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What Type of Hair Porosity Do I Have?

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What’s all this about hair porosity? It’s pretty simple: porous hair depends on cuticle spacing. The way your cuticles are spaced (close together or far apart) affects how well oils and moisture pass in and out of your hair.

There are three types of porosity: low, medium and high. But what does it all mean?

How to test hair porosity

To test your hair's porosity, try dropping a strand into some water. If it sinks slowly, your porosity levels are normal. If it sinks straight to the bottom, you have high porosity hair. If it floats, you have low-porosity hair.

Or, just do the spray test. Spritz some water onto dry hair. How fast does the moisture sink in? If they suck it up like a sponge, you’ve got high-porosity hair. If the water sits on top of your strands for longer, then you likely have low-porosity hair.

What is low porosity hair?

Low porosity hair has tightly packed cuticles that don't let water and other substances through.

The routine depends on texture. Curly, kinky, and coily hair is naturally drier than straight strands, which means that curlies need to focus on the right moisturising in their routines – they can't use heavy products that don't absorb into the hair shaft.

What is medium porosity hair?

Medium porosity hair has cuticle scales that are open at the ends, but not fully open like high porosity hair. The cuticles allow for moisture to enter the cortex easily.

For you medium porosity people out there, you'll need to reinforce your mane and nourish it with deep reconstruction. Look for shampoos, conditioners and oils that will ensure your oily glands are under control, rebuild your hair and reinforce its natural protective layer.

What is high porosity hair?

High-porosity hair sounds like it would be great, but it's not. The cuticle has large gaps and moisture can enter without issue, but the hair is unable to retain the moisture that gets in.

Your high porosity hair means that it’s full of tiny gaps between the cuticles. This makes your hair more susceptible to absorbing oil and product, but also causes it to dry out faster if you use too much heat or harsh products. Gotta find that happy medium.

Now that you’re enlightened on hair porosity, tailor your routine for those cuticles!


Take our quiz to get a free scientific debrief of your hair type and personalized list of products.

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