Hi, my name is Emily and I have high porosity hair! This is my reality and that of many others who cannot seem to retain moisture for extended periods of time.
Over the years I have always described my hair as a strainer often times learning the hard way that what goes in will almost always come out immediately without extra precaution.
Learning about my hair’s porosity changed the game for me because I finally figured out what I needed to do weekly to help my very fine hair retain moisture, avoid chronic dryness and remain healthy.
Porosity refers to how effectively your hair absorbs moisture and retains that moisture for the long haul. From a scientific perspective, it is also directly related to the position of the cuticles found along the hair strand.
Cuticles resemble little flaps that are either wide open, slightly closed, or fully closed. My hair is highly porous which means, my cuticles are always open allowing moisture to seem in pretty quickly and allowing that same moisture to leave just as fast.
On the other end of the spectrum, your hair might be described as low porosity, which means it is harder for your hair to get moisturized because of how tightly closed your cuticles are. This might sound like a serious disadvantage but the good news is that once your hair is moisturized it holds on to that moisture for longer periods of time.
Women with low porosity hair, often complain of chronic dryness, their hair tends to not respond well to protein and they almost always have to use a heat source to open the cuticles of their hair shaft to let moisture in.
In this post and with the help of our friends at As I Am Naturally, I want to focus on regimen building for women who have low porosity hair. If that sounds like you then keep reading!
How To Identify Your Porosity
I started this post by describing my own hair which is very porous and then giving you a snapshot of what it is like to have low porosity hair.
There is one more aspect of porosity that must be mentioned for you to get the complete picture! Women with medium or normal porosity strands have the advantage of being able to receive and retain moisture normally without a ton of help from heat sources. At this point, I should mention that I am forever envious of women who have medium to low porosity hair because bruh a sista is forever moisturizing!
Now that we have my personal feelings out of the way, let’s move on to the porosity test! The easiest way to test for your hair’s porosity level is to fill a clear glass with water. Then take a strand of your shed hair and drop it in the glass. After a few minutes watch what your strand of hair does while in the glass of water.
If your hair is floating on top of the water, then your hair is within the low porosity category and does not absorb moisture easily.
If your hair is caught in limbo an inch or two below the water’s surface, then you have medium porosity. Finally, if your hair sinks to the bottom of the cup, then you have high porosity.
Regimen building for low porosity hair
Now that you understand all porosity levels and you have determined that your hair is low porosity it is easier to build your regimen and choose products that will work for your hair and what it needs.
Here is what you should know
1. Your hair is prone to dryness so your products must be hydrating and contain humectants and emollients. Especially if you use something similar to a Dyson hair dryer.
2. Low porosity hair responds better to conditioners that are easily absorbed into the hair shaft.
3. For maximum results use heat to deep condition your hair and massage your products into your strand
Step 1 – The pre-poo
This has to be my favorite thing to do on washday but for women with low porosity hair, deep conditioning prior to the shampoo process is of special importance.
The first thing your pre-poo does is open the hair cuticles to prepare your strands to receive the amazing products you are about to use during wash day.
The first thing you should do is separate your hair gently into 4-5 workable sections. (You will keep these sections in place throughout your entire wash day process.)
Using the Long And Luxe Scalp Serum, apply the product to your scalp to alleviate dryness. This product has Aloe Vera in it making it great for moisture retention.
You can even add the As I Am Hydration Elation to the length of your hair focusing on your ends. This product is rich in emollients that help your hair to retain moisture longer.
Once you are finished with adding these products to your hair and scalp pin all sections of your hair up and steam your hair uncovered for at least 20 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, then cover your hair with a plastic cap or bag and sit under an overhead dryer for at least 20 minutes.
The heat from your steamer and dryer will open the cuticles on your hair strand giving you enough time to add as much moisture as your hair needs to carry you through the week. Never skip the heat!
Step 2 – Cleansing
Since your hair type is prone to dryness, ensuring that you do not strip your hair of its moisture and oils is very important. Choose cleansing conditioners like the As I Am Coconut Cowash or the As I Am Gro Wash from the Long And Luxe Line to clean the hair and scalp without the use of sulfates that can otherwise strip the hair.
Here is the thing though, sometimes in your regimen, you may find that your hair needs more than just a cleansing conditioner and you might choose to use regular shampoo and that is ok. Personally, I prefer to use shampoo when I can so if you are like me then try to choose a shampoo that isn’t too drying.
Shampoo or cleanse your hair in sections focusing mainly on the scalp allowing the product to clean the hair as you move from section to section. Wash out the cleansing product thoroughly.
Step 3 – Conditioning
If you have low porosity hair, you have to pay special attention to how you condition your hair. As we mentioned, before work in sections so that you can smooth the product in and allow it to sit in each section before washing it out.
Choose hydrating conditioners that have ingredients that are designed to attract moisture to the hair, these ingredients are known as humectants and are mostly found in your conditioners and styling products.
Glycerine is a pretty common ingredient that is often included on product ingredient lists to indicate that the product aids in the hydration of curly hair.
For example, if you check the ingredients for the As I am Detangling Conditioner and their Lomg and Luxe strengthening conditioner, you will notice that glycerine is very high on the ingredient list which means they are geared towards helping with moisture retention.
Note! – If you did not pre-poo in step one then at this point you should deep condition your hair using a heat source as we mentioned earlier.
Coat your hair well (in sections) using the As I Am Hydration Elation deep conditioner, smoothing the product in from root to tip.
Like the pre-poo step, you should steam your hair uncovered or cover with a plastic cap and overhead dryer to open up the cuticles of your hair shaft to allow the products to seep in.
Once you wash the deep conditioner from your hair, follow up with a moisture-rich leave-in conditioner like the “So Much Moisture – Hydrating Lotion” on each section to start your styling process!
Step 4 – Styling and midweek styling
Once your hair is hydrated, your low porosity hair will retain moisture for an extended period of time as long as your hair isn’t exposed to extreme temperatures or environments that can dry the hair out. Once you have figured out the style you want for the week, always apply your products in this order:
If you follow that order you will ensure that you protect your strands from moisture loss which will ensure that your hair lasts at least 3-4 days without having to do anything to your hair.
5. Midweek hydration during mid week styling
Women who have low porosity hair really have it easy once their hair is actually moisturized because the need to re-moisturize is rare.
However, you might decide to restyle your hair and doing that may require using products to change the shape of your curls. If you do decide to restyle, just remain vigilant on how you apply the products as you style.
Product combinations like the “As I Am Leave-in conditioner” the “Double Butter Cream” and the “Smoothing Gel” can hydrate the hair quickly and help you to switch your style up midweek and for the weekend.
Do you have low porosity hair? Comment below and tell us if your regimen is similar to this one!
This post was sponsored and paid for by As I Am Naturally, but all words and opinion are my own