Many people have low porosity hair and have a problem looking for ways to make it grow. If you’ve ever wondered why your low porosity hair is not growing as much as you would want it to, this piece is for you. We’ll be explaining the best tips on how to grow and care for low porosity hair.
What is Low Porosity Hair?
Low porosity hair has cuticles that are closely packed together with no spaces in between them. As a result of the lack of space, it is difficult for water and other products such as oils and conditioners to penetrate the hair shaft.
Hair porosity simply refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. What majorly determines your hair porosity is how close or open your hair cuticles are. The cuticle is the outer layer of hair strands that consists of individual cuticles which overlap each other. If you have a low porosity hair, you will observe that the first few minutes after applying water, the drops will bead up and roll off instead of getting absorbed instantly. Thus, making it hard for water to saturate the hair during a wash.
Even though hair porosity is mostly determined by genetics, when low porosity hair is exposed to thermal, mechanical, and chemical damage, the porosity can be altered. The cuticles get raised and have more spaces in between them, making it hard for your hair shaft to retain moisture. Make sure you allow only moderate exposure of your hair to heat and harsh chemicals to avoid damage to your strands.
Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair
- The cuticles of low porosity hair are close to each other, making it hard for products to penetrate. When hair products are applied, the hair absorbs a little amount, and the rest forms build-up.
- Hair products tend to remain on top of the hair instead of being absorbed.
- It takes a long time for low porosity hair to get wet and dry because there’s just a little space between the cuticles.
How to Grow Low Porosity Hair
Considering how difficult it is to grow low porosity hair, there are certain tips you should work by. Here’s how to grow and care for low porosity hair.
- Moisturize Properly
Moisture is important to your hair since the internal structure of the hair uses water to provide strength. It also makes hair soft, easier to style, and resistant to breakage. Naturally occurring moisture stored within the strand is not enough to keep your strands hydrated.
Your hair becomes brittle and dry with a high tendency to break off. It is for this reason that you are required to moisturize your hair constantly.
- Clarify your Hair
Clarifying hair refers to the process of involving the cleaning out of build-up present in the hair and scalp using clarifying products or a variety of DIY home remedies such as clay masks or Apple Cider Vinegar. Low porosity hair is prone to product build-up because products do not easily penetrate the hair.
It’s only a little amount that is absorbed while the rest remains as a build-up. Product build-up clogs hair follicles preventing hair growth and may cause hair loss. For this reason, it is important to always clarify hair.
- Steam for Maximum Hydration
Steaming is a perfect way to bring hydration even to the most moisture-resistant low porosity hair. Steam works well when hydrating low porosity hair because the moisture droplets are in a vapor state and have more energy than when in a liquid state. When compared to water at room temperature they move faster and more freely, making it easier and quicker for moisture to penetrate your hair strand.
Also, steam hydrates better than water in a normal liquid state because its surface tension is reduced to close to zero. Surface tension is the property of the surface of a liquid to resist external force due to the cohesive nature of the water molecules. A steamer is the best way to steam your hair. Besides, steam produced by a steamer is water vapor that is hot and light enough to float in the air.
- Use Light Oils
Light oils are the best choice for low porosity hair. They can penetrate deeply into the hair shaft and can provide nourishment and promote hair growth. Also, light oils do not weigh down your hair strands. Some of the most ideal light oils are Baobab Oils, Argan Oil, Sesame Seed, and Grape Seed Oil. Avoid using heavy oils completely or use dilute them with other oils.
- Deep Condition with Heat
The heat helps open up the hair cuticle layer. Once the cuticle is completely relaxed, the conditioning product is able to penetrate the hair shaft to keep it moisturized. Heat sources such as thermal heat caps, steamers, or hooded dryers can be used.
Alternatively, you can use a plastic cap with something covered on top and allow your body heat to do the work for you. Rinse off the conditioner with cold water to close the cuticle.
- Use the Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse is a procedure that is aimed at achieving hair growth and hair hydration. This method imitates the effects of the greenhouse where heat is entrapped in an environment. It involves the use of a plastic cap/ hair turban or towel to create a moist and warm environment around your hair and scalp. The humid environment created forces your hair to absorb moisture.
The natural body heat causes an increased blood flow within your scalp which stimulates hair follicles resulting in increased hair growth.
- Use Humectants
Humectants are substances that are hydrophilic and water-loving. They include products like glycerin, honey, aloe vera, pectin, and more. These substances draw moisture from their surroundings and hold on to them, keeping their environment moisturized. This is a great way for low porosity hair to retain more moisture and evade dryness.
Make sure to dilute the humectant properly before use. Don’t hesitate to discontinue use when the humidity is too high or too low. When humidity is too low, you risk drawing moisture out of your hair to the environment. This effect leaves your hair dry. When the humidity is too high, humectants draw too much water into the hair.
- Avoid too Many Products
Low porosity hair is prone to product build-up. This is mainly because of the hair’s tight cuticle which makes it hard for conditioners, creams, and oils to penetrate easily. A little amount of product is absorbed and the rest remains sitting on the surface of your hair and scalp.
The more the product is used the more the layers thicken and hardens. This layer continues to lower the ability of your low porosity hair to absorb moisture. Your hair strands beneath dry out and become less flexible. In addition, low porosity hair has fewer negative charges to absorb conditioners and other positively charged ingredients hence it is more susceptible to product build-up.
- Avoid Heavy Products
If you have low porosity hair, it’ll be best to stop using styling products that are heavy such as shampoos or conditioners that contain heavy butter and oils such as olive oil, castor oil, or shea butter.
These products have a thick consistency that makes them not to be easily absorbed. They quickly accumulate on the hair surface causing product build-up that leaves your hair feeling dry or sticky.
When you use heavy products, you will notice that your hair will start feeling dry with a shiny layer of product on it. Your hair will keep going dry because the shine gives a false impression that your hair is receiving moisture when it’s not.
When dealing with low porosity hair, water-based hair products are highly recommended. This recommendation is based on the fact that these products have a thin consistency which makes them easily absorbed. Light hair products always have water as their first or second ingredient. They include hair lotions or creams.
- Avoid Silicones
Silicones are hydrophobic synthetic polymers mostly used as an ingredient in hair care products such as serums, conditioners, shampoos, and hairsprays. Silicones form a hydrophobic coating on hair strands when applied.
This coating acts as a barrier to the penetration of conditioning agents and moisture into the hair shaft. Because low porosity hair has a hard time getting and retaining moisture, it is best to use silicone-free hair products.
- Protect Hair When Sleeping
It takes a long time for low porosity hair to gain moisture, but once it is moisturized it is best to keep the moisture intact. When sleeping, cover your hair with a silk or satin cap or rather use a satin pillowcase. This is because satin helps retain the moisture in the hair, but, cotton won’t.