Natural Hair Care: Hair Porosity

Aloe Vera is amazing for your hair. I helps stimulate growth, it treats the scalp, it conditions the hair making it soft and silky and controls frizz by smoothing the hair cuticle. So why then, when I used it, did it make my hair dry and brittle as straw? Apparently, it is because I have low porosity hair and I didn’t even know about it. 

Hair porosity is basically like how many gaps there are in your hair. This picture explains it better: 

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It effects how well moisture can penetrate the hair shaft. Very porous hair absorbs all the moisture not leaving anything behind whereas on low porosity hair it will just sit on the strand unable to get in. Essentially high porosity hair is not healthy hair. And low porosity hair already has all the health and goodness it needs. This is why I was so surprised to find out I had lo-po hair because I always thought my hair was incredibly porous. Probably because when I used to get it bleached every 6 weeks my hair dresser never used toner because of how porous my hair was. But my hair must have repaired itself and all the care I’ve been taking must have payed off because it seems now my hair is healthy and no longer porous. 

An easy was to tell how porous your hair is is by placing a single hair strand in a glass of water. If it sinks quickly it is porous. It has absorbed all that water quickly which weighs it down causing it to sink. Therefore if it takes a long time to sink or just floats at the top it is low porosity. Or you could run your fingers up a strand of your hair towards the scalp and if you feel a lot of bumps it is highly porous. If it feels smooth, it is not porous. 

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So with that all being said, what does this mean for my hair? And why does it not like Aloe Vera? Basically because aloe vera smooths cuticles and mine are already smooth, it’s redundant. Why this leaves my hair dry and brittle, I don’t know. There is also a school of thought about protein sensitivity in hair which is that some hair is already full of protein so rejects any more protein you apply to the hair which leaves it dull and dry. Some people vouch this is true for them, others claim protein sensitivity is a myth.

So how do you look after lo-po hair? 

Basically, if you have lo-po hair you are kind of blessed and don’t need to do much to it. However if it is really dry and you want your hair cuticles to open up to take in the moisture from a treatment you are using, you can always use SAFE heat. For example, heating the product (oil, conditioning treatment) before applying it. You can also sit under a hair dryer while your hair is safely protected under a shower cap which will help the moisture penetrate the hair shaft. However because I avoid ANY heat on my hair (I even wrap it up when I’m sunbathing) I will not be doing this. I am too chicken. Another way to get your hair to accept the moisture from the product is only to use a tiny amount of it. I have been doing Coconut Oil pre-poo treatments (pre-poo meaning before you wash your hair) and leaving the coconut oil in my hair overnight. It worked beautifully the first time, however the last time I did it my hair felt really dry when I was washing it out. This could be because I used too much and next time I should use only the smallest amount. I am going to keep trying to see if I can get the amount right, because coconut oil has SO many benefits for hair. 

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Please let me know any experiences you have had, good or bad, with hair porosity, aloe vera, coconut oil, anything! I would love to know about other hair experiences. 

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4 thoughts on “Natural Hair Care: Hair Porosity

  1. I am lo po also. Coconut can act as protein for some, so maybe you overdosed. It is also possible that while you slept your head didn’t get warm enough to hear the oil which would allow it to absorb. I use aloe Vera gel as a preserved in my flaxseed gel and it works well, but I never use it alone. You may find lighter oils like grapeseed are helpful. I love grapeseed oil because while a bit more thin it is just the right consistency to absord into ky closed cuticles!

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