How to Determine Your Hair Porosity at Home: Simple Tests and Indicators

Determining your hair porosity at home is relatively simple and can be done using a few straightforward tests and indicators. Here are some methods you can try to identify your hair porosity:

  1. The Water Test:

    • Start with clean and dry hair.
    • Take a strand of hair from different areas of your head (e.g., front, back, sides).
    • Drop the strand of hair into a glass of room-temperature water.
    • Observe what happens:
      • If the hair strand floats on the water's surface, you likely have low porosity hair (the cuticle is tightly closed).
      • If the hair strand sinks after a few minutes, you probably have high porosity hair (the cuticle is open and absorbs water quickly).
      • If the hair strand floats in the middle or takes some time to sink, you likely have normal porosity hair.
  2. The Slip 'n' Slide Test:

    • Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the hair shaft, starting from the ends towards the roots.
    • If your fingers move smoothly without any resistance, your hair likely has low porosity.
    • If you feel some resistance or roughness as you slide your fingers up the strand, your hair may have normal or high porosity.
  3. Visual Indicators:

    • Low Porosity Hair: Looks smooth and shiny, takes a while to dry, and may be prone to product buildup.
    • Normal Porosity Hair: Holds styles well, feels balanced in terms of moisture, and is relatively easy to manage.
    • High Porosity Hair: Tends to be frizzy, dries quickly, feels rough or porous to the touch, and may have a dull appearance.

It's important to remember that hair porosity can vary on different parts of your head, so you may find that some sections have different porosity levels. Once you determine your hair porosity, you can adjust your hair care routine and product selection accordingly:

  • Low Porosity Hair: Focus on using lightweight, liquid-based products that won't weigh down the hair. Clarify regularly to prevent buildup and use heat during deep conditioning treatments to help open the cuticles slightly.

  • Normal Porosity Hair: Consider yourself lucky, as normal porosity hair is generally balanced and easy to manage. You can use a wide range of products and techniques without any specific concerns.

  • High Porosity Hair: Prioritize moisture retention by using leave-in conditioners, sealing with oils, and incorporating regular deep conditioning treatments. Be cautious with heat styling and avoid harsh chemicals.

Understanding your hair porosity allows you to make informed decisions about your hair care routine, leading to healthier, more manageable hair.