What exactly is hair porosity? How do I test my hair?

You are probably thinking, “I did not know there was so much to learn about hair!”

Darlin’, until a few  years ago, I did not know either.

First, let’s do the standard porosity hair test.

  1. Grab a bowl or a cup and fill it with water.
  2. Place a strand of your hair in the glass, it must be clean.
  3. Wait for a few minutes.

If the strand sinks to the bottom, it means that you have high porosity hair. If it stays half way, it has normal porosity and if it floats and takes a while to sink it’s because your hair has low porosity.

Hair porosity is actually simple, but some people might find it hard to understand. Porosity is how well your hair absorbs moisture. And there are different categories to the way this is done:

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Low porosity

If your hair has low porosity, your cuticles are do not accept water and moisture easily. To get moisture in the hair, products with alkaline ingredients should be used because they help lift your cuticles. Products with a low pH should be avoided because high acidity keeps the cuticle closed. For extra moisture try using steamers, they help lift the cuticle. When styling your hair, start on damp hair and do not overuse oils and butters.

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The hair in the glass/bowl floated because water could not get in to weigh it down, which causes it to sink.

Normal porosity

If your hair has normal porosity, your strands can hold moisture and shine for an extended period of time. This type of hair sounds like the best right? But of course it has its disadvantages. Normal porosity hair can change, by overusage of heat, relaxing hair chemically or process it in some way, can cause your porosity to change.

So in order to keep your strands with a normal porosity, make sure to maintain a healthy hair care regimen.

High porosity

Now if your hair has high porosity, your hair absorbs products quickly but also loses the moisture just as quickly. So try using oils and butters to help lock in the moisture in your strands. Applying apple cider vinegar mix, aloe vera gel and protein treatments regularly will fill in the gaps temporarily and help manage high porous hair. If there were a way to completely repair high porosity hair, I would have happily shared the recipe. But the tips can help maintain the hair with a healthy glow.

The hair in the glass/bowl probably has a number of gaps, openings and tears that let water flow in easily, which caused it to quickly sink to the bottom.


Quite easy to understand I hope. So what porosity category is your hair? Do the test and let me know.