Effective hair care depends mainly on defining type of hair porosity. Only then is it possible to choose the appropriate cosmetics.
Low, Medium, and High – these are the three basic categories defining hair porosity. Hair that has tightly bound cuticles belongs the low porosity type. In most cases, this kind of hair is perceived as healthy. The truth is, low porosity hair are not easy to style, it is hard to dye it and blow-dry. Medium porosity hair is the one, which cuticles are slightly open. In this case, styling does not cause any major problems. Cuticles being wide open, in turn, characterize high porosity hair type. Unfortunately, this kind of hair gets dehydrated easily and is rather frizzy. What is more, it is prone to damages (i.e. while dyeing or hot styling).
How to define porosity of hair? The most professional and precise manner of doing this is putting hair under the microscope lenses. However, what should be done when one does not have access to such devices? Luckily enough, there are other techniques of defining hair porosity level like flour, water, and coconut oil tests. You can also examine the hair structure simply by touching or taking a closer look at it. Actually, it is crucial to cleanse both hair and scalp before the examination. In other words, hair must be perfectly clean (not coated by hair masks, silk, etc.)
If you decide to examine the hair by looking at it closely, try to focus on the following aspects: Is hair smooth? Is it difficult to style? Does it take long to make it air-dry? If you answer ‘yes’ to all the questions, then your hair is of low porosity type. On the other hand, when you notice your hair being dry, frizzy, and easy to set, then you deal with high porosity hair. You can also try to determine the porosity by touching the hair. Focus mainly on the ends. If they are rough then you can describe your hair as high porosity. Obviously, low porosity hair are smooth.
When it comes flour test, it depends on sprinkling hair with flour. In short, high porosity hair keeps the flour on its surface while low porosity hair will be almost flour-free. Another test requires preparing a bowl filled with water. It depends on checking how long does it take for hair to drop down onto the bottom of the bowl. In fact, high porosity hair will be floating on the water surface fairly long, in some cases it will not sink at all. Low porosity hair in turn will touch the bottom after approximately 2 minutes. The last test that can be conducted is application of a coconut oil. The product has to be rinsed from hair after an hour. In brief, high porosity hair is expected to become dry and frizzy, whereas low porosity hair should remain smooth and soft to the touch.