What is hair’s porosity?
-Simply how easily products are able to penetrate the hair strands. This is EXTREMELY important in choosing products and a regimen that benefits your hair.
There are three types when it comes to hair’s porosity:
LOW POROSITY – Hair strand cuticles are tightly compact. This is bittersweet because ideally hair has a tougher surface; a natural barrier, it is less prone to heat damage, chemical damage etc, and overall is said to be strong hair. However, it also has a difficult time letting beneficial things like moisture in, but once in traps it pretty well.
NORMAL POROSITY– Hair strand cuticles are lightly raised, allowing and trapping the perfect amount of moisture and product in.
HIGH POROSITY- Hair strand cuticles are open. This is also bittersweet because although moisture effortlessly rushes to penetrate the hair shaft , heat, and chemicals works the same way, which can weaken this type traumatically with constant or unprotected use since strands are already fragile. Also, as fast as moisture penetrates hair, it leaves.
How can I test my hair’s porosity?
-The easiest way is to fill a glass with room temperature water, place a strand of naked hair in it, and monitor what it does. If after 15-30 mins, it’s still floating or near the surface, you have low porosity hair.
If it floats somewhere in the middle of the glass, you have normal porosity hair
If it sinks near the bottom, you have high porosity hair.
Other ways are basically by observation. If you’ve ever had a relaxer or hair color, and had to keep the product in your hair longer than the recommended time for it to process efficiently, then chances are you have low porosity hair. Vice-versa, if your hair process products like these fairly easy, you may have high porosity hair.
How does baking soda help low porosity hair?
Baking soda is an alkaline . It opens up the hair’s cuticles dramatically. This is wonderful for low porosity hair to finally allow moisture in and get the full benefits of products, instead of them just sitting on the surface of your hair shaft.
You can conduct a baking soda cleanse every 2 weeks, monthly, or less. I like doing mine every two weeks, because I love the results on my hair. I weirdly love fluffy, mushy curls, and this makes my hair like that. Almost too mushy. It also loosens/swells my curls.
Oppositely, if you have high porosity hair you want to dodge baking soda treatments like the plague! You do not want your cuticles being exposed anymore than they already are.
To help high porosity hair, try apple cider rinses. Apple Cider is an acid. It closes, tightens, and smooths cuticles.
Tip: If you are dealing with low porosity hair, besides baking soda treatments occasionally, stay away/limit silicon use. Silicons coat your hair shaft with a film. Your cuticles do not need any more help closing. Constant use of silicons can shut the cuticles altogether, preventing even the best products from penetrating your hair.
Also the “sealing step” if you have natural hair, is not necessary. You can oil your scalp and ends, “pre poo” and detangle with oil before washing, but beyond that try to leave your strands as naked, open, and receiving as possible. I found that light butters in place of oil works for me.