The term “hair porosity” is thrown around a lot these days and you may have caught yourself wondering what it is. In simple terms, hair porosity is how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture.

Even though porosity is genetic, it can be affected by external factors such as sun exposure, chemically treating your hair, and heat treatments.

Knowing your hair porosity will help you choose the products that work for your hair, keeping them well nourished, moisturized, shiny and strong.

Hair Porosity Test

You can test the porosity of your hair at home with this simple test.

Things you need:

  • a glass of water
  • a strand of your hair

After washing your hair to get rid of any product or build-up, comb to release the strands of hair that are already shedding. Take those strands and put them in the glass of water. If your hair has low porosity, the strand of your hair will float. Hair that has medium porosity will float and then slowly sink. High porosity hair will immediately sink.

Low porosity hair

A woman with dyed hair

Low porosity hair is healthy hair that is not being moisturized enough, due to which it becomes dry and tangled.


  • product build-up easily
  • water doesn’t saturate your hair easily when washing
  • takes very long for them to air dry

What can you do if you have low porosity hair?

  • Choose lighter hair products, skipping ones with protein.
  • Apply conditioner to wet hair.
  • Opt for shampoos and conditioners that have glycerin, honey, and Shea butter.
  • When conditioning your hair, apply heat (you can use a steamer, a shower cap or a heat cap).

Medium Porosity Hair:

Hair with medium porosity is the healthiest, with requiring minimal amount of maintenance.


  • easy to style and can hold them very well
  • can easily be colored
  • looks healthy and shiny
  • doesn’t take long to air dry

Occasionally deep-conditioning your hair is beneficial but shouldn’t become a regular thing.

High Hair Porosity

A woman with frizzy curls


High porosity is genetic but chemical treatments and environmental damage can lead to it as well. Hair with high porosity easily absorbs moisture but is unable to retain it for long. This leads to frizzy and tangled hair in humid weather.


  • products are quickly absorbed
  • hair breaks easily
  • frizzy and dry hair
  • doesn’t take long to air dry

What can you do if you have high porosity hair?

  • You want moisturizing ingredients in your shampoos and conditioners. Look for butters and oils.
  • Leave-in conditioners are made for you.
  • Always use a heat protector before using heat styling tools.
  • Use luke-warm water when shampooing and conditioning.

Knowing the kind of hair porosity you have can help you understand your hair better, because you’ll know how to care for your hair and will be able to manage it accordingly.

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