When following curly girls on social media you’ll often hear of porosity. But, what does is actually mean and does it really matter? And do you need to put strands of hair in a glass of water to know?
Firstly, the strands of hair in a glass of water... this is not a reliable way to learn about your hair. It tells you nothing about your head of hair. In the same way that every curl is different so is every strand on your head, they are all at different points in their growth cycle. They are all different ages.
A more comprehensive way to determine porosity is to take a section of dry hair. Run your fingers from root to tip and then from tip to root. If your hair feels bumpy, snaggy and rough then you have more porous hair. .
Also, when you are washing your hair do the water droplets tend to sit on top of the hair strands? If so this would indicate lower porosity hair.
Think of your hair as if it were a pine cone... all opened up = high porosity. Tightly closed = low porosity.
HIGH porosity hair absorbs water easily and, displaces water rapidly. This can be due to genetics, colouring, lightening or general damage. If this is your hair be sure to add plenty of moisturising products, leave in some conditioner and create a barrier to hold the moisture in, such as with a gel. Also, when in humid conditions (think Rainforest biome at Eden 😂) you need to seal/create a barrier on your hair to prevent it absorbing the moisture in the air... which then leads to frizz .... remember Monica in friends?
LOW porosity hair repels water due to having tightly closed cuticles and can be difficult to really get the moisture in. If you have this type of hair then heat is your friend. Heat helps to lift and open up the cuticle. Deep conditioning treatments work well for low porosity hair, apply on wet hair, wrap in a shower cap and then a towel to keep your hair warm. If you have access to misting treatments then these are fantastic for your hair, warm and tiny water droplets penetrate the hair to leave it hydrated.
Starting your curly journey is an exciting time...it can also be daunting due to the vast amount of information on the internet. Facebook groups are a goldmine of product recommendations and tips to enhance your curls but, it can be a little overwhelming with lots of jargon and acronyms.
My final recommendation is to avoid comparing your curls to those who have already transitioned and established their routine. They have been where you are, and you will be where they are however, Curl health does not happen overnight. Comparing your curls during the early stages of your curl journey can often lead to disappointment. Your curls are unique to you, love the curls you have. 🌀❤️
Cornwall Curl Specialist ~ BlewBelle