How to Moisturize Hair Based on Porosity

May 24, 2017


Porosity is the determining factor on how well hair can absorb and retain moisture.  Hair can have low, normal, or high porosity.  Normal porosity hair do not have a hard time absorbing and retaining moisture.  People with low porosity hair tend to have a hard time gaining moisture, absorbing products, and absorbing hair dye.  Often times you can tell if your hair has low porosity if water beads sits on top of the hair or if your hair takes a while to dry.  The hair shafts tend to lay close together, which causes less pores.  The best way to gain moisture is through a steam treatment.  Heat allows the hair cuticle to open up and absorb water.  One of the best things a person can do with low porosity hair is to do a deep conditioning treatment, while sitting under heat.  Humectants are also ideal because they draw water into the hair.


Many people with color treated or heat treated hair tend to have issues retaining moisture, in their hair.  This happens because the hair is very porous.  Having hair with high porosity means that your hair has many pores, which allows your hair to absorb a lot of water and not retain it. Studies have shown that when hair becomes treated with hair dyes or even subjected to UV radiation, the number of pores in the hair increases greatly.  When hair high in porosity becomes wet, it looks like it is very swollen and often the hair experiences frizziness. The best way to retain moisture in high porosity hair is to seal it with an oil while the hair is wet.  It is best to apply a leave-in conditioner and then a natural oil to maximize hair moisture. Using an oil is perfect because it blocks water from leaving and entering the hair cuticle. There are many other oils that help seal in moisture as well such as:  coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, argan oil, olive oil, and almond oil.  Moisturized hair has less frizziness, more defined curls, and is very soft.  It is important to keep hair moisturized so that it does not become brittle that makes it prone to breakage. 


Hessefort, Yin Z., Brian T. Holland, and Richard W. Cloud. "True porosity measurement of hair: a new way to study hair damage mechanisms." Journal of cosmetic science 59.4 (2008): 303.

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