Hair ‘porosity’ of the hair refers to how well moisture penetrates the cuticle later of the shaft. This is direct result of the way the cuticle scales overlap, but allow some moisture to penetrate the hair. In resistant hair a compact cuticle raised and moisture passes easily into and out of the hair shaft.
There are 3 types of hair porosity.
1. Hair with low porosity has a tightly bound cuticle layer with over lapping scales that lay flat. Those type of hair is usually considered healthy, and is often very shiny, especially if it is dark in colour. Low porosity hair repels moisture when you try to wet it and is hard to process since it resists penetration of chemicals. Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and mineral oil. It also benefits from humectant products, which attract and holds moisture to your hair like glycerine. When deep conditioning try using a hair steamer for the best results.
2. Hair with medium porosity often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser, allowing just the right amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping. Hair with normal porosity tends to hold styles well, and can be permed and coloured with predictable results. Over time, however, these processes can damage your hair and increase its porosity.
Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen.
3. Hair with high porosity can either be an inherent property of hair or the result of damage from chemical processing, rough treatment or environmental damage. High porosity hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which let too much moisture into your hair and leave it prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather. Even simple acts such as bathing, swimming and shampooing can create more damage due to the sheer amount of moisture highly porous hair can absorb.
Because highly porous hair can also lose moisture easily, it’s important to use leave in conditioners, moisturizers and sealers. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you are giving it. You can even follow up with a heavy hair butter to help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and further protect your hair from losing too much moisture.
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