Published on November 3rd, 2022

Last updated on January 24th, 2023

What Is Hair Porosity And Why You Should Care About It?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
a girl is watching on hair tips

Proper hair care is critical to its health and appearance. However, how do you know that you are using the right products for your hair? To make curls pretty, it is necessary to consider many factors at once, such as the hair porosity, the individual nature and condition of your hair, and the quality of products for the care of your locks.

You can spend several weeks selecting the perfect product for your hair but not achieve the desired effect because of inconspicuous detail. So, for example, this little thing can be your hair’s porosity. This little-known factor significantly affects how good your hair looks and how effective your hair care products are for your strands.

What Is Hair Porosity?

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First, need to deal with hair structure to understand exactly what porosity is. So, our hair consists of three layers:

  • Cuticle. This layer is important for protecting our hair. Like a fish scale, the cuticle can create a protective layer on the hair;
  • The cortex. This critical layer contains fibrous protein and provides color to your hair;
  • The medulla. This part of the hair is the soft central part.

By understanding how complex such a simple head hair is, we can understand how porosity affects our care routine. So that your hair can receive all the necessary nutrients to grow and maintain health, they must get into the cortex of your hair through the protective layer.

Low Vs. High Porosity 

If your cuticles are too close, the nutrients will take too long to get into your hair. At the same time, increased porosity means poor retention of water and other nutrients in your hair, which can make your hair dry and look unhealthy.

By understanding what kind of porosity your hair has, you can ensure reliable growth and health of your curls.

However, you need to remember that severe damage, like exposure to hot air from a hair dryer, can change the structure of the hair over time and subsequently worsen the porosity of your curls.

How To Find Out Your Porosity Type? 

How to Find Out Your Hair Porosity 1024x512 - What Is Hair Porosity And Why You Should Care About It?

So, you decided to know what kind of hair you have but do not know how to do it? Don’t worry. We have two options! With them, you will be able to determine your hair porosity accurately and will be able to choose the right care products for it.

Here are two popular methods to find it out:

1. With A Glass Of Water

  1. Wash your hair and wait until it is completely dry;
  2. Take a few hairs and place them in a glass of water;
  3. After a minute, notice how the hair interacts with the water;
  4. If the hair is sunk, you have high porosity;
  5. If the hair is floating, you have low porosity;
  6. If the hair falls and pops up, you have an optimal indicator.

2. Self-inspection Method

  • Take your hair in your hands and go along the hair length;
  • You have low porosity hair if your curls are smooth and you do not get tangled;
  • If the hair is smooth at the beginning but clings at the end, you have normal porosity;
  • If the entire length of the hair is unpleasant to the touch and rough, your porosity is high.

Low Porosity Hair: Features

As pointed out earlier, such hair is slower to receive nutrients and may remain desaturated due to a strong protective layer. How can you understand that this is your case:

  • After applying a mask, oil or conditioner to your hair, you notice that the products are absorbed for a long time and remain on the surface of the curls.
  • You have difficulty washing your hair with shampoo.
  • Your curls dry for a long time in the open air.

Medium Porosity Hair: Features

This hair type is considered to be optimal for a person and does not have a negative effect. Such curls absorb all the necessary products for hair growth, maintain health and shine, and retain moisture throughout the day. Here’s how you can tell if you have medium porosity:

  • You do not face difficulties creating your hairstyle, and the styling can last long;
  • You do not know about the challenges during hair dye;
  • You often hear compliments about the beauty of your curls;
  • Your hair dries quickly in the open air.

High Porosity Hair: Features

The third type of hair allows all the nutrients to enter the cortex easily, but they cannot retain any moisture, and your hair dries out quickly and becomes brittle.

Here are a few signs that you have high porosity:

  • Your hair does not hold moisture;
  • Your curls are constantly breaking;
  • You have dry hair;
  • Curls dry very quickly in the fresh air.

What Causes Different Hair Porosity?

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Many factors determine how well your hair will receive nutrients and retain moisture. Among them:

  1. Genetics. Like many body features, we can inherit hair porosity from our relatives. If you’ve heard your mom or grandma often complain about hair problems and their bathroom overflowing with hair products, you’re likely to have the same problem. And vice versa;
  2. Hair care. So, as you take care of your hair, your curls will react differently. If you blow-dry your hair too much, straighten it constantly with a curling iron, and wash your curls a lot with aggressive products, you will most likely force your scales to open, and your hair will no longer hold moisture. To prevent this, you must balance caring for your hair and not using too many oils, masks and other hair products. Otherwise, you can achieve the opposite effect;
  3. Sun. UV exposure can also make your hair more porous, and moisture can no longer be retained. To prevent this, you are advised to wear a hat or other head covering when it is cold or hot outside.

Bottom Line

Although most of us have an average state optimal for our hair’s health, it can always change under excessive use of a hair dryer, curling iron or aggressive curl cleaners.

Therefore, so that this problem does not bother you, you must always be careful with your hair, take care of it properly and follow the instructions listed on the packages of care products.

Hair Porosity Tests (Test Your Porosity Levels) (5 Easy Ways)


What Is Hair Porosity?

Hair porosity measures how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. High porosity means that your cuticles are raised and/or damaged, making it difficult to retain moisture. But low porosity makes hair cuticles flat and/or intact, making it easier for hair to retain moisture.

How To Know Your Hair Porosity?

There are a few ways to test it. The most common method is the float test. Simply fill a bowl with water and place your clean, dry hair strand in the water. If your hair sinks, you have low porosity. If it floats, you have high porosity.

Is Low Porosity Bad?

Yes, as the low porosity prevents nutrients from penetrating the hair, while the high porosity allows oils and other moisturizers to stay on the hair for longer, making it less vulnerable to breakage.

Do I Have Low Porosity Hair?

You do if you have noticed that after using a mask, oil, or conditioner on your hair, the products last a very long time and stay on the surface of the curls, shampoo is difficult to wash off, and your curls take a long time to dry outside.