Fine, Thin, Flat, Thick, Full, Medium, Curly… the list goes on. Well of these definitions typically link to the porosity of your hair, and you should ultimately consider how porous your hair is to help choose your hair care.
But what is porosity? Think of your skin, and how you have pores on your face. The same principle can be applied to your hair. If your hair is porous (shot each type we say porous!), it means the pores on the strands of your hair are open, whereas if it has low porosity the cuticle lies flat against the hair strand.
No matter what, everyone hair strand has some type level of porosity and to put it simply, it refers to how well your hair can absorb and more importantly retain moisture and colour. This is how The Hair Boss, Lisa Shepherd explains it
“The best way I explain it to my clients is, imagine the outer layer of hair looking like fish scales. For the less porous the ‘scales’ are more closed and smoother, but if your hair is bleached or damaged from heat, they are more their open. When the hair cuticle is open it soaks up anything it’s given very quickly, but its important to understand that this means it also lets product and colour go quickly. If you find your colour is fading quickly or your hair serum/oil disappears before you know it, your hair is probably porous”
If you have natural hair that has never been coloured you will probably find your hair is at the lower end, but this all depends on how much heat you use. If you use hot tools a lot and don’t use a protective spray such as The Semi Perm Shine Spray, you may find your hair porosity changes.
If you have curly hair or if you have your hair bleached every 6-8 weeks to keep your blonde fresh your hair will be at the higher end of the porosity spectrum. It is the same for anyone who colours their hair regularly or gets any type of chemical processing such as permanent straightening or waving. These type of treatments affect the bonds of the hair, therefore will typically affect how smoother the hair cuticle is.
So how do you tell if your hair is porous? Simple, spray on some water and see how quickly it dries. If your hair is more porous it will soak into the hair pretty quickly, if it is having low porosity it will take a while to soak in.
Tips for high porous hair types
• Look for products rich in butters and oil and hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, like our Double Mask
• Look for claims linked to moisturising when choosing a shampoo, you want clean away grease and build up, but not strip the hair. The Overworked Shampoo is perfect for this.
Tips for low porous hair types
• Keep it lightweight, just like you would if you have oily skin. Our Foam Conditioner is the perfect conditioner for low porosity hair, as the aerated formula means you are not adding a thick cream-based cream that will struggle to be absorbed into the hair.
• Layer conditioners where extra help is needed, for example add an oil like The Overnight Serum to your ends which may have more heat damage.