Just about every Natural dreams of having vibrant, big curls. People (including myself) try all kinds of methods, creams, and money-wasting simulators. However, understanding your hair health is truly the beginning of keeping your growth! (Hair is always growing. The challenge is keeping your hair by preventing breakage and hair loss.) Porosity is a huge factor in hair health that many naturals are unfortunately unaware of.
What is Porosity?
Porosity is something I learned in biology that I never thought related to hair. Basically your hair’s porosity level (also known as Ph level) has to do with the acidity of hair and its ability to hold moisture. Hair with low porosity has very compact hair cuticles, which prevents it from easily absorbing moisture. Hair with high porosity has open hair cuticles allowing moisture to easily enter and easily escape. Naturally, hair with balanced porosity has cuticles that act somewhere in the middle.
It’s very, very important that you have a balanced porosity because it helps you retain moisture and keeps your scalp clean, which is essential to hair growth. A quick test to check your hair’s porosity is to put a strand of hair in a glass of water. If your hair sinks quickly, it means you have high porosity and if your hair stays at the top for a while, that means you have low porosity. Obviously, the ideal situation is to have your hair sink to the middle, meaning you have balanced porosity.
Thankfully, there are various methods to deal with hair with low or high porosity levels.
Low Porosity Hair Solutions
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV in the natural hair community, is a great way to raise your porosity level. It clarifies (cleanses) your hair, freeing it from dirt and product buildup. This makes it easier for your low porosity hair to absorb moisture more easily. I personally use this method and have definitely seen positive results. Here’s a tutorial using 2-2.5 ounces of ACV and 8 ounces of water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfenLwYM0w
Henna is also a popular counter for low porosity. I have not tried this yet because it’s a big project. That’s why many of the people who have tried henna don’t like it, it’s messy and can be time-consuming. However, there are also many great testimonies of positive results. Henna is also used to safely color hair, but if you’re not interested in having reddish-brown hair, be sure to specifically research henna methods that don’t change your hair hue. I have an entire board on Pinterest entitled Henna Natural Hair with a wide range of topics and explanations. Here’s a video tutorial I’m considering following: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/524880531552611834/ CurlyNikki is a very popular natural hair blogger who also has tons and tons of information regarding her successful experience with henna. Definitely check her out!
The blog The Root Problem has a great article on her experience using baking soda for low porosity hair! For her, this method worked better than anything else. Because I have had such great results with ACV, I have never tried baking soda. However, I highly suggest you check it out! http://therootproblem.blogspot.com/2013/01/low-porosity-hair-moisture-miracle.html
High Porosity Hair
Deep Conditioning is essential for any natural, particularly those with high porosity hair. Because high porosity hair loses moisture easily, it is essential to make sure your hair is stocked with more than enough moisture to make up for the loss.
Moisture is not the only thing that slips through the hair shafts of highly porous hair. Protein does as well. This is why protein treatments are a must for high porosity hair. By adding additional protein, it maintains a balance when protein is lost from open hair shafts. Some advice for weaker protein treatments to be used once a month and for stronger applications to be used every 6 to 8 weeks. I love DIYs, so here’s a homemade protein treatment tutorial I use that also conditions the hair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5cYyqn9WvU
I hope these methods work for your hair. Remember, every natural is different so never stop experimenting until you’ve found the perfect match for you! Keeping your hair moisturized is the first step to having beautiful, healthy natural hair!
The Kamau Sisters
Hi! We're Nia, Jada, and Bailey Kamau. We laugh, sing, read, and have Narnia marathons probably more than we should. Thanks so much for checking out our blog!
"Sisters by chance, friends by choice."
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