The 5 Best Oils for Low Porosity Natural Hair

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by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

Hair porosity is how well hair is able to absorb and hold onto moisture. There is low, medium and high and all three affect your hair more than knowing your hair's type. As hair porosity becomes more relevant to naturals, the desire to not only know what type one has but what products will be ideal in managing that porosity.

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How to Get Moisture into Low Porosity Natural Hair


Jensine writes:

If you have low porosity hair, chances are you’ve spent many a wash day trying different deep conditioners in search of a holy grail. When you have no idea how to effectively deep condition your low porosity hair, wash day can be a nightmare. But what if I told you that the method of application can make a world of a difference?
This simple method will help open your hair cuticle so that it is ready to receive moisture and make wash day a breeze!

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How to Moisturize Your Highly Porous Hair This Fall and Winter



Fall is upon us and winter is not far off as we are feeling the cooler temperatures and gearing up for the holiday season. It may not be apparent just yet, but naturals will need to get ready for the fall and winter weather for our hair. More naturals will be protective styling or adjust their spray bottle concoctions, but naturals with high porosity hair will also need to find ways to absorb just enough moisture - and retain it.

Tips for Moisturizing Dry Natural Hair (Low Porosity)




Hair porosity is a key player in effectively moisturizing our hair. If you are on either end of the spectrum (low or high porosity) then you know how daunting it can seem to keep your hair moisturized. This is due to the outer layer aka cuticle of the hair. The way the cuticle of your hair lays and opens is the determining factor of your porosity. 

Hair Porosity 101- Natural Hair Care


by Amanda
Porosity is moving to the forefront of the hair typing conversation, and rightfully so. With the focus of healthy hair being moisture, understanding your hair’s porosity and the products that will cater to its needs are important. There are three porosity levels: low, medium (normal), and high. Low porosity hair has a cuticle that is tightly bound, making it challenging for moisture and chemicals to effectively penetrate and be released. High porosity has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which allow it to quickly absorb moisture and chemicals while also quickly releasing them. High porosity hair can be a result of genetics, over manipulation, heat usage, or chemical processing. Medium porosity is the easiest to manage and is the happy medium. There are multiple ways to check your hair’s porosity.

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The Importance of Hair Porosity in Natural Hair Care

 Photo Courtesy of pRoy

 
Your hair’s porosity is a great place to start if you need help finding products. It is determined by how tightly or loosely bound the cuticle is along the hair shaft. Low porosity hair is tightly bound, making it more challenging to absorb moisture, while high porosity hair is loosely bound or missing layers, making it challenging to withhold moisture. A lot of people associate high porosity hair with color-treated hair, but aside from genetics these are not the only ways someone can acquire high porosity hair.


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The Maximum Hydration Method for 4C Hair


by Curly Penny

The maximum hydration method was introduced by Pinke Cube, an active member of Black Hair Media, and blogger MsDeeKay has been a strong advocate of the method. It is a regimen that is mostly directed to naturals with low porosity, 4C hair to achieve intense maximum moisture. This regimen must be done every day for one week because the goal is to open up the hair cuticles so they can absorb a ton of moisture. After one week the regimen can be done every three days, but no longer stretches than that. Even if your 4C hair isn’t low porosity, give it a try! Other textures can use this method but with few adjustments. These steps must be done consecutively.

Low Porosity Hair- Four solutions to help your strands absorb moisture.



Think of your hair like a sponge. Your curls have the same ability as a sponge: soak in and absorb moisture. Most of us add a zillion ingredients to help moisturize, define, hold, and add a little shine or an extra pop of color. On some occasions, our hair does not absorb certain products the way we want it to and we are left with dry, brittle strands and confused about why all the oils and creams that work so well for others do not work with our hair. Hair porosity is the factor that affects how much moisture your hair can absorb. It is the cuticle or outer layer of the hair that defines whether hair has high, normal, or low porosity.

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Hair Porosity and Your Natural Hair Regimen


by Precious Henshaw of PreciousHenshaw.com

Porosity is a term used to describe the hair's ability to absorb moisture. The higher the porosity, the more the hair absorbs.

Hair can be described as having low, normal or high porosity. In each of these types of porosities, the cuticle, or the outer layer of the hair, is a bit different.

In hair with low porosity, the cuticles are compact; they lie flat. Hair with low porosity typically does not absorb moisture very readily. Hair with low porosity tends to resist the absorption of hair color, chemicals, and heat, and is much more difficult to process than hair with normal porosity or high porosity. When the hair is exposed to water, the water may bead up on the hair before it actually begins to absorb.

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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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Efficient Air Drying for Natural Hair


by Alicia James of MsAliciaJames.com

I have low porosity hair and once moisture gets in it stays in. I can say I haven’t really ever had a problem with keeping moisture in my hair. The horrible thing about that is once my hair is wet it can literally sometimes take up to 24 hours to dry. I am someone who uses heat, but I also like to minimize the amount of heat I use on my hair, so air drying can be great when it doesn’t take forever.

Here is how I minimize the amount of time it takes to air dry my tight coily natural hair:

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How to Deep Condition Low Porosity Hair




When you buy new furniture, applying Scotch Guard will keep spills and liquid from soaking into it. Having low porosity hair is equivalent to having Scotch Guard on your hair, as low porosity doesn’t absorb moisture the way high porosity hair does. (click here to see if you have low or high porosity strands)

This makes it difficult to apply products like deep conditioner to low porosity hair. These simple methods will help your hair accept the products and treatments it needs to stay moisturized.

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411 on Hair Porosity and Natural Hair Regimens


by Mahisha Dellinger of Curls.biz

Whether you love it or hate it, most of you are aware of Andre Walker’s hair typing chart. One topic that is less ubiquitous is the term “porosity” as it relates to curly hair. As a fellow curly, I am well aware of the challenges we face — frizz, dryness, limp hair, fluffy hair, uneven hair, 2-3 textures…the list goes on and on. I firmly believe that you can solve most of your daily challenges by selecting the appropriate products based on your hair’s porosity.

But first of all, let’s take a look at just what hair porosity is.

po·ros·i·ty

The state or property of being porous, or permeable to fluids and outside influences.
A structure or part that is porous and capable of being penetrated.  The ratio of the volume of all the pores in a material to the volume of the whole.  In essence, your hair’s porosity is the measure of its ability to absorb and hold onto moisture. This factor will help you determine the most effective way of moisturizing your textured tresses.

What is My Porosity?

Ready to discover your hair’s porosity? Take a strand of your hair (after gently brushing or finger combing your hair) and place it in a glass of water. Observe how your hair responds to being immersed in water.
  • High porosity hair will sink quickly to the bottom, therefore it readily absorbs water.
  • Low porosity hair will take a long time to sink to the bottom of the glass of water, if at all. In this case, the hair is unable to absorb the water.
  • Normal porosity hair will sink at a medium pace, not too fast or too slow.
So now that you know your hair’s porosity, what steps do you need to take to ensure maximum moisture based on your level?

High Porosity

High porosity hair has a difficult time holding onto moisture as it easily escapes the raised cuticles. It is important to avoid drying detergents and heavy silicones (for some) that may further exacerbate the issue.

TIP: Shop for rich creams and butters for your hair. I suggest sealing the hair in layers…start with a moisture rich leave in, follow up with a cream, and finish with a heavy butter.

I also suggest that high porosity curlies try a ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse. This is a great way to temporarily close your cuticle, and enable the hair to retain moisture.

Low Porosity

Low porosity hair is typically much harder to moisturize since it is more difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. Prep time is paramount for low porosity curlies. Every step in your daily routine is important and will determine how healthy your hair is. Avoid moisture sapping products, including alcohol based gels, hairspray and mousse.

TIP: Shop for water based, liquid leave in moisturizers that will moisturize without heaviness. Also, make sure to add a natural oil to your regime. Opt for a light to seal your hair after moisturizing. I prefer jojoba oil since it most resembles the sebum produced in our scalp. Heavy oils will be harder to absorb and will simply sit on top of it and weigh it down.

Medium Porosity

If you fall in this category, you are only lucky curly! Medium porosity hair is easily moisturized and retains its moisture level well. My hair has normal (medium) porosity. One of my favorite ways to keep my curls hydrated is to do a conditioning rinse, then reapply a thin layer of conditioner (add more on the ends) and finally seal with pure monoi oil.

TIP: Shop for moisturizing conditioners, that can double as a leave in. Avoid protein heavy conditioners for this purpose, as the residual protein can lead to straw like curls. Add a few natural oils to the mix for sealing your hair. I prefer oils that also offer amazing benefits. Monoi de Tahiti and pomegranate seed oil are my favorites.

Low Porosity Hair- Natural Hair Care and Styling



 by L. Providence of PartyOverHair.com

Always wonder why it takes your hair forever and a day to dry? Or how about why it seems as if products, particularly heavy butters and creams, just sit on your hair? Chances are you may have low porosity hair. If you’re unsure, take a few strands of your freshly washed hair and place them in a cup of room temperature... how long does it take your hair to float to the bottom? Does it even float to the bottom? Yea, you have low porosity hair.

It seems as if all naturals will struggle with maintaining moisture at some point in their hair journey. Lo-po hair naturals have it no different. This Lo-po V.I.P list is compiled of products that aid in raising your tight cuticles so that products can penetrate.

Wash days + co-washing

+ When you have low porosity hair, heat needs to become your best friend as it aids in opening cuticles. The best way to heat hair and moisturize is with a steamer, such as the Huetiful Steamer Aside from just using a steamer for your deep conditioning treatments, start using it for your pre-poos as well. A cheap alternative to steaming is placing your hair under a plastic cap and wrapping a hot towel around your head.

+ If you don’t have time to give yourself deep conditioning treatments with heat, consider heating up your conditioner before applying to your hair, as well as rinsing your hair with warm water before applying conditioner. A lot of lo-po naturalistas tend to have great experiences with Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Hair Moisturizer and made this one of their favorite conditioners to use.

+ Since baking soda is alkaline in nature, it can temporarily lift the hair’s cuticle. You can add a little baking soda to your conditioners or try the Cherry Lola Treatment, in which you mix baking soda with water and apply to your hair before rinsing out with cool water. With your cuticles raised, you’ll need to reseal with something acidic like Aloe Vera Juice.

+ When it comes to clarifying, consider using Bentonite Clay which can be used like a shampoo to trap and remove dirt, debris, buildup and other particles from your hair and scalp.

Protein Treatments

+ When it comes to protein, don’t go overboard as your hair doesn’t require much of it. If you decided to use protein, look for hydrolyzed rice, silk and wheat protein as they tend to be really good in penetrating and coating low porosity hair.

Daily Use
 
+ You must allow your hair some time to dry before attempting to apply products. When applying products, it’s best to start with a water based product, like Shea Moisture Enhancing Curl Smoothie, before trying to apply additional products. Look for richer conditioners with great emollients, such as jojoba oil, but sans the plethora of unnecessary oils.

+ Try finding products that contain humectants, such as Glycerin or Honey to draw out moisture. The glycerin is something you’ll have to experiment with as some people swear by it, while others loathe it. Glycerin is said to work better in climates with high humidity.

+ Some lo-po naturals tend to be extremely oil sensitive or may even choose not to use oil altogether. If you are going to use oil, avoid your heavier oils like coconut and opt for a lighter oil like Grapeseed Oil.


For those of you what low porosity hair, have you tried any of these products to help with dryness? What are some other products you would recommend?

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