How to Condition High Porosity Hair

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By: Sabrina Perkins

Hair porosity does not get the same attention as hair length or curl pattern but it is essential to truly understand your texture. Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, oils, or chemicals like color. Low, medium, and high are different degrees of porosity. Due to damaging habits such as mechanical manipulation and color treatment, many naturals suffer with high porosity hair.

Why porosity matters

Low Porosity – the hair cuticles are tight and very resistant to opening for water and other forms of moisture. Women with low porosity often complain of products merely “sitting on their hair.”Medium (Normal) Porosity – the hair cuticles are raised enough to readily absorb moisture, oils, and chemicals. Normal porosity hair tends to hold moisture, shine, and absorb color and chemicals better than low or high porosity strands.High Porosity – the hair cuticle that is highly raised  or even chipped and therefore quickly absorbs moisture. The down side is that because it’s raised and remains raised, you can lose the moisture just as quickly as it was absorbed. Oftentimes this hair type is damaged from harsh chemicals, high heat, or harsh shampoos that strip the hair. Because the cuticles are aggressively raised, the strands catch onto each other and become easily tangled.

Treating high porosity hair

Protein treatments

Incorporating protein treatments in your regimen is important for high porosity hair to gain strength and not break as frequently. Oftentimes, hair that is highly porous is a result of  damage so if you haven’t incorporated protein, it’s time to start. Highly porous hair has holes in the hair shaft and protein temporarily fills those holes and strengthens the hair. It’s like patching a tire. Protein treatments are usually advised to be monthly. For an extra boost, you can also use light protein treatments every few weeks in between the monthly heavy protein treatment. Remember that protein is not a moisturizer and should not be treated as such.

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