The Hair Porosity Test And Why You Need to Try It Today

By  | 

Shop This Post

4 Apr 2017
by: Ava Welsing-Kitcher

A strand of your hair and a glass of water is all you need to find out how dry your hair really is. 

If, like me, you’ve felt like your hair has a vendetta against you for most of your life, then you just might need to settle down and sort things out – once and for all.

After years of using heavy conditioners and roughly rinsing my hair with piping hot water, I stumbled upon talk of a mystical hair porosity test somewhere in the depths of YouTube. Avidly, I listened, and everything I’d always hated about my hair suddenly became less villainous. As it turns out, I had been the problem – not my hair. So I did my homework, and it’s safe to say that it’s changed my hair completely.

So what even is a hair porosity test? It’s not as technical as it sounds, so don’t sweat it. Each strand of your hair can open and close to let moisture and products in and out, kind of like a controllable sponge. Your hair has more ‘holes’ if it’s been bleached, chemically straightened or heat damaged, so it’ll soak up everything but also lose it. Likewise, if your hair has less holes, it’ll struggle to absorb products and all its natural moisture remains locked inside.

That’s the science-y bit over – now on to the test. Just drop a clean, short strand of your hair in a glass of room temperature water and look for your results:

1. Hair sinks immediately = High Porosity

What this means:

Hair soaks everything up but also loses a lot of moisture very easily

– may be overprocessed, heat damaged or genetic

– hair appears frizzy, dry and brittle

How to help your hair:

– avoid heat styling, chemical processing, and hot water directly on your hair, and air dry when possible

– rinse hair with cold water then dry with a T-shirt or microfiber towel

– seal in all your products with a hair oil

Your hair soaks everything up but also loses a lot of moisture very easily. This can either be genetic or as a result of heat or chemical damage. My hair has a high porosity, so it becomes dry and brittle if I don’t deep condition it with protein and moisture masks. However, the upside is that high porosity hair makes the best use out of hair products, and can be manipulated quite easily (your curling wand is definitely working its magic!)

Lifesaver product: Nexxus Nutritive Protein Mask, £16, Lookfantastic

If your hair dries out easily or feels straw-like, make sure you use a leave-in conditioner and an oil to lock all the moisture in. Spray or apply your leave-in, then melt a tiny nugget of coconut oil in your hands and kind of clamp your hands around your hair as if patting the oil on top. If you mix the oil and conditioner too much, the conditioner won’t be able to get through the oil to your strands and will just sit on top, which is useless and looks greasy. I always add a bit extra to my ends because they’re the driest part, and coconut oil works wonders for hair – it’s the oil that’s most easily absorbed into the hair cuticle, meaning your hair pretty much eats it up.

RELATED: No More Split Ends, Ever. Are Thermal Scissors The Answer?

The most life-changing trick I learned is to rinse your hair with cold water after you condition. As much as the icy feeling makes me squirm, it really does wake you up and your hair will love it. Rinsing this way closes the hair shaft and locks in all the conditioner and moisture, meaning your hair will be so much shinier and softer.

2. Hair slowly sinks (around 5 mins) = Normal Porosity

What this means:

you’ve got the best of both worlds: hair ‘breathes’ moisture in and out normally

– hair looks healthy and bouncy

– dyes and heat styling often give fab results

How to help your hair:

– basically keep doing what you’re doing

– use a weekly hair mask when needed and avoid heat when possible

This type of hair requires the least amount of care and maintenance, as moisture is retained and let out moderately. It’s pretty much the type of hair that we all dream to have: bouncy, elastic, holds a curl well and doesn’t tend to go crazy during dye jobs.

Lifesaver product: Philip Kingsley Elastcizer, £17.50, Feelunique

It’s still important to condition and reduce the use of heat tools and chemical dyes, as this will increase its porosity over time, but your hair won’t be as affected.

3. Hair stays floating = Low Porosity

What this means:

the cuticle is closed, so moisture finds it hard to penetrate

– hair looks super shiny and strong

– heat tools and hair dye are often pointless

How to help your hair:

– use moderate heat where possible (like a wrapping hair in a hot towel while using a mask)

– don’t do a cold water rinse – this will close the cuticle even more

– try not to over-do it with products; less is more and you don’t want products to build-up and dull the hair

– after heat styling, blast hair with cool air to lock in the shape (or stick your head in the freezer for a minute – trust us!)

RELATED: 9 Sulphate-Free Shampoos to Keep Your Hair Healthy

The individual hair strands barely absorb or emit any moisture, and often look strong, shiny and healthy. The hair shaft is closed so tightly that products can’t really get in to do their job, so opt for washing with warm water or quickly blow-drying your hair to help products along.

Lifesaver Product: Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Texture Spray, £11, Boots

This hair type doesn’t love oils and doesn’t tend to get on with protein-heavy hair conditioners, as this can lead to excess product building up on the hair shaft. If your hair feels rough, lackluster and weighed down, then try adding some apple cider vinegar to your conditioner to remove all build-up.

The only downside is that this hair isn’t easily manipulated, so dyeing it often results in the wrong colour or multiple applications, and curling irons don’t do much!

Source link :