Porosity Check. Low Porosity Hair Treatments

around the way curls, natural hair, porosity, antoinette henry
The summer sun wreaks havoc on my hair color giving me red, orange and even sometimes purplish hues in my hair. So, I recently got my hair colored again at Aveda. The color was nothing drastic… just a nice chocolate brown for the winter. Anyway, I am always nervous about chemical damage when getting my hair dyed (even though Aveda uses mostly plant based products) so I decided to do a health check by doing the porosity test.
First, do you know what porosity is? If not, click the linkhere. In my opinion knowing your hair’s porosity level is by far more important and helpful than the hair typing chart and if you don’t know what the porosity test is it goes a little something like this:
  • 1. Fill a glass container with room temperature water.
  • 2. Pluck a strand of clean hair from your scalp. Be sure that the hair you are using is coming directly from the scalp and is not a strand that broke off from your hair shaft.
  • 3. Place the strand of hair in the water.
If your hair floats you have low porosity hair. Meaning, your cuticles are compact and somewhat closed. This makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate your hair shaft but once it does penetrate it is easily maintained
If your hair sinks to the bottom you have highly porous hair. Meaning, your cuticles are so far raised that they are wide open. Moisture easily penetrates your hair but also easily escapes it. So, you need to figure out your own best practices for sealing in moisture. (That post is to come).
If your hair chills somewhere in the middle congratulations you have normal porosity, none of this matters to you and life is easy! But keep in mind your hair’s porosity can and will change overtime so it’s a good idea to check back in every now and then.
around the way curls, porosity, natural hair, curly hair
Believe it or not I actually took this picture the following day and that ish was STILL floating.
The results of the test were that my curls floated on top of that water like oil. Ugh! So, my hair has very low porosity. Meaning, it’s resistant and water does not penetrate my hair easily because my cuticles are not raised but instead are compacted. What that essentially means is that my hair repels products/moisture instead of absorbing them which can lead to dryness, product buildup and wack ass curls. BUT, the results also led me to believe that dying my hair did not cause any damage because my cuticle structure is still strong and intact. (At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself).  So, there are pros and cons to this discovery.
Ways to Treat Low Porosity Hair
  • Steam is a gentle way to lift compact cuticles and send moisture inside your hair shaft. If you don’t have a hair steamer then turn the shower on and sit in the bathroom while it fogs up. Add a deep conditioner to your hair while you steam for added moisture.
  • Add some heat! I have sad this time and time again. My diffuser mixed with my leave-in conditioner are the best things that have ever happened to me. The heat much like the steamer, lifts my cuticles and allows moisture to penetrate my hair to penetrate. The diffuser also helps to protect my hair as it distributes heat and airflow more evenly than a regular hair dryer.
  • The use of baking soda is something that some people are still on the fence about while others profess their love for it. I’ll keep it simple baking soda is alkaline and because of that lifts the hair’s cuticle. Many low porosity naturals add it to their conditioner during co-washes and such. Be sure to rinse it out thoroughly and then use something acidic to reseal your cuticles like aloe vera juice or and ACV Rinse.
  • Don’t go HAM with protein treatments. You’re hair is already compact with protein so adding more will further seal your cuticles. Use protein only when you are noticing damage and need to rebuild some of the hair’s foundation.
So, it was time to get the good ol’ Huetiful Hair Steamer out, lift up these cuticles and pump some moisture into these dessert like curls.
huetiful hair steamer, low porosity, natural hair, curly hair, antoinette henry, around the way curls
Listening to that new Miguel Album & playing Adorn for the 1000th time
After the steamer.
huetiful hair steamer, low porosity, natural hair, curly hair, antoinette henry, around the way curls
huetiful hair steamer, low porosity, natural hair, curly hair, antoinette henry, around the way curls
My curl pattern is still on some irregular stuff but I’m sure with a couple of treatments I’ll be back to normal. I swear I’m going to one day try that baking soda trick but I can’t front. I’m hella nervous about adding ACV to my hair. Just the sound of it scares me.
What is your hair’s porosity and how are you treating it?

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15 thoughts on “Porosity Check. Low Porosity Hair Treatments

  1. thank you SO much for this post! I just learned about porosity a few weeks ago in your original post and I’ve been searching all over for more information. This post breaks it DOWN! I definitely have an idea about what I need to do now.

  2. I have no idea what the porosity of my hair is. This has been the best post on porosity, because other posts have called for litmus paper and all this other stuff to test the hair. I think I have been treating my hair like trash, and I have some breakage that I may have to do a big chop… Again…thank you for this easy and thorough post. I will check my hair immediately.

  3. Your hair looks awesome. For some reason I feel some kind of way for putting gel in my hair. Not in a bad way but I like the way your hair looks…moisturized and soft.

    I love that Miguel song – Adorn. How Many Drinks is my favorite song too from the album.


  4. don’t be scared of ACV, my hair loves ACV and baking soda mixed as a pre-poo to the scalp AND hair. it makes my hair feel better than it feels any other time… and gets my curls popping. not sure the science behind it, but i can feel the difference! now, my hair is NOTHING like yours, if i had to guess some where in the 4 category but not sure, but try it, it won’t bite, lol 🙂

  5. Did my own check after reading this. My hair sank straight to the bottom. This is a big surprise because I do weekly mild protein treatments and monthly hard. So I’m looking foward to your post about sealing.

    • That is interesting. What kind of protein treatment are you using? Do you use a lot of heat on your hair? It may not be a protein issue though. You may just need to find something that will lower your cuticles. i’d be curious to know what would happen if you did a ACV rinse.

  6. I’ve done ACV rinses for as long as I’ve had hair…50+ years. My mom would use this rinse on my sisters and I after shampooing. You can’t beat it for getting shiny, strong hair. Seriously. I’ve been tempted to mix a bit of baking soda in my cheapie condish, but I’m scurred I might strip it. One day, one day.

  7. let me tell you Ant acv with water is the best! No need to be worried its the best natural clarifying thing ive used ad since your hair is color treated it’ll help with retaining color. it also balances hair and scalp helping to rid of dandruff ,itchiness ,bacteria the list goes on i used Bragg’s acv with the mother in it which is basically amino acids looks like a mucous kinda pulp. good stuff =)

  8. this was very interesting. glad u posted it cause my hair was just chilling on top of the water too. smh. always wondered why it was just soo dry and frizzy despite my best efforts. sigh. needs divine intervention i swear. Quick question though about the baking soda how much do you add to the conditioner because i really need to try sumn with these hur curls.

  9. Hi! Just found you. I have used ACV rinse. It’s great. Helps hair shine and makes curls bounce back. I only do it once a month.

    Have you read about the Cherry Cola baking soda treatment? She uses yogurt and baking soda, but mentioned using conditioner instead. Protein doesn’t work so well on my hair as I am low porosity. I haven’t used it yet…guess I’m kind of scurred too. LOL

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