Spotlight on: High Porosity Hair

So let’s say you are cruising down an open road on a hot summer day. Perhaps the only way you can survive is if you roll up the windows and turn on the AC. If you want to feel the cool air on your cheeks you might want to make sure the vents are open!

High porosity hair is an open vent. High porosity literally means that your hair shaft is very porous (has many openings along the shaft). As you can imagine, because the hair cuticles are open this hair very readily accepts whatever is placed on it. The hair quickly becomes saturated in whatever oil, cream or water-based substance is applied to it. Bear in mind, however, that those pores do not snap shut whenever they receive the necessary products. It remains open. This means that this hair loses moisture just as readily as it accepts it; and herein lies the problem.

High porosity hair is believed to be a result of over-processing such as dying, chemical treatments and heat damage. Therefore, it can be somewhat concluded that high porosity hair in fact damaged hair.

If your hair is highly porous, you can do one of two things…

  1. Trim/cut it off
  2. Take really good care of it

If you want to cut it off, then you can do that easily by scheduling an appointment at your local hairdresser. However, if you want to maintain the hair you have, keep reading.

Taking care of high porosity hair is not impossible. It simply calls for an understanding of the science of hair. First of all, understand that high porosity is not the best state for your hair. To that end, you should begin to “baby” your hair. Stop the chemical and/or heat treatments to your hair and go into recovery mode. Develop a great hair care regimen that involves protein treatments and lots of deep conditioning. Your hair will never revert to low porosity, but it helps the hair not to become further damaged.

The Day to Day

When it comes to the day to day care of your hair, sealing becomes extremely important. I will do a separate article on sealing to which persons with high porosity hair should pay large attention. Every time you handle your hair, you must end it by sealing your hair with a heavy butter or cream such as shea butter or mango butter. You may also use a heavy oil like castor oil. Shea butter or any other heavy butter/cream acts to filled the pores in your hair shaft. This helps the moisture to stay locked in so it does not escape leaving your hair feeling crusty and dry. Ladies, shea butter needs to become your best friend. Every hair regimen should end with it.

For example, section your hair in four sections. Take a spray bottle filled with water and give your hair a light mist. You do not need to soak your hair since it readily accepts moisture- don’t over saturate. Per section apply castor oil or olive oil. Then section by section finish by applying shea butter, and style as desired.

Recap of High Porosity Hair

The Profile

  • Open pores along hair shaft (highly porous)
  • Accepts moisture readily
  • Loses moisture readily
  • Is often a result of damaged or over-processed hair

The Challenge

  • To seal pores so that moisture does not escape

The Solution

  • Stop chemically treating hair
  • Stop heat treatments
  • Incorporate protein treatments regularly (perhaps once a month, if your hair is not protein sensitive can be every two weeks)
  • Incorporate deep conditioning treatments regularly (perhaps once a week, if your lifestyle permits can be every three or so days)
  • Use a heavy butter/cream/oil to seal your hair after you apply moisture (water) to it

I hope that was helpful, Bellas. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Note: Keep an eye out for “The LOC Method” article!


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