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The Quick Reference Guide to High Porosity Hair Care

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There's so much to love about high porosity hair. However, when it comes to caring for this unique hair type, finding the right products and techniques can be a challenge. Learning how to treat high porosity hair requires time, patience, and a commitment to learning more about your natural curls. Let's start building your high porosity hair care routine for healthy curls and brilliant style.

What Does Hair Porosity Mean and How Do I Know I Have High Porosity Hair?

A simple way to look at hair porosity is to define it as the way our hair responds to water and products. Porosity has to do with how readily moisture is absorbed and maintained by the hair follicle. Think of cuticles like roof shingles. The more densely packed, the more water is repelled off the surface. When our cuticles have more space between them, moisture is easily absorbed. The downside is that this same hydration is easily lost through the hair shaft, leading the dryness, frizz, and loss of curl pattern.

High porosity hair is like a roof with widely spaced shingles. It may be an aesthetic dream, but it can be challenging to care for. Let's review the characteristics of high porosity curls to get to know your hair's needs better.

Characteristics of High Porosity Hair

Highly porous hair is often wavy or curly and prone to frizz and tangles. This hair type is also voluminous with tightly packed curls. 4c high porosity hair is the example most commonly used to describe this hair type. However, high porosity curls can range from tight coils to loose waves. The best way to determine what porosity you're working with is by observing how your hair responds to water.

For high porosity hair, the following can be noted:

  • Your curls dry very quickly, especially when heat styled or when out in the sun.
  • Your curls absorb products such as hair color very easily. You rarely notice residue left behind on the hair shaft.
  • On wash days, your hair is instantly saturated with water under the shower.
  • Light moisturizing products don't seem to cut it when it comes to promoting shine, elasticity, and softness.
  • When you spritz water on a clean, product-free strand, the moisture is immediately absorbed.

If you still aren't certain which hair porosity you have, give the strand test a try. Take one strand of clean hair and place it in a glass of water. If the hair sinks to the bottom, this is a clear indicator that your curls absorb tons of moisture and you're working with high porosity hair.

The Best Products for High Porosity Hair

Learning how to care for high porosity hair can transform your natural curl care routine. Many use the LCO method to keep their high porosity vibrant. LCO stands for leave-in conditioner, cream, and oil in that order. Experts have found that this is the most effective way to care for high porosity hair. 

Conditioner

Choose a good leave-in conditioner for high porosity curls. You'll want to focus on ingredients that maximize moisture retention. This means no sulfates, parabens, or harsh additives. A few of our favorite conditioners for high porosity hair include Cantu Hydrating Cream Conditioner With Shea Butter, Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner with Protein, and EDEN BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner.

Cream

Highly porous curly hair can retain shape by implementing styling cream. Look for a sculpting product designed to hold as well as nourish. Coconut oil-based creams are a go-to in the natural hair community for their lightweight, yet resilient hold.

Oil

Natural is your best option and also the most cost-effective for savvy beauty gurus. We recommend argan oil, jojoba oil, or essential rose oil to seal your ends after conditioning. This prevents moisture from escaping and boosts water retention. You'll notice softer, more elastic curls shortly after implementing this tried-and-true style routine.

Treatments

Protein treatments are also a great addition to a high porosity hair care routine. You may have heard of keratin as one of the best-strengthening ingredients for natural curls. Keratin is the protein found in healthy hair and nails. As high porosity hair is prone to breakage, a keratin treatment can boost resilience, strengthen the hair shaft to prevent moisture escape, and promote new hair growth. Strengthening products also help restructure the cuticle to promote balance. Schedule a salon day as a treat to yourself and your curls for a monthly keratin conditioning treatment.

Scalp Care

Last but not least, prioritize scalp care in your routine. Many times, we over-focus on our curls, but forget to pay attention to the scalp and cuticle. A healthy scalp is the foundation of new hair growth. Strengthening the root will ultimately make our curls more resilient to stress such as dryness, frizz, and brittleness. Try implementing a scalp massage on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. A hydrating scalp treatment can promote new cell growth while exfoliating your scalp. This aids in restructuring the cuticle to prioritize strength, elasticity, and health. You might also try a steam treatment during wash days. Many report that steam treatments are not only amazing for scalp health but leave their curls feeling softer and more relaxed.

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High Porosity Hair Tips and Tricks

The more practice you get on how to treat high porosity hair, the more you can refine your routine to incorporate tips and tricks that work best for you. Let's start with some go-to strategies for healthier hair.

Wavy and curly hair is especially sensitive to heat. The goal of treating high porosity hair is the minimize dryness. Lowering the heat can help your hair retain hydration. RevAir's unique reverse air hairdryer styles, stretch and smooths hair without the intense heat of traditional devices. Our heat setting is designed to protect sensitive cuticles while styling hair half the time. Learn more about how to use RevAir on Type 4 curls and other textures.

Have a strategy in mind when adding product to high porosity hair. The most effective way to use a product is by layering. Because highly porous natural hair is so dense, you can rotate using conditioner, cream, and oil as outlined above without fear of your hair becoming too greasy. You'll find that naturally porous hair absorbs product readily. Many like to use a serum for an added layer of protection to seal the cuticle and give your curls an extra shine.

Schedules are important for high porosity hair. That means wash days should be planned accordingly to give your curls a break between treatments. If you've ever noticed that your hair feels drier after frequent washing, this is because water is being lost as quickly as it's entering the hair follicle. To prevent excess stress, get your hair on a rotation that works for your schedule. 

How Often Should You Wash High Porosity Hair?

Well, the most effective healthy hair routines allow for a gap between washes of 4-5 days to one full week. In between, you can co-wash your hair using only conditioner to keep it healthy. If you live an active lifestyle, there are a few tricks to keeping your curls fresh. Always carry a spray bottle of DIY refresh serum to touch up your hair after a workout. Coconut oil, aloe, and a spritz of your favorite essential oil are a great combination. Protective styles are also an excellent way to protect your natural curls without sacrificing your look.

Seasonality is a primary concern for high porosity hair. The winter months are especially damaging as environmental dryness leads to extra brittle hair, shedding, and frizz. It is especially important to minimize heat during this time. In addition to reducing heat styling, you can lessen the stress on your curls by adding an air purifier to your home. This will counteract the dry indoor heating known for aggravating frizz and breakage. Consider swapping out your pillowcase with a frizz-resistant silk alternative or wrap your hair before bed.

High porosity hair is among the most stunning hair types. The texture, the volume, the curl shape -- this hair has it all. Learning to care for your curls empowers you to love your hair even more when it's at its healthiest and most radiant. The RevAir team has compiled the best products, tips, and tricks from our community to make your natural hair care journey a little less tangled. 

What are your go-to care tips for high porosity hair? Connect with us and share your natural curl story. Our team is just a chat away for all of your RevAir needs.

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