You may have heard the word ‘porosity’ thrown around quite loosely when women who are on a hair growth journey get together to talk about their goals.
Porosity refers to the ability of your hair strand to maintain the moisture it comes it contact with. This includes water, leave in conditioners, regular conditioners or even humid weather.
There are three levels of porosity, high, normal and low and each of them will give you clues on how you should care for your hair.
The relationship between porosity and hair growth is not a direct one, but the relationship between porosity and your ability to retain length is directly related which is why it is so important.
The higher your porosity the easier it is for your hair to receive moisture and lose it at the same time. The lower your porosity the easier it is for your hair to keep its moisture when it is received but it is very difficult for your hair to be moisturized in the first place without the use of heat to raise the cuticles of the strand.
Normal porosity levels are safely in between and where most of us strive to be. The goal is to keep your strands hydrated enough so that they can resist getting tangled, breaking or shedding unnecessarily. This means that the length you gain will remain with you until you get to your goals.
To determine your porosity level do a strand test, place a single strand of hair from your hair brush into a glass of water (8oz). If the hair sinks immediately to the bottom you have highly porous strands. If the hair floats on top of the water you are in the low porosity club and if it dangles in the middle of the water in the glass, then you are considered normal or medium.
How does this knowledge affect your regimen?
It is simple really, the higher your porosity the more protein you should incorporate into your regimen to help with strengthening the strand.
You should also get into the habit of deep conditioning often to help your hair maintain its moisture. If you have low porosity hair you should always deep condition with heat so that your cuticles can lift and your hair can get enough moisture in.
If you fall into the middle category then you should be focused on maintaining that balance between high and low, using protein every other week or month as necessary and also deep conditioning to maintain moisture levels.
At the end of the day knowledge is power so pour a glass of water and get to testing!