Let’s talk conditioning
Before anything you must understand hair porosity. It is very important when determining your regimen. You either have low, regular or high porosity. Here is the breakdown:
- Low Porosity hair has a hard time taking in moisture. It can get very dry if not taken care of properly. If you fall under this category you should stay away from protein and focus more on hydrating treatments. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use protein treatments once in a while. This type of hair dries very quick.
- Regular Porosity hair is very easy to manage. The cuticles are a little more open allowing moisture to come in. It doesn’t need to be deep conditioned as often. This category requires very little maintenance.
- High Porosity hair is when the cuticles are too open. It takes in everything; moisture, harsh chemicals, pollutants, etc. It takes in too much moisture which can cause frizz and tangles. It can be affected by the weather when it’s humid. But it can also lose moisture very quick if it isn’t sealed. High porosity hair is usually caused by damage of heat or harsh chemicals like relaxers or bleach, etc. It can also just be hereditary. Think of it as the pores on your face. When your pores are open they absorb all kinds of dirt and bacteria. Just as you close your pores with cold water you must seal high porosity hair with a sealant. Sealants can be butters or oils. High porosity hair takes very long to dry.
I hope I didn’t freak you out. I first searched hair porosity because I noticed my hair was really dry and products seemed to be sitting on the surface of my hair causing a lot of product buildup. Product buildup causes clogged cuticles which further prevents the cuticles from taking in needed moisture. Once you figure out what category you fall under you will better understand your hair needs and be able to adapt a regimen beneficial to your hair.
There are a couple of test you can perform to identify your hair’s porosity. But this is the one I find the most effective.
Fill a glass of water with warm or room temperature water. Then take a clean hair strand and drop it inside the glass. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.
- If the hair is floating on the surface it means you have low porosity hair
- If it stays in the middle you have regular porosity hair
- And if it sinks to the bottom it means you have high porosity hair
For low porosity hair I recommend heat this way your hair cuticles will open up. By heat I mean heat up every product before you apply it to your hair.
- Use streamers or hooded dryers to deep condition (I like to stay under the dryer for at least 30 minutes; sometimes I take it even further and leave my treatment in overnight)
- Always use a plastic cap to help trap in the moisture and heat
- Use products with high pH
- Use water base conditioners
- Cherry Cola treatment is very helpful. Check out these links: https://unveiledglamour.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/best-treatment-for-dry-hair/ and http://www.cherrylola.com/2009/03/magic-frizz-reducer-a-fluke-concoction-called-the-cherry-lola-treatment/
- Some people chose to seal their hair while others don’t, if you decide to do so make sure it is a light oil like jojoba.
Regular porosity hair is in good shape. You probably don’t need much advice.
- Deep condition every two or three weeks
- You can also benefit from protein and oil treatments occasionally
- Even though your hair is in good shape try to not to overdo it with harsh chemicals or too much heat
As I said above for high porosity hair sealants are key.
- Try heavier oils and butters to assist with closing the cuticles; Shea butter and Castrol oil are great sealants (apply after leave in)
- Also use anti-humectants to help with weather frizz
- Use acidic hair products (low pH)
- Protein treatments are very important for high porosity hair
- You can also try apple cider vinegar rinse, to help seal, use equal parts of water and vinegar
- Polymedic- Emergency Reconstructor is great protein treatment; but I must warn you use it as instructed or your hair will suffer the consequences, it can cause breakage if left on too long
I hope this helps you begin a regimen that’s beneficial to your hair. Look out for my next post. We will further discuss products and regimen.