Hair porosity, what it is and how to manage it

Welcome back* Friend*,

Today I'm talking to you about one of the "musts to know" to be able to take care of your curly or afro hair as best as possible, so read carefully ;).

We often hear about hair POROSITY, an important characteristic to know to understand how to set up a good hair care routine, but is the meaning of this term clear to everyone?

Definition of hair porosity

It is the ability of the hair fiber to absorb and retain what is applied: hydration, nutrients, chemical agents, etc.

It is therefore not only a question of how quickly the agents enter, but also how quickly they exit.

The indicator is the state of the cuticles , very small overlapping flakes arranged in a regular manner, whose function is to protect the shaft from external agents. Their integrity is a very important condition for the health of the hair and there are certain habits, such as frequent and incorrect manipulation and color and heat treatments, which negatively affect the hair and can alter the porosity.

Keep in mind that the same foliage can have areas of different porosity and this can even happen on the same trunk.

Furthermore, the root part, being newer, may have a lower porosity than that towards the tips.

The factors based on which cuticles open and close are:

  • pH balance;
  • Application of heat;
  • Hereditary factors;
  • Hair damage;
  • Chemical agents.

    Hair porosity classification method

    It provides three degrees to be considered levels of an escalator:

    LOW – medium low – MEDIUM – medium high – HIGH.

    Porosity can be genetic or chemically induced, as is the case with high porosity from missing or damaged cuticles.


    The cuticles are narrow and very low, which makes the stem resistant to the penetration of water and other agents, but also able to retain them for longer. It follows that if you perform a correct "infusion" of the hair, this will maintain it for the days to come and the hydration refresh routine will not need to be performed too frequently.

    Low porosity turns out to be the best condition for the hair because it is what keeps it hydrated for longer, more resistant to humidity and other atmospheric agents and more predisposed to long-lasting styling.

    The hair fibers are more prone to knotting on themselves and this tendency increases as the hair curls. There is no way to eliminate this characteristic, but prevention can be done by using protective, containing styles (e.g. pineapple) that are lengthening or braided or twisted (twists, braids, bantu knots).

    Low porosity hair needs regular deep cleansing because by absorbing little and slowly, more product residues and sediments can remain on the shaft and scalp and this prevents the fibers from absorbing new applications and the tissues from oxygenating.

    Once a month, perform a purifying wash with:

    • Purifying shampoo with sulphates, if you use "rich", very oily and buttery products.
    • Purifying shampoos without sulphates, if you use lighter products.

    For your daily routine remember to:

    • Do not soak your hair in moisturizer, but do light sprays.
    • Always apply small quantities of product, performing good but delicate manipulation.

    You must keep dehydration away as much as possible , which is the main cause of breakage, so create the conditions for the hydrating agents to penetrate and the sealants to act on the surface. A fundamental thing is not to overload the hair with products, which would also lead to it losing its pattern, becoming heavy and therefore weakening.

    The hair must remain as clean as possible, not weighed down and free from residues, so use products with light, more liquid and foamy textures :

    • Leave-in liquids;
    • Liquid stylers;
    • Oils with light components and textures;
    • Mousse.

    Dense, consistent creams and gels pass through cuticles with great difficulty, so dilute a little with water to facilitate penetration.

    During intensive treatments you must make sure to open the cuticles to allow infusion into the hair fibers and greatly facilitate its penetration. The best thing is to use a hot vaporizer (hair steamer). In fact, steam breaks water molecules at a microcellular level allowing better penetration into the hair shaft.

    But proteins? Let's immediately dispel a myth: it is incorrect to say that low porosity hair does not tolerate proteins. They need it, but not as frequently as medium or high porosity hair because the lowered cuticles make it more difficult for them to fall out. The advice is to use hydrolysed proteins, because the liquid form facilitates penetration and the water agent completes a hydrating effect.


    The cuticles are sufficiently open to allow the correct absorption of moisturizing agents, oils and chemical agents. Hair infuses more easily but dehydrates slightly faster than low porosity hair. A greater intake of proteins is also necessary, as they tend to escape more.

    The hair requires more hydration and protein agents and their treatment must be more similar to that of high porosity hair, because the cuticles must be brought down in order to retain the components. Also remember that any degree of damage helps bring you closer to high porosity.

    Then consider that since the cuticles are more open, the fibers are less inclined to knot on themselves and much more to tangle between neighbors. The objective is therefore to lower the flakes so that the fibers slide between each other without becoming tangled and a first step is to use low pH and conditioning products, capable of flattening the surface of the hair.

    As regards the textures of the products , prefer spray creams, leave-in lotions and creams that are not excessively full-bodied (e.g. smoothie).

    Given the ability to absorb well, there is less susceptibility to the formation of product build-up and residues compared to low porosity hair, however a purifying wash performed every six weeks is very welcome.

    Remember that if you have medium porosity you don't need to break the water molecules, so to generate heat and facilitate the penetration of intensive treatments you just need to use the combo plastic cap underneath and helmet sheet (or helmet) on top.


    The cuticles appear particularly open and/or damaged. While on the one hand the raised position allows the barrel to quickly absorb hydrating agents, on the other hand it is precisely this that causes an equally rapid release. This condition can be genetic or derive from the use of chemical agents , color applications or removals, contact with strong heat sources or aggressive shampoos which, over time, can damage the state of the cuticles, weakening the hair and making it prone to breakage. fall.

    Freshly treated and hydrated, high porosity hair feels beautifully infused and soft, but after a few hours or the next day it can become extremely dry and hard.

    They are incredibly prone to dehydration and protein loss and this happens because the cuticles are very open (natural cause) or are missing or damaged (mechanical or chemical cause).

    High porosity therefore requires more highly hydration-sealing treatments so that the hair fiber has a good retention capacity and protein treatments are among the pillars of the routine because the fibers must be filled and restructured frequently, especially if high porosity is induced mechanically or chemically.

    Hair with this porosity loves thick creams, full-bodied oils and butters , especially to seal in hydration and make the surface of the shaft smooth. These products must obviously be preceded by the infusion of hydrating components.

    Gels help tame the cuticles, prefer hydrating ones because they help you maintain hydration. Great allies are humectant ingredients , such as aloe vera, components capable of absorbing humidity from the air and infusing it into the hair. Glycerin in particular is a powerful curl activator. However, be careful in the colder months because this ability can facilitate frizz and loss of definition.

    During the intensive treatment phase (pre-shampoo pack or mask), high porosity hair does not like high heat, because the cuticles are already open and must not open further, also because this would hinder the subsequent lowering process during rinsing with cold water at the end of the routine. In fact, they prefer a soft action, so the best solution is to wear a plastic cap and cover with a turban or cloth to retain the heat naturally generated by the head and facilitate the penetration of the treatment.

    For cleansing, choose a delicate shampoo without sulphates and with a low pH , which will help you keep your hair and skin clean without depriving them of the hydration and sebum oils they need.

    To condition, prefer conditioners, because they have a sealing action. For this reason it is recommended to apply the conditioner after the mask.

    Among the "home" remedies for lowering cuticles, an acid rinse with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water is highly recommended. Conditioner rinsed with cold water: brightness, seals in hydration, fewer tangles.

    Do you know the porosity of your hair?

    To get an idea of ​​your level, observe how quickly your hair gets wet in the shower, how long it maintains the softness it has when just hydrated and carry out this TEST by carefully following the instructions:


    A good starting point to start taking care of your hair is the POROSITY BOX , designed to get the most out of the synergy of the products' active ingredients.

    On the shop blog you will find an article dedicated to the guidelines for choosing product ingredients and components based on porosity. I recommend you go and read it!

    Also, don't forget to schedule a FIRST FREE INFORMATION INTERVIEW to understand what to do to set up the most suitable routine for caring for your curly or afro hair.

    You can book by filling out this form .

    I hope the article was useful to you!

    Until next time,


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