Porosity of the hair is the ability to absorb and retain moisture and how easily it can pass the hair’s cuticle.
Let's first start with the most important part of the hair structure so you can fully understand the role they play on porosity type.
The role of the cortex on hair health
The hair’s cortex is where the hair’s strength and melanin are determined. The cortex is the inner, middle part of the hair it is the most important and complex part of the hair structure. It consists of long keratin filaments which are held together by disulphide bonds and hydrogen bonds. These complex parts of the hairs structure determine the health of your hair because all chemical services damage these bonds, changing the condition of the hair. The inner structure is of course only ever going to be healthy and retain condition if your cuticle is healthy. So let’s quickly touch on the cuticles' role in our hair health.
The role of the cuticle on hair health
The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair shaft, it is thin and colourless is looks like overlapping roof shingles and is designed to open and close depending on the pH of the product applied. Hence powder lightener is a high pH to open the cuticle, reach the cortex to strip the melanin in the hair which damages the cuticle and cortex in its path. So, a healthy cuticle means your cortex isn’t as exposed to damage because it’s protected by a healthy cuticle.
Now after that quick reference to the chemistry of the hair and the role it plays on the hair’s health, let’s move on the porosity and it will all fall into place why porosity is important in the execution of healthy hair and styling.
Low porosity hair has a tightly closed cuticle making moisture hard to pass the cuticle and reach the cortex. If you have low porosity hair, you’ll find it is difficult to get wet and water almost bounces off the hair due to that cuticle being closed. This makes it hard for the hair to absorb vital nutrients to keep her hydrated and nourished. Due to this overlapping shingles known as low porosity cuticle you are also more prone to build up on the hair shaft which makes it even harder for those nutrients to reach the cortex.
How to incorporate Halo in to Low porosity hair.
Cleanse hair regularly to help open cuticle before applying intense treatments and conditioner (co washing may aid in product build up). Limit use of butters and high protein products. Your ultimate Low porosity routine would be
Warm rinse, Cleanse with Kinks, Curls and Coils shampoo, condition with Kinks, Curls and Conditioner, Use steam or heated cap if you want to deep condition, warmth will help to open cuticle allowing moisture and hydration to get past the cuticle in to the cortex.
Styling is important as if you use heavy butters in your hair, you’ll be more prone to build up. Your best option in Halo for styling is Kinks, Curls and Coils Curl me Gel to help with hydration and then lock it in with Hydrated Hair Oil to seal in the Hydration without the fear of build-up. It's important to seal hydration in with oil or as hydration will be pulled into the air leaving the hair frizzy
Low porosity hair always remember oils are your friend, butters aren’t.
Medium Porosity means your cuticle overlap but allow room to still open and close easily with no gaps, meaning your hair easily absorb and retain moisture.
Always use sulphate free shampoo (which all our Halo shampoos are), to make sure you don’t strip unnecessary moisture from hair, deep condition regularly to keep hair healthy and strong. Always use a heat protector when styling as your goal is to keep hair healthy and not cause damage or cause gaps in your cuticle.
Medium porosity is the easiest porosity to keep healthy and strong but it doesn’t mean you can’t damage your hair, so always layer your hair using our layering LOC method to keep your hairs integrity. Using Hydrated Pre-Treat in your routine will protect hair from damage caused by the pH of water which swells up the hair shaft and takes nutrients with it as it runs through the hair, chlorine, salt and hard water.
High porosity tends to tangle and break easily, your colours fade quickly and blondes will lose tone quicker due to gaps in your cuticle. Gaps in your cuticle means moisture can get in but it also doesn’t retain moisture due to those gaps in your cuticle and because your cuticle's job is to protect your cortex your hair will always be more susceptible to damage and breakage.
High Porosity hair needs protein, because your hair is made up of 90% protein (in the cortex) and your cuticle has gaps, it makes sense that you will regularly need to top your hair up with protein to keep hair’s strength.
Halo routine for high porosity
Always use a pre-treat whether Hydrated Hair Oil or Hydrated Pre-Treat or both for next level condition.
Try as much as possible to rinse hair in cooler water as warm water opens the cuticle.
Stimulate and strengthen or Hydrated Halo Shampoo depending on scalp, oil production and hair density.
If your hair is damaged and high porosity use Strengthen and Shine conditioner.
If your hair is dry, frizzy, thick and high porosity use Hydrated Halo Conditioner.
If your hair is fine, knotty and high porosity use Kinks, Curls and Coils Conditioner.
Always use Tangled Toner to close Cuticle and to add extra hydration, strength and moisture to the cortex.
Always use Hydrated Heat Halo for added protection for the cuticle.
Seal it in on dry hair with Hydrated Hair Oil for shine and protection ( go lightly as this oil is extremely concentrated.)
Unsure on your porosity?
Grab a glass of water, place a strand of hair in the glass, wait a little bit. If it floats you are more likely to be Low Porosity as your hair is more resident to water. If it half floats half sinks you have medium porosity and if it sinks you are more likely to have high porosity as it absorbs water easily.