Low Porosity Hair: Characteristics & Care Tips
- What is Low Porosity Hair?
- 6 Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair
- 5 Tips to Care for Low Porosity Hair
- Best Products for a Low Porosity Hair Routine
- The Differences Between High, Medium, & Low Porosity Hair
What is Low Porosity Hair?
Low porosity hair is characterized by a very tight cuticle structure. These cuticles are the little scales that cover the external layer of curly hair. Ultimately, they control how much moisture can penetrate into the hair shaft.
Those with low porosity hair have incredibly tightly closed cuticles, meaning the hair is not too dry and can maintain moisture quite easily. However, this also makes it very difficult for moisture to penetrate through the cuticles when needed. No matter your type of curly hair, you may have low porosity hair and need to find the best ways to manage it.
6 Ways to Test Low Porosity Hair
Each hair porosity type has different characteristics due to its cuticle structure. Looking at whether these line up with how your own curls, waves or coils behave can help you determine how porous your locks are. So, what does low porosity hair look like? Here are some key signs which can help you identify if you possess low porosity hair:
- Leave-in products tend to sit on the hair rather than penetrate, so it’s very easy to apply too much which might result in scalp build-up.
- When you spray some water on a clean, product-free strand, the water forms little beads on the surface rather than penetrating into the hair.
- It takes a long time for the hair to get fully wet.
- It takes a long time for the hair to fully dry.
- The hair is easily weighed down and can struggle to achieve volume, which may make you want to use volumizing hair products.
- The hair doesn’t take color very well.
If your curls share these characteristics when testing, it could very much indicate that you have low porosity hair. Additionally, the Curlsmith curl quiz helps you pinpoint the best curly hair products to treat, manage and style your curls.
5 Tips to Care for Low Porosity Hair
Caring properly for low porosity hair is important to achieve the locks of your dreams. Those with this type are prone to experience build-up, weighed down tresses, and would benefit from specific techniques and tips to apply product.
For the best low porosity hair routine, try:
- Use heat to make moisture penetrate better - For example, wearing a heated shower cap during the waiting time of your hair treatment. Or try diffusing curly hair for a few minutes at the start of the treatment wait time.
- Using just a few protein-rich products to avoid protein overload, as this hair is healthy and doesn’t need a lot of repair.
- Use a clarifying shampoo more often to ensure you get rid of product build-up.
- Including lighter products in your curl routine.
- Try a simpler routine and use only one product rather than layering them.
Best Products for a Low Porosity Hair Routine
Establishing a proper curly hair routine, no matter your hair’s porosity, can help to leave your locks as healthy as possible. Here are the best products for low porosity hair:
As low porosity hair suffers from build-up you should regularly use clarifying products. These special types of shampoos help to remove build up, and keep your low porosity hair feeling as healthy as possible. Clarifiers, such as our Detox Kit, help to remove this building up of products.
To moisturize low porosity hair properly, use a lightweight hair hydration product such as a deep conditioner. Our Hydro Creme Soothing Mask will help to penetrate moisture into the strands without weighing them down.
Lightweight products are also a must for low porosity hair. They won’t weigh your strands down as much as heavier ones. Applying your styling products on soaking wet hair can help it be absorbed into the strands, so this is also recommended. We recommend our Hydro Style Flexi-Jelly, a medium hold weightless styling gel that defines curls without any build-up.
Whilst hair oils are a great way to nourish your hair, you should stick to products that contain lightweight oils. Using hair oils correctly, and choosing products that won’t sit on the hair strands and make them look greasy is essential. Look for products that contain glycerin as it helps to retain moisture within the hair.
Good Protein-Moisture Products
Low porosity hair doesn't need a lot of protein to maintain good protein moisture balance. You always need to consider whether your tresses get the right amount of each. Whilst protein overload can leave hair prone to snapping, moisture overload can result in hair which stretches too much and eventually falls apart. For low porosity hair we recommend using just one of our Strength Recipes products at a time to make sure you are keeping your hair in balance.
The Differences Between The Porosity Types
Low porosity hair has a tight cuticle that makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate, as well as leave. Whilst high and medium types have different features:
- High porosity - High porosity hair has loose cuticles that can easily let moisture in. However, it just as easily lets it out. This makes it difficult for this porosity type to retain hydration, and you may need more moisturizing products.
- Medium porosity - Medium porosity hair sits in between the high and low. The cuticles are looser than low porosity, but not as loose as high porosity. This means that moisture penetrates relatively easily, but isn’t lost too fast, so can experience build-up.
- Low - Whilst it can be difficult to get moisture into the tightly packed cuticles of this type, once it’s in there it becomes difficult for it to leave, making the hair more hydrated, also prone to build-up.
Identifying how porous your hair is can determine the curly hair products you need to care for your locks. That way, you can find the products which work best for you and your hair.
Why Choose Curlsmith?
At Curlsmith, we specialize in hair care for curly, coily, and wavy hair. From shampoos, to frizz control products, designed with trichologists. Vegan, cruelty-free, and made from natural ingredients, no matter your hair type.