What's the Difference Between Low Porosity and High Porosity Hair?

Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb hydration, like water and conditioning products. Hair porosity determines the types of products and product application techniques that will yield the best results. 

Here’s your guide to the characteristics of low porosity versus high porosity hair, maintenance tips and product recommendations for each.

Low Porosity Hair Characteristics

Low porosity hair is resistant to absorbing moisture. It takes time for water to saturate the strands because the hair cuticle is closed. Products are best absorbed with heat, which helps to open the cuticles and allow moisture to penetrate the strands. Once moisture does enter the hair shaft, low porosity hair retains moisture for longer and has a tendency to accumulate product build up. Low porosity hair also typically takes a long time to dry due to the strands not readily releasing moisture.

Low Porosity Hair Tips

Use a clarifying shampoo regularly for a deep cleanse. Use a hooded dryer, steamer or processing/conditioning cap to help hair more easily absorb products. Limit use of protein-rich conditioners or heavy stylers, like butters. 

Best Products for Low Porosity Hair 

High Porosity Hair Characteristics

High porosity hair easily absorbs water and moisture. It can get saturated almost immediately and may look very elongated when wet. High porosity hair also dries quickly because the hair cuticle is open. It has a tendency to feel dried out soon after using moisturizing products and requires frequent reapplication of products. High porosity hair can be genetic, although it is common on hair that has been damaged. Strands can be compromised and become high porosity due to color treatments, especially bleach, chemical treatments, like relaxers, and frequent use of direct heat, like blow drying and flat ironing.

High Porosity Hair Tips 

Use an oil or butter on top of a leave-in to seal in hydration and ensure moisture retention. Use products that are ultra hydrating and nutrient-rich to strengthen strands, repair damage and protect from breakage.

Best Products for High Porosity Hair

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