Last week, I received this great question from one of my email subscribers, Stacey. Make sure you sign up for my weekly newsletter here.
I have lo-po hair. Is it good for people with lo-po hair to use protein conditioners?
What is lo-po hair? What does low porosity hair mean?
When I first read this question, I was like “huh”?
I’m a 10-Year natural hair veteran so when I see lo-po, I automatically think of lo-poo or low shampoo. Low shampoo refers to using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo. This could be a non-sudsy shampoo or creamy cleanser.
Everyone should be using a sulfate-free shampoo for their natural hair.
Here’s a shortlist of my favorite moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo:
In this case, Stacey was referring to low porosity hair.
Before I answer this question, let’s break it down and what it means. Hair porosity is a crucial part of identifying your hair type.
Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. If you have high porosity, you will need products that close the hair cuticles in order to reduce water or moisture loss.
For low porosity, you’ll need products that do the opposite; open the hair’s cuticle. You should use products with a higher pH or that are more basic (alkaline) to open the hair cuticle. This way the hair can absorb moisture.
But it’s important to remember once the cuticle has been open that you have to seal it with a pH balancing leave-in conditioner.
Why It Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Using Protein-Based Products?
Again porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
High porosity hair absorbs water very fast but also losses it just as fast. The best way to repair high porosity hair or decrease your hair’s porosity is by using a protein-based product to repair the hair’s cuticle and fills the gaps that allow moisture to escape.
Low porosity hair has a smooth, tight hair cuticle which is the outermost part of the hair. It prevents moisture for leaving and entering the hair.
Although the hair cuticle is healthy and prevents loss of moisture, the inner structure of the hair can be protein deficient which results in weak hair that breaks easily.
Both high and low porosity hair need protein to remain strong, healthy, and balanced. This is where protein-moisture balance comes into play.
The importance of protein conditioners
Protein is the building block of hair. It comprises the hair’s internal structure and it holds onto water molecules.
You can have low porosity hair that is weak and protein deficient.
In conclusion, regardless of your hair’s porosity you need to use a protein treatment! Everyone needs proteins.
Proteins are lost during regular hair maintenance like combing, shampooing and styling. It’s best to replenish the hair every 4-6 weeks by using a protein treatment or deep conditioners. Low porosity can loss proteins overtime. This is the same for high porosity hair, in addition, to protein-based deep conditioners improving the overall porosity.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites protein-based deep conditioners.
Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
Giovanni – Smooth as Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion
Queen Helene Cholesterol Cream