High porosity hair can be frustratingly dry and breakage-prone, but we promise it’s manageable with the right routine. If you have high porosity hair, know that it’s totally normal and common. By identifying your hair’s porosity type, you’re already on your way to improving its health and shine—all that’s left is to adjust your care habits based on what your type needs. Here, we cover everything you need to know to care for high porosity hair—from what causes it to how to maintain a healthy moisture level.
What is high porosity hair?
If you have high porosity hair, it means your hair can easily absorb moisture, but it doesn’t easily retain moisture. That’s why it tends to feel dry and frizzy.
Let’s talk about the science behind it. Porosity refers to how open (or porous) your hair’s cuticle is. When the cuticle isn’t too open or closed (medium porosity), it’s able to absorb and hold moisture well. When the cuticle is tightly closed (low porosity), it’s hard for moisture to get in at all. And when the cuticle is very open (high porosity), it’s easy for moisture to get in but also easy for it to escape.
Why does it matter? Once you understand your hair’s porosity, you’ll be able to figure out which products will yield the best results for you.
How to tell if you have high porosity hair
If you’re not sure, you should be able to tell by paying attention to how your hair feels and behaves. Signs of high porosity hair include:
- doesn’t take long to dry
- absorbs products and moisturizers quickly
- tends to be dry and frizzy
- tangles easily
- prone to breakage
- lacks shine
Still not sure? Try the float test: Drop a strand of clean, dry hair into a clear glass of water. If it quickly sinks to the bottom, ding, ding! It has high porosity.
What causes high porosity hair?
Hair porosity is usually determined by genetics, but damage can make your strands more porous. If you’re dealing with high porosity due to chemical treatments, excessive heat, overwashing or something else, you can work to restore your hair to a healthier state with a good care routine. And if you were born with more porous strands, we’ve got tips and tricks to help your hair stay moisturized and shiny.
How to moisturize high porosity hair
As we’ve learned, retaining moisture is one of the biggest challenges for high-porosity hair types. Try these tips to combat dryness and keep hair healthy:
Choose the most moisturizing products. Products that promise intense moisture, like our Repairing collection, are ideal for high porosity locks. Look for strengthening and damage-repairing formulas that help to fill in and seal the hair cuticle for better moisture retention.
Avoid overwashing. Shampooing too often strips moisture from the hair and stresses the cuticle, which can lead to weaker, frizzier strands. To stretch time between wash days without your hair looking like a hot mess, reach for a nutrient-packed dry shampoo.
Deep condition often. Deep conditioning is a smart move for any hair type, but it’s especially beneficial for damaged or high porosity strands. Intensely nourishing treatments like our Moisture Mask help to restore hair’s strength, reduce breakage and boost shine. The best part? Moisture Mask delivers all those benefits in five minutes flat, so you don’t have to sit around forever before you wash it out.
Use hair oil. In addition to trapping moisture, hair oil can help with other high porosity issues, like sealing split ends, reducing frizz and adding shine to dull locks.
Cut back on heat styling. Take a break from the heat tools and give air drying a try. Can’t live without your curling iron? Try using it on the lowest effective temperature to protect your hair.
Use gentle hair-drying methods. Vigorously rubbing hair dry with a rough towel is a no-no, no matter your hair type. For delicate high porosity hair, squeeze hair dry with a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to prevent frizz and breakage.
Handle with care. Reduce breakage by opting for gentle styling methods. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb while hair is wet and saturated in conditioner. Wrap your hair at night, or sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase, to reduce friction and frizz.
It can be hard to keep high porosity hair moisturized and manageable, but there’s hope. With a healthy washing routine, deeply hydrating products and gentle styling methods, you can coax your strands into staying smooth, shiny and oh-so-easy to style.