My Regimen for High Porosity Hair

Posted on: December 11, 2012

Hey Curlfriends!

So, as you may already know, I have high porosity hair. I’ve heard different theories on why/how hair becomes porous. For me, I don’t believe my hair is porous due to damage because I don’t really use heat, color, combs/brushes, etc. on my hair. So, I could be wrong, but I believe my hair is naturally porous.

If your hair is porous or anything like mine, you FLY through conditioners, your hair soaks up product almost instantly, and you have to moisturized often. Here are some ways I take care of my hair as well as things I’ve learned about porous hair.

1. My hair LOVES protein. When hair is porous, it often has little nooks or cracks in the hair shaft. While it’s not a permanent fix, protein fills those cracks in the hair shaft. I know many curlies are protein sensitive and too much protein makes their hair dry or brittle or straw-like. Personally, I have NEVER had that problem with protein..ever. Lol. My hair has never had an adverse reaction to protein, I use it quite often and my hair always reacts very well to it.

2. DEEP CONDITION OFTEN! Some people probably think I overdo it, but I deep condition with EVERY single wash, which is typically once a week for me. I wash or cowash my hair, and apply my deep conditioner of choice (most often I use a protein DC) to clean hair. Because my hair soaks up so much product, I’m pretty heavy handed to be sure each section is coated with the product. I always leave in the deep conditioner overnight (sometimes for 2 nights), which gives it time to really soak into my hair and my hair can really marinate in it.

3. I NEVER apply product to soaking wet hair. I did some experimenting and realized several months ago that there was a better way to apply product to my hair. I’ve found that a lot of “natural hair advice” that some people relay as FACT, is not what works for my hair! We really have to get to know our hair! Anyway, I read some research that talked about highly porous hair getting weighed down with water. So, in my own head, I theorized that if my hair strands are full of water, how can they absorb the moisture from the conditioner I’m applying? (I’m not a scientist, this is just my amateur reasoning lol). So, I stopped applying product to soaking wet hair and started squeezing as much water out of my hair as possible with cotton fabric (I use a pillowcase) before applying my leave-in or deep conditioner. This has actually done WONDERS for my hair–it’s not crunchy, is more moisturized, and just behaves better! For me, applying product to soaking wet hair ALWAYS resulted in crunchy hair. No bueno.

4. Beware of drying products/ingredients! Because my hair is already prone to dryness, I’m very careful about the ingredients I use. For example, I stay away from sulfate shampoos. My hair is a dry, stringy, ball of fuzz when I use a sulfate. Horrible. I mostly cowash with something like Shea Moisture curl & shine shampoo, As I Am coconut cowash, or most recently Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp conditioner. I love to use these kinds of moisturizing cowashes that don’t strip my hair.
Now, because I don’t like to use sulfates, I’m careful not to use products that require a sulfate to remove the residue from my hair. For example, silicones and mineral oil have to be removed from your hair with a sulfate. So, I stay away from products with those ingredients. Not to mention, most products I’ve tried with those ingredients dry my hair out anyway.

5. Layering products. I’m horrible at styling hair, so I mostly wear wash and gos. I’ve found that I HAVE to layer products in sections in order to ensure my hair is moisturized. After squeezing as much water from my hair as possible, I take my hair section by section and apply 2 leave-ins and a butter/pomade/gel to seal. If I don’t layer at least these 3 things, my hair is a dry, crunchy MESS.

High porosity hair is already prone to dryness, so taking EXTRA good care of your hair is so necessary! Hope this helps. If there’s anything I’ve missed, leave a comment/question and I’ll be sure to get back to you! šŸ™‚

Til next time!


26 Responses to "My Regimen for High Porosity Hair"

Very nice article. I had high porosity hair but i did some deep research and actually gathered ALL of this information to get past it. It would have been easier if I could have just found an article like this lol

Grrrrl, we must be hair twins? LOL! I too am natural and I’ve heard the stories passed on as fact about how hair becomes porous. But the thing is I use NO heat whatsoever and I know my hair is porous. Here is why……my hair will not and I repeat will not absorb ANY kind of conditioner unless I use Nexxus Emergencee first. I wash ever other day and I use Emergencee with every wash despite the instructions stating to use it every 2 weeks. My hair loves this stuff and conditioners won’t absorb without it. I have never had a problem. My hair retains length, hardly no breakage and no tangling. If I try to condition without Emergencee, here comes the conditioner that slides right off after rinsing with absolutely no absorption and the matting and tangles come in hard. I have lost lots of hair trying to find the right conditioner over the years and little did I know all I needed was some protein.

Lol maybe we are hair twins! That’s crazy. I’ve never tried that Nexxus product, maybe I should try it!

My hair must be porous. Igr us prone to breakage for no good reason. Something may work great on my hair once and next time I use it I have hair all over my hands and house. Protein seems to make my hair break too. Sometimes I just wanna shave it but I dont have the head/face for short hair.

Thank you for the advice. I had no idea how to start. My last wash day left my hair crunch and I’m tired of it!

my girlfriend has high porosity hair too, so I showed her this article. Funny that you say that you do not put product into soaking wet hair and it worked wonders for you. I find that the only way my hair will not turn frizzy and for the product to work best is if I apply it to my hair when it is at least damp and I would tell my girlfriend to use the same technique. But, after reading this, she now applies it to her soaking wet hair and she loves the difference! Definitely would suggest that tip to anyone with high porosity hair too.

I really wish “they” would stop saying that porous hair is damaged hair. I am one year post relaxer and five months post bc, I have not used any heat in that year. There is no way my hair is damaged, it’s all new hair. My hair is highly porous, I did a porosity test and my strands sunk like a rock.

Agreed! My hair has always been porous and I’m careful to take good care of it.

wow! I would really like to test out this regimen and see if it works for me. i’m tired of buying the wrong products i should have been doing more research smh. thanks so much for this article i’m going to favorite it on my browser so i can come back to it later.

Yes! The right products make such a big difference! Thanks for reading šŸ™‚

Great article. The first I’ve found about porous hair. My hair is also porous & since 10/2012 (my BC date), I have NEVER USED heat. So that theory about porous hair being damaged is nonsense! I will try applying my products to damp hair instead of soaking wet. My hair doesn’t care too much for protein. But I found hydrolyzed wheat & vegetable proteins work just fine for my hair and are super moisturizing. Now I have to find a way to stop the split ends. The more I cut, the more my hair splits. I don’t get it šŸ˜¦

Aw yeah, split ends can be a beast! I also hate the assumption that porous hair is unhealthy or damaged. My hair is healthy..just porous! lol. Thanks for reading šŸ™‚

Looked like you have disappeared from the internet so not sure if you will actually see this but just wanted to say thank you. Your amateur reasoning is just superb.
My hair has always looked dry. Despite not owning a hair dryer, despite always co washing. I just started using coconut oil and put up with the lankiness. Using a protein conditioner and taking out most of the moisture makes a huge difference. The first product I ever used from John Frieda said to do this and I did that always.
I found your blog late one night and decided to try and my curls are just popping! Thank you, thank you. I know it’s just hair but it means so much to me. Thank you, you sweet angel of hair.

I did low-key disappear but comments like this make me want to make a comeback lol. THANK YOU for taking the time to comment. I’m so glad I could help!

Oh my God, where has this article been these past 9 yrs of my failed natural hair journey!

Every single thing you mentioned sounds like my hair. šŸ˜©šŸ˜©šŸ˜© My hair is not damaged or color treated, its just naturally porous. My hair loves hair mayonnaise. Its supposed to be used every four weeks. But I find my hair loves to use it every couple of days. ( I run a small amount through my strands as a leave in. It’s not heavy, I buy the organics brand.)

Oooh mayonnaise, I’ve never used that before. I’ll have to try it. Thanks!

I’m still having trouble taking care of my hair. I don’t know what products to use. I’ve just learned that I have high porosity hair. My hair is always dry, so I cant really rock the styles I want. I don’t know how often I should shampoo, deep condition, or give myself a protein treatment. Any more helpful suggestions?

Thanks for the article. I have high porosity hair as well due to permanent hair color. However, before I figured this out, I tried the MHM (Maximum Hydration Method) and found it to be a horrific experience for my hair. After some research and doing the porosity test, I have found that baking soda opens the hair cuticle layer and leaves it open, which is bad if you already have high porosity hair; so skip the baking soda if doing the MHM. With that said, if you are using products with baking soda in them, then that could result in high porosity hair as opposed to damage done by heat, permanent hair color, and chemicals. Hope this helps.

Very good article, thanks for sharing!

What do you do at night time on non-wash days when you don’t condition? Do you just wrap it up or apply a moisturizer? I am having the hardest time figuring out what to do at night on non-wash days before bed. My hair is so dry by the morning. Thank you šŸ˜Š

Sorry, I meant to say when you don’t DEEP condition what do you do at night.

I am so late! I’m sorry lol. On non-wash days I usually would just throw my bonnet on and have to re-style it in the morning. I tried a bunch of different methods to keep the curls in tact, but NOTHING worked (banding, pineapple, nothing). So I gave up lol. So on days when I was wearing a wash and go, I would just get up in the morning, dampen it, add some kind of moisturizer or conditioner and finger comb through my hair to freshen it up. It’s a pain to do it every morning, but I couldn’t figure out any other way!

I can’t figure out if I’m low or high porosity. I did the water test on clean strands many times, some strands float and some sink. I’ve been doing low porosity methods for a few years because I assumed I was low porosity because m hair was dry all the time but after studying recently I realized 2 things, 1. my hair matts and tangles like crazy! 2. It takes in water quickly but also dries out quickly and is usually very dry and brittle but luckily it is growing like crazy and I don’t suffer from breakage. I think i’m leaning more towards high porosity hair. I was about to stop all protein because I just knew it was the culprit but I guess I need it now. I’m so disappointed that i may have high porosity hair. The natural community always refers to it as “damaged” hair! Stop it. Many do not have damaged hair, they were born with it.

Very true – high porosity doesn’t mean your hair is “damaged”! I don’t use heat often (MAYBE once a year), moisturize and deep condition frequently and it’s still high porosity! I agree, it sounds like your may be high porosity. Did you try the strand test on completely clean hair? My hair takes in water quickly and dries out quickly and I have to fight to keep it moisturized. The struggle!

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