Let's talk about hair. I have been rocking my natural hair from 2008, which means I have not had my hair chemically processed in over 5 years. I, similar to many black women have gone through what is called a hair journey after deciding to say no to the 'creamy crack' (Another word for chemical relaxers/perms. Black women use straightening products that must be retouched every 6 to 8 weeks, and become reliant on them, like a crackaddict to crack.)
One of the most important things I learned that affected the way I took care of my hair is Hair porosity. Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. Hair porosity is categorised in three levels Low, Medium and High.
Hair Porosity Test: Grab a strand of hair (without any products in it) and drop it into a glass of water. If the strand sinks to the bottom, then your hair is of high porosity. If it floats somewhere in the middle, then you have medium/normal porosity. If it stays at the top, then you have low porosity hair.
This type of hair is usually considered healthy, Low porosity hair however repels moisture when you try to wet it and is hard to process since it resists penetration of chemicals. Low porosity hair is also prone to build-up from protein-rich deep conditioning products, which can leave it feeling stiff and straw-like. Low porosity hair requires moisturisers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and mineral oil.
Hair with medium porosity often requires the least amount of maintenance. Hair with normal porosity tends to hold styles well, and can be permed and colored with normal results. Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners is recommended for people with medium porosity hair.
Highly porosity hair loses moisture very easily, possible due to a result of damage from chemical processing, rough treatment or environmental damage. Bathing, swimming and even shampooing can create more damage and breakage due to the amount of moisture the hair can absorb. For this type of hair it is recommended to use leave-in conditioners to keep the hair moisturised.
You can read more about hair porosity on naturallycurly.com
Knowning that I have low hair porosity helped me determine which products were best suitable for my hair and which ones I should avoid.
What is your hair porosity?