Natural Hair 101: Hair Porosity

Welcome back to another week of wellness. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you prefer videos to reading.

Sometime last month, we made a video about how to properly moisturize the hair and skin where we received a lot of feedback requesting more natural hair tips, so here we are. SO many of our people still don't know how to properly care for their hair whether it be they were just never taught, or the things they've seen on the internet were not catered to their specific hair type. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ONE SIZE FITS ALL! Coconut oil is not for every "black" person's hair! And that's perfectly okay!

The very first step to make on your natural hair journey, male or female, is to know what your hair porosity is.

Porosity means porous and essentially refers to how tightly your hair shaft is shut/the amount of pores or "holes" you naturally have in your hair strands. Having low porosity hair means that your hair shafts are very tightly shut/you do not have a lot of pores or "holes" in your hair strands which makes it harder for water, oils and other products to penetrate it. Having high porosity hair means that your hair shafts are very open/you have an abundance of pores or holes in your hair strands which can make it hard for water, oils, and other products to stay in your hair because of how freely these things can move out. Having medium porosity hair means you are essentially in the middle; the amount of pores/holes in your hair strands is optimum for product penetration and retention. 

Why is this important?


A common product you can find almost any "black" youtuber or social media user putting in their hair is coconut oil. Coconut oil is a very fatty and essentially thick oil with a comedogenic rating of 4 out of 5. The comedogenic scale tells how likely an oil is to clog the pores of the skin, but can be used as a guide for hair products based on porosity. With that being said, someone with low porosity hair would not benefit AT ALL from using coconut oil in their hair because it is too thick to penetrate the hair follicle. The oil would just sit on top of the strands and it'd still be dry. People with high porosity hair should opt for heavier oils and butters since the amount of pores in their strands is so high that retaining products is difficult; heavier products are less likely to leave the hair strands quickly allowing their hair to stay moisturized longer. On the other hand, those with low porosity hair should stick to lightweight oils and avoid butters altogether because of how tightly shut their hair strands are. The lighter oils can better penetrate the hair shaft and provide lasting moisture.

Oils for low porosity hair include but are not limited to:

Almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot oil, argan oil

Oils for high porosity hair include but are not limited to:

Coconut oil, avocado oil, castor oil, olive oil

Medium porosity oils fall anywhere in between.

How to Determine your Hair Porosity:

1. Start on freshly washed hair with NO PRODUCTS ADDED.

2. Find a glass cup or jar and fill it with room temperature water. Make sure the container is transparent, you'll need to be able to see inside of it.

3. Take one strand of your clean hair and put it in the water. WATCH YOUR HAIR STRAND TO SEE WHAT IT DOES. 

If your hair strand quickly sinks towards the bottom of the container, you have high porosity hair. It being highly porous allows the water to pass through it quickly, causing it to sink at a rapid pace.

If your hair strand is partially submerged in the water and appears to be sinking slowly, you have medium porosity hair. As stated before, your hair shaft is open enough to allow water/product penetration (which is why it went under water), yet still closed enough that the water wouldn't just run right through it (hence it being partially submerged at a constant pace vs quickly sinking to the bottom).

If your hair strand sits on top of the water and doesn't seem to go under at all, you have low porosity hair. The tightness of the hair shaft/lack of pores makes it hard for the water to get in, so the hair sits on top. Heat works WONDERS for low porosity hair because it helps to open up the hair shaft and allow more water in. Things like hot oil treatments and deep conditioning with a shower cap/plastic bag under a dryer are go-to's. 

Once you have determined your hair porosity, you can begin to do more personal research (as always) and test out the different oils suited to your hair porosity. Go for PURE OILS. 10/10 the oils in the beauty supply are diluted oils with 85% chemical garbage. Don't believe me? Read the back of the bottle.

A perfect place to start is right here on! Although mostly advertised as body oils, our PURE oils are suitable for multiple uses! Our Triple A Body Oil is a blend of almond, argan, and apricot oils, an IDEAL combo for low porosity hair. Our seasonal Coconut Oil is a great place for high porosity hair people to start. Our Black Magic Beard and Hair Conditioning Oil would work great as a scalp oil for all hair porosities due to its jojoba oil content (jojoba oil most closely mimics the skin's natural oil called sebum), but is more suited for the hair strands of those with high porosity hair due to the castor oil content. 

Did you learn something new? Comment what your hair porosity is down below!!


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