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What Is Porosity and What Can You Do About It?

November 22, 2021 2 min read


There's a lot of confusing advice out there when it comes to managing hair porosity. However, with an understanding of porosity types, (in particular low porosity and high porosity) you can transform the way your hair behaves and how it responds to certain natural ingredients in your haircare routine.

What is Hair Porosity?

Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. The porosity of your hair affects how well oils and moisture pass in and out of the outermost layer of your hair, known as the cuticle.

Porosity Types and Characteristics

  • Low porosity: Products don’t absorb easily, hair takes a long time to dry, and hair and scalp are likely to get oily.
  • Medium porosity: Hair doesn't take very long to dry, takes colour well, and tends to look healthy and glossy.
  • High porosity: Looks and feels dry, often frizzy, prone to breakage, dries very quickly, absorbs products quickly.

Checking your Porosity Type

The Hair Shed Test is a useful way to determine hair porosity. Simply drop hair that has been shed while combing into a glass of water. If the hair floats, that means low porosity. If the hair slowly sinks, it has medium porosity. If it sinks immediately, the hair is highly porous.

Porosity Test

Caring for your Hair Type


If you have low porosity hair, it's best to wash your hair frequently to avoid product build-up. Use your shampoo bar every other day to avoid oily-looking hair. Deep condition with heat to open your cuticle. You can do this by applying your conditioner bar to your hair and covering it with a cap or apply your conditioner to your hair and use direct heat from a hairdryer and simply rinse out. Moisturize your hair with lightweight oils such as argan oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. 


Medium porosity is generally the easiest type of hair to manage. For medium porosity, you can wash your hair 2-3 times a week. Like with low porosity hair, it's best to stay away from any products that can cause build-up, instead, opt for rice oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, or macadamia oil. Medium porosity hair loves ingredients that are rich in protein, so rice water is an excellent source of that! 


If your hair type is high porosity, you should be using your shampoo bar weekly, to avoid stripping your scalp of its natural oils. Unlike other types, products don't build up so quickly on your scalp so you can choose products that are rich in moisture such as shea butter, mango butter, and coconut oil. High porosity hair loves citrus fruits as they rebalance the scalp's natural PH and smooth out frizz. 

Hair masks are also a good method to soften brittle, high-porosity hair. Why not give this DIY mask for damaged hair at home: 

  • 1 avocado,
  • 1 banana,
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil,
  • A squeeze of lemon juice. 
  • Apply it throughout your hair and leave it on for about 20 minutes. 
  • Rinse thoroughly. 

What's your hair porosity type? Have you tried the test? Leave your answers in the comments. 

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