Are you struggling with unexplainable dryness and breakage? Do products just sit on top of your hair? Does your hair take forever to get soaking wet? Perhaps you have low porosity hair.
13 Hacks for Managing Low Porosity Hair
I struggled with dryness and breakage for quite sometime. During my trial and error phases of learning how to manage low porosity hair, I tried just about every technique possible. I was searching for lasting moisture and decreased breakage. Here are 13 hacks for managing low porosity hair!
Clarify and Chelate
Low porosity hair and product buildup behave similarly. Both cause the hair to feel dry and appear dull, thus your first step to diagnosing and managing porosity should be to clarify and chelate. Often times, stripping the hair down of product buildup and mineral buildup is all that is required to restore moisture to your hair. After you have clarified and chelated the hair, grab a few pieces of shed hair and set them aside to fully dry for later use.
Determining Your Porosity
The next step is to perform the wet strand test on the fully dried shed pieces of hair to determine porosity. This test is not 100% accurate but it will give you a good baseline. Gently drop a piece of hair in a cup of water. If it floats for longer than 5 minutes, you have low porosity hair. If it sinks after 1 to 2 minutes, you have high porosity hair. Hair that sinks around the 3 minute mark is normal porosity. Porosity can differ throughout your head and it can even differ on a piece of hair. In times past, I’ve had strands to partially float and partially sink. That then means, the strand was dealing with both low and high porosity. Crazy right. No matter what the wet strand test concludes, always go with a regimen that generates the best results for your hair.
Change Your Regimen
After determining porosity, you need to make proper changes to your regimen to address your hair care needs. For high porosity hair, increasing protein treatments are ideal because it patches up the cuticle damage along the hair shaft that allows moisture to quickly escape from the hair. Protein treatments are merely a temporary fix for damaged cuticles, thus continued use of protein is required to keep the cuticles properly patched up for the hair to hold onto moisture.
For low porosity hair, the cuticles are close so tightly that it’s hard for moisture to get in. Therefore, using heat when deep conditioning is ideal because it forces the cuticles to open and thereby absorb moisture. Heat is a way to force feed moisture to your hair.
Low Porosity Hair Misconception
Many believe Roux Porosity Control is the answer to fixing low porosity hair. In fact, the opposite is true. Roux Porosity Control is a low porosity hair nightmare. It is formulated to close the cuticle and make them lay flat(ter). Low porosity hair has closed, flat cuticles already, thus Roux Porosity Control just closes the cuticles tighter which makes it even harder for moisture to absorb into the strands.
Installing a Water Filter
Hard water can deposit all sorts of minerals on the hair. My low porosity hair is dry on its own, I don’t need any help in this department. Therefore, a water filter is a great investment to filter out impurities that might cause hair dryness.
Limiting Protein Usage
Knowing what protein treatments is best for your hair and at what interval to use them is key. Otherwise, you’ll end up with dry hair. I now use protein once a month as someone with low porosity hair. Those with high porosity hair, should consider using a light protein reconstructor with each wash day.
Deep Conditioning with Heat
Heat opens up the cuticles to allow moisture to penetrate the hair strands. Moist heat is a double dose of hydration because the moisture found within the water droplets add even more moisture to the hair during the deep conditioning process.
Moisturizing/Sealing Wet Hair
Failing to moisturize and seal on wet hair gives moisture the opportunity to escape my strands. And once it’s escaped, it’s hard to get it back. Lock that moisture in while the hair is still soaking wet by applying your leave-ins immediately when getting out of the shower.
Using Quality Products
Quality products are effective and hydrate my low porosity hair with ease. Quality products doesn’t mean expensive products. I am using products that work straight out the bottle. I no longer rely on halfway decent conditioners that need doctoring up to be effective.
Know Your Ingredients
For me, glycerin, aloe vera and wheat protein are very much hit and miss for my hair. All three make my hair dry and brittle. Therefore, I try to avoid them when and where possible but it’s becoming increasingly harder because these ingredients are in almost every product that I’m interested in.
Apply Deep Conditioners from Root to Tip
Often we forget about the hair closest to the scalp. It needs love too!
Limit Your Use of Silicone Based Products
Simply put, they block moisture. While you cannot avoid them totally, try avoiding them beyond your shampoo and conditioner. Note: Let me just say, silicones are not all bad. They offer slip and can be a great ingredient to have in your product. Silicones usually create issue and cause build-up for those who use sulfate-free shampoo. Silicones should be removed with sulfate shampoo.
Sulfate Shampoo is Not the Devil
Somewhere along this hair journey, sulfate shampoo has been given a bad name. Many top bloggers have sworn off the use of cleansers with sulfates. I’m here to tell you, your hair will need sulfates at some point to remove product buildup that causes dryness. For those of us with low porosity hair, having a clean slate to work with each wash day will help the deep conditioner penetrate the hair much better. I’m pretty sure someone will say, my hair never needs sulfates and my response will be – great! However, I get a number of complaints on the regular about dry hair and 99.99% of the time the dryness is a result of product buildup that resulted from using sulfate-free shampoos.