How to do a porosity test on your hair
Here’s a quick test to help you determine whether you have low porosity, medium porosity or high porosity hair:
Take some strands of hair from your comb or hairbrush, drop them in a clear glass of water, and wait about 5 minutes. Take a look at how its floating in the water and determine your hair’s porosity based on the details below:
If your hair floats at or near the top of the water, you have low porosity. Your hair is generally shiny and smooth, has a tight cuticle, repels moisture, and tends to be hard to process. Because it resists penetration, product can often sit on top of your hair and cause buildup. Use moisturizers rich in emollients to help soften and open up the cuticle. Since it can be hard for your hair to retain moisture, humectant products can compensate. Try shea butter, jojoba oil and liquid-based products like hair milk that won’t weigh you down.
If your hair suspends within the water, neither floating nor sinking, you have medium porosity. Your hair has a fairly loose cuticle that allows the right amount of moisture to absorb and escape. Your hair generally stays balanced and requires the least amount of maintenance. The occasional deep conditioning protein treatment will keep your hair in great shape, but they don’t need to be a part of your daily routine.
If your hair sinks to the bottom of the glass, you have high porosity. Your hair has large holes in the cuticle that can both allow in too much moisture and lose it quickly, which leads to frizziness and tangling. It can be genetic, a result of chemical processing, or due to rough treatment. High porosity hair is also delicate, and can be prone to further damage even through normal everyday activities. Layer leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers to protect your hair, and follow up with a heavy hair butter to fill in those cuticle gaps.