Get to know your hair porosity?

 This will help with understanding what hair porosity is. I will just give an overview about the makeup of hair which consists of three layers.  These include:


The cuticle: The tough, protective outer layer of the hair that is made up of smaller cuticles that overlap each other they resemble shingles on a rooftop.

The cortex: This is the thickest layer of your hair.  It contains fibrous proteins and the pigment that gives your hair its colour.

The medulla: The soft part of the hair shaft deep within.


In a perfect hair world cuticles would be smooth and closed and hair would be more on the lipophilic side.  A natural protective oil layer on the hair makes it manageable and much more healthy.

In order for your hair to stay healthy and hydrated, water, oils and other conditioning products need to be able to penetrate the hair cuticle and reach the cortex. 

If cuticles are too close together it’s a challenge for water and oils to pass through hair, making it difficult to gain the moisture that it needs.

If the cuticles are too widely spaced, your hair will have a harder time retaining moisture and staying hydrated.


What causes low or high hair porosity?

Your hair porosity is largely due to genetics and if low porosity hair runs in your family then there is a chance that you will have this hair type but while this plays a part there are many other contributing factors as to why someone could have high porosity hair. 

Hair care practices can play a crucial part in changing hair porosity.  Blow drying, bleaching, straightening, over washing and using harsh products can all cause damage overtime.   These processes will alter the cuticles and raise them making it harder for your hair to retain moisture.

Being rough and putting your hands in your hair too much or vigorously brushing and combing your hair will also affect porosity.

Hygral fatigue which is exposure to excessive amounts of water can swell the hair and lift the cuticles up as well.


How do I know my hairs porosity?

The strand test is just one of the ways to test hair porosity, it is not absolute so I would look at the characteristics of your hair in addition. 

Strand test

Step 1 . Shampoo and rinse your hair to remove any product build up.

Step 2. Fill a glass with water.

Step 3. Once your hair is clean and dry, drop a single strand of your hair into the glass of water.

Step 4. Watch the strand to see if it sinks to the bottom of the glass or floats to the top.


The Results

Low porosity hair. Woman with natural 4c hair. Skin and glory uk


You can also test your porosity levels by running your finger down a strand of your hair.  Low porosity hair will feel smooth, whereas high porosity hair will feel rough and bumpy because of the raised cuticles.


Lets take look at the characteristics of low porosity hair

  • Closed cuticles sealed not lifted up.
  • Its lipophilic so loves oil
  • Needs water but doesn’t like it.
  • problem with dryness because cuticles are tight and difficult to get water in.


Tips for low porosity hair care!

Use liquid milky moisturisers over cream based formulas.  Water alone is not enough as it will sit on top of your hair because of it’s lipophilic nature.  We recommend using a conditioner mixed with water in a spray bottle because mixed with conditioning surfactants it makes it easier for your hair to absorb the water.   In this case you will get more intense hydration into the cuticle you will also get the protective film forming around the outer layer of the hair to lock in the moisture that was just absorbed into the hair.

So you will be getting more bang for your buck with Skin & Glory’s Curl defining hair milk as it will last longer in using it this way, it has the perfect blend of ingredients to give your hair exactly what it needs.

Use a steamer, heat cap or hooded dryer to open the cuticles or do overnight deep conditioning treatments to allow the heat from your body to allow the hair shaft to open so that the formula can penetrate your hair more deeply. 



Let’s take look at the characteristics of high porosity hair

  • High porosity hair has raised cuticles and tends to be drier and more prone to breakage.
  • Hydrophilic, porous and water loving.
  • has a higher anionic charge (-) negative charge so will generally be more frizzy, tangle and can even experience stunted growth due to issues with breakage.
  • It takes in water easily but has trouble holding onto it.

 high porosity hair. woman with natural 4c hair. skin and glory uk


Tips for high porosity hair care!

Hot oil treatments or pre shampoo treatments are super important. This is the key to getting your hair back to a lipophilic state and sealed. Use shampoos and conditioners containing cationic surfactants. They have a cationic (+) positive charge and opposites attract even when it comes to hair!

Make sure to seal in moisture with protective oils. Skin & Glory’s Pro Keratin Strengthen and Grow Tonic has the perfect combination of oils blended with powerful herbs perfect for promoting accelerated growth and strengthening strands.

Avoid ingredients that will lift the cuticles higher like baking soda rinse the pH is too high.  You can use apple cider vinegar rinses as the pH is more in line with your hairs pH which is 4.5-6 it will aid in sealing the cuticles. 

Do you know your hairs porosity?

What is your biggest challenge?

What haircare products work for you?