How To Care For Low Porosity Hair
Caring for natural hair can be a learning experience that requires patience and determination. You have to be open-minded and prepared to learn about your hair on a level much deeper than before. While there are common characteristics about natural hair that most of us share such as having a curl pattern, dealing with dryness, and length retention; there are very important factors that determine the types of products you should purchase and the kind of care your hair needs. One of the characteristics is your hair porosity. Your hair’s porosity level reference your hair strand’s ability to absorb moisture. The categories break down into 3 different groups. You can have a high porosity, low porosity, or a normal porosity. Determining the porosity of your hair will help you figure out the types of products work best for the health of your natural kinks.
What is Low Porosity Hair
Porosity levels breakdown into 3 distinct categories including low, high, and normal. Each category has its own characteristics that are specific to that specific porosity level. Low porosity is hair that has a difficult time absorbing moisture. Hair strand almost seem to repel moisture. When looking at the hair strands under a microscope, you will notice that the hair cuticle is tightly bound and the scales are overlapping. This creates an almost impenetrable barrier when it comes to allowing moisture in.
Low Porosity Hair Characteristics
The most important characteristics of low porosity hair is that it is moisture resistant. While there is a way to moisturize low porosity strands, it will not be easy. The other characteristics of low porosity hair includes:
- Protein build up
A lot of conditioners are rich in texture and contain a high level of protein. When it comes to low porosity hair, these types of conditioners can cause build up that leaves the hair feeling stiff and brittle like the strands can snap with little to no pressure or tension.
When the hair has a hard time absorbing moisture, the strands can be left dry constantly.
Dry hair leads to a host of issues with your natural hair. When the strands can’t absorb moisture, the dry strands can become frizzy and hard to smooth. Frizz is a result of dry, brittle strands that break off.
- Split Ends
When hair strands are dry, the ends will have the hardest time gaining any moisture at all. Dry ends almost always lead to breakage and splitting.
Low Porosity Hair Products
1SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein Free Leave In Detangler
Shea moisture is a household name in the natural hair community. Their products are created to moisturize and condition naturally curly hair of all of all different textures. When it comes to low porosity hair, one of Shea Moisture’s products that work well to help bump up the moisture is the Baobab & Tea Tree Oil Leave-In Detangler. The leave-in conditioner is protein free which makes it great for protein sensitive, low porosity hair. All of the ingredients are natural and free of common chemicals found in hair care products like petroleum, sulfates, and other toxins. The first ingredient is glycerin which naturally pulls moisture from the air to hair strands which is paramount for naturally low porosity strands. To use the leave in conditioner, simply apply to damp, clean hair to detangle strands. Begin the detangling process from the bottom of your ends and move up to your roots. The highly moisturizing product will help your come ease through the detangling process.
2Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo
One of the most popular shampoos in the natural hair community is the Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo. Shampooing natural hair is vital but having the right product to do it is even more important. Many shampoos that are not created for natural hair contain toxins such as sulfates which dry out strands. This can be terrible for low porosity hair. The Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo is free of common toxins. Although the product is free of harsh chemicals, it still is able to wash out build up from strands and scalp. This is absolutely necessary as build up blocks moisture absorption. The mandarin orange extract helps to gently cleanse the hair. The sea kelp helps to balance the moisture of your hair which helps build up moisture from start to finish.
3ApHogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In 8oz
Leave in conditioners have been popular for years. It is a lightweight alternative to traditional conditioner that doesn’t need to be washed out after application. The ApHogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In helps to soften hair and penetrate the strands for natural curls that feel smooth and free of dryness. The first ingredient is water which is essential. Water is the best moisturizer for any hair type and helps to usher in the other ingredients, butters, and oils. To use the leave in conditioner, start with clean hair and apply from root to tips. Work the product throughout the hair strands. You can proceed to style your hair as normal. While the product is rich, it is not heavy which makes it great for low porosity hair.
4Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Conditioner Honey Treasures
A personal favorite of mine, the Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Conditioner Honey Treasures is a low porosity natural hair dream. The conditioner helps to add strength to strands and helps to repair past damage. It is gentle enough to co-wash with on a daily basis without creating too much build up. Low porosity hair needs moisture that can regenerate throughout the day. This conditioner is created with a one of a kind blend of honey, royal jelly, propolis which is an amazing combination that helps to bring in moisture from the air and environment even after the conditioner is washed out of the hair. The blend also helps to repair damage strands through moisturizing. The product is also the perfect in shower detangler as it has the perfect amount of slip.
5Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
Cleansing the scalp and hair is essential for low porosity hair. The strands have to be free of buildup before any products can be used to moisturize. The Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner is a dream for natural curls that are low porosity. It is free of chemicals and contains certified organic botanicals as well. The peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils give the scalp a tingling and rejuvenating feeling that is addicting. The most important feature of this product is that it is cleansing and rinses out build up gently. The 2 star essential oils don’t just offer a tantalizing tingling feeling and invigorating scent, they also work together to moisturize the scalp and strands while getting rid of symptoms created by a dry scalp like dandruff and itching. It is gentle enough to use weekly without drying the hair and helps to usher in moisture for low porosity hair.
6How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair
Since low porosity hair doesn’t absorb moisture well, it is important to understand how to moisturize low porosity hair. The process starts with shampooing and ends all the way at the end of the process with sealing in the moisture. While it is difficult, it is not impossible to moisturize low porosity hair. Here are a few tips:
- Use heat
The cuticles of the low porosity hair are tightly closed. Use heat to open up the cuticles so that they can absorb moisture. You can do this by with very warm water during the cleansing process, a hooded dryer during the conditioning process, or with hot oil treatments with a plastic cap.
- Opt for lighter oils
Instead of using heavy, dense oils that will only lay on top of the hair strands, choose penetrating, light oils like grapeseed oil.
- Get rid of buildup
Hair products, heavy oils, and dirt can cause a load of buildup on the hair strands and scalp. For low porosity hair, that buildup can make moisture penetration even more impossible. Use clarifying shampoos to get rid of buildup to allow moisturizing products to penetrate.
- Use the right products
Every product is not for every head of hair. Choose the right products for low porosity hair for the best results. Stay away from products that contain heavy oils and proteins.
7LOC Method For Low Porosity Hair
The LOC method stands for Liquid Oil Cream. When moisturizing your natural strands, you would start with using a liquid such as water. This helps to open up the cuticles of the hair and prepare them to be moisturized. Next comes the oil which can be penetrated into the hair strands since the cuticles are open. Finally, the last product is a cream like product; a hair smoothie or hair butter. This will help to seal in the liquid and oil as the cuticle starts to close up again.
The LOC method is wonderful for low porosity hair as it helps to open up those tight hair strand cuticles to allow in moisture.