Found in Transition: Chime Edwards on Hair Porosity

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Hair porosity can be confusing to understand, but it’s actually rather simple. Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb moisture and is broken down into three categories: low, normal and high.

The porosity test is a good indicator of what category your hair falls into. First, drop a strand of clean hair in a glass of water. If the strand immediately sinks to the bottom, your hair is of high porosity. If it lingers about midway in the glass, it’s of normal porosity. If the strand floats towards the top and it takes a while for it to sink, your strands are of low porosity.

If you have low porosity, it means your cuticles are a little tight and pretty resistant to receiving water and moisture. The strand floated at the top of the glass because water couldn't get inside of it and weigh it down, forcing it to sink. Those with low porous hair cannot absorb products easily either. To get moisture to penetrate the hair, you should use products containing more alkaline ingredients that will help lift your cuticles. Avoid using products with a low pH because high acidity works to keep the cuticle closed. Need extra moisture? Steamers are an excellent way to help lift the cuticle to get moisture to your hair. When setting styles, always try to start on damp hair and avoid overusing oils and butters.

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Normal porosity means you're not in the red! When your hair has normal porosity, it holds moisture and shine for an extended period of time. Clearly, most natural women would love to have this hair type but many are unaware that hair of normal porosity can change. If you use heat often, relax your hair or chemically process it in some way, your hair porosity can change over time. Be sure to stick to a healthy hair care regimen to maintain the normal porosity of your hair.

If your strand sank, it’s likely riddled with gaps, tears and openings that allowed water to easily flow in, quickly sinking the strand to the bottom. If you think your hair absorbs products quickly but loses the moisture just as fast, you may have high porous hair. If this is your case, try using butter and oils to help lock in moisture your strands naturally easily lose. Also, rinsing your hair regularly using an apple cider vinegar mix, and applying aloe vera gel and protein treatments to temporarily fill gaps can help manage high porous hair. There is no way to completely repair high porous hair, but you can try by using these quick and easy tips.