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Thread: Porosity: what's up with that?

  1. #1
    Spoonbill Roseate's Avatar
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    Default Porosity: what's up with that?

    I've just recently become aware that hair has different porosity levels, and that it matters. Here's a link to an informative blog post about it.

    It's not something I hear discussed on LHC all that often, so I thought I'd bring it up. Do you know your hair's porosity? Does it influence your hair care? Any tips for people of similar porosity levels to you?

    Personally, I think my hair is low porosity. "resistant to chemical services", check, "does not permit moisture to enter or leave the hair shaft", check. This would explain why my ends are often dry (hard for moisture to enter) and also why it takes forever for my hair to airdry (hard for moisture to leave). I don't exactly know what I should be doing about it, if anything, but I figured I'd throw the topic out there!

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    Member RancheroTheBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    I'm going to go with low porosity, as well.

    Thank you, that was very interesting!

    (dec '13, jan '14 and february '14)
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    Member Charlotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    My hair is super porous and takes up colours and bleach very quickly. I've also found that it takes in (and loses) moisture readily too.
    Last edited by Charlotte; August 5th, 2009 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    I wish I understood it better. I know they discuss it a lot on the curly hair forum. I've read that people with porous hair should not use shampoo bars too often because the higher the ph of the cleaning agent, the more the "scales" (is that the right word?) on the hair shaft will be lifted by it, exacerbating the porous-hair issues. Shampoo bars are higher-ph cleansers compared to detergent-based shampoos. Porosity issues include lack of shine, and I think fly-away hair is another. That's the little bit of information I've taken in from my reading.

    I've also read that you should choose hair styling products based on the porosity of your hair. But I don't know which products are good for fine textured, porous hair like I have.
    (pre-LHC)

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    Member theshadowpuppet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    When I run my fingers up a strand of hair by my forehead I can hear it squeak if I do it fast enough. It's very silky, as there's no damage on my new growth. I guess that means normal porosity..?

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    Member Dotlover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    My hair doesn't absorb chemicals or products (besides bleach ) very well. That's why I enjoy making my own conditioners. The feel is much more smooth and personal.

    I think there a difference between porous and damaged hair though yes?

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    Member Vermelha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    I used ApHogee Green Tea and Keratin Restructurizer to eliminate the porosity threat. I have very porous hair (still rather porous in some areas), but it's been minimized since eliminating shampoo.

    Yeah, there is a difference between porous and damaged hair, though porous hair can be easily damaged because it dries out sooner than non-porous hair. I was born with naturally porous hair, so I have to be sure to pH balance my hair using products no higher than a pH of 5. Anything higher exaggerates my porosity and causes my hair to dry out and break. Apple Cider Rinses help a whole lot. Tea rinses do too!

    But moreso, since taking out shampoo (which has a much higher pH than hair), from my regime, my porosity has greatly reduced and my curls feel softer. Protein treatments also have helped to reduce porosity as well.
    <--FYI, the avatar is me, just wearing a wig, my protective style of choice

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    Member Vermelha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    I wish I understood it better. I know they discuss it a lot on the curly hair forum. I've read that people with porous hair should not use shampoo bars too often because the higher the ph of the cleaning agent, the more the "scales" (is that the right word?) on the hair shaft will be lifted by it, exacerbating the porous-hair issues. Shampoo bars are higher-ph cleansers compared to detergent-based shampoos. Porosity issues include lack of shine, and I think fly-away hair is another. That's the little bit of information I've taken in from my reading.

    I've also read that you should choose hair styling products based on the porosity of your hair. But I don't know which products are good for fine textured, porous hair like I have.
    I guess it depends on what the shampoo bar is made of. There are shampoo bars that contain lye, which is higher in pH. But I could see one using the Castile soap bars on the hair, since it's not composed of lye. I use a shikakai shampoo bar that actually has helped my porosity when I traded it out for regular liquid shampoo.

    Also, washing my hair less frequently (meaning with shampoo, bars, etc.) and opting for water only and cowashing helped tremendously for me.
    <--FYI, the avatar is me, just wearing a wig, my protective style of choice

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    Member getoffmyskittle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    I've only ever thought about it once. I did the float test. Apparently if you fill the sink with water and put a strand in it, porous hair will sink after a few seconds, whereas nonporous hair will float. My hair floated.

    My hair is also somewhat difficult to moisturize; I need heavy conditioners, things like Suave and V05 don't cut it for me. Even when I did CO, I had to do it first with a light "cleansing" conditioner and then with a heavy one. I have also noticed that henna will fade from burgundy to copper, despite having several coatings of it.

    But my ends can dry out if I don't wear them up and wash them 1-2x/week. No scalp washing for me!

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    Persistent Procrastinator teela1978's Avatar
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    Default Re: Porosity: what's up with that?

    I tried the float test thing, let it sit for days and it never sank.

    I think damage can definitely change porosity. My hair is very resistant to color processing, until it's been colored a few times. I often think that my non-porous hair is a big part of why it's so greasy. When I was still dying my hair (commercial box dye), CO was sufficent to remove excess sebum from my scalp. Now that my hair is all virgin, I think the sebum hasn't got anywhere to go, other than sitting top of my hairs, my theory being that when it was being dyed it could absorb into the hair shaft some. After dying it also was much easier to moisturize, but I needed to use quite a bit of oil to keep moisture in. I think I used an aloe and coconut oil mix daily and my ends would still get dry on occasion.

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