Do you know your hair porosity type? 


You may have heard of “hair porosity”, and wondered what it actually means. If you are familiar with our blog posts, we’ve talked about knowing your hair type.  But, it’s not just about hair type and textures. 

Listening to your hair needs involves paying attention to your hair porosity. It dictates a lot about your hair, from products to hair care routines.

We will look at three types of hair porosity in this post. They are high, medium, and low porosity. First, we have to clearly define hair porosity and how to care for each of these types. 


Hair porosity refers to the hair’s capacity to absorb and retain moisture. It depends on how loose your hair cuticles (the outer layer of your hair) are. Porosity determines how well and fast moisture penetrates the outer layer of your hair. 

Hair porosity is divided into;

  • High Porosity: Hair cuticles are widely spaced. 
  • Medium Porosity: Cuticles are less close together
  • Low Porosity: Hair cuticles are tightly closed

To understand the concept of hair porosity, let’s look at the structure of your hair. The hair consists of three layers; the cuticle, cortex, and medulla

For your hair to stay hydrated, water must pass through these three layers. 

1. First, water and any other moisturizing product must pass through the cuticles. 

2. Then it enters the cortex and proceeds to the medulla. 

3 The cortex is a thick layer that gives your hair its colours.

If the cuticles are too close, it is difficult for water and oils to get to the cortex. This leaves your hair dry and causes breakage. Similarly, if the cuticles are spaced, it will be hard for your hair to retain moisture, which will make your hair lose its sheen. 



Below are two methods you can use to test for your hair porosity. 

  • The float test
  • The slip ‘n slide test 



  • Fill a half glass of water, and keep it aside
  • Ensure you shampoo and rinse your hair to avoid build-up. 
  • Drop a single strand of your hair in the glass of water. Let it sit for about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Watch as the hair strands sink or float. 
  • If your hair strands float, you have low porosity hair. 
  • If it sinks; you have high porosity hair. If it doesn’t float all the way to the top, you have medium porosity. 


It is contrasting to the other two steps discussed above. It involves feeling your texture instead of water to determine hair porosity. Here are the steps.

  • Gently pull a strand of hair from your head. 
  • Slide your fingers through the hair shaft, towards the root
  • If it is smooth, your hair has low porosity. 
  • If it’s bumpy, you have high porosity hair. Although, water is the determining factor for figuring out your hair porosity. You can feel your texture too. 

What's next?

Now that you know what your hair porosity is. It’s important that you understand how to take care of it! 

Check out our next blog  for tips to take care of your hair base on your hair porosity 🙌🏾

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