How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair?
I guess at this point you already heard the term “hair porosity” and wondered what it meant. Hair porosity is basically your hair’s ability to take in and retain moisture and there are three porosity types: low, medium, and high.
If you ever felt that you are doing whatever you can but your hair is still super dry, you probably have low porosity hair. How to moisturize this type of hair? Is it even possible?
Read on to learn more, my curly friend!
What is low porosity hair?
Low porosity means that the hair cuticle is tight, preventing water and hair products from penetrating the hair shaft.
Low porosity hair requires special care as it might be hard to keep it healthy and strong. How to know if you have this type of hair porosity?
These are the signs:
- Constant split ends, even after getting a haircut
- Hair is rough to touch
- Lack of shine
- Hair easily weighs down
- Struggling with product build-up
- Hair takes a decade to dry
This hair porosity is common for those who have tight curls (3C).
How often should you wash low porosity hair?
As a rule of thumb, you should usually wash your low porosity hair once a week.
As mentioned before, low porosity hair is more prone to build-up so don’t forget to clarify your hair at least once a month! SubjectCurls has an article about hair clarifying and how to do it at home without buying fancy shampoos.
You’ve probably noticed that your scalp gets greasy quickly while your ends are dry and your hair is flat. It seems like the only solution to this problem is to grab a bottle of shampoo and wash your hair. Wrong!
Every time you wash your low porosity hair, do these two things: 1. Clarify & 2. Hydrate.
How to take care of low porosity hair?
Try to remember one thing: your hair doesn’t like moisture and rejects it. To explain it better, imagine that everything that you are applying to your hair hoping to moisturize your strands just sits on the outside.
Knowing that it’s easier to understand what your hair really needs to be penetrated from the inside.
First of all, low porosity hair needs warm water. Not cold, not hot but warm. It will help to absorb products better.
- Let the warm water soak to your hair for at least 2 minutes
- Clarify your hair (with a special shampoo or DIY treatment)
- Then use a shampoo for a low porosity hair
- Rinse it out and squeeze out the excess water
- Apply conditioner and let it sit for a while
- Rinse your hair
- Style as usual
Avoid silicones that just coat your hair with a thin film which causes more build-up.
Oils for low porosity hair
Heavy oils will aggravate the problem. You have to use light oils as these oils are easily absorbed by low porosity hair.
Such oils as coconut, castor, olive, hempseed, and jojoba won’t help to moisturize hair because their molecules are too big to move into your hair shaft.
These oils will just sit on your hair, creating more build-up, and don’t forget what struggle it is to wash it out!
Use these light oils for low porosity hair:
- Sweet almond
- Sesame seed
I have worked as a hairstylist for a long time now and my personal favorite to this day is argan oil. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Its molecules are small therefore easily absorbed by low porosity hair. Argan oil helps to nourish, moisturize, and penetrate dull and dry hair without weighing it down.
Pre-poo for low porosity hair
One of the most effective ways to take care of low porosity hair is to do a pre-poo treatment.
Apply oil or deep conditioner before washing your hair with a shampoo to lock in the moisture.
Light oils, such as argan, grapeseed, or apricot, helps to soften hair, lock in moisture, and reduce frizz after washing your hair.
I swear by deep conditioning as it’s way easier to rinse it out. If you are not sure how to do it correctly, read this article.
How to moisturize low porosity hair daily: 4 effortless tricks
#1 Only use lightweight products
As mentioned before, low porosity hair doesn’t like moisture so you have to solve this issue by using products that are lightweight. Water-based styling products, shampoos, and conditioners that are made for low-porosity hair are your friends. They provide essential moisture and slip.
#2 Massage your scalp daily
Scalp massage is always a great idea, despite your hair porosity. It helps to stimulate follicles, thus promoting hair growth and increasing hair thickness.
Massaging the scalp if you have low porosity hair helps to promote the production of natural oils.
#3 Create a “greenhouse” effect
Low porosity hair LOVES warm water and steam, therefore use a plastic cap when using deep conditioner or other treatments. It helps to open the hair cuticle making it easier for the moisture to absorb into your hair.
#4 Drink water
This might sound like a low-hanging one but it’s truly important. A healthy diet and appropriate intake of water are also important factors for your hair health.
What to avoid if you have low porosity hair
#1 Silicones & sulfates
As mentioned before, silicone creates a thin layer on your hair and doesn’t let any moisturizing ingredients reach your hair shaft.
Sulfates are too harsh on your hair and dry it out.
#2 Heavy oils & butter
Heavy products, such as shea butter or coconut oil, seal the hair cuticle and sit on your hair without doing any good.
#3 Most proteins
Low porosity hair=protein sensitive hair.
I’m sure that you are constantly hearing things about moisture-protein balance but if you have low porosity hair, proteins just make things worse and your hair becomes brittle and even drier.
The bottom line
How to moisturize low porosity hair? Try to wash it only once a week, avoid heavy oils as their molecules are too big to reach your hair shaft, don’t overuse protein, and check the hair product labels religiously. No silicones, so sulfates, no drying alcohols!
Now you know everything about low porosity hair and how to keep it moisturized.