What is Hair Porosity and How To Do A Hair Porosity Test

What is Hair Porosity and How To Do A Hair Porosity Test

We will discuss what hair porosity is and how to do a hair porosity test. Learn why this information is important if you want to grow long & healthy hair.

Hair porosity is how well your hair absorbs moisture into your hair strands. Moisture is one of the most important factors to keeping your hair healthy and being able to retain length. Once you find out your porosity you can learn how to properly moisturize your hair for an extended period of time. Not only will your hair feel softer but it will also be easier to manage. So now your probably wondering, but how do I find out my porosity? Well, we have to test it!

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How To Do A Hair Porosity Test

Things You Will Need

  1. Bowl
  2. One single hair strand from your scalp ( If you are not comfortable with pulling a strand then you can take it from your hairbrush or comb.)
Glass Cup
Glass Cup
Hair Strands
Hair Strands

The Test

  1. Fill a glass cup with water
  2. Take a clean hair strand from your scalp and place it in the bowl. Ensure that the hair strand is completely clean because products on it it will affect the results of the test. Let the hair strand sit in the water for 2-4 minutes long.

The Results

  1. If the hair floats to the top of the water then you have low porosity.
  2. Or, if the hair strand floats to the middle then you have medium porosity.
  3. And finally, if it strand of hair floats at the bottom of the bowl then you have high porosity.
Hair Porosity Credit
Photo Credit: https://frohub.com

Now let’s discuss in more detail the difference between low, high, and medium porosity hair.

Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair means that your hair does not accept moisture easily. The cuticle layers of your hair are tightly closed which prevents moisture from getting it. There is a solution for low porosity hair which we will discuss more below.

Low Porosity Hair Characteristics

  1. Seems like your hair repels water
  2. Your hair has trouble absorbing hair products. The products sit on top of your hair creating build-up
  3. Resistance to hair color and other chemical treatments

Solutions For Low Porosity Hair

  1. Always use warm water when washing or refreshing your hair. Warm water helps to open the hair’s cuticle to better accept moisture. It will also help your hair respond better to the hair products you use.
  2. Cleanse your hair thoroughly. Product build-up or poorly washing your hair could be a good reason that your hair is not able to accept moisture. Try using a clarifying shampoo at least once per month to give the hair a deep clean to renew your hair strands and scalp.
  3. Use products for low porosity hair. Hair with a lower porosity tends to be sensitive to protein so it is best to avoid products high in protein. Everyone’s hair is unique and you will have to experiment to find out what works for your hair. We have a list below of products that tend to well for low porosity hair.

Best Low Porosity Hair Products

Moisturizing Shampoo

  1. SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein Free Shampoo
  2. Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free

Clarifying Shampoo

  1. As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo – This is a great clarifying shampoo that deep cleans the hair without it feeling stripped. Remember a clarifying shampoo should only be used about once a month as a deep cleanser not a regular shampoo to avoid drying out the hair.

Conditioners & Deep Conditioners

  1. SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein Free Conditioner
  2. Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Threat Deep Conditioner
  3. tgin Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner

Leave In Conditioners

  1. ApHogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In
  2. EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In Conditioner
  3. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

Hair Oils

  1. Jojoba Oil
  2. Grapeseed Oil
  3. Argan Oil

High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair cuticle layers are open all the time, usually due to hair damage. This hair type loses a lot of moisture. High porosity hair can feel hard to touch and tends to look dry and frizzy. Let’s discuss some solutions for high porosity hair.

High Porosity Hair Characteristics

  1. This type of hair is most prone to breakage
  2. Has a hard time retaining moisture
  3. Usually has damage that may be from heat, harsh chemicals, using the the wrong products, or over manipulation


  1. Use cold water as your final rinse. After you finish your wash routine, whether deep conditioning or conditioning your hair do your final rinse with cold water. Cold water will help to close your hair’s cuticle and lock in the moisture.
  2. Do a protein treatment every 4-6 weeks. Since high porosity hair is usually caused by damage doing a protein treatment can help to repair the hair. Doing protein treatments to often can cause protein overload so every 4-6 weeks is standard.
  3. Co-wash. Unlike hair with low porosity that favors clarifying shampoo, hair with high porosity likes co-washing.

Best High Porosity Hair Products

Moisturizing Shampoo

  1. Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Shampoo
  2. Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo

  1. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Squeaky Deep Cleansing Shampoo – This is a clarifying shampoo, which means it deep cleans the hair. Clarifying shampoos should only be use about once per month or when you feel like your hair has a lot of product build-up.

Conditioners & Deep Conditioners

  1. Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque
  2. ApHogee Intensive 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor 
  3. EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner

Leave In Conditioners

  1. Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner
  2. Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner
  3. Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler

Hair Oils & Butters

  1. Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Shea Butter

Medium Porosity Hair

Your hair strands are between low and high porosity which is perfect. The strands are slightly opened hence moisture is able to get it in order to quench your strands. Also, the slight opening allows for only some moisture loss which is not a significant amount. Therefore, it won’t affect your moisture retention or how long you can wear your hairstyle.

Medium Porosity Hair Characteristics

  1. Looks & feels healthy, has bounce, & good elasticity
  2. Retains moisture well
  3. Tends to hold hairstyles well and chemical & color results are more predictable


  1. Avoid Too Much Protein. This hair type does not require a lot of protein. So it is best to avoid using products with protein in your daily regimen.
  2. Limit Heat Styling. Try to limit heat styling to no more that 1-2 times per month. That includes blow drying, flat irons, curling irons, etc.
  3. Eliminate Harsh Chemicals. Although your hair has healthy characteristics you can easily damage your hair with harsh chemicals. It is best to eliminate harsh chemicals, but if you decide to color your hair make sure to do a lot of research before making a decision.

Best Medium Porosity Hair Products

Moisturizing Shampoo

  1. Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo
  2. Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo

  1. Camille Rose Naturals, Shampoo Clean Rinse – This is a gently clarifying shampoo that helps remove product build up. Clarifying shampoos should only be use about once per month or when you feel like your hair has a lot of product build-up.

Conditioners & Deep Conditioners

  1. Camille Rose Algae Deep Conditioner
  2. Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner
  3. As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Leave In Conditioners

  1. Aunt Jackie’s Quench Moisture Intensive Leave-in Conditioner
  2. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk
  3. Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Leave in Conditioning Mist

Hair Oils & Butters

  1. Jojoba Oil
  2. Avocado Oil
  3. Aunt Jackie’s Coconut Crème Recipes Butter Crème

Doing What’s Best For YOUR Hair

Knowing your porosity is important because it gives you insight to learn how to do what’s best for your hair. One of the things that makes natural hair so amazing is that each and every person’s hair is unique. This can also be difficult because that means that what works for one persons hair does not mean it will work for yours. We hope that this article helped you with creating your own hair care regimen. Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when we create other articles on how to care for your natural hair. You will also love these hair care articles. Thanks for reading!💗

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