friend during the conditioning ritual. The goal in using heat is to open up those otherwise tight, flat cuticles so that moisture can enter!

Use Moisturizing Treatments

Indulge in moisturizing treatments while avoiding regular use of proteins, heavy oils or the thick, traditional butter to seal your hair. It bears repeating that you should be cautious in your use of proteins. Low porosity hair tends to need moisture more than it needs additional proteins.


Choose Your Oils Wisely

Light oils work well on hair that has low porosity thanks to their ability to penetrate those tightly sealed cuticles. Consider using the following oils to manage hair with low porosity:

These oils soften hair that is otherwise dry and hard, creates the flexibility that is otherwise missing. While they are great as maintenance oils, they can be an excellent part of your pre-poo treatment; you’re an added ingredient for your deep conditioner and a moisture sealant following your hair washing regimen.  

Humid Climate Management

If you are suffering from the low porosity hair curse in the midst of a humid climate, there are other rituals you can deploy including the use of honey and glycerin to aid you in your quest to seal in moisture.

Build a Regimen

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Creating your low porosity hair care regimen now will allow you to slowly begin to see changes in your low porosity hair. Our ultimate goal is healthy MOISTURIZED hair and neglecting your low porosity hair will only make the situation worse by leading to breakage.

Take control of your hair!

In my video e course Understanding Porosity and What it Means for Moisturizing Your Natural Hair we lay out the regimen you should follow no matter if you have low or high porosity natural hair.

After years of research and my own trial and error experience of 10 years! I’ve found that one of the major building blocks of moisturized natural hair comes in the form of first knowing and understanding your porosity level.

[Tweet “You don’t have to be a professional hair stylist to know about hair porosity. “] You just have to commit to a regimen to begin seeing changes in your hair


LESSON ONE: What is porosity? Porosity Basics and what causes it.
LESSON TWO: How to Test Your Hair’s Porosity level with an instructional video.
LESSON THREE: Low Porosity Characteristics and Regimen
LESSON FOUR: High Porosity Characteristics and Regimen
LESSON FIVE: Tools and Resources

I’ve done the hard part for you! With this e course you will be able to learn everything in an hour and implement the new strategies and regimen the very next time you do your hair!

Enroll in the Understanding Porosity Course here

Find out more Info on the Course here 



Do you have low porosity hair? What are your tips and tricks?


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