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HAIRCARE

FINDING YOUR HAIR POROSITY AND THE RIGHT CARE FOR IT

- 19 July 2021

Knowledge is power, and this extends to how you care for your hair as well. Having a regular hair care routine is just as important. Be it conditioning your hair, washing them, combing or trying DIY tricks. But there could still be times things just won't work.

What’s missing then? The first step is always research. That is the basic understanding of your hair and it’s needs. We all are different in our own way, and so is our hair. One important thing we may sometimes overlook is our hair porosity.

What does hair porosity mean?

Hair porosity is basically our hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. The products we use may thus be ineffective sometimes because they aren’t suitable for us. Porosity also determines how well the products are able to get through hairs’ cuticle barrier. This barrier helps in protecting the strands from damages on the inside.

What affects the hair porosity?

Our hair porosity is determined mainly by genetics. It's a hereditary thing that we have no control over. However, there are certain factors that can alter the porosity, most of the time, for the worse. Some of these are excessive exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays, air pollution, dying or bleaching your hair, and styling them using heat.

There are three categories of hair porosity: low, medium and high. It is the spacing between the cuticle layers, that are the scales of the hair shaft. Different porosity requires different care. But for that, you must find out what your hair is like.

TAKING THE TEST

There are many ways to test your hair porosity. Before you move ahead, make sure your hair is free of any products and is clean. Otherwise, the oil can repel the water and give inaccurate results. You may use a blotting paper to make sure there is no major impurity present.

TEST 1: THE GLASS TEST


Take a glass of water. Dip a few stands in it and let them sit. Now observe how your strands behave:

Hair floats for a long time without sinking: This indicates low porosity. It means that it is unable to absorb the water because of closely packed cuticles.

Hair floats in the middle: This indicates medium or normal porosity. The cuticles aren’t too tight nor too spaced.

Hair immediately sinks to the bottom: This indicates high porosity hair. The cuticles are tightly packed and overlap each other.

TEST 2: THE WATER DROPLET TEST

This is also a very simple test you can do. Wet a section of your hair and observe the behaviour of the water droplets. If the droplets sit on your hair for a long time, it means your hair has low porosity. However, if the droplets are absorbed quickly, your hair is highly porous.

TEST 3: THE TEXTURE TEST

Next time you shower, run your fingers through your hair. Notice how it feels, as hair texture defines porosity as well.
If it feels a little rough or straw like, it indicates low porosity.
If it feels just wet and pretty normal, it indicates medium porosity.
If it feels sticky and very wet, as if you forgot to wash all of the shampoo out, it indicates highly porous hair.

Now that you have determined your hairs’ porosity, it is easier to choose what is right for you.

FOR LOW POROSITY HAIR

Low porosity hair have cuticles that overlap each other. The texture of the low porosity hair is smooth. Because of the low porosity, it is difficult for water to enter the interior of the hair strands. Same goes for the hair products.

Contrary to popular belief, low porosity hair isn't actually damaged. It just needs the right care. Low porosity hair is prone to buildup. Because only a little of the product is absorbed, the rest tends to accumulate on the surface. Product build up clogs hair follicles preventing hair growth and may cause hair loss. 

What can help?

Regularly cleansing your low porosity hair is important. It also needs the right kind of moisturisation. The naturally occurring moisture isn't enough. Using a nourishing serum or oil can add that extra hydration. Once absorbed properly, it is locked in.

Steaming is also a great way to add that extra hydration. Because the water is in a vapour state, it is easier for it to penetrate the strands. The water molecules have low surface tension. This helps them go through tiny spaces. Using a regular steamer can do the trick.

What kind of products should you use?


Using light weight oils, such as Argan Oil, Sesame Seed Oil or Grapeseed Oil, proves beneficial.

They don’t weigh down the strands and penetrate deeply.

Pre-pooing (which is oiling your hair before shampooing) with light oils is a great way to bring in extra moisture.

It is also advisable to avoid any heavy products.

Argan Oil

Rs. 1,380.00

FOR MEDIUM POROSITY HAIR

If you have medium porosity hair, you are lucky. The moisture can reach the inside of the strand with ease, and isn’t lost too soon. This type of hair is the most easy to maintain and handle. However, this should not be taken for granted. The ease opens up a lot of windows for care, which can be confusing. Normal porosity hair isn't invincible. It is still prone to damage if proper care isn't given. 

What can help?

It’s important to clarify your hair to avoid reaching a state where the hair is unbalanced. Washing hair at regular intervals using a mild cleanser is suggested. Using a deep conditioning mask can help in maintaining hair health. Doing this once a week encourages moisture retention.

What kind of products should you use?


Medium porosity of your hair also allows you to experiment with a proper hair care routine.

You can try using protein rich products to have a regulated protein and moisture balance. Use other light products, as well as nourishing oils and serums.

The Super Hair Repair serum from Skog is also an excellent product to add. It adds nourishment to the strand and the scalp. 

Super Hair Repair

Rs. 2,100.00

FOR HIGH POROSITY HAIR

Highly porous hair has cuticles with gaps or holes. This means that moisture is lost just as easily as it is absorbed. This leaves the hair dry and even more prone to damage. The products don’t get enough time to work. The hair can get frizzy and tangled, giving it a rough matte look.

What can help?

Regular protein treatments can go a long way. It improves hair elasticity, makes it stronger and thicker, and reduces breakage.

Since high porosity hair is more prone to dryness, it's also necessary to deep condition it. This helps in providing that extra moisture needed that is lost otherwise. This can be done one every two weeks. Another thing to keep in mind is limiting the use of heat while styling.

If you do have to use it, keeping the setting to the lowest temperature is the safest option.

What kind of products should you use?


The Frizzy Hair Serum from Skog is a strong recommendation for such hair types. It helps tame unmanageable hair.

It works to repair damaged hair. It gives them a healthy shine and a protective finish.

Using a good quality heat protectant is suggested while styling with heat.

Sealants can also help in smoothing out your hair and locking in moisture.

Frizzy Hair Serum

Rs. 1,620.00

HAIR POROSITY CAN CHANGE

Throughout your life, as you bring in changes, your hair changes too. The hair structure keeps evolving because of internal and external factors. Hormonal changes, age, and environment can affect the hair follicles. They may expand or tighten, changing your hair porosity.

Thus, it is beneficial to keep coming back to the three simple tests, to make sure you provide what your hair demands. Choose good quality and natural products. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s always a risk, but it can be worth it.

Try the tests for yourself and discuss your results with us in the comments. We hope to help you find the best care for your hair type!

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