Is High Porosity Hair Bad? Discover the Truth

To achieve lustrous, stunning hair, it’s vital to grasp the concept of hair porosity alongside understanding your hair’s natural texture and color. High porosity hair, in simple terms, refers to how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Hair with high porosity faces specific challenges and requires tailored care.

Understanding your hair’s porosity is key to crafting an effective hair care regimen and choosing suitable products. If you’re committed to nurturing your natural hair, identifying whether you have high porosity hair is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the meaning of high porosity hair and offer expert tips for maintaining vibrant and healthy locks.

Is High Porosity Hair Bad?

Knowing about hair porosity is essential for keeping your hair in top condition. Porosity refers to the tiny openings and gaps in your hair strands, which impact how well your hair can soak up and lock in moisture. It’s what decides how easily your hair can absorb water, oils, and other hair products.

If you have high porosity hair, your hair likely has more of these gaps and holes in its core, and the outer layer of your hair (cuticle) might be raised or damaged. This can cause various problems like fragile strands that easily break, split ends that won’t quit, and persistent frizz.

Is High Porosity Hair Bad
Knowing about hair porosity is essential for keeping your hair in top condition

Signs of High Porosity Hair

Determining your hair’s porosity doesn’t always require DIY tests found online; simply observing its behavior can provide valuable insights. Here are some signs that may indicate you have high porosity hair:
  1. Easily Tangles: Constantly battling knots and tangles, even with gentle handling, is a common trait of high porosity hair. The open cuticles make your strands more prone to tangling, resulting in a naturally tousled appearance.
  2. Lacks Shine: Despite using various hair products, high porosity hair often struggles to retain them, leaving your locks looking lackluster. Sun exposure can exacerbate this lack of shine.
  3. Dry and Frizzy: High porosity hair readily absorbs moisture from the air, leading to frizz. However, it also loses moisture quickly, leaving your hair dry and susceptible to damage.
  4. Vulnerable to Breakage: The combination of dryness and tangles often results in weak, brittle strands prone to breakage and split ends.
  5. Dries Quickly: While fast-drying hair may seem convenient, it indicates that your hair struggles to retain moisture, potentially impacting its overall health and hydration.
By recognizing these signs, you can better identify if you have high porosity hair and take appropriate steps to care for it effectively.
– When detangling, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to minimize damage to your hair cuticles.
– Consider using natural oils or butters as sealants after moisturizing to help lock in hydration and prevent moisture loss.
– Limit washing your hair to avoid stripping away its natural oils, which can exacerbate dryness and brittleness.
Is High Porosity Hair Bad
Signs of High Porosity Hair

The Reason Why Hair Has High Porosity?

While genetics largely determine hair porosity, the precise mechanisms remain somewhat elusive. According to Trefor Evans, Ph.D., Institute Fellow at TRI Princeton, “Understanding how hair grows is complex and influenced by various physiological factors.
Nevertheless, several external factors can also impact hair porosity. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun, lack of heat protectant before styling, and frequent use of color and bleach treatments can contribute to high porosity hair. Dove Partner & Celebrity Hair Stylist Lacy Redway emphasizes, “Genetics play a significant role in porosity, but external factors like chemical treatments and heat damage can also alter it.
– To maintain hair health, limit the frequency of chemical treatments such as coloring and bleaching.
– Incorporate regular deep conditioning and protein treatments into your hair care routine to strengthen and repair damaged hair strands.

How Can You Tell If You Have High Porosity Hair?

Testing your hair porosity at home is a simple process that requires only a strand of clean, dry hair and a transparent glass or bowl of water.
Hair Porosity Test:
  1. Fill a clear glass or bowl with water.
  2. Gently place a strand of your hair into the water.
  3. Observe how quickly the hair sinks to the bottom.
– High porosity hair will sink rapidly to the bottom.
– Medium porosity hair may float in the middle of the glass before eventually sinking.
– Low porosity hair will float on the surface for an extended period before slowly sinking.
Understanding your hair’s porosity level empowers you to tailor your hair care routine and product selection accordingly.
– Test Your Hair Porosity: Conduct the float test by placing a few clean hair strands in water. Quick sinking indicates high porosity, floating suggests low porosity, and staying in the middle implies normal porosity.
– Product Selection: For high porosity hair, opt for moisturizing products that seal the hair cuticle. Ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and oils such as argan or coconut can be beneficial.
– Routine Tips: Minimize heat styling and chemical treatments to prevent further damage to high porosity hair. Regular deep conditioning and protein treatments are essential for strengthening and protecting your hair.
Is High Porosity Hair Bad
How Can You Tell If You Have High Porosity Hair?

How to Care for High Porosity Hair?

When dealing with high porosity hair, the aim is to retain moisture, smoothen the cuticle layer, and prevent damage. Here are some tips for caring for high porosity hair:
  1. Condition Regularly: Deep conditioning is crucial for restoring and maintaining moisture levels. Use a deep conditioner or hair mask at least once a week, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes to deeply penetrate the hair cuticles.
  2. Finish with Cold Water: Conclude your shower with a rinse of cold water to seal the cuticle layer, ensuring moisture from your conditioner or hair mask remains locked in.
  3. Apply Leave-In Conditioner: High porosity hair requires continuous moisture. Apply a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated throughout the day.
  4. Seal in Moisture: After applying leave-in conditioner, use an oil or serum to seal the cuticle, effectively locking in vital moisture and leaving your hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable.
  5. Avoid Harsh Treatments: Limit the use of color-processing, bleaching, or chemical treatments, as they can raise the cuticle layer and increase porosity.
  6. Reduce Heat Styling: Minimize heat styling to prevent further damage to the cuticle layer. When using heat, always apply a heat protectant and keep temperatures below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Gentle Handling: Handle your hair with care during detangling and styling to avoid causing additional damage to the cuticles.
– Protective Hairstyles: Opt for protective hairstyles like braids or twists to minimize hair manipulation and the risk of breakage.
– Regular Trims:Schedule regular hair trims to eliminate split ends, which are more prevalent in high porosity hair.
– Satin or Silk: Use satin or silk pillowcases and hair wraps to minimize friction and prevent moisture loss while you sleep.


Does High Porosity Hair Need Protein? 

Protein treatments can aid in repairing the hair cuticle, lowering hair porosity, and forming a protective barrier around the hair shaft.

Is Rice Water Good for High Porosity Hair? 

Indeed, rice water acts as a protein treatment, mimicking proteins, and can be advantageous for curly and damaged high porosity hair. It helps improve hair condition while effectively cleansing the scalp of buildup.


Having high porosity hair doesn’t signify the end of beautiful, healthy hair. Understanding your hair’s porosity is crucial, but it’s only the beginning. The key lies in discovering the suitable products and mastering the right hair care routine. Is having high porosity hair a drawback? Absolutely not. Armed with the proper knowledge and regimen, you can effectively manage high porosity hair and maintain its optimal appearance

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