View Full Version : Low porosity hair

January 26th, 2014, 06:41 AM
Hi, I have tried searching the forum but can't find a link that I need. After doing a porosity test with the cup and water, it appears that I have low porosity hair. My hair is also very fine and straight, and the youtube videos I have looked at seem aimed at very thick curly hair. Oddly enough my hair is also very silky at times and even shiny which I didn't think would go hand in hand with low porosity hair. So I want to see if I can improve my hair - it needs more moisture by the look of it. Can anybody help me? :)

January 26th, 2014, 07:26 AM
Low porosity hair tends to be shinier--the cuticles are smoother and therefore reflect more light. If your hair is already shiny and soft, it sounds moisturized enough.
What exactly would you like to improve about your hair? Does it tend to tangle on itself?

January 26th, 2014, 08:00 AM
Yes it does tangle, and the length does feel dry. Does that make sense at all?

January 26th, 2014, 08:49 AM
I have hair like this. The ends are always dry despite my best efforts, and it splits very easily. I don't do anything damaging to it at all, except for sleeping on it and washing it. I'd be interested in any advice anyone has for this hair-type as well, as oils don't seem to help me in all honesty. :)

January 26th, 2014, 08:53 AM
Is it more limp than usual? I know your hair probably lays flat anyhow so it might be hard to tell...
Do you have hard water? You may need to chelate, but I don't know much about chelating. Other than that, I'm not quite sure what else you should try. Someone else might come along and give more help.

January 26th, 2014, 09:12 AM
Green house method worked for me. I need to heat to get moisture in

January 26th, 2014, 09:14 AM
Sounds like my hair. Oils just sit on top of it, never penetrating. The only oil I use lately is Mineral Oil (Johnson's Baby Oil). I use 2 drops on my damp hair to seal in the moisture and it helps with tangling. My conditioner is Biolage Conditioning Balm, I've used it for many years. It's cone-free, thick and rinses out easily. Then I chelate by using a capful of White Vinegar in 12 ounces of warm shower water. What a difference that has made, it's so much softer and smoother now. I also wear my hair up 99% of the time so that has saved my hair a ton of damage and tangles.

January 26th, 2014, 09:28 AM
I don't think that water float test (is that what you did?) is reliable btw. Are there any other factors that might indicate low porosity?

January 26th, 2014, 03:14 PM
I don't think that water float test (is that what you did?) is reliable btw. Are there any other factors that might indicate low porosity?

Yes that is the test I did. Is another test?

chen bao jun
January 26th, 2014, 04:23 PM
Low porosity hints (though I'm a thick and curly)
Everything sits on top of my hair rather than going in so that I can constantly have the situation of hair that is BOTH crackly dry and greasy at the same time.
I ALWAYS prepoo. You probably don't need heavy treatments like me (SMT or a lot of olive oil) but whatever you DO need, put it on your hair, get in a plastic cap and walk around with a towel over the plastic cap for a period of time before washing. Even better, sit under under a hood dryer or heat cap, nothing is going to get inside your hair without heat.
Wash your hair in very warm water (again, you need that heat for anything to get in) and rinse in as cold as you can stand, as that makes the cuticles lie back down. I also rinse with ACV-- about a tablespoon in a quart of water as the last rinse. This procedure has given me soft hair that isn't greasy.
As for the dry ends, I just put extra conditioner on them, keep them up a lot and always sleep with braids with satin covered rollers on the very ends, covered by a satin cap (cotton can leach that moisture out of your hair, esp. the ends)
Hope this helps.
P.S. I found mine was low porosity by that test, I know its not infallible but when I read up about low porosity it explained, as nothing else ever had, the situation with the straw dry hair with grease or conditioner sitting on top rather than going in that I have always experienced, so I looked no further.

September 29th, 2015, 02:46 PM
I was moisturising my hair today using a cup of water. A shed hair came out and landed on the water surface so now I'm wondering if I have low porosity hair. I don't spray my hair with water unless I'm having a shower. Sometimes I get a painful reaction to water so I just dip my hands in water and run it over my hair. Last year I tried testing and my hair was beneath the surface of the water so I'd thought it was medium porosity. My hair does shine the most after a good wash/rinse dry or wet. I usually use warm water on my hair before I do a deep conditioning treatment and I put on a plastic bag/cap/wrap. I also oil my damp hair with penetrating oils paying a lot of attention the ends of the hair. I tend to wear my hair in chunky plaits and or cornrows. I can have braidouts but I prefer not to let the hair be out too much.

hanne jensen
September 30th, 2015, 02:03 AM
I have very low porosity hair. I took some hairs from my hairbrush and put them in a bowl, not a cup of lukewarm water. I didn't want to cheat by having the hairs cling to the sides of the cup. The bowl was a huge serving bowl. I forgot all about this test and didn't check the bowl for over 2 hours. The hairs floated.

In my younger days I paid fortunes for professional perms and 2 weeks later they slid out of my hair. I waited 3 days before my first hairwash.
I had my hair lightened and colored a beautiful copper color. Same story.
I've played around with henna. After 3 weeks it's gone.
Nothing and I mean nothing penetrates my hair.All products just lay on top of my hair building up.

On the upside, I save a fortune on products. The only poo that my hair and scalp likes is a cheap clarifying pool For normal hairwashes I dilute it 50/50. I don't use deep conditioners as it's a waste of time and money. I use a very light creme rinse.

I drink a lot of water and eat a lot of protein, fruits and veggies for my hair.

I have very fine hair with no tensile strength. My ends always feel dry. However, my hair is growing like a weed.

September 30th, 2015, 06:50 AM
I think the difference with the test last year was that I used a glass of water but this time I had a jug with almost a litre of water in it. The hair was left for a minute or two.

I water wash and my conditioning treatments mostly consist of banana puree. I do sometimes have henna glosses. It's kind of hard to tell if the henna effect diminishes on black hair. I've never had a perm in my life.

October 1st, 2015, 07:52 AM
Sometimes my ends can get very dry and straw likes, they don't get wet easily and its from a lots of layers of henna..... I use the Cherry Lola method. 1/2 cup baking soda mixed with 1/2 cup conditioner. apply it to my ends and leave it for 1/2 hr. shampoo and condition and usual with hot water to better open the hair shaft. I don't squeeze the water out of my hair and i don't blast it with cold water. I then pull through a leave in conditioner and let it air dry. its pretty soft after this. I generally do this once a month...

October 1st, 2015, 10:38 AM
My response totally turned into a Wall of Text. Sorry about that. >.<

My hair is much like hanne jensen's. My hair floats unless I physically drag it into the water (this is so common for me that I really had no idea how the water test was supposed to work because I thought that was just what all hair did). In the past I've tried perms (sometimes double-permed), dyes of every sort, and even bleach, all with little to no effect, usually disappearing in a matter of days. My hair has so much slip that even experienced hairdressers with a ton of texture-adding product have a hard time performing a simple braid with it.

When I joined LHC, I spent months trying out different oils, creams, shampoos, and conditioners. I had super dry, crunchy ends, even when I went a week without washing and used a boar-bristle brush, so everything was a total oil-slick. So I tried everything anyone suggested, and I kept journals and Excel spreadsheets to track progress.

What I found is that the oils don't penetrate (coconut oil does help soften the ends, though, so I started putting that on the last few inches pre-wash, and that continued until my ends actually started to feel a bit squishy), sulfate free shampoos don't get my oily scalp clean (but I don't need shampoo beyond my neck, as long as I don't use a boar bristle brush), most creams and deep conditioning treatments just sit on my hair and do nothing, and nearly everything I had tried was a waste of time.

So after all that, I'm back to using the same shampoo I was using before; I've just had to adjust the way I wash my hair. I no longer use oils of any sort (keep in mind that oils don't moisturize, they add lipids, which helps condition and makes it easier to retain some moisture, but they don't add moisture directly). I condition (cone free) below the neck, shampoo the scalp, then rinse. Then I condition the ends again for good measure, rinse. Then I use a rich, coney conditioner to help seal in the conditioning from the first conditioner. This isn't necessary if you wash often, but for me I need the cones to keep my hair conditioned between washes if I stretch more than a day or so. I put the hair in a bun then and only rinse at the end of my shower.

Even if you don't like using cones on the rest of your hair, it might help to use cones on your ends after conditioning normally, since they take more mechanical damage than the rest of your hair. I also suggest sleeping with your ends tucked in. If you braid, use a paranda and keep the last few inches of hair in the middle while you braid the paranda around them. If you bun, make sure those ends are tucked in securely. If you only like sleeping with your hair down, you may want to invest in a satin pillowcase or sleep cap.

Heat also works to get conditioning into your hair, and it's definitely faster to do it that way. Low porosity hair has cuticles that lie flat and don't let much into the hair shaft. Heat raises the cuticles. Doing this often wears them out so they stay raised, which weakens the hair and leads to damage, which is why heat is considered so bad. Doing it occasionally to assist in conditioning shouldn't hurt; just try to minimize the damage you're doing, since the whole point is to improve the health of your hair. If you're concerned about the cuticles staying raised afterward, you can follow up with a diluted ACV rinse (a tablespoon of ACV in two cups of water) since that will get them to lie back down.

hanne jensen
October 2nd, 2015, 04:50 AM
Sparrowswing, the advantages of low porosity hair is it's shiny as the cuticles lie flat. I've played with henna before just for a change and when I get tired of it I just stop. No line of demarcation, no obvious roots showing. I save a fortune on products as I just use a little cheap supermarked creme rinse on my length to make detangling easier.

My hair is super fine and breaks very easily. I use a split repair serum to glue the splits together so they can grow out and get trimmed. I do use a serum that has very light cones to soften my ends.

October 2nd, 2015, 10:36 AM
Sparrowswing, the advantages of low porosity hair is it's shiny as the cuticles lie flat. I've played with henna before just for a change and when I get tired of it I just stop. No line of demarcation, no obvious roots showing. I save a fortune on products as I just use a little cheap supermarked creme rinse on my length to make detangling easier.

My hair is super fine and breaks very easily. I use a split repair serum to glue the splits together so they can grow out and get trimmed. I do use a serum that has very light cones to soften my ends.
My attempts at henna were disappointing. After several applications, the only visible difference was that my ends lit up in the evening sun. And I always had trouble rinsing it out fully, regardless of how much conditioner I mixed in, which left my hair feeling awful for a week after.

I probably would have had better luck with something with a super high lawsone content like Red Raj, but I never really had the disposable income to spend on enough henna for a full application on knee-length superfine hair, just to see if it would work. Let alone the multiple applications everyone recommended.

Don't get me wrong: I love my hair. It is indeed silky, shiny, and beautiful. If I have to be stuck with a color, this is a good color to have. I certainly don't want to destroy it with bleach just to try anything different. But it's taken me a long time to reach this point of acceptance. Even at 30, there's a part of me that desperately wants wavy purple mermaid hair, and that's just never going to happen.

hanne jensen
October 3rd, 2015, 10:20 AM
Sparrowswing, I'm 56 and would love to have violet colored hair. I'm not going to trash my hair to get it though. One of the most important things I've learned here is to accept and love my hair as it is and work with what I have instead of wanting hair that I'll never achieve.

October 3rd, 2015, 01:34 PM
I have low porosity hair. Back when my hair was damaged it would soak up everything I threw at it. Now that the damage is gone, it has become very picky about what I put on it. As a curly, my main battle is build up from styling products. Just about everything I use cause build up after a few days to a week of daily use. Cones, no cones, polyquaternium, proteins, you name it. They all cause build up, some pretty quickly. I have found all natural film-formers to be my best friends: aloe, marshmallow root, flaxseed gel, guar gum. These do not build up and seem to maintain a moisture barrier around my hair. Even though your hair is straight, hair type has more to do with other factors than just level of curliness. The most helpful thing I ever read on caring for low porosity hair was this article http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/moisturizing-low-porosity-hair.html?m=1 I could relate to everything she said about low porosity hair, and her advice has helped me a lot.

October 3rd, 2015, 01:50 PM
I wanted to add too that my low porosity + 3a curls combination benefit from texturizing products when I really want to amp up the curliness. This sometimes induces frizz, but my curls tighten up quite a bit when I do this! Proteins are texturizing for me cause they seem to just sit on my hair. Diffusing is a MUST for my curls. Air drying for me takes forever and the curls go flat especially at the roots after three hours of being wet. For adding volume, while I'm diffusing and my hair is still damp, I'll spray in some Aussie Sprunch or Rusk Thick spray. I don't worry too much about the drying effects, because it's the last layer of product over leave in and gel. The volume goes crazy with this. I feel like my curls need encouragement a lot due to the fact they are low porosity. My hair has no natural texture to it. Its very slippery kind of hair that has alot of natural shine.