Friday, September 13, 2013

The First Thing You Need To Know About Natural Hair


 Porosity is the measure of the hair's ability to absorb moisture.

This is determined by the condition of the hair's cuticle layer (the overlapping scales of the hair shaft), and is rated as low, normal, and high. In normal, healthy hair, the cuticle is compact and inhibits the penetration of the hair shaft by moisture - both moisture going in, and moisture coming out. When the cuticle is overly compact and prevents the penetration of the hair by moisture it has low porosity.


What you will need:
Clear or Glass Cup or Bowl
Room Temperature Water
Stands of Hair

Fill the cup/bowl up about 3/4 of the way up with water and let it sit until it's room temperature. Place the hair strands into the water and let them sit for at least 10 mins. 

If the hair stays on top then you have low porosity hair, if the hair goes to the middle of the cup of water and stays then you have normal porosity hair, if the hair sinks to the bottom then you have high porosity hair.  

Now that you have done your test, let me tell you a little information about your results.

Hair with low porosity is harder to process, and is resistant to hair color. Hair with high porosity is hair whose cuticle layer is open and the hair too-readily absorbs/ and loses moisture. Overly-porous hair also releases moisture easily and becomes dry and is easily damaged. Acid-balanced (ACV) conditioning treatments are used to contract the cuticle layer and lock-in moisture on overly-porous hair.

If your strands of hair floated at the top then your hair is low porosity.  This means that your hair cuticles are tight and compact and really resistant to opening for water and moisture, so the water couldn't get in causing the hair to stay afloat.

"That is why it may feel like certain products just sit on your hair instead of penetrating and absorbing into the hair".

 In order to combat the resistance try to use lighter hair products with humectants. Use lighter oils, such as sweet almond and jojoba oil, that don't weigh the hair down. Use a leave in conditioner after you wash. You should wash and condition your hair with warm water, use steamers, and do deep conditioning treatments under a hooded dryer.  These techniques will aid in opening up your hair cuticles to allow product, moisture, and water in. Try to avoid a low pH product because they have high levels of acid that keep the cuticles closed and also apply product while the hair is damp instead of soaking wet or dry. 

If the strands went down to the middle then you have normal porosity hair.  Your hair cuticles are "perfect" they open and close in a way to help your hair maintain the right amount of moisture and allows product to penetrate the hair easily.  You don't have to use specific types of products or do certain techniques to get your hair to absorb moisture. You can pretty much use any product that isn't damaging to your hair. Pretty Lucky!!!

Your hair strands went to the bottom and stayed, so you have high porosity hair.  Your cuticles are so open they absorb water and moisture quickly and have a hard time holding onto that moisture, as it can escape from the hair easily because of the open or raised cuticles  This type of hair is similar to low porosity where you have to apply more effort into maintaining moisture into the hair.  

"This type of hair is more prone to frizz so you should try using heavier creams or butters along with heavier oils, such as olive, coconut, and black castor to seal in the moisture."

You can also try protein rich products such as avocado, aloe, and wheat protein as the protein can help fill in the gaps in the hair cuticles. Heavy butters and creams will help lock in moisture.