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You might have seen a cool hair care routine on Youtube or TikTok and tried it at home. Or you may have seen a new product everyone loves and decided to give it a shot.
Did it work out? Or was it a disaster?
Sometimes, what works for others may not work as well for you. This is because people have different hair types and conditions.
And it’s not just about straight hair vs. curly hair.
Hair doesn’t just look different but can also have other characteristics. One important one to consider when thinking about hair care is hair porosity.
If you’re unfamiliar with “porosity,” don’t worry; we’re here to talk about that.
In this article, we’ll define high porosity hair and see how using the right products can make a big difference in caring for your locks.
We’ll also look at what products are good for high-porosity hair.
After all, healthy, gorgeous hair can make you extra confident and put that added bounce in your step. So let’s ensure you take care of your hair correctly.
- With powerful natural ingredients
- No harmful drying chemicals
- Nourishes and softens dry, brittle hair
- 100% natural organic ingredients
- No harsh synthetic chemicals
- Keeps hair and scalp healthy
What is High Porosity Hair?
So what does it mean to have high porosity hair? Hair porosity refers to how well the hair can absorb and retain moisture.
All hair is porous, but there are different levels of porosity. Some hair absorbs moisture faster than others.
Knowing your hair porosity level is essential because this will help you determine what products you should use to maintain your hair’s health.
Hair porosity has three levels:
- Low porosity
- Medium or normal porosity
- High porosity
Hair porosity is determined by the outer layer of the hair strand, called the cuticle. The cuticle controls how easily moisture can get in and out of the hair.
This cuticle is made up of tiny scales that overlap each other like roof shingles.
With low-porosity hair, the scales on the hair cuticles are very close together.
This makes it hard for moisture to get into the hair shaft and is why low-porosity hair takes a long time to wet and can’t absorb moisture or products well.
While with medium or normal porosity, the cuticles aren’t too close or far apart. This means the hair can easily hold moisture and keep it there for longer.
For high-porosity hair, the cuticles have big gaps between them. So, the strands absorb products quickly. But it loses moisture just as fast.
For this article, we’ll focus on high-porosity hair.
What Does High Porosity Hair Mean?
You now have a basic definition of high porosity hair. Let’s expand that definition a little bit more.
Highly porous hair can take in moisture as quickly because of the bigger gaps in the cuticles. And while absorbing moisture may sound good, high porosity har can’t keep that moisture in.
The bigger cuticle gaps that allow moisture are also why highly porous hair can’t retain that moisture for long.
If you want to know more about high porosity hair characteristics, try to picture the hair’s cuticles for a more visual idea.
When looked at under a microscope, you’ll see a strand with low or normal porosity looking like the smooth scales of a snake.
On the other hand, with high porosity hair, the cuticles are open and rough, making the strand look more like a Christmas tree.
How Does Hair Become Highly Porous?
One reason for high porosity hair is genetics.
You can just be born with your hair cuticles already opened up, which is the case for people with curly and coily hair.
According to the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC), the twists in the hair cause the cuticles to lift at different points along the hair fiber.
That said, hair with tight, spiral curls tends to have more lifted cuticles and is, therefore, more porous.
But genetics isn’t the only reason. NYSCC also states that low or medium porosity hair can become highly porous due to excessive hair damage.
This damage can be caused by daily grooming activities like:
- Combing or brushing
It can also be due to chemical processes such as
- Perming or relaxing
- Coloring with permanent dye
What Does High Porosity Hair Look Like?
Your have hair with high porosity if it:
- Tangles easily
- Looks dull
- Gets wet quickly
- Is prone to frizz
- Looks and feels dry
- Easily breaks
- Absorbs products quickly
How to Tell if You Have High-Porosity Hair
Aside from the physical signs of highly-porous hair, there’s also a simple test that you can do to determine your hair porosity.
All you need to do is take a strand of your hair, drop it in a glass of water, and observe it.
Did it sink quickly to the bottom? If it does, then you have high porosity hair.
If the strand goes quickly to the middle and then slowly goes down, you have normal or medium porosity hair.
If it floats for a while before sinking, then you have low porosity hair.
Note: To make this test accurate, ensure your hair is clean with no products on or product build-up from previous days, as oil might affect how the strand sinks or floats.
Also, try the test on more than one strand of hair. Use strands from different parts of your head to see if the results are the same.
12 Best High Porosity Hair Products
When caring for highly porous hair, the focus is reducing and repairing the damage to the hair cuticles to help the strands retain moisture.
To do this, you should use specially formulated products for high porosity or damaged hair.
Note that you won’t usually see the words “high porosity” on product labels, so you need to look for products with heavy moisturizing ingredients like butter or oil.
Best Pre-Poo and Detangling Products
For high porosity hair, prewashing and detangling are your best friends. So pre-shampoo or “pre-poo” treatments are a great idea to add a layer of protection.
This is because highly porous strands can tangle easily when wet.
So to prevent unwanted tangling and hair fall when washing your hair, you must ensure that your hair is detangled before you step into the shower.
When detangling, you can use essential oils for your hair or your trusted conditioner. This will also help prevent your hair from absorbing too much water when you shower.
Here are some of our favorite pre-shampoo and detangling products.
We love how easily a comb glides through the hair when detangling with this product. Just mist the product lightly from roots to ends, and you can effortlessly remove knots.
Primary Benefits: Instantly detangles, conditions, and hydrates; leaves strands silky and soft; seals cuticles
- Oribe signature complex
- Detangling oil blend
- No parabens, sulfates, sodium chloride, and gluten
- Color and keratin treatment safe
- UV protection
For hair that feels incredibly soft to the touch before and after you shower, you should definitely try the Oribe Run-Through Detangling Primer.
If you always get tangles in your hair, this lightweight conditioning detangler is perfect for you.
The Oribe signature complex includes
- Edelweiss flower
It also has a blend of pomegranate, apricot, and coconut oil that smooths the cuticle and separates the strands.
The formula protects hair from dryness and damage and keeps it soft and free from tangles.
It’s a hair and skin-friendly product that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, so you’re sure your skin is safe from irritations.
What we like about this product is the applicator and massager tip. Gently work it through your hair in small circular motions to help improve your scalp’s circulation.
Primary Benefits: Deeply cleanses and purifies the scalp; strengthens the roots; restores scalp balance; makes hair shiny
- Stimulating plant concentrate
- With warming essential oils
- 100% naturally derived ingredients
- No sulfate, parabens, and silicones
- For all hair types
Use Rene Furterer Paris Pre-Shampoo Treatment for thicker, stronger, and more radiant hair.
This Pre-Shampoo Treatment detoxifies your scalp with its key ingredients – lavender and orange essential oils.
It soothes and invigorates the scalp, improving circulation and strengthening the roots. You’ll notice less hair fall after about four weeks of use.
When using, massage the product in and leave it on your hair for 5 minutes before you shampoo. You’ll feel like you just got a luxurious spa treatment.
The product also doesn’t leave an oily residue, and the relaxing scent lingers long after you wash it off.
If you’re looking for a natural product, this is as natural as you can get! It’s made from cold-pressed and unrefined coconuts and contains no synthetic chemicals.
It’s so pure and safe that you can even add it to your food.
Primary Benefits: Repairs damaged hair; makes hair more manageable; keeps hair healthy
- Certified organic
- No harmful chemicals
- Safe for children
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is not just for cooking, baking, and skin and body care. It’s good for the hair, too!
What’s a great product option for those who don’t want to spend too much on pre-poo oil? Coconut oil!
You definitely know by now that virgin coconut oil (VCO) is beneficial for health because of its nutrients. But this oil can also work wonders for our hair.
VCO forms a barrier on your scalp to block bacteria and irritants. It also moisturizes the strands of your hair.
So, grab an affordable big tub of Nutiva Organic Coconut oil and use it before you shower.
Just massage the oil through your hair to detangle it and leave it on for 30 minutes.
But remember that because it’s a natural oil, you should shampoo your hair twice because it can be greasy.
Best Shampoo for High Porosity Hair
When washing your hair, avoid using shampoos that contain sulfates. Even though they lather well, they can be very drying, especially for highly porous hair.
Remember that your goal is to retain moisture, so you should also steer clear of clarifying shampoo. Get a product that can clean your hair thoroughly but gently.
Dermatologists created LivSo, so you can rest assured that it’s formulated to effectively reduce scalp irritation, dryness, and flaking without damaging your hair.
Primary Benefits: Smooths and strengthens the hair; leaves hair and scalp clean, healthy, and moisturized; makes hair light and manageable
- Specially formulated for dry, damaged hair
- Perfect for curly or textured hair
LivSo Moisturizing Shampoo effectively cleanses without leaving your tresses feeling stripped or parched.
This shampoo contains:
- Xylitol – a natural ingredient that infuses protein into the hair and scalp
- Glycolic acid – an exfoliating agent that helps thoroughly clean the scalp
- Coconut oil and shea butter – for all-natural protective moisture
With these ingredients, LivSo shampoo can transform your hair from dry and brittle to radiant and strong.
And it’s a proven effective shampoo too. Through a product study, LivSo found that:
- 97% of participants who used this shampoo for 12 weeks preferred it to other dry hair products
- 91% showed improvement in their scalp condition
This product also has a pleasant scent and lathers well, despite being sulfate-free.
This shampoo's invigorating peppermint adds an energizing scent while it breathes life into your locks. It's like you're getting aromatherapy while shampooing.
Primary Benefits: Deeply cleanses without drying; restores scalp balance; adds volume to hair
- Contains natural ingredients
- For dry, sensitive scalp
- With amino acid-based cleansers
Malin + Goetz's Peppermint Shampoo is an excellent and fuss-free choice for healthy and nourished hair.
Less is more!
The philosophy of less but better guides Malin + Goetz.
That’s why they promote an uncomplicated hair care regimen with fewer unnecessary ingredients and less packaging waste.
This effective shampoo contains amino acid-based cleansers that remove dirt, oil, and product build-up without stripping or drying hair.
You’ll get out of the shower feeling relaxed, with hair that feels and smells great!
Best Conditioner Products for High-Porosity Hair
To moisturize high-porosity hair, use conditioners that contain nourishing oils. This helps seal the gaps in the cuticle and coats your hair with a protective layer.
This is our favorite conditioner because of its shine-enhancing nutrients. It leaves hair shiny, soft, and easy to style.
Primary Benefits: Hydrates and replenishes dry, damaged hair; infuses hair with intense moisture; helps restore manageability
- Contains fig extract and baobab oils
- Rich in manuka honey and mafura oil
- No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, petrolatum
Nourish and soften dry, brittle hair with SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Conditioner.
This product’s primary goal is to provide intensive conditioning, which is why it contains super nourishing ingredients:
- Manuka honey – provides moisture
- Mafura oil – softens and promotes healthy hair
- Fig extract – keeps hair looking vibrant
- Baobab oil – contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and F to fortify and strengthen hair
It conditions and instantly detangles your hair. You can use it as a detangler or after shampooing.
Plus, its gentle formulation is perfect for color-treated hair.
We love this brand’s all-natural ingredients blended in one nourishing formula for intense moisture from roots to tips.
Primary Benefits: Hydrates the hair; enhances radiance; promotes silky-looking hair; tames frizz and flyaways
- Contains essential oils
- For all hair types
- Made with pure silk amino acids, jojoba oil, plant-based keratin, and shea butter
Turn your tresses from frizzy and dry to soft and silky with Maple Holistics Silk18 Conditioner.
This conditioner contains 18 silk amino acids and plenty of other natural components. But even with all those ingredients, it’s still lightweight and doesn’t leave residue on your hair.
It also has a pleasing, sweet light vanilla scent. Plus, a little amount goes a long way.
Another thing that we love about Maple Holistics is that it’s manufactured using renewable energy. The brand doesn’t only love your hair but also helps preserve the environment.
Best High Porosity Hair Products for LOC
LOC stands for leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. The acronym also indicates the order in which you should apply these products.
Take a look at the best LOC products.
This leave-in product gives your strands a slippery coat for easy and effective detangling. You can use it as part of your LOC method or on its own every evening before bed.
Primary Benefits: Smooths the cuticle for healthier hair; provides intense moisture; strengthens the strands from the inside out; leaves a beautiful natural shine
- Key ingredients: almond and avocado oil, shea butter, coconut milk
- No silicones, parabens, petrolatum, sulfates, gluten, and alcohol
- Best for curls
Nourish your curls with the moisturizing power of almond and avocado using Design Essentials Natural Hair Leave-In Conditioner.
Let’s look closely at the key ingredients of this leave-in conditioner and see how they benefit your hair.
- Coconut milk replenishes moisture
- Avocado strengthens the hair shaft and prevents breakage
- Almond nourishes hair and leaves a luminous shine
- Shea butter protects against scalp irritation
This conditioner is lightweight and can be layered with other styling products. It helps keep the hair manageable and brings curls to life.
What we love about this oil is that it’s not too heavy and greasy on the hair, so it’s great for everyday use. You can also apply this before a blowout to make your hair extra smooth.
Primary Benefits: Dramatically increases shine and softness; strengthens and repairs tresses; controls frizz
- With patented bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate
- UV and heat protection
- For all hair types
Get hair that looks and feels new with the restructuring power of Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil.
Olaplex is well-known for its effectiveness in repairing hair bonds using its patented bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate.
This ingredient protects, nourishes, and restructures hair internally.
This highly concentrated, weightless, reparative styling oil detangles and minimizes flyaways. It repairs damaged and compromised hair as well.
It may be a bit pricey, but Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil and its benefits to your hair are worth the investment.
This product is made with natural ingredients that are guaranteed fresh because the product is handcrafted and mixed fresh to order.
Primary Benefits: Makes hair feel smooth and smell great; melts into the hair for even saturation; defines curls
- Infused with almond, aloe vera, and honey
- For dry coily hair
- Paraben and phthalate-free
Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter is a soft styling cream with an indulgent nutty aroma that nourishes and smoothens the tresses.
The almond extract in this butter offers a rich source of magnesium that conditions the hair and scalp.
It contains aloe vera, which aids in moisture retention and promotes hair growth. It also has honey that transforms into a natural emollient hair softener and makes it smoother.
Other helpful ingredients are pumpkin, sesame, and jojoba seed oil.
This product provides great hydration and is perfect for twisting out and shaping your curls.
Best Deep Conditioner for High Porosity Hair
Deep conditioners act as fillers for your hair fibers. They temporarily seal the cuticle to reduce the hair’s porosity.
Choose products rich in protein because this nutrient fortifies high-porosity hair while protecting it.
This hair mask is highly effective and is clinically proven to decrease hair breakage after just two uses.
Primary Benefits: Strengthens hair; helps prevent future damage; boosts shine and silkiness; restores moisture to hair damaged by heat or chemical treatments
- With rosehip oil, B vitamins, and algae extract
- No sulfates, silicons, parabens, phthalates, DEA, and artificial dyes
- For high porosity, damaged hair but works for all hair types
Repair dry, brittle tresses with this deeply moisturizing and conditioning hair mask.
This product has 97% naturally derived ingredients, including B vitamins that improve the hair’s texture while adding body and shine.
The algae extract provides minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants to nourish and strengthen the hair and protect the scalp from free radical damage.
It also contains rosehip oil that helps maintain hydration and control frizz.
Plus, it’s rich in wheat and soy protein, making it effective in repairing hair strands.
Best Styling Products For High Porosity Hair
Highly porous hair can get easily damaged by heat and chemicals.
So when you style your hair, it’s best to consider using products formulated to protect your locks from further damage.
We love this product’s key ingredient, argan oil. The product protects the hair from extreme heat exposure, ensuring it stays smooth and healthy.
Primary Benefits: Makes the hair smooth and hydrated; creates a protective heat barrier; speeds up drying time; boosts shine
- No sulfate, phosphates, and parabens
- For natural hair and extensions
- For all hair types
- Color safe
Get a sleek, gorgeous hairstyle without the damage when you use HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal Protector.
HSI is committed to delivering salon-quality tools and hair care products to consumers worldwide, and this is an excellent choice if you like to use heat-styling tools.
Apply this product before using flat irons or curling wands to protect the hair fibers from heat exposure of up to 450°F. You can use it as a hair serum, even without heat styling.
With daily use, this will absolutely condition, protect, and strengthen your hair.
More Tips on How to Care for High Porosity Hair
Aside from using the right products, you can also do several things to keep your hair hydrated.
First, avoid hot water when washing your hair, and opt for warm or cool water to protect your cuticle. Hot water may lift the cuticles and cause further damage.
In addition, you can also replace your towel with a cotton t-shirt when drying your hair.
Vigorous towel drying can create friction and cause the strands to break, whereas the smooth fiber of a cotton shirt can be more soothing and help reduce breakage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should high porosity hair be washed?
For highly porous hair, we recommend washing every two days with a gentle shampoo to keep your hair healthy and your scalp clean.
Some people may want to wash their hair daily, especially if they have an active lifestyle or are more prone to daily exposure to pollution.
That’s okay if the shampoo is not too drying and they follow the washing routine with a hydrating conditioner.
Some people can go several days or even a week without shampooing and still have healthy locks.
Your best bet is to take your cue from your hair to determine washing frequency and see what works best for you.
What ingredients should people with high porosity hair avoid?
If you have high porosity hair, you should avoid sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and silicones. These are harmful, drying chemicals because they strip off your hair’s natural oil.
Since your highly porous strands already lose a lot of moisture, you shouldn’t worsen the dryness by using products with those ingredients.
Caring for Your High Porosity Hair
If your hair is highly porous, it can easily absorb water and other liquid products. Unfortunately, it will also have a hard time holding that moisture.
That’s why high-porosity hair tends to be frizzy and dry. It’s also more prone to tangles and breakage.
This is why it’s essential to care for it properly and use products that won’t dry or damage it further.
It’s a good thing that you can find high-porosity hair products that you can use to help restore and retain the moisture in your strands and keep them healthy and strong.
If you use these products regularly, you can improve the health of your hair and make it easier to manage.
Do you have high porosity hair? How do you keep it healthy and happy? Let us know!