What Is Hair Porosity?

Do you know what hair porosity is? I had no idea what hair porosity is or that hair was even porous until recently!  If you don’t know anything about hair porosity, you’ll want to read this!  Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. Your hair is either low porosity, high porosity or normal porosity. The cuticle of your hair determines how easy it will be for moisture get into your hair. For the most part, your hair’s porosity is genetic, though it is possible to alter the porosity of your hair by heat exposure and chemicals. Knowing your hair’s porosity level is a big help when it comes to choosing the right products for your hair. At the beginning of my natural hair journey finding the right products that would keep my hair moisturized was a huge challenge.  Here’s how you can determine your hair’s porosity which will help you to choose the right products for your hair:

Hair Porosity Test

Drop a clean strand of hair into a bowl of water

If the hair floats at the top of the bowl, you have low porosity hair

If the hair sinks to the bottom of the bowl, you have high porosity hair

If the hair floats in the middle of the bowl, you have normal porosity hair


Low porosity hair is very hard to moisturize and tends to resist moisture. Your hair cuticles are tightly closed making it tough for water to enter the shaft of your hair.  You may also notice that products tend clot on top of your hair instead of absorbing into your strands. Low porosity hair may also take what seems like forever to dry.  Low porosity hair is also prone to product build up. I suggest using a light oil, like argan oil which is less likely to weigh the hair down.

High porosity hair is receptive to moisture but it’s hard to retain that moisture! You may notice that you can easily moisturize your hair, but you are unable to retain that moisture. If you have high porosity hair like me, you’re probably dealing with hair that tends to look dry, tangles easily, and fighting frizz is a daily challenge. From my experience, heavier oils and butters work best for our hair.

Normal Porosity hair can be categorized by being shiny with lots of volume and it always absorbs just the right amount of moisture. If you have normal porosity hair, great! But I don’t come across many curl girls with normal porosity hair.

Knowing your porosity type will assist with growing and maintaining healthy hair, selecting the right products for your hair and save you lots of time on styling.


Will you be taking the porosity test?


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