This post may contain affiliate links.
How To Care For Low Porosity Hair
A lot of women don’t know about the different types of hair, let alone what porosity their hair falls under. Hair porosity has to do with the structure of your hair shaft and how easily water (and products) can penetrate. Having low porosity hair means that the structure of your hair do not allow moisture to easily be absorbed. This can make it difficult to find a shampoo or conditioner that you love because many products are too heavy for your hair type and end up just sitting on top of the hair and not actually benefiting you in any way. This article will tell you how to moisturize low porosity hair so that it looks healthy, shiny, and voluminous! It’s important to know what kind of porosity your hair has if you want it to look amazing – especially during the winter when harsh weather conditions can wreak havoc on even the healthiest hair. So let’s take a look at how to tell if you have low porosity hair and how to moisturize low porosity hair properly.
What Is Low Porosity Hair
Your hair is made up of three different parts: the cuticle, the cortex and the medulla. The cuticle is what’s important when it comes to low porosity hair. The cuticle is the outer most part of the hair shaft and is made up of tons of individual cuticles that overlap each other. When hair has low porosity, it means that the cuticles are tightly packed together with little to no space in between them. Because there is little to no space, it’s difficult for moisture and other products to be absorbed into the hair shaft.
Hair porosity refers to how easily water (and other products) are able to penetrate into the interior space of a strand as well as how quickly they’re absorbed by its surface. If you have low porosity hair, this simply means that the structure of your shaft doesn’t allow moisture to be absorbed as easy or fast, so you need to care for your hair in a special way in order to keep hair healthy.
Now that we know what low porosity hair is, let’s take a look at how to tell if your hair is low porosity and some easy tests you can do to test your hair’s porosity level at home.
What are signs of low porosity hair?
Low porosity hair is an issue that many people don’t know how to deal with. It’s important to be able to tell if you have low porosity hair so that you can better take care of it and keep your locks looking healthy, shiny, and voluminous! The first step is knowing how to tell if you have low porosity hair. As we mentioned earlier, the cuticle layer of the hair shaft is what makes up low porosity hair. When the cuticles are tightly packed together with little space in between them, this means that it’s difficult for moisture or other products to penetrate into the interior space of a strand as well as how quickly they’re absorbed by its surface. Let’s take a look at how you can tell if you have low porosity hair.
Products sit on top of your hair
When you have low porosity hair, you may notice that you apply product to your hair but it seems to just sit on the surface and not actually do anything. You may even notice that when you touch your hair, the product comes off on your hands.
Washing Takes Longer
When you wash your hair in the shower, you may notice that it takes a long time to fully saturate your hair with water. This is a big sign of low porosity hair.
Drying Takes Longer
Once your hair finally does get some moisture, it doesn’t want to let go of it. Because of this, low porosity hair can take a long time to dry, even with the help of a blow dryer.
The Hair Porosity Test
If you still aren’t sure if your hair is low porosity, there are some easy hair porosity tests you can try out. Here are some at home hair porosity tests:
The Water Method
- Start with clean, freshly washed hair. It’s best to not put any product in your hair and let it air dry.
- Once your hair is dry, fill a cup up with water and take a strand of hair and place it in the cup.
- If your hair floats, it’s low porosity. If it immediately sinks, it’s high porosity and if it’s somewhere in the middle, it’s medium porosity
Since we’re talking about low porosity hair, we want to look out for the hair floating on top of the water. You may give it a couple minutes, but It will typically sink pretty fast if your hair is high porosity.
The Strand Test
- Start with clean, dry hair with no product
- Take a single strand of hair between your thumb and pointer finger. Place your fingers at the bottom of the strand
- Slowly slide your fingers up the hair shaft and feel for any roughness, ridges or bumps
- If your hair feels smooth, you have low porosity hair, whereas if you hair feels rough then your hair is high porosity
What Causes Low Porosity Hair?
While there isn’t one specific cause of low porosity hair, in general, the reason you have low porosity hair comes down to genetics. Heat tools, chemicals, bleach, etc. do not cause hair to be low in porosity.
How To Moisturize Low Porosity Hair
Maybe you know you have low porosity hair, but perhaps you’re wondering how do you moisturize low porosity hair and care for it properly? Moisturizing hair that has low porosity is a lot different from how you moisturize hair with high porosity. The key to keeping low porosity hair moisturized is using the right products that are formulated for low porosity hair. Wondering what are the best ways to moisturize low porosity hair? Here are the best tips on how to moisturize low porosity hair and keep it healthy!
And no, I’m not talking about styling tools! Rather using warm water to wash your hair Is a good thing! The heat can help to open up the cuticle more so products can penetrate more easily. When doing deep conditioning treatments, put on a shower cap and use your blow dryer on the low setting to direct some heat to the hair to open up the cuticle more.
Mix Your Conditioner With Water
Adding a little water to your conditioner before you apply it can help it absorb more easily, instead of just sitting on top of the hair shaft.
Related Post: How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?
Use Silk Pillowcases
Silk pillowcases are a great way to improve how your hair feels and looks. Not only do they protect your hair from damage, but they also keep it moisturized too! Silk is much less absorbent than cotton, so it’s less likely to steal any moisture from your hair. Silk is an all natural fabric that has been shown in studies to help prevent frizzy hair and split ends.
Look for humectants in your hair products
Humectants are used in hair products to moisturize the hair. Humectants draw moisture into the hair shaft by attracting water from its surroundings. This is how it can work amazingly on low porosity hair that doesn’t take in any moisture well. The key to using humectants is finding the right ones for your type of hair. Luckily, humectants are pretty common in hair products, so be on the lookout for glycerin, honey, aloe vera, Propylene glycol, Butylene glycol, urea.
When you have low porosity hair, it’s a good idea to clarify your hair about once every week. This will remove any buildup from styling products, hard water minerals, or just everyday grime that has built up in the cuticle of the hair shaft. Since low porosity hair is prone to a lot of product buildup, it’s super important to make sure you’re clarifying your hair at least once a week. When you have low porosity hair and product buildup, your hair will be a dry, sad mess.
Keep It Light
The last thing you want to do for low porosity hair is use heavy oils and products. Now only will they contribute to buildup on the hair shaft, but heavy products often contain heavy oils and butters when can keep moisture from getting inside the hair shaft.
Do Use Lightweight Oils
Lightweight oils will help lock in moisture without weighing the strands down. You do need to use oils to lock in moisture and keep it from escaping. Some lightweight oils include fractionated coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, castor oil and sweet almond oil. Oils can be used on wet or dry hair to lock in moisture. It’s important to only use a couple drops to avoid over-saturating your hair with oil, which can cause buildup. If you want to know how to keep low porosity hair moisturized, the answer is oils because they trap the moisture in so it can’t escape.
Use Water Based Styling Products
Products that are water based are more easily absorbed by low porosity hair, so they are a great way to keep hair moisturized after washing. Water based products will have water at the very top or near the very top of the ingredients list. You should also make sure the product has a humectant of some sort (honey, glycerin, aloe, etc). Plus, with water-based products, they tend to be very light, so you don’t have to worry about weighing your hair down.
The Greenhouse Method
The Greenhouse Method is extremely common among those who are learning how to moisturize low porosity hair. It’s mostly used when doing a deep conditioning treatment. All you need to do is apply your deep conditioner, regular conditioner or moisturizing product and put a shower cap on your head. You can leave it on overnight or for a few hours. The heat from your head will help to ‘steam’ your hair so the hair cuticle opens up and the product can penetrate better.
Use Hot Oil Treatments
One of the best ways to moisturize low porosity hair is with hot oil treatments. Hot oil treatments are great because they will penetrate deep into your hair shaft, so it’s a much more effective way to moisturize and nourish your strands. All you need is an oil of your choice heated up in a bowl on the stove until it turns liquid, then apply it all over wet hair for about 20 minutes before washing out. You can also do this as a pre-shampoo treatment, which works really well too! The key is just making sure you don’t use too much because that will make it greasy and heavy. There are also some pre-made hot oil treatments that you can buy at most stores. For extra benefit, you can sit under a dryer or use your blow dryer to direct warm air onto your hair.
Try A Hair Steamer
Using moist heat can open up the hair cuticles more than anything, making It a great way to moisturize low porosity hair. Not only can a hair steamer be used when using a deep conditioner, but you can also just use it on clean hair to add hydration and water back into the hair shaft. Don’t forget to apply an oil afterwards to lock in all that moisture!
How Often Should You Moisturize Low Porosity Hair?
Ideally you want to moisturize low porosity hair daily with leave in products or oils. However, it’s important to keep your hair clean, but not over-wash it and strip your hair of its natural moisture.
It’s usually recommended to wash low porosity hair about once a week, but you may need to wash it twice a week if you have more oily hair.
Best Products For Low Porosity Hair
When it comes to moisturizing and taking care of low porosity hair, the right products are key! Especially if you have fine or straight low porosity hair, it can be super easy to weigh your hair down with products. Here are the best picks for low porosity friendly hair products so you can hydrate your hair and grow it long!
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo is perfect for low porosity hair – it provides a gentle and hydrating cleanse without leaving a heavy or greasy residue. It’s packed with vitamins-rich ingredients like spinach and matcha to provide nutrients to keep hair healthy. Glycerin helps to draw moisture into the hair shaft so you’re left with hydrated, happy hair.
Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo
If you’re looking for the best hydrating shampoo for fine low porosity hair, this is it. With coconut water and aloe vera, this shampoo will help bring hydration to your hair. The sulfate-free formula is gentle on hair but still cleanses well and removes product buildup. Plus, it’s super affordable!
Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free
A quality conditioner is just as important as shampoo for taking care of your locks. This lightweight conditioner is perfect for low porosity hair that’s resistant to moisture. This daily conditioner is lightweight, while still providing lasting hydration where you need it most! Infused with ingredients like Baobab Oil and certified organic Shea Butter, this formula will provide the nutrients and conditioning needed without any surface build-up – so your locks stay strong all day long!
Biolage HydraSource Conditioning Balm for Dry Hair
This conditioner instantly detangles and nourishes parched hair with lots of hydration. Aloe vera acts as a humectant to draw moisture into the hair, while adding softness and shine. It’s lightweight enough that thin and fine hair can use this conditioner without any problems, greasiness or heaviness. And if your hair is extra dry, there are more intense versions that can add even more hydration.
Naturally Drenched Rebalance
Low porosity hair doesn’t stand a chance against this incredible treatment. It instantly softens, detangles, strengthens hair, protects against breakage, reduces frizz and, of course, hydrates. Packed with aloe vera to draw moisture into the hair shaft and sweet almond oil to nourish and moisturize. Plus tons of extracts and vitamins to keep hair as healthy and strong as possible. This is used as a pre-conditioner treatment, so apply it after shampooing before using conditioner.
Ouidad Coil Infusion™ Triple Treat Deep Conditioner
In need of some deep TLC? Ouidad’s Triple Threat Deep Conditioner is the incredible solution to bringing your curls back to life. Relieve scalp dryness and itchiness, with a blend of peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar for soothing relief. Black Castor Oil, Avocado Oil and Grapeseed oil –three oils that are known for their strengthening and moisturizing properties. This conditionerworks like no other – it will renew shine, instantly detangle, smooth and deeply hydrate as it works wonders on tresses.
Ouidad Ultra-Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask
If you have low porosity hair, then you’ve probably spent a lifetime thirsting for all of the hydration in the world – and this product is here to save that thirsty mane. The Ultra-Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask is an excellent deep conditioning treatment for dry, damaged or overprocessed low porosity hair. Feel your curls getting back on their feet with our all natural ingredients including Glycerin, Macadamia, Sunflower and Olive Oils to moisturize those parched strands. You can immediately feel the difference in moisture levels with this super creamy formula that delivers intense nourishment and hydration. This is your best friend if you’re wondering how to moisturize low porosity hair in the winter months!
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Multi-Action Leave-In
This affordable leave in treatment for low porosity hair has all the best ingredients to hydrate, lock in moisture and nourish hair, without weighing it down. It’s packed with Manuka Honey, which acts as a humectant to draw moisture deep into the hair shaft. Yogurt extract adds tons of weightless moisture while helping strengthen hair with proteins. Mafura Oil and Shea Butter lock in all that moisture to keep hair hydrated all day.
Ouidad Curl Shaper™ Bounce Back Reactivating Mist
When you don’t wash your hair everyday, it can be hard to keep low porosity hair moisturized. No matter how much you love your curls, there comes a time when they just need an extra boost. All of that second day styling can take its toll on your hair, causing dehydration and frizz. Restore natural hydration with this refreshing mist: it’s like a three-in-one product that refreshes hair while hydrating the scalp to hydration even after washing. If you want to know how to moisturize low porosity hair between washes, then this mist is your answer!
Curlsmith Weightless Air Dry Cream
This lightweight leave-in treatment is perfect for low porosity hair. It delivers hydration and moisture thanks to hyaluronic acid and a blend of three nourishing oils as well as shea butter and murumuru to lock in all the good hydration. This leave in will help to detangle, smooth, soften, prep for styling, and adds shine with its light, silky texture. This is a great all-in-one product for those who want a minimal hair routine.
Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil
With Olaplex No. 7, not ONLY will your locks feel softer and shinier than they ever have before, but it will also help protect hair from moisture loss, protect against heat styling and strengthen hair to reduce breakage. Talk about a do-it-all product! This super-lightweight oil is perfect for those with fine low porosity hair that just needs a little extra moisture and nourishment. This repairing hair oil can be used daily before or after styling to add back some hydrating, lock in moisture, smooth frizz and nourish hair to prevent breakage. This is a cult favorite product for a reason!
Verb Ghost Weightless Hair Oil
This is the hair oil you can use all year long – for when your hair needs some serious TLC in hot, humid summer months and even drier winter months. It hydrates your strands from roots to ends with nourishing moringa seed oil, detangles those mats with bamboo extract; and strengthens them back up with argan oil that leaves incredible shine while locking in precious moisture. Basically, it does everything! Put this on your locks today and frizz be gone – life is too short not have shinny, healthy hair.
Ingredients To Avoid For Low Porosity Hair
When you have low porosity hair, you need to make sure that you aren’t using products that are not going to zap your hair of its natural moisture. There are some ingredients you should avoid when you have low porosity hair.
- Sulfates- sulfates are harsh and drying and can completely strip your hair of any moisture. Stick with sulfate-free shampoos
- Heavy Oils or Butters – plain oils and butters will likely just sit on top of your hair and not do anything. Make sure you’re using lightweight products with oils for low porosity hair (mentioned above)
- Silicones – often act as a barrier, so moisture cannot penetrate the hair shaft. It’s best to avoid conditioners and styling products/leave ins with silicones
- Lots of protein – a little protein can be used in low porosity hair, but it’s important to use it sparingly. Protein overload will make low porosity hair stiff and make it more prone to breakage.
How To Moisturize Low Porosity Hair: Wrap Up
Low porosity hair is often considered to be dry and brittle, which can lead to breakage. This doesn’t have to be the case though! There are many ways you can care for your low porosity hair so that it stays healthy and strong. When it comes to moisturizing and sealing low porosity hair, humectants, heat and oils are essential.
Learning how to treat low porosity hair can be a little challenging, but with these tips on how to moisturize low porosity hair, you can keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
We’ve outlined some of our favorite moisturizing tips for low porosity hair above; these will help keep your strands happy from root to tip. What’s your go-to method? Share with us in the comments section below! How do you keep low porosity hair moisturized? Do you have any favorite tips or products for low porosity hair?
I hope this post on how to moisturize low porosity hair was helpful! Let me know your thoughts and questions down below!
Related To How To Treat Low Porosity Hair:
- The Best Affordable Dupes For Olaplex’s Entire Line
- Best Drugstore Shampoos For Oily Hair
- How To Look Prettier: Easy Tips That Make All The Difference
- Olaplex For Curly Hair: Is It Curly Girl Approved?
- Why Is Pantene So Bad For Your Hair
How To Moisturize Low Porosity Hair Daily
From how to moisturize low porosity hair after washing, to how to keep low porosity hair moisturized each day, these tips and products will help you care for your low porosity hair with ease.