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.
Porosity is one element of your hair type, and the products that work for your hair will vary based on your texture as well as the porosity (fine, thick, coarse, etc.). For instance, some curlies with medium-textured, low porosity hair find that they need to stay away from deep conditioning treatments that are heavy on the protein. On the other hand, curlies with fine low porosity hair report doing well with hot oil treatments.
Hot oil treatments tend to be loaded with protein and make a great choice for deep conditioning fine hair that is low in porosity. Some good oils for low porosity hair include:
- grapeseed oil
- jojoba oil
- argan oil
Bring on the Heat!
Yes, really! Most of what you’ll read about natural hair will tell you to stay away from the heat as it can damage your hair. That’s true for flat irons and curling irons, but it’s not the same for the times when you need to deep condition. Heat causes the cuticles of your hair to open up, which allows your deep conditioner to penetrate the cuticles of your hair.
If you have a dryer you can set at low to medium and sit under, you’re at an advantage. Simply apply your deep conditioner, cover your head with a shower cap, and then sit under the dryer for about 25 minutes. You can also cover it with a shower cap and have your curlfriend hold the dryer for you. If your bestie has low porosity hair as well, take turns holding the dryer for each other.
If you don’t have a dryer to sit under, don’t despair! All you need to do is apply your deep conditioner, cover it with a shower cap, and then wrap it with a towel to use your body heat.
Head Into the Kitchen
If you’ve been a member of #TeamNatural for more than 10 minutes, you’ve probably figured out by now that we’re big fans of getting double use out of what we have in the kitchen! Deep conditioning low porosity hair is no exception.
If your hair responds well to protein, whip two eggs with 3 tablespoons of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a few pumps of your favorite conditioner. Feel free to add essential oils for a nice fragrance. Apply a generous amount to your wet hair, let it set for about 20-30 minutes, then shampoo out the mixture.
If you don’t have all of these ingredients on hand (or simply don’t feel up to “cooking” for your hair), try adding some honey and coconut oil to whatever good conditioner you already have. Cover with a heating cap or shower cap wrapped in a towel (remember, you need heat!) and leave it on for about 30 minutes before shampooing.
Herbs and spices aren’t just for cooking! Many ayurvedic hair treatments rely on herbs and powders such as henna, amla, and indigo. Some low porosity girls find that while their hair won’t hold onto conditioners, it will happily accept powders and herbs!
Water it Down
The next time you buy conditioner, make sure it has “water” as the first or second ingredient. Low porosity curlies often find that water-based products, such as Oyin Handmade’s Juice & Berries, work best for deep conditioning (as a bonus benefit, it smells amazing too).
If your favorite conditioner doesn’t contain water as the top two ingredients but you love it overall, just dilute it by adding some water to it. Pour excess into a separate container if you need to make room for the water.
By adding the excess to a small container, you can even make a travel bottle of deep conditioner for yourself!