While all of us have natural hair with unique kinks and coils, we all suffer from the same dilemma of keeping moisture in after the wash day. Going natural can be a fascinating process but, in a hurry to try every product that promises to nourish and define it, we can forget the fundamentals of taking care of afro hair.
After trying a variety of natural hair care products that haven’t worked, it might feel like achieving moisturised healthy curls is a pipe dream. It is at this point that some of us may think of afro hair is unmanageable and dry. But, the key to knowing how to care for your afro curls and ensuring that it retains moisture is in your hair porosity. In this article, we will go through what hair porosity is and how you can determine yours.
Hair Porosity: What Is It?
You should know the porosity of your hair as this will help you determine a routine of products that suit the structure of your hair. In simple terms, porosity relates to how successfully your curls can hold and absorb moisture. This action is controlled by the outer layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, as it determines how well oils and moisture can pass in and out. Porosity affects factors like how strong your afro hair is, how susceptible to frizz it is, and how long it takes to dry. While porosity is genetic, it can change over time by the application of chemical treatments or heat. But there are three main types which are: high, medium and low.
Additionally, you could also try the float test, which involves taking clean strands of your hair from your brush or comb, then putting these strands in a bowl of water and letting them sit for around 2-3 minutes.
If you find that your hair strand stays afloat, you have low porosity hair. On the other hand, if it travels down to the bottom of the bowl, then you have high porosity hair. Lastly, If it sits in the middle, you have medium porosity hair.
But, unless you understand what a hair cuticle should look and feel like, you might be better off observing your hair’s unique features.
How To Determine If You Have Low Porosity Hair
You have low porosity hair if you see that your hair is hard to keep wet as the water will roll right off your strand. This could also mean that any product applied to your curls will only sit on top and won’t penetrate it. Low porosity characteristics result in your cuticles being closed, meaning that you will find it challenging to keep the moisture in.
To encourage your cuticle to open, you need to either wash your hair with warm water before conditioning, or trap the heat in with a plastic cap after conditioning. This process will help your cuticle open up so that it can then retain moisture. For low porosity hair, try our avocado oil and manuka honey leave-in conditioner as these ingredients help seal the moisture in your cuticle, which then improves the strength and health of your afro hair.
Do I Have Medium Porosity Hair?
This hair type won’t have any apparent characteristics as essentially it is healthy afro hair with a regular shine. However, opt to use hydrating and deep conditioning products as part of your your weekly regime to ensure that this hair type doesn’t lose its structure. Also, consider using a light spray of our everyday curl refresh with coconut and Jamaican black castor oils to maintain a good balance of strength and moisture for this hair type.
How Can I Identify High Porosity Hair?
High porosity hair is often prone to frizz and, while hair strands of this type can absorb products well, they can have a hard time retaining it to strengthen your high porosity curls and prevent breakage. Therefore, you need to use cream-based products to seal in the moisture after washing and conditioning. In this way, you can lock in the moisture and smooth your cuticle.
Even more, with this hair type, opt for washing you hair with cooler / lukewarm water because you don’t want to encourage the cuticle to open up further. It is also recommended that you finish with a cold rinse to close your cuticle after the wash day process. If you don’t know which cream-based product to start using, why not opt for our curling crème with coconut and Jamaican black castor oils to protect these types of kinky curls?
Hair porosity matters as it has a lot to do with the styling practices and the products you adopt. So, it’s good to understand what yours is so you can ensure that you are using the correct hair care regime. Regardless of your hair porosity type, try out a deep conditioning treatment once a week to give your afro hair the necessary nutrients to stay strong.