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3 Easy Tests That Will Help Determine Your Hair's Porosity

If you really want to better understand your texture, start here. 

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By Bukky Ojeifo · July 17, 2017

Regardless of your hair texture, knowing its porosity level is the key to building a proper (and healthy) routine.  However, it can be difficult to understand, so let’s break it down. 

Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.

If it’s hard for your hair to obtain moisture, this means that you have low porosity. The cuticles are tightly compacted, making it difficult for water to simply pass through. The good news is that once the moisture is in, you can reap the benefits of moisture for a long period of time. 

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On the other hand, if it’s easy for your hair to obtain moisture, this means that you have high porosity. The cuticles are lifted with gaps on each strand, making it easy for water to pass through. The hiccup with this although absorption is easy, it doesn’t last long. So those with this type of hair are more prone to dryness.

Curious as to where your tresses fall on the porosity scale? Keep scrolling for the 411 on three tests you can try in the comfort of your own home. 

Special Testing Note: Each strand on your head is different, so it’s important to take strands from different parts of your head for more accurate results. 

This test is done by gathering clean strands of hair and placing it into warm water.  After 5-10 mintues, if the hair floats, your hair is low porosity. If it sinks, consider your hair high porosity. And if it just right under the top layer of water, it's normal. It is important to note that this method isn't always 100% accurate, but is good at helping you gather information to support hair maintenance.

This test is conducted by gathering a clean strand of hair and with clean index and thumb fingers, gently gliding them up and down the strand of hair. If it is smooth and void of ridges and bumps, you have low porosity. If it has bumps and ridges, you're dealing with high porosity hair.