The Porosity Breakdown: Low vs. High Porosity Hair

We detail the whats, whys, and hows related to porosity and your hair. Get the need-to-know facts so you can understand your hair and how it interacts with your various hair care products.


What Hair Porosity Means

Simply put, hair porosity refers to how well the outermost layer of your hair, your cuticle, absorbs and retains moisture. The level of retention is ranked by low, medium, or high. 

Not to mention, there are several factors that influence your hair’s porosity, including genetics, heat, and chemical processing. In other words, hair porosity can change, move up or down the scale, depending on the change of factors listed above. 


Common Porosity Tests

Unlike curl patterns and types, you cannot look at someone’s hair to determine their porosity level. You must test it in various conditions to obtain a general idea on where your hair falls -- low, medium, or high. 

The Water Test

This, by far, is probably the most revealing and accurate hair porosity test. Shortly after deep cleansing, or shampooing your hair, place a hair strand into a cup filled with water. Observe how the hair behaves. If the strand floats to the top, your hair is classified as low porosity. If it floats to the bottom, then it is high porosity. And, if sinks but doesn’t touch the bottom of the cup, you most likely have medium porosity hair. 

The Strand Slide

Another easy porosity test is the strand slide. Take a strand of your hair and slide your fingers across it moving from the end towards the root. Pay careful attention to how the strand feels as you glide across. Rougher or bumpier strands indicate high porosity. Whereas, a smooth transition potentially means your hair is low porosity.

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Hair Porosity Qualities

There is no good or bad porosity hair type. Whichever category your hair falls into, should merely determine the products used and the maintenance routines that associate.

Low Hair Porosity Traits

  • cuticle is tightly bound, making it difficult to let moisture penetrate the strand
  • hair products tend to sit on hair
  • more consistently dry hair
  • difficult to color or chemically treat
  • hair lacks elasticity and volume

Medium Hair Porosity Traits

  • hair appears bouncy and voluminous
  • products are easily absorbed

High Porosity Hair Traits

  • hair is oversaturated, feels soggy, mushy, or gummy
  • takes hours or days for hair to completely dry
  • appears dull and weighed down
  • hair drys out too quickly, just as easily as moisture comes in (to the strand), moisture goes out


How Your Hair Porosity Should Influence your Hair Care Routine

Hair porosity is not only about absorbing moisture but also retaining it. Therefore, your hair care routine should consist of a hydrating conditioner and a sealant or oil, as well to lock in hydration.

The conditioner of your choice should directly relate to your hair type and porosity. For example, low porosity hair should include humectants, like honey or aloe vera. They both provide moisture and also absorb moisture from the air, keeping the hair hydrated for a longer period of time. 

Whereas, high porosity hair can benefit from a once-a-week deep conditioner while applying light leave-ins for added daily moisture.

Lëvor hair has created a line of organic and natural hair care products that encourage health and hydration for all porosity types. Have high porosity hair and need a dependable leave in? Consider our Hydration Therapy Oil. Seeking a nourishing shea butter-based product for your low porosity hair? Then, try our Curl-n-Style Cream. Shop all of our hair care online today to find the best product that fits your hair care needs.