Hair Porosity! Do You Know Yours?

Natural Hair Care

What is Hair Porosity

Porosity is the measure of the hair’s ability to absorb moisture. Goddesses this is very important; you hear me all the time talking about moisturize, moisturize, moisturize; well 1st you have to know your hair’s ability to absorb moisture before you know how much or how little you have to moisturize your hair.


This is determined by the condition of the hair’s cuticle layer (the overlapping scales of the hair shaft), and is rated as low, normal, and high. In normal, healthy hair, the cuticle is compact and inhibits the penetration of the hair shaft by moisture – both moisture going in, and moisture coming out. When the cuticle is overly compact and prevents the penetration of the hair by moisture it has low porosity.

Hair with low porosity is harder to process, and is resistant to hair color and perms. Low porosity hair must usually be softened prior to other chemical services. Hair with high porosity is hair whose cuticle layer is open and the hair too-readily absorbs moisture. Overly-porous hair also releases moisture easily and becomes dry and is easily damaged. Acid-balanced conditioning treatments are used to contract the cuticle layer and lock-in moisture on overly-porous hair.

I concentrate on this level of porosity because I tend to think that this is my porosity level; but below you will see all the various levels and how they are determined and how to test your own hair.


Extreme caution must be used when performing chemical services on overly porous hair to prevent damage. Hair color will take much more quickly and strongly in overly porous hair (and semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair colors will fade much more quickly). Perms and straighteners will process much faster in high-porosity hair as well.

To determine the porosity of your hair, simply feel it – both when wet and when dry. If the hair feels straw-like and rough when dry, or if it feels gummy or slightly rubbery when wet, then you probably have a problem with overly porous hair. Or you can carry out a hair porosity test. I’ll try to do one this weekend really quick and then link it to my Facebook Page but you can go to YouTube for a quick water demostration.

porosity hair

Really quick, I’m going to brief you the various levels of porosity; this will give you a better understanding of where your hair stand as far as its porosity level; with Normal Porosity being the best quality!

Low Porosity Hair 

What does low porosity hair mean? It means your cuticles are tight and pretty resistant to opening up for water and moisture. This is more than likely due to genetics.

Normal Porosity Hair 
What does normal porosity hair mean? It’s pretty self-explanatory! It means your strands allow for easy moisture inside the cuticle. This range tends to take color and perms better than the other two. And will also hold moisture and shine for a longer period of time

High Porosity Hair 

What does high porosity hair mean? It means your cuticles have been exposed to a severe amount of damage, either through environmental factors or the overuse of heat and chemical processes. Does your hair seem to stay wet for a long time? Or do your strands feel as though as quickly as they absorb moisture from your products is as quickly as they lose it?

Okay, so now that you have all of that information; here is how you will test your own hair……………

Porosity Test
Next time you wash your hair, grab a strand and drop it into a glass of water. If the strand immediately sinks to the bottom, then your hair is of high porosity. If it floats somewhere in the middle with ease, then it’s of normal porosity. If it seems to stay at the top, taking forever to sink downward, then your strands are of low porosity.

Now click the link below to see my quick simple hair porosity test!

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