Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by Gaga
What is Low Porosity Hair?
Hair porosity is the ability of hair to attract and hold moisture. If you’re unsure about your hair porosity level, there are several porosity tests you can conduct yourself. The simplest is the float test which shows how quickly your hair fiber sinks when placed in water.
The Float Test: Take a strand of your hair after shampooing and before applying any product to your hair. Drop the strand in a clear glass filled with water. If the strand floats without sinking, you have low-porosity hair. The strand of high porosity hair will sink quickly to the bottom. Medium porosity will float for a while and then start to sink slowly. You can repeat the test, taking strands from different parts of your head, because it is possible that the porosity level of your hair varies in different areas of your head.
Low porosity hair is influenced by genetics. You can’t change it, but you can manage it. Knowing your hair porosity level can help you pick the right products for your hair.
The good thing about having low-porosity hair is that it retains moisture well. However, adding moisture to thirsty low porosity hair could be a real challenge. The scales of the outermost layer of the hair, called the cuticle, are tightly packed, leaving no room for moisture to penetrate inside the hair. Another potential problem is that chemical hair treatments, such as coloring or straightening products, are less effective than with normal porosity hair.
How to Moisturize Low-Porosity Hair
Here are some rules to remember when caring for your moisture-resistant, low-porosity hair.
Use heat with a deep conditioner
Deep conditioners are designed to penetrate further into the hair than regular conditioners and can deliver moisturizing and nourishing ingredients inside the hair. If your hair isn’t receptive to treatments, you may need to apply heat to lift the cuticles and enable the treatment to penetrate the hair shaft. The simplest way to lift the cuticles is by rinsing your hair with hot water after shampooing. Apply a deep conditioning product while the cuticles are still open, allowing your hair to receive all the moisturizing benefits. If you apply a treatment that is meant to work for a longer time, it would be best if you use a thermal conditioning cap. The heat from the cap will keep the cuticles open, allowing the hair to soak up all the nourishing ingredients.
Use lightweight hair products
People often use hair products in larger amounts when trying to provide their hair with extra moisture. However, the secret is in the proper selection of products that suit low-porosity hair. You should choose water-based products and lightweight oils. Avoid heavy oils and products containing silicones or too much protein. Such products just create buildup without penetrating the hair.
Incorporate hot oil treatments
One of the advantages of hot oil treatment is that it can easily be done at home. You can get a hot oil treatment in a salon, but doing it at home is easy, affordable, and customizable. You can select the oils which your hair needs most and can be sure that your treatment is free of synthetic additives.
Why Hot Oil Treatments are Good for Low-Porosity Hair
When you apply hair oil to your low-porosity hair, it will just coat the strands without penetrating the hair shaft. Your hair needs heat that will lift the cuticle to enable the oil to penetrate the hair. That is why hot oil treatments are a great option for low-porosity hair. By applying heat, you can ensure that the cuticles will open to allow for deep penetration.
Oils that Penetrate Low-Porosity Hair
Thick oils like castor oil and olive oil will sit on the surface of the hair, blocking cuticles that are already tightly packed. Instead, you should go for lightweight oils that can pass through the hair’s cuticle without causing buildup. Some good choices are grapeseed, jojoba, and sweet almond oils.
Grapeseed oil is a fast-absorbing and non-greasy oil. It provides hair with weightless hydration and slip for easy detangling and adds natural shine.
Jojoba oil is lightweight, blends well with other oils, and washes easily from hair. It helps soothe your scalp and reduce itchiness & flaking.
Sweet almond oil has excellent moisturizing properties and helps prevent dry, flaking scalp. It gets absorbed into your hair quickly and helps improve the strength and shine of your locks.
You can’t go wrong if you use other light oils, including argan, avocado, rosehip, moringa, baobab, camellia, maracuja, and pomegranate oils.
You can also add to the mixture a few drops of essential oils, as many have antimicrobial properties and can boost blood circulation. Rosemary, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and sage essential oils will soothe your scalp and create a good environment for healthy hair.
How to Apply Hot Oil Treatment to Your Low-Porosity Hair
Hot oil treatment for low-porosity hair is most about the right selection of hair oils because the application steps are the same regardless of hair porosity level.
First, wet your hair before application. Make sure you don’t have a build-up of product or dirt in your hair. Then, pour the oil mixture into a small jar and place the bowl in a pot with hot water. The oil mixture should be warm but not too hot. Massage the oil mixture into your scalp and distribute evenly from the root to the tip of your hair strands. Put on a shower cap and wrap your hair with a towel to keep the oils warm for around 30 minutes or longer. The heat will expand the hair fibers by lifting the scales of the outermost hair layer, so your hair can absorb the oils.
You can also apply non-heated oils, massage them into your hair, and then apply gentle heat by using a hair dryer.
However, the most convenient method is by using a thermal conditioning cap. You can apply unheated oils and then put the thermal cap which will then heat the oils to make the treatment more effective.
Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo to remove oils from your hair. Repeat the shampooing if needed.
Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.