Why it’s important to know your hair porosity

Hair porosity: Essentially, hair porosity is about your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. The porosity of your hair affects how well oils and moisture pass in and out of the outermost layer of your hair, known as the cuticle.

Why it’s important to know your hair porosity

Ever wondered why your friend’s hair is growing and yours not so much, but you have been using the same products and been consistent with your hair routine? Well, if your answer is yes then this blog post is for you.

This is an all-inclusive blog post for people with relaxed,  wavy hair, to people with naturally straight hair and of course babes with natural hair. All hair types honey. It’s important to know your hair porosity in order to know the kind of products you should invest in, the treatment you should take and what not to use on your hair. 

There are three different hair porosities – low, medium and high porosity. 

Low porosity:

  • Closed hair cuticles
  • Does not absorb moisture easily 
  • Easy product build-up
  • Flat and tight cuticles

Medium porosity:

  • Easily moisturized
  • Retains moisture well
  •  Ideal porosity
  • Has great elasticity and bounce 

High porosity:

  • Absorbs water easily and loses moisture easily 
  • Looks dry and dull 
  • Tangles easily 
  •  Tends to be frizzy 

The porosity test:

Hair porosity test

There are two methods you can use to find out how porous your hair is.

The Float Test: Take a couple of strands of hair from your comb or brush and drop them into a bowl of water. I prefer using a glass or see-through container. Let them sit for 2-4 minutes. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity and if it’s sinks to the middle you have medium porosity.

The Slip’n’Slide Test: Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the shaft (toward the scalp). If you feel little bumps along the way, this means that your cuticle is lifted and that you have high porosity. If your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair.

Ideal products for each porous:

Low porosity: jojoba oil, dark and lovely au naturale wash shampoo, as I am co-wash and protein-free deep conditioner – shea moisture 

Medium porosity: almond oil, macadamia oil, Cantu cleansing cream shampoo, aunt jackies leave-in conditioner. 

High porosity: shea moisture intense hydrating shampoo, conditioner and leave-in detangler and coconut oil.


Low porosity:

  • Stay away from silicone 
  • Use heat when deep conditioning 
  • Don’t use too much product 
  • Avoid products with protein
  • Use water-based products 
  • Shampoo with warm water 

Medium porosity:

  • Deep condition regularly and use heat
  • Keep protein in your routine to maintain moisture
  • Clarify scalp on a regular basis to avoid build-up
  • Use a co-wash or low poo 

High porosity: 

  • Always wet hair with aloe vera before applying moisture 
  • Use heavier moisturizers 
  • Do protective styles
  • Wash with shampoo 
  • Incorporate regular protein treatments
  • Deep condition regularly 

Knowing your hair porosity will help you invest in the right products and treatments for your hair. It can help you choose the right products to keep your hair well-moisturized, supple, strong and shiny.

Just a young lady with big dreams. Love all things ART - writing, photography, painting, conversations and wine


  • Khanyisa

    This is so informative. Thank you so much for the information. I did the test and it tends out that my hair has high porosity it sunk with a slipt second and of course it detangles like crazy and require a lot of moisture. This information really helps in understanding my hair even better.

  • Anita

    Wow, nice post. I didn’t even know this. I’d definitely experiment it. I’m always complaining about my natural hair not growing, my edges are pretty bad too. Any suggestions?

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