Updated: Jun 15
This post was updated in April 2020
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Hi there, I've been thinking a lot about simplifying a lot of my regimens and creating something that I understand and also works for me. The goal of this post is for you to come away with just enough information to create a hair regimen that will work for your type of hair. We will build a regimen that considers the type of hair porosity we have.
Hair porosity is the hair's ability to absorb moisture.
Have you found your self using products that everyone else swears by, you are mixing up eggs/ honey everything in your pantry and not having the results that you have heard works. or even wondered if you should use Apple cider Vinegar Rinse Or Baking Soda since simple chemistry lets you understand that one is an acid and the other is a base, so which should you use?
You can own the most expensive or popular products or even DIY your own products and not get the results you are looking for because of your hair's unique ability to absorb or not absorb products.
By the end of this series you should have a proven understanding of what you should consider adding or eliminating from your hair routine and if you just need to start from scratch, keep reading :)
The regimen you will develop will include Pre-poo, Detangling, Shampoo, Conditioners, Leave-in, and Treatment suggestions.
This post will NOT do two things.
1. It will not give you too much information that you are overwhelmed and give up
2. It will not make the process more complex than it needs to be.
Disclaimer: I have to confess that I’m not very particular about hair. I’m not in a natural hair tribe, I’m not a hair guru, I wear wigs, weaves, color my hair and will pretty much to as I please with my hair. I’m not stuck on fitting into any particular mold. I don't believe we should be restricted by our hair and I don't think it should be a complicated issue. Its something we can bond over but should not divide us ( okay enough with my tangent lol).
So you may wonder, then “why are you talking about hair regimen?” Well it’s because I noticed myself getting overwhelmed by the information out there and I worked to figure out what works for me, I don’t like to do things that take too long, I don’t want a bunch of hair products that I won’t use…I’m trying to declutter my life , minimize and simplify as many things as I can and I thoroughly enjoy having healthy hair, no matter what I chose to do with it.
My goal is for you to come away with a hair regimen tailored to your understanding of your hair, specifically your HAIR POROSITY. If you are doing something that is working for you, by no means should you feel pressured to change, however if you will like to change things up or confirm that you are on the right track, then keep reading.
I have read many articles as I’m sure you have, and decided that building my hair around its porosity was the best strategy for me
I will show you how to do so quite easily by following the steps below. If you know your hair porosity already, feel free to skip along to the section that addresses your hair type.
Identify your Hair Porosity.
Hair porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb moisture
Hair Porosity test
There are many ways to test for your hair porosity but my favorite is the Float test.
You will need to take a couple strands of your clean hair ( no products) and drop it in a glass of filtered (or bottled) water.
Allow hair to seat in the glass for 3-4 minutes
Observe whether the hair is floating, in the middle, or sank to the bottom at the end of your Science experiment. ha!
Congratulations, you have completed the first step to getting some next level information on how your hair reacts to moisture.
So you have completed your hair porosity test, now what? Check the Chart below to see what category is fall into.
Scroll down for the Epic Guide to Building a Hair regimen for Low Porosity hair
Medium porosity hair is the ideal place to be. ( I will not dive deeply into this but give some general guideline)
Scroll down for the Epic guide to building a hair regimen for High Porosity hair
HIGH POROSITY HAIR
The epic guide to building a hair regimen for your high porosity hair
If you noticed that the hair sinks to the bottom almost immediately, then you most likely have high porosity hair. High porosity hair absorbs moisture and releases moisture just as quickly.
* I have this type of hair. I quickly recognized this, when I read the characteristics. I don't own a hair dryer because my hair can dry just from towel drying and/or leaving it out for 10-15 minutes.*
Qualities of High porosity hair
Hair dries very quickly after wash
Gets wet very quickly in humid weather
Hair is frizzy
Cuticles are very open
Acts like a Sponge
May be more fragile and Thin*
When detangling high porosity hair, you must be very careful. You must adjust to your hair and see what works for your hair. Here are a few suggestions
Seamless wide tooth comb detangling ( you want to detangle your hair strands from the bottom up)
Wet detangling with conditioner/ Pre-poo treatment
Pre-poo is important for High porosity hair. It will aid against shampoo’s tendency to strip hair of natural oils and it also acts like a barrier and prevents hair from absorbing too much water
Pre-poo treatments choices
3. Anti -Humectants
Apply your choice of pre- poo treatment to hair before continuing with your shampoo routine
Check out this helpful youtube video for an "ultimate prepoo routine for high porosity hair ft. coconut oil and olive oil"by Afro Khadisiac
– Frequency-1 week or less
High porosity hair needs sulfate free shampoo whenever you choose to shampoo your hair.
Use Sulfate free moisturizing shampoo NOT a clarifying shampoo like TGIN Sulfate Free Moisturizing Shampoo
Moisturizing conditioners like the Aphogee mositurizing conditioner
Amino acid infused conditioners
TREATMENTS to consider
ACV and Cold water rinse to close the hair cuticle and add shine.
Protein Treatments to fill in the gaps
Heavy oil for sealing hair (Avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, Shea butter)
Aloe Vera gel
LEAVE IN CONDITIONER
A leave in conditioner is important for high porosity hair. The LCO ( liquid, cream, oil) system has been found to be effective. If you are not familiar with this method check out this article
Suggested High porosity hair products that has really good review and have worked for people with high porosity hair
Leave in conditioner:
MEDIUM POROSITY HAIR
Lucky you! you have medium porosity hair, ideally this kind of hair will stay somewhere in the middle during the float test or may sink very slowly if it sinks at all.
Your hair stays moisturized and retains moisture as well. Consider the following
3. Mix of natural oil
5. Seal your ends with oil of your choice
6. Wear protective styles.
As you can see, you have more flexibility in how to decide to create your regimen. A mix of some products suitable for low porosity hair and high porosity will generally work for your type of hair.
AFRICAN PRINT "ADIRE" HEADWRAP
LOW POROSITY HAIR
The epic guide to building your low porosity hair regimen
If you noticed that your hair strands are still floating after 3 minutes or slightly submerged then you most likely have low porosity hair. Low porosity hair has closed cuticles that makes it difficult for water or other large molecules to penetrate the hair shaft.
Qualities of Low porosity hair
Hair may have product build up easily
Can appear dry
A pre poo treatment may not be needed if you have product build up. It wouldn’t make sense to add more product to the hair if it cannot absorb the product. However if your hair is visibly dry and you will like to proceed with a pre-poo treatment then consider the following options.
It’s important that you make all decisions about your hair based on what you already know about your hair**
A combination of light oils is recommended for low porosity hair
These are all viable options. You may also choose to make a combination of these oils and apply to hair, cover with a shower cap, seat under a hair steamer or apply heat. You may also opt to warm up the oil before applying it to your hair and let it seat in your hair for at least 30 minutes for best result.
(Frequency depends on how much buildup your hair has accumulated)
Use Clarifying shampoo NOT Moisturizing Shampoo ( It’s important to clarify the hair and the scalp, You should also consider washing with warm water to open up the cuticles). Clarifying Shampoo are also alkaline/basic in nature and will help open
Note: Co-wash is not effective for low porosity hair; it only causes more product accumulation.
CONDITIONER ( use heat or baking soda)
The goal for low porosity hair is to introduce moisture. Here are your options
Add Baking soda to your conditioner. Baking Soda is an alkaline compound; it works by opening up the hair cuticle and will allow the product to penetrate the hair cuticle. Recipe: ½ cup baking soda plus 1 full cup of choice of conditioner
Hair Steam treatment
Products that contain Honey ( honey is a humectant and it helps retain moisture) You may add honey to your conditioner or light oils of choice.
Use water based/ humectant/emollient products
Deep condition hair with heat.
NO Cold water ( this will further close the hair cortex/cuticle ** NO Protein treatments!
Suggested low porosity hair products that has really good review and have worked for people with low porosity hair
DIY: Honey, light oils, Baking Soda
Pre-Poo: Oils and honey DIY mixture with heat
Conditioner: OUIDAD Deep treatment curl restoration therapy
Leave in Conditioner: Ouidad moisture lock leave- in Conditioner
Equipment: Hair Steamer
I hope this has been helpful as your refine or define your natural hair regimen.
Has this worked for you? any product recommendations? Look at the bottom right corner, send a message if you have a question.
Till next time,