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August 23, 2013

Applying Products to Low Porosity Hair



As a low porosity natural, product application can be a very long and arduous task. The foaming of products, the little white balls of product and literally having the product slide off of your hair and into the sink can quickly get annoying and layering is something one can only dream of.

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There isn’t a lot you can do to change the porosity of your hair, but, as always, you can accept it and learn to work with it. If you have low porosity hair, then try these simple tips to help your products absorb better.
  1. Apply product to damp hair. Just after washing, your hair has absorbed a lot of water and will therefore find it hard to absorb anything else. By allowing your hair to dry and let go of some of the water, it will be able to absorb more product.
  2. Use a detangling comb or brush. After applying your product, it is imperative that it is distributed properly throughout your hair to prevent one part from having too much product and just sitting on your hair. After applying your product, grab a detangling comb or brush and run it through your hair gently from tip to root.
  3. Squeeze out the excess. If you know that the product you use has a tendency to turn white or if you use too much and it takes forever and a day to dry, then get rid of the excess. This step does not require you washing out the product, but is as simple as grabbing a small section of hair and sandwiching it between your index and middle finger then running your finger down the hair gently to slide the excess product off of your hair. Do this to as many sections as needed until your hair no longer has the white foamy look or until the little white balls of product disappear.
  4. Smooth your hair. For heavier, thicker products like butters, where the excess cannot be squeezed out, smooth it in. Grab a small section of your hair and place it between your palms then run your hands down the length of your hair and keep going until the product disappears.
Porosity Check
Your hair’s inability to absorb product and react well to them could be as a result of other things besides low porosity, such as damage and product build up. So to find out if your hair is really low porosity, test it by getting a shed hair from your head, brush or comb right after cleansing and a glass of water. Drop it in the glass of water and observe it. If it takes forever before it sinks, then you are a low porosity natural.


Cherry Lola Treatment
While it is impossible to change the porosity of your hair without damaging it, you can help to lift your cuticles safely and temporarily for better product absorption. Products that are alkaline in nature have the ability to temporarily lift the hair’s cuticle. Baking soda, which is alkaline, can be used for this purpose after cleansing your hair by mixing it with water and applying it to your hair then rinsing. This is called the “cherry lola treatment.”

After the treatment, you can apply product. With your cuticles raised, it will be easier for your hair to absorb product. Once you are done, you will need to reseal your cuticle to prevent frizz, which you can easily do with something acidic like aloe vera gel.

This may seem like a lot of work, but if you are a textured tressed lady whose hair refuses to dry, and who can’t leave the house for hours after styling because of white product-ridden hair, then try the tips above and report back.

If you have other tips that work for you then let me know below.

23 Chime in!:

Sue said...

This is exactly how my hair behaves. I washed my hair around 9:30AM yesterday and it is still not dry today; very annoying. Thanks for the info.

Annabel said...

Team low porosity here! Thanks so much for this post!

One thing that helps me is deep conditioning (with a baggy, with a hooded dryer or with steam). This helps force moisture into my hair. Moisturizing low porosity hair can be challenging, but once it's moisturized, it's generally very shiny and maintains the moisture. I've also learned less is more. It's not always necessary to apply products or oils on a daily basis, a little goes a long way. For a really helpful video about the cherry lola, check out Elle's Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qI5K90TaDw

Anonymous said...

I did the strand test at 10:06 am ...and still counting (10:35) for it to drop to the bottom :-(

Tamika said...

Hmm, I thought that my hair was low porosity, but I don't get white balls of product in my hair and hair only takes 4 hours to dry after applying product to damp hair.

Anonymous said...

I am low porosity! Takes forever and a day for my hair to dry. I've done all of the tips. I've gotten to the point that I don't care and will just leave the house with product still drying. Glad it's warm now because I can just let the windows down and let my hair dry that way. I have thick hair, and the longer it gets, the longer it takes for it to dry.

Anonymous said...

i have low porosity hair, it usually takes shorter time for hair to do dry when i apply products on damp hair instead of on wet hair. but, hair that takes forever to dry surely is a sign of dense hair and not necessarily low porosity? my hair does not take that long to dry, but it sure is extremely low porosity

Anonymous said...

having low porostiy hair means its only aloe vera gel that dont lieave white residue on my hair:(

hair wraps have become a solution; as long as it takes forever for deep conditioning treatments to actually get into the hair strands, i wear head wraps in style with my outfit for a day or two. i dont get mushy hair. i never had mushy hair due to overmouisturizing. (sry about spl-mistakes, i am not american)

Fatima said...

I'm still confused. I tried the water test and it took days for my hair to sink - even a little bit. But at the same time my hair seems to absorb product well and quickly. Maybe mine is just normal porosity??

Anonymous said...

I thought low porosity hair was on the healthier side of the spectrum. I thought normal to low porosity meant your hair hasn't been damaged. Is it still damaged if you've never done anything chemical to your hair? Your hair grows damaged? I don't get it. Anyway. My hair dries quickly if I don't out anything on it but takes forever to dry with product on wet hair. Leave ins tend to foam on my hair, maybe that's because my hair is wet.

Ayomide said...

I use a tee shirt to squeeze out the excess water before I apply any leave in products. I also oil once a week with olive oil or something else light before I get in the shower to help lift the hair cuticle. I then wrap my hair in a warm towel afterward to help. That seems to do the trick for a midweek oiling and my hair doest feel greasy afterwards.

mangomadness said...

I don't really pay attention to hair porosity.

With that said, I do follow a similar regimen when moisturizing my Afro-textured hair after a detangle/condition and wash.

I squeeze out excess water with a black cotton-t-shirt, apply product to the section about to be braided/Bantu knoted/etc., smooth into strands (adding more to "rough" spots) and style and seal my ends w/ castor oil. This method works like a charm. :)

uniquejamaican said...

My hair only achieved 'normal' porosity after bleaching. I realize if I wash in twists my hair stays wet for almost an entire day. Now I blot with a t shirt, get it 50-75% dry, add a moisturizer and an oil/butter, may be even gel then twist/plait/Bantu knot. My hair is more defined, and all I do is spritz with water or a homemade leave-in to refresh every 2 days.

Kiara G. said...

Oh the woes of lopo hair...idk what to do smh!

Anonymous said...

to the one who asked about low porosity hair is healhty or not; it is healhty hair, however, it means moisture dont get into the hair strands/shaft as easily as normal porosity or high porosity hair and therefor lo-po hair can dry out easily - even when products are applied. and also heavy butters and oils, and products tend to just sit on the hair instead of being absorbed as it would in high or normal porosity hair. i've tried doing the curly girl method same way as mahoganycurls on yt, but all it did for me was leave a white residue on my hair....not good! light products, such as aloe vera gel works for me. creamy stuff - not so much

Laxmi said...

Wow, I learned so much from this post and the comments. Thanks for the info/tips everybody.

Crystal Afro (on google) said...

Oh my goodness, Im so greatful to my friend @TheNaprika on YT, for sending me the link to this post. It has been so helpful!

Whenever I've done the porosity test in water, my strands float for days, and even when I push them down, after a while they float back up.

Also, I thought the reason my leave-in spray conditioner was foam on my hair was because I needed to rinse it more - despite having rinsed for ages. Now I know Im not the only person thats happened to so I guess it just means that product isn't for me.

I spoke to a Kera care representative who also suggested drying my hair a little before going on to apply my conditioner.

I'm a little concerned though, as I think my hair gets dry pretty quickly after washing, despite feeling soft.

Im definitely gona try some of these suggestions and maybe the Cherry Lola Treatment.
I was worried about messing with PH after watching certain yt vids about Bicarbonate of soda & hair, but I think I'm just gona trust that sometimes its horses for courses - so although others might not agree, there's a chance it could work for someone like me.
So glad Im not the only one with Lo-po. :-D

Habiba Kaba said...

This article is GREAT. for the longest I've been curious as to WHY it takes my hair SUPER long to dry (as in ridiculous amounts of time) and why products that i'd used before with fabulous results were suddenly making my hair look like i'd been rolling in lint! TOTALLY helped me out! thanks a lot.

Decemberpumpkin said...

this info will help on wash day lol

ShawnTe said...

I also found that applying a little bit of product to hair by sections helps. For my leave-in lotion I will squeeze a little into my palm, briskly rub my hands together to thin out the product, smooth may hands over the section and then stretch and smooth to work it in. It takes some time but it prevents the foaming and white balls. When I need to refresh mid week I mist my hair in sections using a spray bottle of water and cheap conditioner mix and smooth a little EVOO over each section. This works for me.

Anonymous said...

The reason I think my hair is low po is because I wet my hair in the shower and as soon as I get out it is big. It's like the water won't weigh down my hair at all. My hair grows and no matter what products I use, nothing will weigh down my hair. I try a wash n' go and it's always big. I want my hair to lay down sometimes, you know?

B. Humphrey said...

Has anyone heard of Terresssentials (http://www.terressentials.com/haircare.html)? This what their website says about a "porous cuticle - under a microscope chemically treated hair looks like Swiss cheese. Once hair is damaged by chemical colorings, perms or straightening chemicals, people are sold a myriad of synthetic products that artificially coat the hair with plastic or protein polymers to make it look and feel undamaged. The more damaged the hair, the more porous it becomes; the more porous the hair, the more it absorbs these synthetic "protein" polymers (e.g. soy, wheat or oat proteins - that are NOT edible foods), plastic polymers such as PVP (petrochemical polyvinyl pyrrolidone) and gum coating agents."

I really want to try their products! I've been natural for 4 years and only the front third of my hair is colored, so I'm slightly timid to try this product if it will dry out my hair because my hair has been chemically colored.

Ariell said...

I've tried many things recommended for low porosity hair (e.g. alkaline treatments, alkaline shampoos such as castile soap and bentonite clay, steaming, heat, etc.). In my opinion, the information provided in this article made a huge difference in the softness and health of my hair. For any struggling lo-po curlies out there, you gotta find what works for you. Keep trying and don't give up.

LaVondilyn said...

OMGeeeeeeeeeeee! This blessed me so much. I now know why most products just sit on my hair and why the CG Method leaves my hair completely white, lol! This is great info. Thanks for sharing!

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