Hair type, texture, and pattern play a large part in the decisions you make about which products to use and the methods to choose from when maintaining your hair. Something that a lot of people overlook, however, is how your hair’s porosity is also extremely important.
But what exactly is porosity and how do you figure out where your hair lands on the spectrum?
The Porosity Scale
In simple terms, your hair’s porosity is its ability to absorb and hold moisture. The cuticles on your hair shaft are what determine how much moisture is lost or retained.
If hair is high porosity, the cuticles are lifted, so the shaft easily absorbs moisture. Unfortunately, this means that it also loses moisture just as easily. High porosity hair is often damaged and/or appears dull.
At the other end of the spectrum, low porosity hair has very tightly wrapped cuticle that does not allow moisture to easily penetrate the shaft. When applying products to low porosity hair, it often seems like it only coats the surface, instead of penetrating to provide benefits. When moisture is infused into the shaft of low porosity hair, it isn’t lost as easily as it is with high porosity hair. Although low porosity hair often looks healthy and shiny, it often lacks elasticity.
Normal porosity is found in the middle of the spectrum. Normal porosity hair has cuticles that are not as snug as low porosity hair, but also not always lifted like they would be with high porosity hair. Normal porosity hair absorbs and retains moisture without difficulty, which keeps it healthy and gives hair elasticity.
The Cup Test
One of the easiest methods for determining your hair’s porosity is the cup test. Simply take a shed hair from your comb or brush, and drop it into a cup of water. If the hair sinks right away, it means that it quickly absorbed the water and therefore has high porosity. If the hair remains floating on the top, it is unable to absorb the water, meaning it is low porosity. If the hair gradually sinks to the bottom, it is considered to be normal porosity.
When conducting your test, be sure to use a shed hair instead of broken hair. If the hair is broken, your test will be on a damaged hair so it won’t be accurate. To determine if the hair was broken or shed naturally, see if there is a small whitish tip on one end. That means it was shed directly from the follicle instead of broken.
You’ve learned about porosity and determined where your hair lands on the spectrum. Now, that information can be used to improve your hair care regimen.
Do you have high porosity hair? Use the Q-Redew to infuse your hair with the best form of moisture: water! After applying the steam, it is important to add those extra layers of protection to ensure your strands retain that moisture. Start with a leave-in conditioner and follow with richer creams, butters, or oils to keep your hair hydrated longer.
Is your hair low porosity? The Q-Redew’s warm steam slightly lifts the hair cuticle, allowing water to penetrate the tightly bound shaft. With regular use, the moisture applied with the Q-Redew to low porosity hair can improve its elasticity, a highly desirable outcome. After steaming, apply your favorite leave-in conditioner.
The Q-Redew is an excellent hair care asset regardless of where you land on the porosity scale. A few minutes of targeted steam opens the hair cuticle allowing the moisture from the steam into the hair shaft. With the convenience of a hand held tool you can quickly reach the deeper layers of your hair resulting in hydrated hair in minutes, leaving hair soft, moisturized, and dry to the touch.