Hair porosity - test, characteristics and how to care?

Table of contents

    How to determine the porosity of hair? 

    The porosity of hair can be divided into low, medium and high. It determines the natural degree of hair scales, which can be influenced to some extent by appropriately selected care. However, in order to properly complete the treatment that will bring out the natural shine from the hair and make it healthy and strong, it is necessary to determine the porosity of hair using different, more or less professional methods. 

    Characteristics of different of hair porosity 

    Low porosity hair is probably the easiest, and in fact the least demanding type in terms of care. It is characterised by a small degree of scaling, which makes it naturally smooth, loose and shiny. It is an exceptionally graceful "material" if you want to achieve the so-called "sheet effect". On the other hand, due to their natural smoothness, this type of hair can be easily overloaded and lead to the effect of greasy hair. The biggest challenge in the care of low porosity hair is to achieve the desired high volume, visual density and reflection at the root. It is therefore worth paying special attention to the scalp - with the help of cosmetics containing appropriate minerals or clay, which regulate the secretion of sebum and absorb excess sebum, thus making the hair stay fresh longer.  

    Medium-porous hair is probably the most common type. It is characterised by a medium sagging of the scales and when properly cared for it can look really great, i.e. get the shine and softness of low porosity hair, but without volume problems. This is a hair type where the so-called PEH balance (protein-emolient-humumumide-effects) is extremely important - while maintaining it, you don't have to spend a lot of time on the individual elements of care - you can focus on matching products to other hair distinguishing factors - for example, to bring out curls and additional smoothness with hair that tends to curl and wave (and thus "going" towards high-porosity hair) or building volume at the root for hair that is inherently quite close to low-porosity. 

    Highly porous hair is characterised by the highest degree of scaling. This makes it often dry, rough to the touch, dull and appear damaged. Highly porous hair is often coloured and especially strongly lightened hair or those with natural curled predispositions. Out of the three types of hair, it is the most difficult to achieve shine, softness and the effect of the sheet, so it requires the most advanced, well-fitting care and most attention. At the same time, they are susceptible to damage, delicate and fragile - they easily break, frizz and split, which makes them difficult to control. In their case, it is worth thinking about the mildest possible way of cleaning with the use of the most delicate substances, which will dry them as little as possible. A good solution may be a cup method (a product diluted in a large amount of water) or washing with a silicone free conditioner, for example in the OMO configuration (conditioner-washing conditioner). It is also important to remember about protection and a high dose of hydration - this is, for example, the type of hair that should be oiled to an additional humectant base (i.e. moisturiser) - for example, aloe vera gel, hydrolat or honey. This type of hair does not cope well with high temperatures, which are associated with styling treatments. If you have the option, avoid using a flat iron, curling iron or hair dryer (let your hair dry naturally).

    How to check the porosity of hair? Porosity test 

    In addition to the visual, cursory assessment based on the condition of the hair and its natural inclinations referred to above, various tests can be performed. One way will be to fill in one of the publicly available questionnaires, containing a number of detailed questions or perform a simple test (it is worth knowing, however, that it may not be 100% reliable). It consists in placing a hair in a glass of water and observing its immersion. The more it sinks, the greater the porosity of the hair. If it completely falls to the bottom, it means that its scales are very open and it absorbs water quickly. It is therefore highly porous. Medium porous hair dives about halfway, and low porous hair floats on the surface or only slightly submerges (closed scales do not allow it to soak up water quickly). The most reliable method to determine the porosity will certainly be to examine the hair under an electron microscope and consult a trichologist.  

    Can you change hair porosity? 

    Medium porosity and high porosity hair – you can change it. With this type of hair, the reduction of permanent porosity is a real possibility. A lot depends on the natural porosity of our hair. Childhood photos are often useful because they show the predispositions they have. Of course, there are some deviations from this rule, because the structure of hair over the course of life can, but does not have to, change e.g. by hormones or diet. 

    It is possible to have low porosity hair by nature, however, to lead to the moment when it will be raised, and thus the hair will become more problematic, e.g. it will start to frizz, even though it used to be a smooth sheet. 

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