Discover Your Hair Porosity And The Hair Products You Need

Knowing your hair porosity is a vital step in caring for your hair. It will generally give you an idea of what kind of hair products you should apply to your hair. This can be related to knowing your skin. When purchasing skin products, it requires you to consider your skin type. When you don’t, you risk buying products that may be harmful to your skin or products you may react to negatively. 

In that same vein, when you are not sure of your hair porosity, you will spend money on products that would be unhealthy for your hair. But knowing your hair porosity will save you money, time, and frustration from buying the wrong hair products. However, understanding the second fastest growing tissue in the body after the bone marrow can be a herculean task. But read on to find out how best to tackle issues of hair porosity and choice of hair products.

What is hair porosity?

Hair porosity is simply the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. The hair shaft is made up of two or three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and sometimes the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer. Made of flattened cells that overlap like the tiles on a terra-cotta roof, the cuticle protects the inside of the hair shaft from damage. The cortex is the next layer and is the primary source of mechanical strength and water uptake. The pigment that gives your hair its natural color is tucked among protein glands found in the cortex. The medulla which is the third layer is a soft, spongy mass of tissue. Some types of hairs do not have this layer. Coarse hair generally has this layer, while fine hair usually doesn’t.

Types of hair porosity

The porosity of your hair plays a vital role in how well oils and moisture seep in and out of the outermost layer of the hair, which is the cuticle. Hair porosity can be classified into three major categories. They are:

  • High porosity: This is when the cuticles are more widely spaced. When the cuticles are this way, moisture and oils can easily penetrate the hair but it will have a harder time retaining it and staying hydrated.

  • Medium porosity: This is when the cuticles are less tightly bound. Oils and moisture can penetrate the hair, and it can retain moisture to keep the hair hydrated.

  • Low porosity: This is when the cuticles are too close together. It’s not easy for water and oils to penetrate this type of hair. This makes it hard for your hair to get the moisture it needs to stay healthy.

Hair Porosity Test

A couple of people do not know what hair porosity type they have. This is an easy way of knowing if you have high porosity, medium porosity, or low porosity hair. 

Take a glass of water at room temperature and place a strand of your hair in it. If the hair strand sinks quickly to the bottom, your hair is high porosity. If the hair strand sinks slowly to the bottom, your hair is normal porosity. But if the hair strand floats at the top before sinking, it means your hair can not absorb moisture which makes it low porosity.

Having found out what hair porosity type you have, let’s delve deeper into understanding them, their characteristics, and how to take care of them.

  • High Porosity Hair.

  • When the cuticles are too widely spaced, moisture and oils tend to penetrate the hair. However, it will have a harder time retaining moisture and staying hydrated. Hairs like this tend to be stressed due to overheating, styling and exposure to UV rays. This results in the cuticle being too open and it’s easy for moisture to get in and get out.

    Characteristics of High Porosity Hair

    • Water and other moisturizing products are easily absorbed into your hair.
    • Hair is often dry since it cannot retain moisture.
    • Hair gets tangled easily.
    • Hair is prone to breakage and split ends.

    How to Care for High Porosity Hair

    The best products for this type of hair are ones that are lightweight but still provide moisture. Moisture Rich Sulphate Free Shampoo for Natural Hair is the type of product for high porosity hair which will give it the extra moisture it needs. It is enriched with fatty acids and natural oils, to help hydrate the hair. When washing the hair, cold water is used to encourage the cuticle to close and retain more water for a healthier feel. To battle tangling hair, Mielle’s Pomegranate and Honey Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner provides intense hydration and locks in moisture to give your hair a silky and smooth feel.

  • Normal Porosity Hair

  • Hair in its natural state is normal porosity. It has little or no difficulty absorbing and retaining moisture. In most cases, the hair starts with normal porosity. Too much exposure to sun, chemicals, excess heat styling is what brings about damage, and the hair porosity type can gradually change.

    Characteristics of Normal Porosity Hair

    • It easily absorbs and retains moisture.
    • It doesn’t take too long to get wet, or too long to get dry.
    • It is usually full of bounce, volume, and elasticity.
    • It requires very little maintenance.

    How to Care for Normal Porosity Hair

    The best hair regimen would be practicing hydration and keeping the heat on the low so the hair is not damaged. Avoid heavy oils or excess chemicals. Rather, use light oils like argan, jojoba, mongongo which are super good for normal porosity hair. A typical example is a moisturizing shampoo and a deep conditioner like our Mielle Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner to provide deep hydration.

  • Low Porosity Hair

  • Hair products applied to this type of hair build up on the surface of your hair. The cuticles of this type of hair are closed and so, moisture and oils can hardly penetrate. Your hair can hardly be healthy and have shine when products cannot penetrate deep into the hair. 

    Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair

    • This type of hair takes a longer time to absorb moisture since it naturally repels water.
    • It takes a much longer time to get saturated when you wet them.
    • It doesn’t have much volume and elasticity.
    • It is less prone to breakage and split ends.

    How to Care for Low Porosity Hair

    • Wash your hair regularly to remove the buildup of products on the surface of your hair.
    • Protein-free conditioners tend to be more absorbed by your hair. The Mielle Mongongo Oil Protein-Free Hydrating Conditioner is an excellent choice and will restore health and shine to your hair.
    • Always apply your conditioners when the hair is still wet. They are more likely to penetrate the hair shaft.
    • Unlike high porosity hair that needs cold water to close the cuticle so moisture is retained, low porosity needs a little heat to open up the cuticles so your hair products can penetrate and work effectively. You can include Honey Miracle Deep Conditioner for Natural Hair to your hair regimen to further add that natural shine. 


    Generally, the best tips for your hair would be cutting down UV and heat exposure. Keep the hair away from so much heat. On sunny days, avoid being out in the sun for too long. And if you must, wear a hat. Also, always opt for heat-free styling options.

    We trust this post has been able to give you an understanding of what hair porosity type you might have and the factors you should take into consideration before buying hair products so that you make the right choice. Let us know in the comment box what hair type you have and how you have been able to manage it.