9 Top Shampoos For Low Porosity Hair

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Wondering why your hair is still dry and brittle even after trying different moisturizing products? The reason might be that you’re not using a good shampoo for low-porosity hair.

A woman is washing her hair with shampoo.

Coming up with a hair care routine that works for you starts with finding a shampoo suitable for your hair porosity.

And when looking for the right shampoo, it’s crucial to consider if you have low porosity hair. You can’t skip this part because, otherwise, you may have to deal with persistently dry and unmanageable hair.

But you’re not alone. Taking care of low porosity hair can be tricky for everyone. But it’s not impossible, and we got you covered!

To get started with your hair care regimen, keep reading to discover the top low porosity shampoos for your needs.

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo
Editor's Choice
  • Restores moisture for natural curls
  • Suitable for hair types 2A to 4C
  • Reduces damage and frizz
Briogeo Scalp Revival Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
Premium Pick
  • Has micro-exfoliators
  • Cleanses the hair without stripping it down
  • Can treat flaky scalp and dandruff
Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo
Budget Pick
  • Hydrates hair without weighing it down
  • Formulated to moisturize low-porosity hair
  • Sulfate-free

What Is Low-Porosity Hair?

Hair porosity is one of the most common descriptors to narrow down our hair type. It determines the hair’s capacity to absorb and maintain moisture.

Low-porosity hair is less textured because its cuticles lay flat and are tightly packed. 

Because of those characteristics, it’s difficult for moisture to penetrate the strands of low-porosity hair. That leaves it more likely to be dry, brittle, and unmanageable.

That also explains why hair treatments are typically less effective for low-porosity hair.

But this also means low-porosity hair can retain moisture well. This is similar to how it can be difficult to wet low-porosity hair, yet it also doesn’t dry as fast as other hair porosity types.

The Top Types of Shampoo for Low-Porosity Hair

Without the right products, low-porosity hair can quickly get dry and brittle. The good news is that various types of shampoos are suitable for this type of hair porosity.

Moisturizing Shampoo

The structure of low-porosity hair means you’ll greatly benefit from shampoos primarily formulated to moisturize the hair. Look for shampoos with humectants and hydrating ingredients.

Clarifying Shampoo

Low-porosity hair is more prone to product buildup, making clarifying shampoos great for low-porosity hair. 

Clarifying shampoos give your hair a fresh start by removing any product residue that causes flakes, grease, breakage, hair matting, and even hair thinning. 

Clarifying shampoo allows low-porosity hair to absorb moisture and other nourishing ingredients better.

Protein-Free Shampoo

Keratin, the main fibrous protein found in hair, is contained in the inner layer of the shaft. Low-porosity hair doesn’t easily lose protein, so using protein-rich shampoos and getting protein treatments can lead to unwanted results. 

And protein overload is known to cause breakage, split ends, and other forms of damage. Lucky for you, plenty of good protein-free shampoos are suitable for low porosity hair.

Top Shampoos for Low Porosity Hair

With a better understanding of low-porosity hair, you should find it easier to build a suitable hair care regimen for yourself. Here are the top shampoos for low-porosity hair to get you started.

Top Moisturizing Shampoo for Low Porosity Hair

Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo

Take care of your scalp and hair with a shampoo that has a 100% natural and organic formula. 

Key benefits: Retains moisture while removing product buildup; reduces damage, split ends, and dullness; natural and organic formula


  • Cocoa seed powder to strengthen hair and promote growth
  • Plantain for enzymes that help reduce damage
  • Tea tree oil to break down product buildup on the scalp

Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo works great for low porosity hair, but it’s suitable for all hair types too!

Your wish for a natural shampoo for low-porosity hair has been granted by Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo!

Its full list of ingredients, which you can find here, only has 10 items from nature!

But they’re not just any ingredients because several of them are known to have hydrating properties. And that easily makes this one of the top shampoos for low-porosity hair!

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo

Now here’s a shampoo made to rehydrate hair, especially if it has low porosity.

Key benefits: Hydrates hair without weighing it down; sulfate-free cleansing formula; doesn’t leave much residue


  • Hibiscus water to deeply moisturize hair
  • Watermelon to promote blood circulation in the scalp
  • Passionfruit for healthier hair follicles

Pack your hair with moisture without leaving it flat!


A quick look at the ingredients and you might think you’re looking at a fruit salad recipe. But these fruits make a great blend that targets dry hair and leaves it smelling good.

The fruits don’t just taste good. They’re also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help refresh the hair. Together, this shampoo delivers lightweight hydration so your hair is moisturized without being weighed down.

Top Clarifying Shampoos for Low-Porosity Hair

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

Let your hair soak up much-needed moisture by removing buildup with this shampoo.

Key benefits: Deep-cleansing formula; safe to use before hair treatments; delivers a glossy finish


  • Argan oil’s fatty acids and antioxidants to nourish the hair
  • Avocado oil to easily penetrate hair cuticles
  • Lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and jojoba extracts for added moisture

A shampoo that deeply cleanses and is packed with proven effective ingredients is just what low-porosity hair deserves.

Low-porosity hair benefits from clarifying shampoos, no doubt. But there are other things you should look for to ensure you get the top results possible. And using Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo could help you with that.

This shampoo delivers deep-cleansing action to rid your hair of product buildup and environmental pollutants. It’s also filled with extracts from botanicals known to improve the condition of hair and scalp.

So if your hair needs a reset, here’s the shampoo for you!

Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo

Any buildup is no match for this shampoo’s deep-cleansing yet gentle formula.

Key benefits: Removes hair product residue with natural ingredients, helps keep moisture; safe for color-treated hair


  • Lemon, grapefruit, and orange extracts as natural cleansers to remove buildup
  • Camellia extract for moisturizing properties and to nourish natural curls
  • Vegan and cruelty-free formula

Give your hair a fresh start while enjoying this shampoo’s mild citrusy scent. 


Deep cleansing works wonders for low porosity hair, but it could also go sideways with shampoo that has harsh ingredients.

But thanks to this shampoo, it’s easy to find the balance between removing the most persistent residue and keeping your hair’s nourished and moisturized.

And you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals because Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo doesn’t contain silicones, parabens, phthalates, and petroleum. It’s gluten-free too!

Top Cleansing Shampoo for Low-Porosity Hair

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

Infused with top-notch ingredients, this shampoo helps solve your hair and scalp concerns.

Key benefits: Contains micro-exfoliators that clean the hair and detoxify the scalp; has a cooling effect; treats flaky scalp and irritation


  • Binchotan charcoal helps clear hair follicles
  • Tea tree oil for reducing irritation
  • Ginger root oil relieves scalp itchiness

Cleanse your hair and shampoo at the same time with the best ingredients from nature!

Why only tackle your hair’s problems when you can also give your scalp some attention at the same time? You’ll get that with Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo.

It has micro-exfoliators to help cleanse your hair and remove dead skin cells from your scalp. So while freeing your hair from dirt and impurities, you’re also taking a step toward keeping your scalp healthy. 

If you love a shampoo that gives a cooling effect for a healthy scalp, this one’s for you!

Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo

You won’t have to spend extra time in the shower to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp with this shampoo.

Key benefits: Quick hair cleansing action; helps to easily detangle hair; suitable for damaged and frizzy hair


  • Aloe vera too keep hair hydrated, soft, and shiny
  • Citric acid to help hair maintain a balanced pH
  • Salicylic acid for dry, irritated, and flaky scalp

It transforms from water to foam lather for quick, deep cleansing. Iit’s like magic!


Looking for a shampoo with a powerful cleansing effect that doesn’t leave your hair dry and unhealthy can be difficult. But those days are over, thanks to Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Micellar shampoo.

It’s formulated to lather quickly but still effectively cleanses from the scalp to the shaft without taking away moisture from your hair.

And even if you have curly hair from types 3A to 4C, detangling should become a more manageable task after using this shampoo! 

The combination of micellar water and sulfate-free formula also means you won’t have difficulty removing any buildup.

Top Drugstore Shampoo for Low Porosity Hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

If your hair is taking a beating from repeated hair treatments, this SheaMoisture shampoo is here to save you!

Key benefits: Brings back nourishment to damaged hair; removes buildup; helps wavy, curly and kinky hair types keep moisture


  • Jamaican black castor oil to deliver moisture and improve elasticity
  • Decyl glucoside with gentle surfactant properties
  • Relaxing peppermint scent

Now you can easily get back your hair’s natural moisture and nourishment.

Give your hair a boost to restore its natural, healthy look while giving it the nourishment it needs for stronger strands.

Infused with ingredients like Jamaican black castor oil and organic shea butter, this shampoo will give your hair much-needed moisture. Apple cider vinegar also takes care of your scalp’s pH level to reduce itchiness.

This one’s a clarifying shampoo too! So aside from all the great benefits mentioned, it also helps remove buildup from your hair and scalp.

So if you’re looking for a shampoo with a sulfate-free formula, this is something you should check out.

Top Shampoo for Low-Porosity Type 4 Hair

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo

Curly hair doesn’t just need moisture, it needs shine too! And you can get them both from this shampoo.

Key benefits: helps restore hair’s natural moisture; adds shine; suitable for a wide range of curl types from 2A up to 4C


  • Calendula flower promotes the growth of thick hair
  • Rose extract helps reduce frizz
  • Sweet clover hydrates hair shaft and detoxifies follicles

It works for dry and damaged hair too!


Hair dryness can become an even more significant concern for hair types that have low porosity and are curly simultaneously. The lack of moisture can easily lead to more concerns like the hair losing shine and softness.

Thank goodness for brands like Carol’s Daughter for ensuring that curly hair types have great options to keep their strands nourished, moisturized, and overall beautiful.

It’s packed with ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice and rose extract to help hydrate your hair and bring back its shine.

The Black Vanilla shampoo works great for naturally curly hair from types 4C down to 2A. So whether your strands are coily or wavy, this is one product you should take advantage of!

Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo

You can’t go wrong with this shampoo specifically formulated for type 4 hair.

Key benefits: Cleanses the hair without taking away natural moisture; removes dirt and excess oil; delivers silky finish for easy detangling


  • Pomegranate seed oil to moisturize, soften, and reduce frizz
  • Honey with humectant properties suitable for curly hair
  • Babassu oil to hydrate and protect hair’s outer layer

Cleanse, moisturize, and strengthen your curly hair with a shampoo that’s made for you.

It would be remiss not to recommend this shampoo for those searching for a type 4-friendly shampoo because Mielle Organics crafted it precisely for curly hair types.

It features honey, one of the top natural humectants, even for the curliest hair type. It’s also a well-known conditioning agent with moisturizing properties to unlock your hair’s healthy shine.

Pomegranate, also one of its key ingredients, is rich in antioxidants and is believed to be able to rejuvenate and strengthen hair.

You’ll achieve bouncy and hydrated curly hair while reducing frizz and improving your hair’s manageability. With all those benefits combined, removing tangles should no longer be a major concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Determine if I Have Low Porosity Hair?

There are different ways to test your porosity, but here’s the easiest one.

  1. Cleanse your hair (best with a clarifying shampoo) to remove any buildup. Wait for it to dry. 
  2. Get a glass or bowl and fill it with water. 
  3. Pick a single strand and drop it in the same glass.

Now observe if your hair floats. If this happens, your hair likely has low porosity.

How Often Should I Use Clarifying Shampoo?

Clarifying shampoo removes residue from everyday products, environmental pollutants, and other things that cause hair and scalp buildup.

The answer to how often clarifying shampoo should be used can differ from one person to another because of our hair care routine and daily activities. The average recommendation is to use it once or twice a month.

But you may have to use it as often as once a week if you’re regularly styling your hair or if your hair is more prone to forming product buildup.

Find the Best Low Porosity Shampoo for You

Many hair concerns start from insufficient moisture. And it so happens that low-porosity hair is structured in a way that needs an extra boost to stay properly hydrated.

Whether you got this hair type from genetics or repeated hair treatments in the past, don’t think twice about switching to a good shampoo for low-porosity hair.

This is your first step to addressing your hair’s specific needs. And you’ll thank yourself later once you start seeing that using the best low-porosity shampoo reduces your hair’s dryness, brittleness, and frizz.

Discover More Ways to Take Care of Your Hair Based on Its Porosity


  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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