Discovering Your Hair Porosity

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The controversies surrounding this subject matter cannot be quantified. I dare say that almost all naturals are familiar with the term “hair porosity,” however for a huge percentage, they have no idea of where they belong on the porosity chain.

Let me start by saying the mix of information out there could be super overwhelming and somewhat confusing! Take this from a previously confused naturalista.

Defining hair porosity

Simply put, hair porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. The porosity of your hair would most likely determine how well oils and moisture pass in and out of the outermost layer of the hair, known as the cuticle.

In essence, when the hair allows moisture in real fast but doesn’t retain it for long, it is referred to as a highly porous hair type.

Likewise, when the hair allows in moisture with the speed of a snail but retains it for longer than expected, it is referred to as a low porosity hair type.

Now guys there is actually a balance to this porosity thing! There is something called Normal/ Medium porosity hair type. It refers to the ability of the hair to allow in moisture at average time(not too fast and not too slow) and retain moisture for as long as normally possible.

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What I heard about hair porosity that confused me

1. Someone once said that you can either be a high or low porosity hair type naturalista. I battled with this notion because I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere till I realized you could also be in the middle; that is a normal/ medium porosity naturalista.

2. I once believed that the float test was the most accurate test for hair porosity, till the test did a number on me. Now I know better. Though the float test could indicate porosity for a few naturalistas, there are no hard and fast rules to this porosity thing. You would still be required to study your hair behavior to be absolutely sure.

3. Also , that your porosity type indicates if your hair is damaged. A lot of natural hair influencers out there are always about how High porosity babes have engaged in unhealthy hair practices that led to their damaged hair strands, and how low porosity babes are the stars. This is absolutely false!❌

Yes some naturals bring high porosity upon themselves, but some others unbelievably have genetically programmed high porosity hair strands.

Determining your hair porosity

While a truck load of Natural hair influencers swore by the float test in the past, it has come to light that determining your hair porosity goes beyond putting hair strands in a glass cup filled with water. It is rather a combination of many other hair features and tests that are synergistic in helping to arrive at a conclusion.

5 Major determinants of your hair porosity type

1. Take the float test

You might be shocked I am still suggesting the float test at this point, but let’s not throw it away just yet. It could still lead in the right direction. This is only however if you remember that the hair strands used for the test have to be clean and free from any sort of product, and that hair porosity may differ sometimes at different hair sections.

How the float test works


  • Fill a glass cup with water and set on the table.
  • Then throw in your clean, product free hair strands from various sections of your crown.
  • Wait for 5-10 minutes to obtain your results.

If the hair strand sinks to the bottom of the glass, it is suggesting that you are a high porosity babe. If it floats at the middle, then you are most likely medium porosity Naturalista. However, if it floats on top, it suggests that your hair strands are low porosity.

2. Take the Absorption test

Hair that takes too long to get wet is most likely low porosity, that which gets drenched super fast is most definitely high porosity. However, If you are in the mix of not too fast and not too slow, then you are tilting towards medium porosity.

3. Don’t forget the hair and body test

When you step into the shower, what part of your body do you notice dries faster? If it’s your hair, then you most definitely belong to the high porosity gang. If your body dries faster while your hair is still pretty much wet, then girl! You are most likely low porosity. If they dry at the same time then, yo! Medium porosity in the house!

4. The hair strand test works too

For this test, put your fingers tips at the end of a considerable chunk of hair strands and then gently work your way up. If it feels rough and uneven, this means your cuticle layers are open and translates to high porosity hair. However if it feels smooth it’s either you have normal or low porosity hair.

5. Finally, take the moisture test

Get a good moisturizing hair cream/product and massage it into your damp hair strands. If some of the products seat on top of your hair strands without getting fully absorbed, then it’s likely you have low porosity hair. However if the products sink in, and get absorbed fast, but lose the moisture in no time, then you have high porosity hair strands. Finally, if the products get absorbed into the hair strands in good time, and stay moisturized all day, then baby gurl! You are a medium porosity babe✌️

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Like I mentioned earlier, the above listed tests work synergistically together, and there are no hard and fast rules to them. I implore you to take your hair porosity tests today and progress a step further in the buisness of helping your hair thrive darling!

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