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What is low porosity hair and what does it need? Figuring out your hair porosity and adjusting your routine accordingly is one of the ultimate hair hacks for keeping your locks healthy, manageable, and looking their best. Find out how to keep low porosity hair moisturized with some simple tricks, products, and a little bit of heat.
What is low porosity hair?
The whole ‘porous or non-porous’ hair conversation can seem complicated, but it’s actually really simple. The porosity of your hair just means how easily it absorbs moisture. Highly porous hair is like a sponge; it takes in water quickly. Non-porous hair doesn’t take in moisture so easily.
There’s a simple way to test how porous your hair is. Put a strand into a cup of water. If it sinks, your hair is quick to take on liquids; it’s porous. This is because your cuticle – the protective layer – is standing away from the hair shaft, allowing moisture to move in and out freely. If it floats, then your hair is non-porous; it doesn’t hydrate easily.
Those of us with low porosity dry hair might notice hair takes ages to get wet, requires lots of product, and dries slowly. This is because the cuticle layer is like a closed door, not letting any moisture in or out.
Can you change hair porosity?
Damage from heat and chemicals can cause changes in your hair porosity, making hair more porous as the cuticle lifts. Don’t worry; you can get back to your natural porosity by deep conditioning on the regular, using heat protection, and laying off the chemical treatments until you’ve restored your hair’s natural healthy shine.
How to moisturize low porosity hair
So, low porosity hair has the door closed on moisture. The challenge is unlocking that door, moisturizing, and sealing your low porosity hair. On the plus side, once you’ve got that moisture in, it can’t get out.
So, how do you seal moisture in low porosity hair? The answer is simple. A solid routine and a little bit of heat.
Create the best routine for low porosity hair
Here’s how to moisturize low porosity hair:
- On wash day, start with a pre-shampoo hot oil treatment to lift the cuticle and penetrate the hair shaft.
- Use a gentle, cleansing shampoo like our Clarify & Hydrate Shampoo. Low porosity hair is more likely to get build-up from products which your hair can’t absorb as easily. This build-up creates another barrier between your hair and your moisturizing products.
- Dove Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend says, “A deep conditioning treatment, like a hair mask, is the best way to moisturize low porosity hair. Apply a mask, like Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Spa Recovery Mask, to wet hair and cover with a shower cap for 15 minutes once a week before rinsing out.”
- Use a leave-in conditioner followed by a lightweight oil to seal in moisture.
- Switch up your sleep routine with satin pillowcases and scrunchies as they absorb less moisture from your hair than cotton.
What does low porosity hair need? It needs heat so that moisture can penetrate the hair shaft and stay locked in. That means indulging in hot oil treatments and applying gentle heat using your hair dryer while deep conditioning. A steamer or steaming cap is a great option to gently steam hair, help products penetrate, and hydrate.
Choose the best products for low porosity hair
Want to know how to keep low porosity hair moisturized? Your low porosity hair thrives with water-based products socheck the ingredients list. If you see water in the top five, pop it in your cart. Try our Amplified Textures Twist In Moisture Shaping Butter Cream to moisturize and nourish.
How often should you moisturize low porosity hair?
The simple answer is that you should moisturize low porosity hair whenever it feels dry. Usually, a couple of times a week works for extra-dry hair. For everyone else, once a week should do the trick. If your hair feels dry every day and you’re wondering how to moisturize low porosity hair daily, you can hydrate using water and a leave-in conditioner.
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What is the best way to moisturize low porosity hair? ›
- Look for products that contain emollients and humectants. ...
- Steer clear of heavy oils and butters. ...
- Heat helps. ...
- So does clarifying shampoo. ...
- Deep condition weekly for an extra moisture boost. ...
- Preserve moisture with protective styles.
In fact, when moisturizing low-porosity hair, it's best to use a deep conditioner with humectants like glycerin or honey. Humectants work to pull water in from the air, keeping your hair hydrated even after you've finished wash day.What ingredients are best for low porosity hair? ›
Good ingredients for low porosity hair include coconut, almond, avocado, tea tree, spearmint, shea butter, argan, chamomile, jojoba, aloe vera, honey, and glycerin.How do you nourish low porosity hair? ›
- Steam: Heat from steam relaxes the cuticle, opening up the dead cells somewhat. This allows water vapor to get into the hair shaft. ...
- Humectants: These substances attract and trap moisture. ...
- Lightweight oils: Products that contain lightweight oils may help seal in moisture.
Once a week is how often you should wash low-porosity hair. This way, you will keep your scalp free of product buildup but also give your hair time to absorb some moisture.What should you not use for low porosity hair? ›
For low porosity hair, you'll want to stay away from protein treatment conditioners. Protein formulas can increase the risk of hair breakage since they tend to pull moisture out of the hair.Is it good to wet low porosity hair everyday? ›
Yes, you can wet natural hair everyday, and it is actually advised to do so to maintain moisture. Let's be clear though: by wetting your hair, we don't meanwashing it. We simply mean rinsing natural hair either in the shower or spritzing water over your hair.Why does low porosity take forever to dry? ›
On the other hand, low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing moisture because the hair cortex is closely laid together. While this makes it difficult for moisture to enter, it's able to stay put for a while once it does. This also means low-porosity hair may take longer to dry.Which oil is best for low porosity hair? ›
- Argan oil.
- Jojoba oil.
- Sweet almond oil.
- Grapeseed oil.
- Baobab oil.
- Apricot oil.
- Camellia oil.
- Pomegranate oil.
- Lottabody Moisturize Me Curl & Style Hair Milk. ...
- Crème of Nature Oil Moisturizer. ...
- Eden Bodyworks Curl Defining Creme. ...
- Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo & Conditioner. ...
- Aphogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In.
What improves hair porosity? ›
For high porosity hair: Look for ingredients like butters and oils in shampoos and conditioners. These ingredients will help moisturize your hair. Use leave-in conditioners and sealers.What makes low porosity hair grow faster? ›
Moisture is one of the most significant reason for hair growth. To properly moisturize low porosity natural hair, your hair must be clean. Otherwise you'll continuously be dealing with product buildup, resulting in even more dryness. Moisture also cannot penetrate through layers and layers of dirt, grime, and buildup.What are the best butters for low porosity hair? ›
Natural butters for low porosity hair
The best natural butters for this type of hair are Murumuru butter and Tucuma butter. These butters are known to be light and fluffy. They do not clog the pores and have the ability to easily penetrate the hair without sitting on the hair like heavy butters and oils would.
When does low-porosity hair need protein? Low-porosity hair can use protein treatments once a week (or as needed), especially after excessive brushing, combing, or heat styling. This will help restore your hair's health and boost its quality.Should low porosity hair rinse with cold water? ›
You can skip the cold water rinses and oils. Again, this is entirely up to you. Low porosity hair will naturally close it's cuticles, so often the extra steps of sealing with cold water rinses and oils are not necessary.Which shampoo is good for low porosity hair? ›
Low-porosity hair is more prone to product buildup, making clarifying shampoos great for low-porosity hair. Clarifying shampoos give your hair a fresh start by removing any product residue that causes flakes, grease, breakage, hair matting, and even hair thinning.
How often should you moisturize low porosity hair? The simple answer is that you should moisturize low porosity hair whenever it feels dry. Usually, a couple of times a week works for extra-dry hair. For everyone else, once a week should do the trick.Does low porosity hair grow slower? ›
If you have low porosity hair, you may feel frustrated with the amount of time it takes for your hair to grow or even feel like it doesn't grow at all. You can rest assured your hair is growing; however, there may be some things inhibiting its growth and causing it to grow slower or break off before it can grow long.How does low porosity hair look like? ›
Tighter hair textures may have cuticles that overlap with each other, causing hair to have a low porosity. In this case, you'll naturally start to notice that your hair feels and looks really dry. With low porosity hair, you may notice that product or even water from your shower just beads up on top of your hair.How do you lock moisture in your hair? ›
- Use A Hydrating Shampoo. ...
- Skip The Daily Shampoo. ...
- But Never Skip Conditioner. ...
- Add An Overnight Mask To Your Routine. ...
- Don't Forget Your Scalp. ...
- Use A Leave-in Conditioner. ...
- Lay Off The Heat Styling. ...
- Drop The Brush.
How often should you oil low porosity hair? ›
How often should you moisturize your low porosity hair. If you've ever asked the question, how often should you moisturize your low porosity hair, this part is for you. The answer: whenever your hair feels dry. If you've done the above correctly, your hair should remain moisturized for at least 4-7 days.Should I put oil on low porosity hair? ›
Is oil good for low porosity hair? If you have low porosity hair, you will notice that most hair products will rest on your hair but do not get absorbed. Certain oils like jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil, sesame oil, and baobab oil are the best oils for low porosity hair.Is coconut oil OK for low porosity hair? ›
Low porosity hair: The cuticles in low porosity hair are tightly packed together, this makes it difficult for moisture to enter the hair shaft. Due to this, pure coconut oil may not be beneficial to this porosity type.What does apple cider vinegar do for low porosity hair? ›
Low porosity: People with low porosity hair tend to suffer frequently from product build-up on their scalp. Apple cider vinegar can help melt build-up away, so it's a great treatment to clarify this hair type.Is aloe vera good for Low porosity hair? ›
Low porosity hair can get weighed down easily with most products, so consider using "film-forming humectants" for moisturizers. This group includes aloe vera, flax seed gel, marshmallow root, panthenol, nettle extract and more.How do you know when your low porosity hair needs protein? ›
When does low porosity hair need protein? If you notice breakage at the ends or a drop in your hair's elasticity, that's a clear sign that your hair could do with some protein. If your damage is low, you can create a once-a-month protein treatment regimen, to protect your hair from further breakage.Does low porosity hair need keratin? ›
People with low porosity hair strands naturally contain too much keratin protein within their own structure. Low porosity hair is resistant to moisture and are protein-sensitive. By adding “unwanted” protein to the hair strand becomes stiff and brittle, causing it to break.Is Egg good for Low porosity hair? ›
- Low porosity hair rarely needs protein, so be careful when picking products for your hair with protein, it can start to feel more dry because of too much protein. Also, don't use egg masks, mayonnaise, bananas and other heavy masks, on your hair because they can cause breakage and damage.What is good for dry porous hair? ›
Using liquid or leave-in conditioner, cream and oil (LCO) in that order, is the best way to apply products to high porosity hair. Angela Stevens, celebrity hairstylist said about this: "Oils are the best way to lock moisture into your hair. Argan oil, jojoba oil, and other oil blends help to seal moisture."How do you take care of porosity hair? ›
- Skip the too harsh treatments and hot tools. ...
- Only use low heat or air dry. ...
- Protect the strand. ...
- Use color-protecting shampoos and conditioners. ...
- Stick to creamy, dense products. ...
- Use a pre-shampoo treatment. ...
- Opt for low-effort styles close to your natural pattern.
What products should I use according to hair porosity? ›
For high porosity hair: Shampoos and conditioners with butters and oils work best to add extra moisture to your hair. Slightly acidic shampoos and conditioners with silicone helps form a coating on the hair, reducing loss of moisture. Use leave-in conditioners to help your hair retain moisture.Is apple cider vinegar good for low porosity hair? ›
Low porosity: People with low porosity hair tend to suffer frequently from product build-up on their scalp. Apple cider vinegar can help melt build-up away, so it's a great treatment to clarify this hair type.