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Hair Porosity: An Easy Guide to Understanding Your Hair

Do you struggle with keeping your hair moisturized? Or maybe your hair is perpetually in a state of tangles or frizz. Whatever the case is, learning your hair’s porosity type can help you assess the health of your hair and learn what products and methods work best for your hair type. So if you’re trying to get your curls poppin’, understanding your hair’s porosity is critical. 

What is hair porosity? 

The word ‘porosity’ is tossed around in the natural hair community a lot, but what does it actually mean? It’s simple! Porosity indicates how much your hair can retain and absorb moisture, and there are three types: low porosity, normal porosity, and high porosity hair. The lower the porosity, the harder it is for water to penetrate the hair. 

Low porosity hair has very tightly bound cuticles, normal porosity has slightly looser cuticles, and high porosity hair has wide spread-out cuticles. 

How do I figure out my hair’s porosity? 

You’re probably desperate to figure out your type, so here’s how you can test your hair at home. First, pour a glass of water (don’t drink it!) and pull out a strand of your hair. Now drop it into the glass of water, and watch. Low porosity hair will float, normal porosity hair will float and then sink slowly, and high porosity hair will sink quickly. 

Recommendations for each porosity type 

Now that you know your hair’s porosity, you can learn how to moisturize your hair correctly. First, let’s start with low porosity hair. Despite common misconceptions, this is actually the healthiest porosity type. Those with this hair type should focus on avoiding build-up and using oils to promote moisture retention. Recommendations include: 

    • Avoid protein-rich deep conditioners 
    • Prepoo (pre-shampoo) the hair using light oils such as avocado oils 
    • Wash hair weekly 

Next up is medium porosity hair. You guys with this hair type are blessed with needing little maintenance to keep the hair moisturized. However, you should be slow to color or chemically process your hair, as it can raise its porosity level. Here are some tips for this easy-to-care-for hair type: 

    • Occasionally deep condition with protein deep conditioners 
    • Frequently moisturize and clarify the hair 

High porosity hair is usually caused by heat and chemical damage to the hair, or it could just be genetics. If you have this hair type, moisturizing should be your top haircare priority, and layering products will help you in the process. Here are some recommendations: 

    • Use leave-in conditioners and sealants
    • Use shampoos with oil or butter in the ingredients 
    • Avoid hot water and use lukewarm water instead to wash and condition 

The bottom line

While hair porosity might not be something you hear about often, it certainly should influence your everyday haircare. You can’t have healthy hair without moisture, so use what you’ve learned today to keep your curls shiny, silky, and taken care of! 

Discover the roots and strength of your hair, and embark on your hair journey with Nile Hair. Join us in celebrating the beauty of our hair, and find clean products designed with men like you in mind. 


Written By Reese Williams

Reese is a full-time content writer and a part-time plant mom, cook, and thrift shop addict. When she’s not shopping for new plants or antiques or cooking up a new dish she found on TikTok, you’ll usually find her online at  Check out her Fiverr profile here.

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