Low Porosity Hair – What You Need to Know (Tips For Moisturizing)

Not a single person has the same hair pattern as the other.

We all have different hair types especially those of us with different curly hair. This means that we should use all the different hair products that fit us.

When it comes to finding the right products for our hair and scalp the common thing people look after is the texture of the hair and sometimes the curl pattern.

Did you know that the porosity level matters too?

In knowing the porosity level, you sum up all the factors to check before buying a hair product.

It’s the direct answer to how you should take care of your hair.

What Is Hair Porosity?

Hair PorosityIn simple terms, the hair porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and hold moisture. This is also the determinant as to how your hair retains oils and other chemicals like color.

There are three levels of hair porosity. Low porosity, normal and high porosity.

For you to know how porosity levels work, you should know your hair porosity level.

Medium porosity: here you have the hair cuticles raised high enough to absorb moisture oils and chemicals. This level will hold the moisture and chemical better than low porosity hair.

High porosity: this one has the highest raised cuticles. That is, therefore, to say that it will absorb moisture oils and chemicals better. On the contrary, since this hair cuticle is raised, it usually remains raised and open.

The same way it absorbs the moisture is the same way it loses it.

The Low Porosity Hair

This is a type of hair that has a tightly bound cuticle layer. It usually lays flat on the surface and will mostly repel the water.

Its pores are usually tight but also closed. It is more known to be protein sensitive. It will repel forms of moisture.

In this case, you have the cuticles being flat and then dense such that it doesn’t allow moisture to pass through it.

This hair, therefore, feels dry on the shaft but oily on the scalp.

In this case, your hair strands will sit on the water and therefore not absorb the moisture quickly.

Is There Any Hair Type That Is Associated with Low Porosity?

There is no particular hair that you will say has low porosity. The porosity of the hair is more about the genetic composition of the individual.

Sometimes we might relate the density with the texture. For those who have curly and kinky hair, your hair density is likely to be high.

The hair density will determine the amount of moisture your hair absorbs.

How Do You Determine the Porosity of Your Hair Though?

You don’t need rocket science to determine the porosity level of your hair. You only need to take on a few tests to confirm the porosity.

Float test

This is the most common yet most effective for most people.

You only need to take a few of your hair strands from the brush or on your head then drop it in water.

Next, give it a few minutes to rest there. If you find that it still floats on top of the water, your hair is definitely the low porosity type.

However, if it sinks to the middle, the hair is of normal porosity but if it goes to the bottom, then know that your hair is of high porosity.

Here’s the disclaimer though, only use this test when your hair is clean off hair products because the products normally influence the results.

Slip and slide

This is where you take the hair strands, slide your finger to it then roll it towards the scalp. If you notice some bumps, your hair has a high porosity level. If you have the hair being smooth and soft rolling through, the hair is of low porosity.

The downside to this is that it’s hard to tell the medium porosity level.

Spray bottle test

Section part of your hair and mist it. Use the spray bottle to spray some water on it. Take a keen look and if the water is beading up on the hair, know that it has low porosity. If the hair absorbs the water quickly then it is high porosity.

If the hair has the water sticking on for a few minutes before absorbing, its medium porosity.

Signs of low porosity hair

You will realize that you try to moisturize the hair but it doesn’t work as much as you would love it to.

  • The hair product sticks on your hair

For the most part, you have the products sitting on the surface of the hair. When you have your friend using a new product that they just came across and it won’t seep into the hair, chances are that they have low porosity.

  • The water doesn’t seep in as well

While we expect that the water will seep in the hair, this isn’t always the case. The water simply bends the hair. This is to say that getting the hair wet is never easy.

  • It takes longer to dry

If you decide to air dry the hair, you realize that it takes forever to dry.

  • It has no elasticity although it looks healthy

If your hair lacks elasticity, chances are that you will be experiencing so much shedding. While the hair may look so alluring, often times you will realize that it has no elasticity. If this is you, change your cleaning pattern.

  • The conditioners don’t work

There are conditioners that just won’t work with anyone who has low porosity hair. It just sits on the surface of the hair. We attribute this to the fact that the cuticles are usually closed.

  • Use the heat on the conditioners for it to work

You know why this works right? Remember, we say that the cuticles of low porosity hair are normally flat. This is to say that if you subject it to heat then the hair cuticles open and let the conditioners or other hair products in.

  • Using humectants is the bomb

It reacts better to the humectants more than any other level of porosity. You know a humectant will help your hair consume the moisture, right?

  • Clarifying the Hair

This is a much-needed option for the perfect clean up. You will have the shampoo cleaning all the build ups that tend to formulate on your hair. Just don’t use it so many times. Once or twice a week is just enough.

  • The hair is either too oily or too dry

For the person with low porosity, the hair is either too dry or oily. The problem rather is that you will add moisture to your hair leading to oiliness or dryness. So, you should take so much care when using the products.

  • Why do I have buildups even when I’m just from washing it?

Notice that although you just washed your hair, you would find that it still has the buildup. The major characteristic of this hair is that it gets a hold of dirt pretty first. In this case, since you will use many different hair products, you will need to wash the hair more times.

  • Can I use Hair colors?

This won’t work if you have the low porosity hair. What usually happens is that the hair doesn’t absorb that color well. In fact, it takes on a different color from the one you applied all together.

Low Porosity Hair Characteristics

  • The hair is mostly dry and sometimes too oily.
  • It doesn’t get wet faster.
  • You will realize that the products sit on the hair.
  • The hair will take so long to dry

Moisturizing and Sealing Hair

Let’s agree on one thing and it’s that low porosity hair is the most challenging hair to take care of the three. While the characteristics make it hard to moisturize the hair, once you have the moisture in the hair, it’s in the hair.

The question though is how do you get the moisture in and keep it there? We all love the strong and elastic hair whether ours is the high porosity, low or medium level. For the case of low porosity, follow the tips below to keep the hair in shape.

  • Consider clarifying the hair

They say that over clarifying the hair will lead to moisture loss. So, you should clarify the hair at least once a month to get rid of the product buildups. Also, the shampoo just gives it a powerful cleaning.

  • Deep conditioning

If you have the low porosity, make deep conditioning your friend. Why deep conditioning works is that it leaves the ingredients on the hair for more than ½ hour. This is enough time to make the contents seep into the hair strands.

However, use heat in the process as that will open the cuticles thus helping to lock in the moisture. If you can’t access the heating tools, wrap your hair up with the plastic cap. When you wear the plastic bag you can leave it on overnight.

This process will also work for your other hair products to make them seep into the hair strands.

  • The water-based products will work best for your hair

Although some of us don’t like water-based products, they really work for those who have low porosity. So simply take you conditioner and add some water then spray it all over your hair. This works to deliver the best moisturizer for your hair.

  • Use oil to seal in the moisture

While sometimes you may want to use the leave in treatment, oil then cream. If you have low porosity, use leave in conditioner, cream then oil.

  • Use some lightweight oil

There are a number of lightweight oils that you may use. Argan oil, kernel oil, grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil are some of the oils you should use. If you use heavy oils like coconut and castor oil it will damage your hair.

The heavy oils will sit on the hair cuticles. The oils aren’t also absorbed in the cuticle layer. This then makes it hard for the hair to absorb and retain moisture.

However, if you still like the coconut oil, you can use its lightweight formula. Jojoba oil is another form of oil you can use. The oil is normally medium weight kind.

  • Only use the satin when sleeping

The good thing about satin is that it won’t absorb the moisture. So, when you are going to sleep, you should cover your hair with the satin scarf and then lie on the satin pillowcase. During winter season though you can buy a hat that has the satin lined on.

How to Moisturize the Low Porosity Hair?

Moisturizing Low Porosity HairOf course, these products we intend to use on your hair will only work if you cleanse your hair thoroughly.

Begin by deep cleansing the hair

By this we mean, use the clarifying shampoo to make sure you rid the hair of all forms of build up before you begin the process.

If you can get a shampoo designed for those with low porosity hair shampoo, the better. It will serve you even better. It works to get rid of the silicones and sticky residue.

Heres how it works

  • Soak your hair in water for a few minutes
  • Take a good portion of the shampoo and apply on the hair.
  • Lather it through the strands of your head and massage it into the scalp. Let it stick on for about 3 minutes.
  • Rinse the hair with lukewarm water.
  • Dry the hair a little with a good towel.

Use a masque

The hair will work with the products to moisturize it even further. Once you clean the hair, go ahead and find the great masque for your hair. It will not only re-hydrate but also rebuild the hair strands.

Section the hair then apply the hair masque and once you are done use a hair steamer for the heating of the hair. This will help the strands open up and let the product into the strands. Sit in the steamer for about 20 minutes.

Detangle the hair

Now detangle that hair. Use the right tools and brushes for the process. In this case, use a smooth boar brush for the detangling process.

With a good brush, it should glide through your hair with ease. You don’t expect a single knot after the process which is a good thing for your hair anyways.

Rinse the hair

Remember you had not rinsed the hair so rinse it. Instead of using the lukewarm water, use the cold water as that will force the cuticles to lock up. This is the most important part of moisturization as it’s the one that will help you lock in the moisture.

Dry the hair

Only use the microfiber towel for the drying process. Be gentle through the process since roughing your hair up will cause tangles. Just get a towel that is absorbent and use it to get rid of the water on your head.

Seal and style the hair

Lastly, use the best finishing spray for the hair to help in styling it as you wish.

How to Grow Low Porosity Hair?

I’ve always wondered what the fuss is about with the porosity of the hair. Until recently, I didn’t know that it had something to do with the growth of the hair. We all want our hair to grow longer.

However, those with curly hair will tell you that the twists and turns just don’t serve them when it comes to hair growth.

In a nutshell, the hair growth will depend majorly on the care you give your hair throughout the process. It’s more about the day to day treatment that you give the hair than it is about a few days treatment.

Below Are the Methods to Use

  • Use light oil on the hair

Why people use light oils is that they are easy and quick to get absorbed into the hair strands. It further won’t lead to the greasiness you would otherwise experience.

  • Heat

Remember to incorporate the heat method into your wash routine as that will determine whether you are going to lock in the moisture and nutrients in the strands or not.

Hair masque is another regimen to keep using if you wish for your hair to grow a little longer.

  • Work on moisturizing your hair daily

Since your hair has a hard time absorbing moisture, the leave in conditioner is the best regimen to use. Since you leave it on the hair, it will stick on the hair over a prolonged period of time.

In this regard, use the LOC method where you use the leave in conditioner then the oil and then the cream respectively. This works as your daily nourishment method. What I like about the method is that it retains the moisture.

  • Wrap your hair with the satin bonnet

If your hair is moisturized it stays healthy therefore leads to rapid growth. Using the wrong material for the moisturizing cap will lead to dryness. Do this nightly routine where you check to see whether the hair is nourished.

If it’s not, add the leave in conditioner that has been watered down a little. Add on the scalp and hair some light oils as well then cover it.

  • Use the clarifying shampoo every once in a while

This we have mentioned in the previous subtopics. But let’s just say that if you have hair with a lot of buildups, you don’t expect it to grow.

There are days when you can use some protective and safe styles to keep your hair safe from the environmental changes.

In summary for you to grow your hair to greater lengths, you need to know your hair and therefore what products would work best for it.

There are phases of hair growth and depending upon the phase your hair is at, you will either experience massive growth or shedding phase.

How to Wash and Condition Low Porosity Hair

Anyone with low porosity hair experiences more products build up than any other porosity level. For this reason, you ought to just wash your hair once a week. Remember when you are washing the hair your solid aim is usually to clarify the hair then moisturize it.

How to wash the low porosity hair video

Conditioning the Hair

You should know by now that the conditioning of the hair is one very important part of the hair growth.

Here are the methods of deep conditioning that you may use.

  • Use the hot oil

The use of hot oil is to help open the cuticles of your fine hair that has low porosity. This means that you may use natural oils to conditioner the hair.

Some of the natural oils we are talking about include the following.

  • Argan oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Jojoba oil

Sometimes you may use the natural homemade conditioners

If you have hair that works well with protein even though its low porosity, you can whip some two eggs, add on 2 tablespoons of honey, olive oil, and your regular conditioner. Some people may even add natural oils.

Apply this mixture to your hair and cover it for about 20 minutes. Next shampoo your hair and you are good to go.

  • Use herbs

For all I know herbs have been effective for years in the middle east and Asia. Products like amla, honey, henna, and indigo have always been used to nourish the hair. If you realize that your hair just doesn’t hold conditioner, use the powders that are more effective.

  • Water-based products

Go for water-based conditioner or products as earlier mentioned. They are easy to get into the hair strands.

How to Dry the Hair

Low porosity hair is known to take forever to dry. But what if you are in a hurry to dry the hair? Below are the methods to use for the drying of the hair.

For most people, this can be frustrating since you need to spend hours in the house trying to dry the hair.

  • Use a curl towel

This is to say you don’t use the same towel you use with other hair types. You don’t need to rough up your hair because not only will it lead to tangles but you may also have it shedding.

Only use microfiber towels to dry your hair. These ones are often gentle but also absorbent.

  • Use heat

Sometimes you might have to use heat for the drying especially when you are in a hurry. This will cut the time you take to dry the hair massively. If possible though use the dryers but on a low setting.

  • The plopping method

This one is ideal for you if you are looking to have the curls on. It will let the hair dry out without you getting rid of the curls.

Here’s how it works

Take a t-shirt and push your hair through the larger end of the t-shirt. Let the other side rest on your neck.

Wrap the t-shirt around while making sure the t-shirt is cotton for easy water absorption.

Spin it to create a bun on your head. Also, tuck those ends under the head.

If you are going to use the moisturizer, ensure you let the hair dry just a little bit to pave way for the moisture absorption and retention.

Coloring the Low Porosity Hair

Since the cuticles are flat, it’s hard to for the hair to absorb chemicals.

If you are trying to color you low porosity hair, you should take note of the following process.

  • Use clarifiers

In the ancient days, people would color the dirty hair but with the low porosity, it just doesn’t work.

Wash the hair using the clarifying shampoos first. This gives the strands an ultimate cleaning.

  • Condition the hair

This helps to moisturize your hair, therefore, keeping it strong and healthy. If you use the shampoo then the least you can do is condition the hair to keep it hydrated and ready for the whole process of hair coloring.

  • Use a strong developer

For such hair, you need to use a stronger developer because it’s not easy to absorb the color with you low porosity hair. In fact, the best way would be to apply the developer first for about 10-15 minutes before you can apply the color.

This works to soften your cuticles, therefore, allowing the color to penetrate.

Nevertheless, remember to take proper care of the hair once it’s colored as that will either sustain the hair color or not.

How to Take Care of The Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair can be frustrating because as you have seen its absorbing and retaining moisture and hair products is a struggle. Unfortunately, when it lacks the two aspects then it will be inelastic and prone to shedding.

The hair also has a tendency to have product build up. Moreover, it’s not easy to chemically treat the hair. Let’s just say that the hair can be frustrating. For this reason, we need to take proper care of the hair for it to achieve the health it needs.

Tips on caring for the hair

  • Steaming the hair

For anyone who has a problem with low porosity, you know that you need to heat the strands for them to open of lift the cuticles then let the moisture in. You should, therefore, use this indirect heating method for it.

Ensure you steam your hair at least once a week when you are washing it.

  • Using the bentonite clay for the clarification

Generally, shampoo is normally said to dry your hair. This is inclusive of even that which has no sulfates. Make a regimen where you use the bentonite clay mixed with some natural oil for the perfect cleansing of the hair.

Use warm water for the rinsing process to leave the cuticles open for the next process.

  • Avoid excess protein

For anyone who has low porosity hair, they have protein sensitivity. For this reason, it’s tricky to use the products because they normally have proteins even when they aren’t you regular protein-based treatment.

Use the moisture-based product for the hair instead.

  • Use water-based products

When buying your hair product, only buy those that have water as their first ingredients. This will aid in the moisturization of your hair.

You should also work to reach for products that contain humectants and emollients. If you can though, avoid any product that appears too thick.

  • Go for the light oil

Light oils will seep through the cuticles and to the strands but the heavy ones stick on the surface of the hair strands.

  • Always deep condition the hair

When you deep condition the hair you let it retain the moisture. Especially when you add some form of heat to it. You should deep condition it regularly.

Products to Steer Away From

  • Silicones

Silicones are used to coat the hair shaft sometimes thus protecting the hair from bad environmental elements. However, don’t use any product with silicone if yours is low porosity hair. They will need a long process to get rid of.

  • Protein products

Your hair needs very little to no protein-based products for the care regiment. Protein generally blocks the tight cuticle opening which then makes it hard for moisture to penetrate the strand.

  • No heavy oils

I think we have mentioned this a thousand times already. Just stay away from them. They will make it hard for the strands to absorb moisture.

  • Co washing

Cleansing conditioners are responsible for buildups on a hair type that is known to develop buildups quick. However, if you have to use it then make sure you use the clarifying shampoo regularly.


Does low porosity hair need protein?

No, they don’t because the hair already contains a lot of keratin protein. Any addition just causes build ups.

How many times should you wash your low porosity hair?

Make it once a week and twice a month with clarifying shampoo. Remember, too many products on this hair will just lead to buildup.

How often should you deep condition low porosity hair?

It should be right to say that every time you wash your hair, you should deep condition it.

Is low porosity hair healthy?

Your low porosity hair can be healthy and unhealthy. It all depends on the care you give it just like any other hair type.

1 thought on “Low Porosity Hair – What You Need to Know (Tips For Moisturizing)”

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for the article. I discovered my low porosity hair when I move from high humid weather to dry desert. I do have very dry scalp. I just think I don’t product enough sebum to keep my scalp lubricated. It seems to be the worst right after I wash it. Sheds way more. Seems like whatever I put on my head my hair/scalp just doesn’t like. Any idea how to reduce shedding right after wash? I don’t even use shampoo, just water. I don’t color treat. Please help.


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