Porosity 101

Porosity, please! If this is not something you’re considering when it comes to picking the right types of products for your hair routine, you’re doing it all wrong! Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy to figure out what your porosity is, but that’s what I’m going to help you out with here. And you can put down the glass of water, we won’t be doing the “float test”.

What is Porosity?

Hair Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. The hair’s outer cuticle layer protects what’s inside and determines:

  • How easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair
  • How well your hair can hold onto moisture
  • Hair color dye longevity.
  • Hair’s shine factor.

If you search for “healthy hair” in an encyclopedia, you would basically get the description of low porosity hair. Many people assume their hair is healthy/low porosity if they have never colored or damaged it in a conventional way (that they’re aware of), but you can actually be born with higher porosity hair.

FUN FACT: Fine hair has less cuticle layers which are easier to permeate and damage, and coarse thick strands have more cuticle layers. In fact, you can have different areas of porosity on your head. Curly and textured hair in general has a greater porosity due to its unique protein structure. In most ways, your porosity is genetic – but it can change.

There is one more level of porosity: Grade 5 Porosity – but if you have grade 5 porosity you probably don’t have much hair because at that stage, there is a total loss of your cuticle, breakage is extreme, the hair is compromised beyond repair and might even be melting off. Nothing will fix this besides a haircut and I hope for your sake that this isn’t you! You should definitely avoid the following in excess if you are grade 3 or 4 so you do not get to this point:

When Does Your Porosity Change?

It starts with a swollen cuticle. As hair swells, its roof-like scales lift and become susceptible to flaking off which hinders how well it can protect the inner contents of the hair. Some situations that influence porosity: 

  • Alkalinity. On the pH scale, hair sits between 4.5-5.5 and anything over that causes some degree of swelling. Anything over pH 8 can significantly increase permeability, this includes most permanent hair color (professional or box dye), hair lightener (bleach).
  • Hygral Fatigue, this is caused by frequent and excessive wash & dry cycles of the hair. See my video on this topic here
  • High temperature, this accelerates water penetration. 
  • Chemical processes, such as permanent waving, relaxing, bleaching and coloring
  • High exposure to UV radiation See my blog on Sun Damage
  • High humidity. 

The thing about porosity is that it’s not a sliding scale, but an uphill battle. In other words, if you start off low porosity, it can only increase. There is no natural way to lower your porosity, but by applying the right products, you can mimic the look, feel, and function of “healthy” hair that holds its moisture.

Products That Help Even Out Porosity:

Hair Peptide:

K18 Mini Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask Treatment to Repair Damaged Hair - 4 Minutes to Reverse Damage from Bleach + Color, Chemical Services, Heat 15 ml
  • An At-home Leave-In Treatment infused with the patented K18Peptide that renews hair to its most youthful, healthy state. Benefits: Works to repair even the most extreme damage caused by bleach and color, chemical services, and heat.
  • Creates Like Hair Like New: Traveling into the inner-most layers of hair to reach the core polypeptide chains our revolutionary K18Peptide is just the right size and makeup to reconnect broken chains responsible for hair strength and elasticity.
  • Renews All Hair Types: K18 doesn’t just hide damage or patch it up leaving hair brittle, it transforms even the most extreme damage into hair that looks and feels like new. K18 works on all hair types, all generations, all types of expression.

Bond Builder:

Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment, 155ml
  • Primes hair to intensify benefits of No. 3
  • Jump starts repair deep within the hair strand
  • All hair types

Protein:

Sale
CURLSMITH - Bond Curl Rehab Salve, Bond Building Strength Treatment for Weak, Damaged Hair (8 fl oz)
  • STRENGTH & REPAIR - Our Bond Curl is an intense pre-shampoo bond building treatment, rich in proteins that target hair bonds to strengthen and repair from the inside out. Balancing protein-rich and moisturizing products in your routine is key to strengthen and protect the hair against damage. The more damaged and porous your hair is, the more protein-rich products you should use.
  • HOW THE MAGIC HAPPENS - Our hair is made of a keratin structure, which is reinforced by 3 types of so-called hair bonds. Our Bond Curl has a unique blend of superfoods and fortifying active ingredients that targets all 3 of these bonds to repair, rebuild and restore hair fiber strength. It also provides protection to help against further damage.
  • WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT - Inspired by generations of homemade hair remedies, Curlsmith blends fresh curl-loving foods with kitchen cupboard staples and rare natural ingredients to make premium products that really work. Healthy ingredients, professional results, no compromise.

Moisturizing:

Sale
CURLSMITH - Hydro Crème Soothing Mask - Vegan Soothing Deep Conditioner for any Hair Type, Encourages Growth (8 oz)
  • WEIGHTLESS HYDRATION - The Hydro Crème is an intensely hydrating deep conditioner suitable for all hair types, including thin and low porosity hair. It helps promote natural growth by supporting hair's elasticity, reducing the appearance of breakage and shedding. Its buttery texture melts instantly on the hair, providing deep hydration without weighing it down.
  • HOW THE MAGIC HAPPENS - Healthy, beautiful-looking hair starts at the scalp. That’s why treating it and deep conditioning regularly is so important. Our Hydro Crème Soothing Mask is super-charged with Hyaluronic Acid, known as a moisturising miracle in the skincare world. Just 1 gram of it can hold up to 6 litres of water, which makes it the perfect ingredient to revive the hair without the weight of traditional oils and butters.
  • WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT - Inspired by generations of homemade hair remedies, Curlsmith blends fresh curl-loving foods with kitchen cupboard staples and rare natural ingredients to make premium products that really work. Healthy ingredients, professional results, no compromise.

Oils:

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