We spend a colossal chunk of our lives contemplating our locks – the gloss, the colour, the masks, and heaven forbid, the perm (it's almost always a no-go).
With the many many hours we spend thinking about our hair, it’s funny that we don’t tend to think about or quite frankly, don’t even know about hair porosity and the effects it can have on our hair. This isn’t our fault though, hair porosity is very rarely spoken about when it comes to hair care, but don’t worry we are here to talk you through it.
Let's embark on a hair education journey.
First things first; what even is hair porosity?
If you've ever wondered why your hair behaves the way it does or why some products seem to work miracles while others... not so much, well, that could all be down to your hair porosity.
Brace yourself for a bit of science… Hair porosity is all about your hair's knack for soaking up and holding onto moisture. And why is this a big deal? Because it's the key to understanding how your hair behaves. Your hair’s porosity is determined by the structure of your hair cuticle, not like the cuticle at the bottom of your nail but equally important, instead, your hair cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft.
Now, these cuticles of yours are made up of scales – think of them as tiny shields *crazy right?* These scales can be tightly packed, partially lifted, or raised, giving rise to the three porosity styles: Low, Medium, and High. These styles determine how easily your hair lets in or shuts out moisture and other goodies.
This type of hair shaft has scales that lie flat and are tightly packed together, just like neatly organised books on a bookshelf, or a well-stacked drinks fridge. The tightness of these scales can often mean that the hair is resistant to absorbing moisture and your luxurious products may sit on top of the hair rather than being absorbed.
So, if you often find that no matter how much cash you splash out on new fancy hair products, nothing seems to happen, you could have low porosity.
Hello, Goldilocks. This is the queen of hair porosity, if you have this hair type you have certainly been chosen by the hair gods. Medium porosity means that the scales on your hair are neither too tightly packed nor too tightly lifted, giving you the perfect combination *lucky duck*. This hair type will likely absorb and retain moisture well and you may find that most products work for you.
People with this hair type may experience some fantastic side effects, you may find that your hair is glossy yet very rarely greasy. You may also find that your hair is really easy to style and you don’t need too much, if any, hairspray to keep it in place!
With this hair type, the scales are often lifted and sometimes even damaged, which causes gaps in the hair shaft. These gaps could be seen as a good thing as they absorb moisture easily, however, it’s not that simple. The same gaps that let in the moisture also allow the moisture to escape very easily.
You may find with this hair type that your hair often feels dry, and brittle and can often be very frizzy *weep*.
How to know what type of hair porosity you have
After reading all about the different types of hair porosity you may be feeling overwhelmed or confused about which hair type you are. We know that determining your hair porosity can help you choose the right hair care products and develop a suitable routine, that is why we are going to share the 2 ultimate tests that you can do at home to find out what hair type you have.
No 1: The Water Test
It is very important for this test that you have clean hair, so jump in the shower, get the bubbles out and give your hair a good scrub. BUT, whatever you do don’t condition your hair, this could mess with the results. Then you can get a bowl of room temperature water, not too hot or too cold, get a strand of hair from your head *ouch* and pop it in the bowl.
If your hair sinks to the bottom, it is in the high porosity category, which means that if your hair floats to the top you have low porosity hair. The best result you can hope for in this test is for your hair to float in the middle of the bowl of water, meaning that you too have been blessed by the hair gods and have medium porosity.
No 2: The Slip n Slide Test
This test is a little bit trickier to judge correctly, although it can be a quick and easy way to get a result. You need to take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the strand from the tip towards the scalp. If it feels smooth, you likely have low porosity. If you feel bumps or resistance, your hair may be of higher porosity.
So, there we have it – we have completed the crash course on hair porosity! We've journeyed through the mysteries of low, medium, and high porosity, unveiling the fascinating world of hair cuticles and their scales. You now know that understanding your hair type is the key to a tailored hair care routine. We hope you take the plunge with the Water Test or glide through the Slip 'n' Slide Test to unveil your hair's secret porosity type.
While you're on this journey for fantastic hair why not try out our GLOWWA hair food supplements, they are packed with the goodness your hair craves and are designed to complement your hair care routine, nourishing your strands from the inside out, no matter what type of hair porosity you have.