Hair Porosity: The hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. This is determined by the cuticle layer (outer layer of hair) which allows moisture and oils to pass in and out. External factors such as chemical treatments/processing, heat, and outside exposure can change your porosity levels but it can also be genetic. Having an idea of your hair’s porosity makes it easier to determine which products to purchase.
Type's of Hair Porosity:
High Porosity: Highly porous hair is a result of the cuticle layer being raised. This texture can absorb to much moisture and loses the moisture quickly. Using products that are heavy such as butters and creams work great for highly porous hair. It will help seal in the moisture. This is why the L.O.C. method works well for this kind of hair. I believe that the Natural Hair community is starting to understand that this method does not work for everyone and it’s not about texture, it’s simply about porosity.
Characteristics of High Porosity:
. Lacks shine
. Lacks luster
Hair with medium porosity often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser, allowing just the right amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping. Hair with normal porosity tends to hold styles well, and can be permed and colored with predictable results. Over time, however, these processes can damage your hair and increase its porosity.
Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen.
Medium Porosity: This texture is one of the best to have. The cuticle layer tends to be looser which allows for the right amount of moisture to enter and escape. It requires the least amount of maintenance and your style holds up better. It is best to avoid too much protein with this type.
Characteristics of Medium Porosity:
. It looks healthy
. It's resilient
. Full of bounce
. Has elasticity
Low Porosity: This texture is quite resistant to absorbing moisture and products seem to just sit on the hair. The cuticles are extremely compact and seem to overlap. This texture at good retention abilities however, light weight products are the best option. If you end up using a heavier, cream based product, give your hair a blast of heat to open the cuticle layer. Also, rinsing you hair with warm water is best vs the standard “rinse in cold water so you don’t get frizz” rule. Remember, one size doesn’t fit all!
Characteristics of Low Porosity:
. Looks very healthy
. Lacks elasticity
Why is Hair Porosity Important? Why Learn About It?
Hair Porosity is important because it determines what one's hair care is like. I know everyone wants to do their hardest to take care of their hair am I right? Moisture can determine how curls are shaped and the inability to absorb moisture can totally mess with your efforts to get beautiful curls. If you don't know your porosity then you won't know the best way for you to get great curls and to nurture your hair in the best way possible. Did you know dry hair is one of the leading causes of dry, frizzy, and dull hair? And did you also know that different porosity’s can be found in all hair textures? I bet you didn’t. Well now you know.
How To Tell What Your Porosity Is:
The next time your washing your hair, whether it be a week from now or two weeks, take a strand of hair and dip it in a glass of water.
High Porosity: Your hair will immediately sink to the bottom of the glass.
Medium Porosity: Your hair will be stuck right in the middle of the glass.
Low Porosity: Your hair will just stay right at the top of the glass.
Unleash the beauty of your curls and just be free!
Different Hair Types
Here's another article about hair! Although this time it's about different types of hair which I believe you and I may find quite interesting. Let's start shall we?
Type 1 Hair
Definition: No curl pattern and is naturally straight.
Type 1a Hair: This type of hair is naturally straight and can't hold a curl at all. It is flat with little or no body and is completely straight from root to tip.
Type 1b Hair: Type 1b Hair has sporadic bends and tend to curl under slightly
Type 1c Hair: Few areas with slight bends. Not quite waves though. The individual strands tend to be thick and coarse.
Type 2 Hair
Definition: Naturally wavy and forms an “S” shape. Isn't oily or super dry.
Type 2a Hair: Several natural ,loose, beach waves all over the head. This type isn't as frizzy as the next two hair types, but can become frizzy if too much product is applied.
Type 2b Hair: Waves that are clearly defined and are more tightly drawn. Yet the hair sticks closely to the head and won't bounce and or poof up. This is about the time frame frizz will start to make itself known and sometimes gel based products are used to keep frizz at bay
Type 2c Hair: Waves that are tightly drawn so much that they start whirling around themselves to form loose spiral curls. Type 2c Hair is the frizziest of all Type 2 Hair and bounces or poofs slightly away from the face.
Type 3 Hair
Definition: Naturally curly and is shaped like an “S”. Type 3 Hair is naturally defined without manipulating it or using hair styling products. Unfortunately, Type 3 Hair also tends to be very dry.
Type 3a Hair: Loose Shirley Temple curls that are easily defined without manipulation or hair styling products.
Type 3b Hair: This consist of curls that are more spiraled and stringy than Type 3a Hair. The hair is defined (moderately) on it's own but is extremely frizzy. Hair creams and gel can prevent it from becoming extremely frizzy.
Type 3c Hair: The curls are more tightly drawn and coily. Are often highly textured and the hair strands are closely packed together that can also be known as clumping. It takes some manual manipulation to get the curls evenly defined but are moderately defined on their own.
Type 4 Hair
Definition: Classified ad hair that is coily and tightly curled without the defined ringlets of Type 3 Hair. Keeps the same shape usually when wet or dry.
Type 4a Hair: Coily and forms tight perfectly cylindrical curls. The curls tend to be the width of a pencil and are quite springy. Has a clearly defined curl pattern.
Type 4b Hair: Takes on a tight crimpy pattern. Type 4b Hair is clearly defined and had a clear curl pattern.
Type 4c Hair: Type 4c Hair consist of a “Z” shaped zigzag pattern and shows little or no defined sections of hair. The texture of individual hair strands tends to switch from thin/fine to wiry to coarse. Type 4c Hair is known to shrink to half it's length. Pretty cool.
Relaxed Hair: The curl pattern of a relaxed persons hair ranges from Type 1 to Type 3. Relaxed hair can still be curly so don't be discouraged. Curly hair can be for everyone.
How do I determine my Hair Type?: Wonderful question. Here's how:
- Make sure your hair has been washed.
- Don't blow dry or towel dry your hair. Just let it air dry. If you blow dry or towel dry your hair, it could make finding your true hair type harder and can temporarily change your curl pattern. So don't do it.
- Take a look at multiple sections of your hair and determine your hair type by looking at some pictures on the internet.
Personally, I believe that hair typing is only necessary when trying to understand what products may and may not work for you. Your texture plays a part but your porosity level is a bit more important overall. Most people have more than one texture on their head! All you can do is enjoy what GOD gave you and understand that no two heads are created the same. What works for one person (even with the same texture) may not work for you. That's why knowing your hair porosity is THE most important.