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What Is Hair Porosity? How To Do Porous Hair Test At Home?

What Is Hair Porosity? How To Do Porous Hair Test At Home?

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In today’s post I will be discussing in detail about hair porosity. Why is it important for you to know your hair porosity?

Types of hair porosity. Characteristics and treatments for various porosity levels. And how to find out your hair porosity level at home using two different but reliable methods.


As you all know I have been experimenting a lot with my hair, various products and DIYs. But there actually came a time where even if I used the deep conditioning hair mask on my hair, my hair wouldn’t show much of the results. No matter what I did or how much efforts I put in, my hair always stayed the same, i.e., dry, damaged and frizzy.

Sounds familiar?

That’s when I read an article on Hair Porosity.

What Is Hair Porosity?

If you are unfamiliar with the term then let me just make it easy for you.

Hair Porosity is your hair’s ability and time required by your hair to actually absorb and retain moisture.

Hair Porosity and its types

Why Is Hair Porosity Actually Important?

Hair Porosity shows you actually how much time your hair will need in order to absorb the particular product.

This actually helps when you are about to apply almost any product on your hair for say, deep conditioning masks, hair color, hair oil and even water.

Determining Hair Porosity will be your helping hand in finding the right product that works for your hair. It should be your first step towards forming your ideal hair care routine.

For example if you have low porosity hair and you keep conditioning your hair with extremely thick conditioners then you will not have much results. Thick conditioners works good for high porosity hair but for low porosity hair you need to deep condition with creamy (yogurt consistency) conditioners along with heat.

Types of Hair Porosity

can be classified into three categories:

  • Low Porosity Hair
  • Normal Porosity Hair Or Medium Porosity Hair
  • High Porosity Hair

Low Porosity Hair

As you can see in the Infographic above, the cuticles of the hair are so tightly shut which makes it almost next to impossible for the moisture to get in your hair shafts.

Low Porosity hair are extremely stubborn ones.

The hair with low porosity have

  • difficulty in retaining moisture
  • takes forever to dry
  • does not retain styling
  • extremely sensitive towards protein products
  • the product applied onto your hair just gets build up on the surface.

Low porosity are not that difficult to bring back to normal porosity level. You require just some strict hair care routine and a lot of patience.

How To Take Care Of Low Porosity Hair?

  1. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove the build up of products from your hair.
  2. Do an apple cider vinegar rinse which will also help in removing any extra build up. (I will be covering it in whole new post soon.)
  3. Do a deep conditioning with heat.
  4. Do a hot oil treatment using penetraing oils like avocado oil.

If you have low porosity hair then heat and deep conditioning treatments should be your hair’s best friends. (By heat I mean heat from hot oil, warm conditioner, hot towel treatment and not the one from flat iron with teeth, hair curler or your blow dryer. In fact heat from flat iron and blow dry might actually damage your hair even further. So if you have a low porosity hair then this is a big no)

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Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Normal Porosity

As you can see in the infographic above these hair are neither with too much open cuticles nor too closed. They are perfect for absorbing moisture as well as retaining them. Normal Porosity is the perfect kind. The hair with normal hair porosity actually

  • absorbs and retains moisture well
  • holds styling well
  • responds to styling well
  • works well with most products.

If you have normal porosity hair then you actually have really good hair.

All you need to do is

  1. Keep working on regular hot oil treatments with the hair oil that suits your hair.
  2. Not changing and trying too many products
  3. Taking proper care of your hair and not making small mistakes which can ruin your hair.
  4.  Not over processing and styling your hair.
  5. Include a good deep conditioning hair mask like African Pride Moisture Miracle Moroccan Clay Mask With Shea Butter. This mask will help remove the excess build up and the shea butter will help in keeping your hair hydrated.

Keep this few things in mind and also maintain a healthy diet and you are good to go!

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Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

High Porosity

High Porosity hair are a result of over processing, chemical treatments like keratin treatments, hair smoothening at home, hair coloring treatments, low maintenance and over exposure to pollution and sun.

High porous hair means your hair have developed wholes in its cuticles. High porosity hair tend to capture excessive moisture from the environment which make them even more frizzy and tame.

High porosity hair are actually

  • extremely unmanageable
  • quick drying time
  • over processed and looks dull
  • gets tangled quickly.

High porosity hair are extremely damaged ones which actually makes it really hard to bring them to normal porosity level. But don’t get disappointed. It might take time and lot of your hard work and patience but it will all give you the desired results.

All you need to do is

  1. Most important one is taking protein treatments.
  2. You should definitely opt for leave in conditioners
  3. Regularly hot oil treatment is a must.
  4. Opt for creamy and thick deep conditioners to work on your hair and act as a sealent.
  5. Cover your hair with scarf while you step out.
  6. Eat a healthy protein rich diet.

High porosity hair are a bit difficult to control but you definitely need to take real good care of it and soon your hair will show you the results.

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Test Hair Porosity At Home?

Now we have discussed the types and how to bring your back to normal porosity.

Lets check out exactly how to find out the hair porosity level. There are a lot of tests available at home to find out your hair porosity and all of them are in my opinion fairly reliable.

Float test or the Strand test

The most common hair porosity test with water and also the most popular one.

hair porosity test

Step 1 : Wash your hair and avoid conditioning.

Step 2 : Let your hair air dry completely.

Step 3 : Take a glass bowl or any glass container and fill it with water.

Step 4 : Now take few hair strands from different parts of your hair and simply place it in the water.

Step 5 : Wait for 5 minutes and see the results.

Result: If your hair sinks at the bottom quickly then you have high porosity. If your takes a while like 5 minutes then you have normal porosity and if your takes forever to sink at the bottom the you have low porosity.

This test is highly debated one though. Many say that this test leaves a lot of room for error. But for me, I still consider it the benchmark while testing my hair porosity. You can take it and decide for yourself because no one knows your hair better than you do.

I always take this test before applying any conditioner or even diy packs to find out how much time my hair takes to sink in the bottom almost that much time it will require to absorb the product I wish to apply.

The Slip’n’Slide Test

This hair porosity test is also quiet easy requires less time and is actually quiet trustworthy too.

hair porosity test

Step 1 : Wash your hair and avoid conditioning.

Step 2 : While your hair is still bit damp, grab few hair strands from different parts of your hair.

Step 3: Now take one damp strand at a time and hold the hair using both your hand’s index finger and thumb and slide right hand’s fingers slowly from root to end.

Results: If you experience small bumps then you have high porosity and if it feels smooth then your hair have normal porosity whereas if you feel that your hair is hard and you can slide your fingers real quick then you have low porosity.

There are many more ways to test hair porosity at home, if you want you can contact our pal Google for the other tests. Also do check out this study which show how long exposure to UV rays changes your hair porosity.

I have tried to cover the basics of hair porosity hope you all find it useful. Feel free to share if have you taken the hair porosity test at home? What were your results and experiences? Do share it.

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Have a lovely day!

Aurora Kevin

Monday 11th of January 2021

Thanks for sharing great useful information about hair porosity. My head is so dry & I am facing hair low porosity. Kindly recommend best oil or products for my hair to solve my problem. Thanks

Me-An Clemente

Monday 18th of April 2016

It's my first time encountering the term hair porosity. I'm glad that you discussed it. I learned so much from you. I can't wait to try the float test strand method. I think it's easier for me to try rather than the slip n' slide as I might imagine things while doing it. Thank you for sharing :)


Saturday 16th of January 2016

love this article!! Thank you so much for sharing.

Vince Comfort

Monday 28th of December 2015

great tips. I like keeping a long natural head of hair. I have learnt a few things from this. Thanks

Nimi Popat

Tuesday 29th of December 2015

Thank you for your kind words Vince ... :-)

Trista, Domesticated Momster

Friday 18th of December 2015

This is a great article. How do you feel about coconut oil treatments. I have been reading a lot about the benefits of coconut oil for everything. I will be sharing this!

Nimi Popat

Monday 21st of December 2015

Thank you soo much Trista. I simply love coconut oil treatments. I have a habit of incorporating coconut oil in most of my hair masks and hot oil treatments. :-)

Comments are closed.