Hair can be our best friend and our worst enemy all at the same time. More often than not, it becomes our enemy from a lack of understanding of how it works.
Trying to figure out your hair is not the easiest task, but with our help, we hope that it can be a little easier. Once you truly understand your hair, your hair struggles will dwindle to zero.
We have already talked about getting to know your hair type (and if you still aren’t sure try reading this), but that is only half the battle to figuring out your perfect hair care routine. The other half is understanding your hair porosity.
Hair porosity is not as scary or complicated as it may sound. All it is, is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. There are three levels of hair porosity: low, medium, and high. These levels are indicators of your hair porosity and are important to learn so that you can create a hair care routine that works for you.
If you know your hair porosity and your hair type, then you can craft a fitting routine. Your hair type will tell you generally what type of products your hair may like whilst your hair porosity will help to hone in on specific products like a styling milk versus a styling cream.
Figuring Out Your Hair’s Porosity
There are a couple of tests to help you determine your hair porosity. We’ve created a simple quiz that can help you to determine your hair’s porosity level and give a bit of background as to what exactly that means. You can take the quiz here and after you have a general understanding, we will provide deeper information on porosity levels in the rest of this blog.
If an at home test is more your style then we have curated a couple for you to try:
The Strand Test
Take a single strand of your hair in fingers
Starting from the bottom, run your fingers upwards to the root of the strand. What do you feel?
What It Means:
If the strand feels rough, bumpy or breaks - your hair has a high level of porosity.
If the strand feels smooth – your hair has a medium level of porosity.
If the strand slides easily and feels dense or hard in your fingertips – your hair has a low level of porosity.
Not convinced by the first test? Try this second one to confirm.
The Float Test
After brushing or running fingers through your hair, remove a single strand.
Fill a bowl or cup with room-temperature water and place the strand inside.
What It Means:
If the strand sinks quickly to the bottom – your hair has a high level of porosity.
If the strand sinks slowly to the bottom – your hair has a medium level of porosity.
If the strand floats – your hair has a low level of porosity.
Here’s another one just so you are 100%...
The H2O Test
To determine your hair porosity level using water, spritz a small section of your hair with water and watch how your hair reacts.
Does your hair absorb the water quickly? – chances are your hair has a high level of porosity.
Does the water remain on top of your hair? – then chances are your hair has a low level of porosity.
Tell-Tale Hair Porosity Signs
If tests aren’t your thing, or you just don’t trust yourself, here are a few signs of each porosity level.
Some Characteristics of High Porosity Hair
- Hair easily absorbs water, however, it requires more products.
- Hair often look and feel dry.
- Hair is often frizzy.
- Hair dries quickly.
Some Characteristics of Medium Porosity Hair
- Hair is full of bounce and elasticity.
- Requires very little maintenance.
- Easily accepts and retains moisture inside the cuticle.
- Holds styles well and can be colored with good results.
Some Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair
- Hair takes a long time to dry.
- Products tend to build up on hair rather than absorb.
- Natural oils don’t readily penetrate, but rather sit on your hair.
- Hair take much longer to get fully saturated when you wet them.
Now that you have determined your hair’s level of porosity, we are going to break down what each level means and give a few tips for how to care for your hair based on each level of porosity.
High porosity hair has difficulty retaining moisture. It tends to be a bit more damaged as a result of UV exposure, heat styling, and chemical or bleach processing. Over time, this results in the hair cuticles being permanently stuck in the “open” position, making it easy for moisture to soak in, but just as easy for it to escape from the open cuticles. Highly porous hair typically air-dries quickly, is prone to excess frizz, and feels a bit drier on the ends.
Tips if you have high porosity hair:
The best high porosity hair products are ones that provide moisture but are lightweight!
Moisture is key! Use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner that aims to provide deep hydration to your strands.
Additionally, use a deep conditioning treatment 1-2 times weekly to give your hair that extra hug of moisture that it needs. When washing and rinsing your hair, try to use lukewarm or cold water. This encourages the cuticle to close and retain more water for a smoother feel.
After applying styling or leave-in product on your clean hair, use cuticle-sealing products.
A great way to seal in moisture when drying is to use the RevAir reverse-air dryer, which uses low heat and air flowing in the natural direction of the cuticle to dry and smooth the hair – while tension lays the cuticle down flat in the “closed” position.
Reving will help a moisturising leave-in primer applied before use will help do its job and be locked in under the smoothed cuticle.
One of the best tips for your hair’s health- cut down on UV and heat exposure. Wear a hat when you’re lying on the beach or running around on sunny days, and opt for heat-free or low-heat styling options, like RevAir, instead of styling with heat-intensive tools daily.
Medium Porosity Hair has little to no difficulty absorbing or retaining moisture. It tends to be relatively healthy with minimal exposure to damage from UV, chemical or heat processing.
Fun Fact: Hair starts out with a medium or low porosity level and gradually becomes more porous as damage occurs. The best thing you can do for your strands is to have a beneficial hair regimen that focuses on hydration and low-heat styling to keep hair at a medium to low porosity level.
Tips if you have medium porosity hair:
Wash your hair regularly to keep it clean and build-up free. Since excess buildup and deep hydration aren’t a large concern for this porosity, focus on choosing products made for your hair type (click here to learn more about your hair type).
Keep it healthy! The focus is on keeping your hair at this healthy, average porosity level! Stay away from excess chemical and heat styling to preserve your strands Try styling your hair with no or low heat alternatives, like swapping your hair dryer for a RevAir reverse-air dryer, or rocking your natural texture!
Low porosity hair has difficulty absorbing moisture. The cuticles of hair with a low porosity level tend to be stuck in the “closed” position, making it harder for the hair to lose moisture and product, but also a bit trickier for full absorption.It tends to be healthier due to less damage from excess UV exposure, and chemical or heat styling. Typically, this hair type takes a long amount of time to air-dry and is prone to product “sitting” or building up on the surface of the hair.
Tips if you have low porosity hair:
Wash your hair regularly to remove build-up. Low porosity hair tends to have a tougher time absorbing product, which means that product is prone to building up and sitting on the hair shaft. Use a clarifying or deep-cleaning shampoo 1-2 times a week to remove excess buildup and keep the shaft clean.
Infuse hair-healthy products into the strands by using a low amount of heat which helps to “infuse” products into the hair shaft. Think of it like a vacuum seal when marinating meat or veggies- it helps the product to truly absorb!
The RevAir reverse-air dryer’s negative pressure environment infuses any product applied prior into the hair shaft for full absorption, so you’re not left with product “sitting” on your strands.
Stay away from protein-heavy treatments. Excess protein (also known as keratin) and product sitting on top of the hair can actually cause damage to the cuticle over time!
Use leave-ins and conditioning treatments that have hydrating oils and ingredients that don’t rely too heavily on protein (scan the label for the word “keratin” to check if your leave-in uses protein).
Now You’ve Got it
Now that you are a little more educated on the world of hair porosity, you can take the next steps to craft your perfect hair care routine. With your hair type and hair porosity, finding products can be a little bit easier.
The best way to find your perfect routine is to go out and try stuff. Trial and error is the way you are going to find what your hair likes and what it doesn’t, but having this knowledge gives you a place to start.
Regardless of your hair’s porosity level, the RevAir helps to cut down on heat exposure and lay your cuticles down smoothly.
If you’d like to talk more about keeping your hair healthy, or have questions about the RevAir – don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team of educated Advisors are here to help you with all things hair!