Source: Huffington Post
As much as we try to deny it, natural hair is a science. People throw around terms like PH, dew points, and porosity on the regular. My hair has low porosity. [Yes, one of those scientific terms, again.] And understanding porosity was a major breakthrough in my hair regimen.
Read More About Porosity
What is low porosity hair? Low porosity is when your hair cuticle layer is tightly-bound and closed. For this reason, it is very difficult to get moisture into the hair. But once it is moisturized properly, it holds moisture really well. To test for porosity, place a shed hair into a glass of still water. If your hair has low porosity, it will float for a long time. If your porosity is high, it will sink pretty fast. The higher the porosity, the faster it will sink. (Read How To Treat High Porosity) Keeping this in mind, think how this affects how you moisturize your hair. If you have low porosity hair ( and water is the key to moisture), but your hair doesn’t absorb water quickly. Then imagine what that means for your hair regimen.
When your hair has low porosity, the key to moisturizing your hair is to help your hair absorb water. With that in mind, here are some tips for moisturizing low porosity hair.
Condition with Heat
There is a lot of contradicting information on the web concerning deep conditioning. Some say that heat is not required. But if you have low porosity hair, heat is your best friend. Heat helps to open up your hair shaft and absorb all of the “luscious goodness” in your hair conditioner. Remember your cuticle layers are pretty closed, so they need some assistance. So deep condition under a dryer or steamer. You can also use your own body heat by keeping the conditioner longer than the recommended 15-30 minutes. (I personally, exercise with the conditioner cap on….since I condition my hair before washing.)
Steam Your Hair
If you hair feels dry between washes, refrain from simply layering on product. (It will simply lay on top of your hair and cause buildup.) Instead, try steaming your hair. There are hand steamers like the Q-Redew Hand Held Steamer and traditional steamers like the popular Huetiful Hair Steamer. Or you can opt for the the free option of steaming your hair in the shower –my personal favorite. You can also try lightly spritzing your hair with water and baggying overnight. Once your hair cuticles are ready to receive the product, go ahead and add your favorite moisturizers.
Clarify Your Hair
Co-washing is very popular in the natural hair community. And although it removes surface dirt, your still need to shampoo your hair. You can determine how often — once a week, once a month — but a good ‘ol lather never hurt anyone. When necessary, a clarifying wash may be on the menu. I once went on an anti-shampoo rampage for about 6 weeks. By the end of the 6 weeks, my scalp itched horribly, and my hair was limp and dull from all of the buildup. (My hair was not absorbing any of the moisture; the products were just sitting on top of my hair.) I promptly clarified my hair with a Bentonite Clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera Juice mixture and my hair’s shine and bounce was restored. Moral of the story. Shampoo or Clarify your hair.
Long story, short… the key to moisturizing low porosity hair is to use heat, avoid product buildup, and shampoo your hair. Low porosity. Simplified.
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