Hair Care

How to Care for Low Porosity Curly Hair

Learning about naturally curly hair is just one of those things you have to do. Ultimately, I find it easiest to experiment with my hair and go from there. Before, I never understood the benefits of learning about my curly hair type. In fact, I just thought that hair was hair. If it worked for my friend, it was sure to work for me. That’s why my hair stopped growing; I wasn’t doing what it needed.

Hair porosity was a phrase that kept coming up in my research, but I had no idea what it was. I just knew that some people had high or low porosity hair. It is actually good to know your hair porosity level to help you understand what you can do with it.

What Actually Is Low Porosity Hair?

If you have low porosity hair, it just means that your hair follicles find it hard to get moisture. The cuticles of the hair are laid more tightly flat so that moisture can’t easily get inside.

I know it’s hard to imagine, so I often use this analogy: You have a shingled roof. Add water to it. The shingles are laid down to prevent water from getting inside. Every shingle is overlapped, and that’s what your hair does if there’s low porosity.

The cuticles are laid similarly to a shingled roof, so the water can’t penetrate and absorb the moisture. Ultimately, the amount of water that gets in is based on how tight your cuticles are.

You’re probably freaking out now because you know you have low porosity hair. Thankfully, there are things that can be done, and I’m going to talk about that in a minute.

How to Know If You’ve Got Low Porosity Hair

Right now, you probably believe that you have low porosity hair. However, I came up with a simple test that you can do to see if your hair is low porosity or not.

Fill a cup with some water and put a strand of hair into it. The strand should float at the top. If it takes a while to sink down, your hair is low porosity. However, if the strand of hair immediately goes to the bottom, it’s high porosity and absorbs way too much water.

Ultimately, you want the strand to float around the middle of the glass, indicating normal porosity. This is where I hope you are, but if not, there are things you can do to help your low porosity hair.

Five Tips for Low Porosity Hair

Don’t get discouraged if you’ve got low porosity hair. I’ve already mentioned that there are various things you can do to put the moisture back in. Let’s find out what they are!

Steam the Hair

A girl holding her hair in front of steamers

Steam your hair every so often to get the cuticles to open back up. That way, moisture is absorbed instead of bouncing off the strands.

I find that using a hair steam cap is a great option. They’re typically inexpensive and can really make a difference in how the hair grows later. Once you apply heat to the hair, the cuticles naturally lift to get more moisture.

Try the Greenhouse Effect

Have you ever heard of the greenhouse effect? This is a great way to get the cuticles to lift up. Just moisturize your hair as normal, but then put on a shower cap. I find it’s best to do it overnight, but you can also do it on your day off if you’re not going anywhere.

In the end, I always decide to do that and then have to go somewhere. When that happens, I get creative and use a headscarf to cover the cap. No one even knew what I was doing!

When you remove the shower cap, there’s going to be tons of steam, and it’s probably going to feel warm. However, that’s what you want! The heat gets trapped in the shower cap, opening the hair cuticles.

Clarify the Hair

Clarifying your hair is essential, and I recommend that you do it once every two weeks. If you don’t take the time, you’re going to find that the hair strands have product build-up. This makes it even harder to retain and get the moisture.

You can use a DIY option or buy it at the store. Regardless, you’re going to find that it strips the hair of all the gunk so that moisture can get into the strands.

Try Humectants

Humectants can remove moisture from the air and put it into the hair. In a sense, they’re like moisture magnets. I like to use glycerin, but castor oil is another great option. Just make sure that you dilute it with other oils so that it’s not too strong.

Deep Condition Using Heat

Deep conditioning is a great thing for your hair. They penetrate into the strand better than a regular or leave-in conditioner. Those heated oil treatments are a great option because they use the deep conditioning and heat process to work well.

How to Keep Moisture in Low Porosity Hair

You should use a low porosity hair routine if you know that you’ve got this problem. Here are a few things to try:


Pre-shampoo the hair before you wash it. You can find many homemade recipes out there. Then, you can use the greenhouse effect method I talked about earlier.

Wash the Hair Regularly

Though it can sound counterproductive, you should wash your hair every three to four days, depending on your needs. Then, once every two weeks, consider a clarifying treatment.

Moisturize Mid-Week

A deep conditioning can add more moisture, and I think it’s best to do it at the mid-week mark (Wednesday or Thursday). That way, the hair isn’t brittle by the end of the week.

My Final Thoughts for Low Porosity Hair

Having low porosity hair doesn’t mean you can’t do anything with it or are doomed forever. I know it can feel like it’s the end of your world, but you just need to know how to care for it. Once you have that knowledge, you’re at an advantage because you have the information and ability to manage your hair effectively.



Hi I'm Hati and my hair is naturally very curly, obviously! I have started this blog to share curly hair stories and what I use to manage my own hair. Hopefully you will find it useful! My other main passions are food, art and animlas. I have a little cat who I love very much.

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