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Proper Hair Care Routine For High Porosity Hair

Written by Millennial In debt on July 23, 2015

Natural hair is a journey. I don't label it as hard or easy, but it is certainly a journey in which you must learn your hair in order to adapt to its needs. When you have figured that out, or understood what is required for a successful hair journey by your standards, then caring for your natural hair will become a lot easier for you. Just yesterday we spoke about products needed to make your hair care regimen a success if you have hair that is considered highly porous. It is crucial and beneficial to have a proper hair care routine for high porosity hair or you will find your self dealing with a whole new slew of issues in regards to damage, breakage and much more. Why?

The pororisty of your hair refers to your hair's ability to abosrb moisture and retain it that moisture.

If your hair is categorized as ‘High Porosity’, it means your hair absorbs moisture very easily/quickly because your cuticle is raised. It is possible to absorb too much moisture, as well as lose that moisture quickly. This is usually a sign of highly dry or damaged hair that breaks off and sheds very frequently.  hair. One of the characteristics of high porosity hair, is it lacks shine, lustre.

If your hair is categorized as ‘Low Porosity’ your hair is very resistant to absorbing moisture and you find yourself with loads of buildup because products are simply sitting on your hair. The cuticle of your low porosity hair is very closely compact. Once you do moisturize however your hair is able to retain this moisture for quite some time. While this may seem like a great thing low porosity hair often lacks elasticity therefore can also be suceptible to breakgae.

So let's dive into what the necessities are for a proper hair care routine for high porosity hair.

Proper Hair Care Routine For High porosity Hair

1. Deep Condition: I think you should be deep conditioning with any hair type or texture of natural hair because it is just that important of a step in your hair care regimen. However when you have high porosity hair it is especially important to properly moisturize and seal with an effective moisture based deep conditioner. The heavier kind if better in this instance. Make sure to rinse the hair with cold water to help "close" the cortex of the hair as much as possible/

2. Avoid Heat: In most instances high porosity hair has experienced some form of trauma that has caused the cuticle to drastically open and remain opened. Either your hair has been damaged by heat, or chemicals and adding heat will only make the situation worse. You will have to deal with immense amounts of dryness and further damaging of the hair. There are many heat free alternatives to straightening and curling your hair that you should look into before grabbing the curling or flat iron.

3. Detangle frequently & gently: Because your cuticle remains open you are susceptible to loads of tangles. The best thing when dealing with hair that becomes detangled and is highly porous is to invest in a really great detangler and your fingers! Gently detangling is crucial with highly porous hair because you don't want to cause any more damage or breakage. I suggest using a thick conditioner with great slip and adding in olive or coconut oil to help you with the process.

4. Protein Treatments: Your hair needs protein but with high porosity hair you need more protein because so much of it escapes easily along side the moisture. Frequent protein treatments will help strengthen your hair and limit/decrease shedding/breakage. I suggest using a protein treatment once a month if it is a weak or mild protein treatment. For stronger protein treatments (such as the ApHogee protein treatment) I suggest treatments every 6-8 weeks.

5. Heavier products: I mentioned it a bit earlier but I'll reiterate my point. With highly porous hair lighter products will not be as effective in maintaining or balancing proper moisture or protein levels in your hair. When shopping for products for high porosity hair go for the products labeled butters, cremes, and puddings. These will help to add the moisture you need to your hair, and seal with a nice heavy oil such as Coconut, Avocado or Olive oil.

6. Anti Humectants: Besides heavier products you want to also use anti humectants in your hair (especially if you live in a very humid climate). Aloe Vera gel/ juice will become your best friend as a woman dealign with high porosity hair. Check for products that possess Aloe in them to serve as anti humectants when you step out into the environment.

Do you have high porosity hair? If so how do you deal/manage it? Leave your thoughts/comments below!

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Hey there! I'm Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I'm busy teaching the future of society.
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  1. thanks so much for your information. I do find that heavy stuff works best. The average length time is about 3 good days. I usually do not get more than that. When I use a deep thick conditioner, I do find that I need to use my oil, however, I have noticed that is disappears by the time I get to the other side of my head. lol. I still rinse anyway. When I rinse, it feels a little dry again. Not too bad, but drier than it did before I rinsed it out. you think I should leave the deep condition and oil in my hair since it has absorbed already?


  2. Thank you soooooooooo much, I've tried almost everything for my hair and its still breaking. I'm also transitioning from relaxed to natural. I'll be using your tips ASAP. I live in Texas so I definitely need help. PLEASE tell me more.

    1. If you live in Texas, you definitely want to use anti-humectants. I have family who live in Houston so I know it can get really humid there. The moisture in the air will make your hair frizzy, matted and tangled. Castor oil is also a humectant so watch out for products that contain castor oil. I found that out the hard way. It was really hot where live and the dew point was moderate. But, my hair became matted and tangled and sweaty. This wasn't normal for my hair. After looking at all the products I put in my hair, I noticed that I used castor oil, which is an oil I use in the Winter since it is a heavy oil. I googled Castor oil and found that it is a humectant.

  3. Two words sisters, castor oil. It's works a dream in my 4c hair. When I had box braids in I'd dab a bit of water around my edges and then add some castor oil ontop daily, and I'd do the same on my scalp and along the base of my braids every second or third day. My hair was sooo much softer, stronger and longer by the time i removed the braids three months later.
    Also I have protein sensitive hair and I find that coconut oil gives my hair a wiry/burnt feeling so I tend to stay away from it.

  4. I live on cold London with a 3b 3c 4a high porosity hair texture, and my first point is that, i was born like this . Its not as a result of heat damage or anything its genetic . Its annoying and hurtful seeing repeatedly that my hair type is a result of damage, when for a lot of women that is not the case. I feel this just needs yo be acknowledged by our writers, so that if it is you natural hair type that you don't feel less than and outcasted by our hair society .
    Secondly i find a mix of Castor, Jbco, sweet almond , avocado and olive oli are my staple oils of choice i mix 3 with bottled water (london has hard water) and glycerin or aloe vera juice with a shea butter cream and use as a daily spray. Finger detangling and ACV rinces with cold water are a must . Consistancy is my downfall in my hair routine but i know my hair responds well to it. Pre poos help with detangling ,Deep conditioning and protein treatments also help. When i can fit them .
    Trying not to use 100.000 products on my hair is a special kind of problem for me but cream of nature , cantu shea butter range and shea mositure seem to be doing the trick .

    1. Will protein treatments be effective enough if rinsed with warm water instead of cool? Trying to get a handle on my 4 year olds extremely porous hair and am doubtful the cool water will go down very well lol. Also, what's the census on grape seed oil? I just ordered a bottle the other day because I've read it works very well.

    2. Sora said: "Its annoying and hurtful seeing repeatedly that my hair type is a result of damage, when for a lot of women that is not the case."

      Thank you for that, because it is exactly how I feel. Hurt and demoralized that people say my hair type is because of damage. Mine is EXTREMELY porous and very rigid 4C. I wish I could give someone with my hair type some tips. But, frankly, nothing I've tried in this 5 year journey has ever worked to retain length or prevent breakage. My hair has been 5 inches long for 5 years--and not because I want it that way.

    3. I live in the UK too and like you have high porosity hair (3c/4a). I have to cleanse my hair weekly otherwise my hair starts to beg for water... I must detangle with a conditioner that has lots of slip beforehand (Herbal Essences Naked) otherwise I'm in trouble. I deep condition weekly with heat. The only products I use are Design Essentials Natural as this is the only line I've found that my hair truly loves for the moment (glycerine is almost always in the top 3 ingredients). I do protein treatments when my hair tells me. JBCO is a favourite also for daily moisture I use Aloe Vera juice with Glycerine spray which my hair loves. I've found over the last 6 months that sticking to a routine and products that my hair responds to is key plus I try and trim my ends when needed. Finding what works has finally saved me a ton of money...

      1. Where do you get the aloe vera juice with glycerin spray please. Do you use any gel or mousse? Is your hair curly or wavy?

    4. I agree with you when you say your hair isnt damaged. I have high porosity hair, I did a big chop...all off and started over because I was told that high porosity hair is damaged hair. I took care and my hair is going very quickly and I tested it again and it's still high porosity....I'm sure it's not damaged because I went to a salon to get it checked. He said it was very healthy and that I didnt even need my ends clipped at that time. Please stop saying that all high porosity hair is damaged, cause its not.

  5. Hi my name is Joyce Williams, I've been natural for 10 mo this now,I've done the 7day mhm,now I'm just finding out I have high porous hair,now I've learned I need to do leave in conditioners,deep conditioners,an proteins,now what I need to know in what order I need to do this process ,how often an what brans I need to use I'm confused! Please help me

    1. Deep conditioner with heat after you cleansed your hair, leave in conditioner when your styling (after you've washed out the deep conditioner using the LCO method Liquid, Cream and then Oil. I've found this way works better for me personally rather than LOC). Protein treatments when your hair feels a bit mushy or limp. Hope this helps ❤

  6. I had natural hair,and I start perm in march it was nice and thick and healthy
    Now it starting to thinning and sheds
    I get my hair done twice a month
    And they do deep conditioning
    I need help
    Should I buy products to for my hair
    I hope and pray u could help

  7. Last year I did a giant chop to find relief from over older damaged brittle hair. I kept asking and looking for answers to why my hair was so different from when I was younger. The short of it, high porosity hair because of the damage from color.

    Now after a big hair cut and lots of research on dryness, I’ve been using a rotation of humectants and oils. Aloe Vera, coconut or castor or olive oil and water. There’s a bib big improvement in curl definitional the way to the ends! And of course cold water or acv rinses from time to time. But i have yet to try Shea or argon but I’m looking forward to them.

    Thanks for this contribution to the conversation on haircare it’s a great conversation and so many different ways for as many types and kinds of hair!

  8. Just starting on my natural hair journey and can use all the information because my hair is extremely dry thank you!

  9. Thank you so much, now I understand my hair better. I started off washing my hair in cold water than change to hot water and my hair get so stiff. Now I know what products to use and how to use them. I really appreciate this information, thanks a million.

  10. Thanks so much! I've forgotten the importance of using the heavier oils on 4c hair. I use babassu oil and black Jamaican castor oil interchangeably. My 2-3 hour regimen begins with (1) using a pre-conditioning treatment of honey, mayo, pure baking soda (from the health food store), and black Jamaican castor oil on my damp hair (I do this once a week). I leave it on for at least an hour or longer. (2) I use a co-wash and then a hair mask for 5 minutes. (3) I finish with a LCO. After this whole process, I do notice the increased level of moisture. It would be crazy if I didn't, right! The results are amazing only for a day or two. I'm going to incorporate another pre-conditioning treatment of aloe vera and neem oil to see if it will extend the moisture life of 3-4 days. I'll get it right eventually.

  11. I just found out that I have a high porosity hair. This lack of knowledge has caused me to loose so much hair and would like to know if I will get my volume back once I use your suggestion to take good care of my hair? How often should I wash my hair? I have a very fine strand of hair with very high porosity.

  12. I have learned more since I read this article. I'm natural. 1 year and 4 hair eats up products I put on my hair....since reading have taught me more how to maintain this dryness. Thanks

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