Low Porosity Hair
We all know every hair product is not made for everyone. There labeled differently, some provide moisture, others provide protein, some cleanse, others thicken, whatever their call to fame is picking the correct one can seem impossible. I tell myself the same thing before I go on the hunt… RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH, but until you know how what you need, knowing what a product does is useless.
Even those with similar curl patterns can’t necessarily depend on the same hair products. The products and routine you use to moisturize your hair depend greatly on one characteristic. While curl pattern has become all the rage the most important hair trait is often overlooked. It’s hair porosity and the pH levels of your hair care products that may be holding you back from healthy, pH balanced hair. So first things first what is porosity? Naturally Curly defines it as
“how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. It is affected by the flexible outer hair layer called the cuticle, which determines how easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair.”
If you have LoPo hair your cuticles are tightly bound, making moisture hard to get in and penetrate the hair strand. While Medium porosity and HiPo hair cuticles are looser, allowing moisture to get in much easier. So why does all this matter? Your hair naturally has a pH of 4.5-5.5, and your hair care products have different pH levels, ranging from acidic to alkaline.
Most shampoo’s and conditioner fall on the acidic side of the scale. Shampoos in general tend to be less acidic than conditioner. This is done on purpose to allow your hair to become hydrated before sealing the moisture in with conditioner. This is why knowing your porosity, not just curl pattern is so important. If your cuticles are not loose moisture may not be getting into your strands, but there are a few things us LoPo ladies can do to get the most out of our products.
Should you modify your routine?
Heat isn’t always a no-no! Investing in a steamer may by be all that’s needed. Heat will help your conditioner penetrate and hydrate your hair. Deep conditioning under a steamer will allow your cuticles to raise and allow moisture up the hair shaft. Soaking your hair in distilled water or adding baking soda to your conditioner have been discussed as good tricks. The point is to get your cuticles to open and allow moisture to the center of your hair strand. This is how relaxers and color work but on a much harsher scale.
LoPo ladies also want to make sure they using the correct moisturizing method. With LoPo hair your main goal is to get moisture in. The end of your hair care routine should definitely involve closing those cuticles back to seal in the moisture (which won’t be hard for those with LoPo hair) but adding oil too soon will simply lock your cuticles up. Liquid Cream Oil works best due to oil being a sealant and not a moisturizer. Your cream should also be light weight and have a high concentration of water.
I’m still learning and testing how to keep my LoPo hair hydrated. Who else has had to battle brittle hair? What helped? Drop a comment or question below.
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