Understanding Hair Porosity: High vs. Low Porosity | Window Blinds and Sunlight

Understanding Hair Porosity: High vs. Low Porosity | Window Blinds and Sunlight

Hair porosity, whether high or low, plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of hair care products and maintaining healthy, lustrous locks. To grasp these concepts, think of your hair cuticles like window blinds and products or water as sunlight.

High Porosity Hair:

High porosity hair resembles window blinds with open slats, allowing ample sunlight (products or water) to pass through easily. This type of hair has raised and often damaged cuticles, enabling moisture to enter but escaping just as quickly. It can become dry and frizzy due to the inability to retain moisture.

To manage high porosity hair, it's essential to "close the blinds" by using products that seal and protect the cuticles. To care for high porosity hair, it's important to use ingredients that help to seal in moisture, strengthen the hair shaft, and smooth the cuticles.


Key Ingredients:

  • Protein Treatments (Keratin, Collagen, Silk Protein): High porosity hair often benefits from protein treatments, which help to fill in the gaps and holes in the hair shaft, strengthening the hair and reducing breakage.

  • Natural Oils (Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil): These oils are excellent for sealing in moisture. Coconut oil, in particular, has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, nourishing and moisturizing the hair from within.

  • Shea Butter: Rich in fatty acids, shea butter is great for sealing moisture into the hair. It also provides a protective layer that can help reduce moisture loss.

  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera can hydrate the hair and smooth the cuticle surface. It also has a pH level that is similar to that of hair, which can help to balance the pH levels of high porosity hair.

  • Honey: As a natural humectant, honey attracts moisture and helps retain it in the hair. This can be particularly beneficial for high porosity hair that loses moisture quickly.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Using an apple cider vinegar rinse can help to flatten and close the hair cuticles, making the hair smoother and less prone to moisture loss.

  • Antioxidants (Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract): These help to protect the hair from environmental damage and can assist in repairing some of the damage to the hair cuticles.
hair structure

When using these ingredients, it's important to balance moisture and protein. Too much protein can make the hair hard and brittle, while too much moisture can lead to hygral fatigue. A balanced hair care routine, tailored to the specific needs of high porosity hair, can help maintain its health and vitality.

Low Porosity Hair:

Conversely, low porosity hair acts like window blinds with tightly closed slats, limiting the amount of sunlight (products or water) that can enter. The hair cuticles lie flat, making it resistant to absorbing moisture. Hair may feel heavy or greasy because it cannot absorb products efficiently.

For low porosity hair, it's essential to "open the blinds" gently. Use lightweight, water-based products that can penetrate the cuticle. Heat, such as a warm water rinse or a steamer, can help lift the cuticles slightly, making it easier for moisture to enter.

Caring for low porosity hair, which has tightly bound cuticles that resist moisture absorption, requires a different approach compared to high porosity hair. The goal is to use ingredients that can penetrate these tight cuticles and provide moisture without weighing the hair down. Here are some beneficial ingredients for low porosity hair:


Key Ingredients:

  • Humectants: Ingredients like glycerin, honey, and aloe vera are excellent humectants that attract moisture from the environment into the hair. However, it's important to be cautious in very dry climates, as humectants can sometimes draw moisture out of the hair in these conditions.

  • Water-Based Moisturizers: Products that list water (aqua) as one of the first ingredients are generally effective for low porosity hair, as they are more likely to provide hydration without heaviness.

  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: This gentle, non-sulfate ingredient is great for conditioning and detangling low porosity hair. It's often found in conditioners and provides slip without residue.

  • Proteins (in moderation): While low porosity hair can be protein-sensitive, occasional light protein treatments can be beneficial, especially if the hair is damaged. Hydrolyzed proteins are a good option as they are small enough to penetrate tight cuticles.

The Royal Hydration Treatment contains the ingredients mentioned above and thats why its so amazing for low porosity hair

  • Lightweight Oils: Since heavy oils can sit on top of low porosity hair, lightweight oils like argan oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil are preferable. They are more likely to penetrate the hair shaft and provide moisture without causing buildup.
  • Heat Treatments: While not an ingredient, using heat can help to open up the tight cuticles of low porosity hair. Warm water rinses, heated caps, and steam treatments can be beneficial in allowing moisture to penetrate the hair shaft.

Conducting a Hair Porosity Test:

To determine your hair's porosity, you can perform a simple test. Take a few strands of clean, dry hair and drop them into a bowl of room temperature water. Watch their behavior for a few minutes. If the strands float, it indicates low porosity, akin to closed blinds blocking sunlight. If they sink slowly, you have medium porosity, which is often ideal. But, if they sink immediately, it's a sign of high porosity, much like open blinds allowing all sunlight to pass through.

Understanding your hair's porosity is key to tailoring your hair care routine. It allows you to choose the right products and techniques that suit your hair's needs. Think of your hair cuticles as the window blinds; whether they're wide open or tightly shut, you can manipulate them with the right approach, letting in just the right amount of sunlight (moisture) to keep your locks healthy and beautiful

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