Medium Porosity Hair: Your Go-To Guide

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Not all hair is created equal. And it’s not just about looks either. You may notice that hair products work differently for each person.

You might have friends who need to buy a leave-in conditioner repeatedly because they have to keep reapplying it, and other friends don’t like using leave-in at all because it causes too much buildup.

Some people may use the same hair dye and end up with very different results.

These differences are caused by a key factor of hair condition: porosity.

A woman is brushing her hair with wooden brush  in front of a mirror.

Hair porosity can impact how your hair behaves and reacts to different haircare products.

There are three levels of hair porosity — low, medium, and high. 

In this piece, we’ll focus on medium porosity hair and learn more about what that means and how to care for it properly.

Hair Porosity

Before we talk about medium porosity hair, we must first understand what hair porosity is. Porosity is our hair’s ability to absorb moisture and hair products.

As mentioned, the three porosity levels are low, medium, and high.

Your hair porosity level is determined by the condition of the outermost layer of your hair or your hair cuticles. The hair cuticle is composed of layered shingles like scales or roof tiles.

Low Porosity

With low porosity hair, the cuticles are tightly packed, flat, and smooth on the strands. Because of this, moisture or water has difficulty penetrating the hair shaft.

Because the cuticle is dense, low-porosity hair can’t absorb hair products well, causing locks to be weighed down and lifeless.

Medium Porosity

Medium porosity hair means strands have looser cuticles, leaving spaces where moisture can enter.

But, the cuticles aren’t too loose, so the hydration and other nutrients will stay inside the hair fiber longer

Medium porosity is often referred to as a perfect balance.

High Porosity

High porosity hair has cuticles that are lifted and far apart, creating lots of gaps in between. This means the strands absorb moisture quickly but won’t be able to hold it in.

High porosity hair is often in this condition due to damage caused by excessive heat styling or chemical treatments. 

Hair Porosity Test

The back of a woman with long black hair.

Now that you know about the three different hair porosity levels, how do you determine the porosity level of your hair? 

There are simple tests you can do at home to understand your hair better and determine your porosity level.

Direct Water Test

This is the most straightforward test you can do. All you have to do is take a shower and observe how your hair reacts when you wet it. 

If the hair gets wet quickly, your hair is most likely highly porous.

However, if the water seems to be sliding down your hair at first without being absorbed by the strands, then your hair might be low porosity.

You have medium porosity if the water is neither absorbed too quickly nor too slowly.

Float Test

For this test, ensure your locks are freshly washed to ensure accurate results.

Get a strand from your head and drop it into a glass of water. Observe how the strand moves in the water — whether it sinks or floats.

If the strand floats, your hair has low porosity. If it sinks quickly, you have high porosity hair. And if it goes down to the middle fast and then starts to slow down while going lower, you have medium porosity hair.

Use more than one strand to ensure result accuracy.

Slide Test

For this final test, grab a small section of hair (about 3-5 strands). Then carefully slide your fingers up and down along the strands to check how they feel.

If your strands feel very smooth, then you have low-porosity hair. While if you notice some bumps or roughness, you have high porosity hair.

You likely have medium porosity hair if it feels like a good balance between smooth and rough.

Medium Porosity Hair Characteristics

Now that you know how to test for porosity level let’s take a closer look at medium porosity hair.

With this type of hair, your cuticles have some gaps, but these gaps aren’t too big.

Because of this looser structure, the moisture quickly penetrates the strand. But, because the gaps aren’t too big, the hydration isn’t lost just as quickly.

That’s why medium porosity hair is known as the best type of hair and the easiest to manage. 

Signs of medium porosity hair:

  • It has a natural sheen.
  • It can get greasy on a humid day.
  • It takes color and chemical products well.
  • It’s easy to style because it can hold curl patterns and waves.

Medium Porosity Hair Care

While medium porosity hair is already considered healthy, it’s still important to take good care of it.

After all, your hair porosity level can become higher when your strands are exposed to various styling activities like:

To maintain medium porosity locks, you must care for them and ensure they stay healthy and hydrated.

A woman in a white robe is spraying hair mist in front of the mirror

How to Care for Your Hair

  1. Use a mild shampoo once or twice a week.
  2. Clarify your hair once a month to remove build-up and restore the scalp’s balance.
  3. Moisturize and strengthen your hair with deep conditioners once a week or every two weeks.
  4. Use lightweight products on your hair to keep from weighing it down.
  5. Avoid excessive use of flat irons, curling wands, or other heat-styling products.
  6. After chemically processing your hair (bleach, color, or perm), ensure it has fully recovered before doing another process.

Products for Medium Porosity Hair

What medium porosity hair products should you use? If you have medium porosity hair, you only need a few products.

Investing in the right products formulated to care for medium porosity hair can help you keep your locks healthy and full of life.

Shampoo for Medium Porosity Hair

The best shampoo for medium porosity hair is mild and preferably sulfate-free.

You won’t need a thick and heavily moisturizing cleanser. Just choose whatever’s best for your hair type and condition.

L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo

This shampoo is specially formulated to be gentle on colored hair because it has no sulfates, harsh surfactants, and harmful salts.

Primary Benefits: Gently cleanses dry hair to replenish essential moisture; gives luscious softness and luminous shine


  • Key ingredient: Rosemary
  • Anti-fade
  • UV filter
  • Vegan
  • Color-safe

Use a light shampoo for medium porosity hair like L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Shampoo.

The L’Oreal Paris EverPure system is powered by science to care for color-treated hair. But because of its gentle formula, it can be used by people with medium porosity hair.

It has no harmful chemicals. Instead, it contains powerful natural ingredients like rosemary, cedar, bergamot, and musk. These essential nutrients ensure that your hair needs to stay healthy.

Clarifying Shampoo For Medium Porosity hair

Aside from shampoo for regular washing, you can also get a clarifying shampoo for your monthly deep cleansing.

Sofn’free GroHealthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

This product can remove even the most deep-seated dirt and buildup but does so in a very gentle way.

Primary Benefits: Gently deep cleans hair and scalp; makes conditioning treatments work better


  • Color-safe
  • Detox for natural hair
  • Dissolves buildup

Ensure your hair is free of product buildup with Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo!

Sofn’free GroHealthy’s Nothing But series has a clean formula for your natural medium porosity hair.

It has NO:

  • Sulfates
  • Parabens
  • Colorants
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Phthalates

It’s ideal to use when your hair feels weighed down from all the styling products and pollution.

You can see and feel the difference in your healthier hair with touchable softness and natural sheen.

Conditioner for Medium Porosity Hair

When choosing a conditioner for regular hair washing, opt for something lightweight so it won’t leave an oily film on your locks.

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Conditioner

When you look at a label's ingredient list, the first ingredient is the product's main ingredient.

What's good about this conditioner is that its ingredient list starts with aloe vera juice and coconut water. That means it's packed with a lot of natural goodness for your hair.

Primary Benefits: Moisturizes hair strands; keeps hair feeling and smelling fresh


  • Contains hibiscus water, passion fruit, and watermelon
  • Good for all hair types
  • Vegan and eco-friendly
  • Sulfate-free

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water hydrates like water and thoroughly moisturizes your locks.

This product is lightly moisturizing, which means there is no residue or heaviness. Strands are left soft, touchable, and full of body.

This product is perfect for medium porosity hair.

Hair Oil for Medium Porosity Hair

Hair oil isn’t only for dry hair. Sometimes, even healthy hair needs this product, too, as it acts as an added layer of protection.

While you want the protection and moisture oils provide, you don’t want to use oils that are too thick or heavy because your locks will end up greasy instead of shiny.

So opt for something natural and lightweight.

The best oils for medium porosity hair are argan, macadamia, hazelnut, moringa, grapeseed, almond, and jojoba oil.

Moroccanoil Treatment Hair Oil

This oil is a treatment and styling product in one. You can use it before styling and it will give you smoother and fuller locks.

And with more frequent and continuous use, your hair becomes better.

Primary Benefits: Hydrates and nourishes the hair; helps improve hair health; smooths frizz and flyaways; speeds up blow-drying time


  • Contains argan oil
  • No parabens and formaldehyde
  • Cruelty-free

Increase your hair’s shine by 118% (according to studies) with Moroccanoil Treatment!

This fast-absorbing, non-greasy formula is rich in argan oil to moisturize your tresses and protect them from damage.

It’s also infused with linseed extract and shine-boosting vitamins.

When you use this product, you can instantly feel a big difference in your hair texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you treat medium porosity hair?

While medium porosity hair only requires the lowest level of hair care, you should still treat it right to keep it in good condition.

Use gentle cleansing products and light moisturizing conditioners for your wash routine. Also, avoid harsh styling and chemicals to prevent hair damage.

Is medium porosity hair frizzy?

As I’ve said, medium porosity hair is healthy hair. It isn’t prone to frizz, dryness, and breakage.

If you notice your hair getting frizzy, that must mean the porosity level is getting higher, so you must put in more effort to restore your hair’s health.

How often should medium porosity hair be washed?

You should wash medium porosity hair a few times weekly to avoid an oily scalp or any potential product build-up. 

But it would be best if you didn’t wash it every day so the scalp won’t feel too dry.

A woman with curly hair posing on a pink background.

Treat Medium Porosity Hair the Right Way

The key to caring for medium porosity hair is to remember that your hair porosity isn’t permanent.

Even if you have healthy hair now, that can quickly change if you don’t take care of it.

So be sure to take care of your hair by finding the right products for your type of hair. 

For medium porosity hair, use gentle shampoos and conditioners. You can also add shine to your locks by using products with natural oils and light moisturizing conditioners for your wash routine. 

And finally, avoid harsh styling and chemicals to prevent hair damage. 

If you know your hair porosity and tailor your haircare routine to include products created specifically for your hair and porosity level, you’ll find you can keep your hair healthy and happy.

Do you have medium porosity hair? How do you care for it?

Want to learn about caring for other hair types? Check out these articles:


  • Rachelle Velasco

    Rachelle, is a sought-after freelance hair and makeup artist, shines particularly in the world of hair color. From subtle ombres and balayages to vibrant hues and intricate root work, she crafts unique styles tailored to individual preferences. Beyond her artistic talents, Rachelle also holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, showcasing her diverse skill set and dedication to learning.

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