lowporosity

By Chin­we of Hair and Health

Poros­i­ty.  What is it?  It is a mea­sure of how eas­i­ly water and oth­er sub­stances can enter and exit the hair strand.  Depend­ing on the con­di­tion of the hair’s cuti­cle lay­ers, the poros­i­ty can rank from low (i.e., the result of flat, tight­ly bound cuti­cles) to high (i.e., the result of gaps or lift­ed cuti­cles).  High­ly porous hair is more sus­cep­ti­ble to mois­ture loss.  On the oth­er hand, low poros­i­ty hair is more resis­tant to mois­ture loss … and also more resis­tant to mois­ture uptake.  If you have low poros­i­ty hair, check out these tech­niques for get­ting mois­ture into your strands:

1. Steam your hair

Some nat­u­rals with low poros­i­ty strands ben­e­fit from this rou­tine.  The process is fair­ly sim­ple and involves sit­ting under a hair steam­er for 15–30 min­utes.  Even if you do not own a steam­er, you can still per­form this step by being inno­v­a­tive (e.g., soak a tow­el in warm/hot water, wring slight­ly, wrap around your hair, then cov­er with a large plas­tic bag, and sit under a hood­ed dry­er).  The pur­pose of this step is to lift the cuti­cle lay­ers and infuse the hair strand with mois­ture.

2. Bag­gy your hair

This process involves apply­ing a mois­tur­iz­er to your hair, then cov­er­ing with a plas­tic cap/bag until water vapor builds up in the cap/bag.  Some nat­u­rals pre­fer to do this process overnight while sleep­ing or dur­ing the day with a beanie or head wrap to dis­guise the plas­tic cap/bag.  Either way, the pur­pose of this method is to cre­ate a humid envi­ron­ment in which the hair has no choice but to absorb some mois­ture.

3. Lath­er twice while wash­ing

Some of us pre­fer to lath­er once so as to not strip our strands of its nat­ur­al oils, but those with low poros­i­ty hair may ben­e­fit from lath­er­ing twice. Why? Well, lath­er­ing twice can bet­ter remove prod­uct buildup and improve mois­ture uptake by the hair.  Addi­tion­al­ly, some nat­u­rals who have low poros­i­ty claim to ben­e­fit from mix­ing a lit­tle bak­ing soda with their sham­poo.  (Take cau­tion with doing this lat­ter step as bak­ing soda may or may not be harsh depend­ing on your hair.)

4. Use a curl acti­va­tor

Do you remem­ber the “jheri curl” or “leisure curl”? Curl acti­va­tors were used to replen­ish and retain mois­ture to these chem­i­cal­ly treat­ed looks in order to pre­vent dry­ness and break­age.  Though nat­u­rals obvi­ous­ly do not have these chem­i­cal treat­ments, many of those with low poros­i­ty have found the use of curl acti­va­tors to be ben­e­fi­cial in mois­tur­iz­ing their strands.

5. Apply your mois­tur­iz­er to damp not wet hair

Many nat­u­rals who have low poros­i­ty find that apply­ing mois­tur­iz­ers (and even sealants) to soak­ing wet hair is not as effec­tive as doing so to damp hair.  This is prob­a­bly because as the hair dries, water droplets on and in the strand have evap­o­rat­ed a bit leav­ing room for your mois­tur­iz­er to pen­e­trate (and your sealant to coat your cuti­cle lay­ers).  Obvi­ous­ly, you do not want to wait until your hair is com­plete­ly dry; apply these prod­ucts when your hair is damp.

Do you have low poros­i­ty?  Have you tried any of these meth­ods?

Chinwe

Empow­er­ing women of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin. https://cherishthymelanin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cherishthymelanin/

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44 Comments on "5 Ways to Get Moisture into Low Porosity Natural Hair"

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cheryl

Hel­lo ladies I have low poros­i­ty hair as well I am still try­ing to get the loc or lco method down.i read that curl acti­va­tor helps .so I would use the curl acti­va­tor as my liq­uid she­abut­ter for my cream and avo­ca­do oil as my oil?.I just need a good mois­tur­iz­ing method any sug­ges­tions will help????

JJes Jes
I rec­om­mend read­ing this http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/moisturizing-low-porosity-hair.html Find an oil your hair likes, my LOPO hair likes CASTOR oil only for pre poo, “deep con­di­tion”, seal, because it is a polar oil it allows water to be absorbed into my hair rather than block water entry like coconut oil… Find a PENETRATING WATER GRABBING protein/humectant yr hair likes(fine-medium strands), for me it’s silk amino acids, hon­eyquat, and always use with heat, they are pen­e­trat­ing ingre­di­ents but because lopo hair cuti­cles are so tight­ly shut they will sit on the hair with­out heat. Check yr water qual­i­ty (build up on kitchen uten­sils, water ket­tle),… Read more »
bree

I have lo po hair and a dry scalp and i am begin­ning to get frustrated!I keep try­ing diffrent meth­ods and I am unsure what is work­ing. pls help!

aisha

I am not a lo-po gal but I have read that using mousse and gel and things with alco­hol are a no-no. Oils on top of oils are also a no no. I sug­gest try­ing shea mois­ture curl enhanc­ing smooth­ie as your cream in the LOC/lco method. Give it a try!!!

Ochi9

Yes, I use some­thing sim­i­lar. Alaf­fia Vir­gin Coconut and Shea enrich­ing hair lotion. It works won­ders on Lo-po hair.

Quin
Hi all, Hope­ful­ly, this can help some of you and in return help me as well. I found out my hair has low poros­i­ty a while ago, and every since have been try­ing to find the right things to use on my twa. This is my sec­ond time BCing, and have even had locs for a while… And I can still bare­ly get this right. My hair does NOT like to absorb mois­ture. My cuti­cles are shut! Before I found out that my strands are porous, I thought because my hair need­ed a lot of mois­ture that I could pile on a… Read more »
Hannah

Elas­ta QP mois­turis­er is sooooo good for type 4 hair i could­nt find it for some time and my hair was so dry. Found it again and after 1 use my hair is feel­ing healthy already

Reesa

I’m a lo-po girl and I start­ed to lath­er twice and bag­gy my hair more often. It does leave my hair soft­er, just not as long as I would like. I’ve just read some­where recent­ly that after the wash process on damp hair use the loc/lco method and then bag­gy my hair. Then after 30 min or an hr I should spritz my hair with cold aloe Vera juice or acv to close the hair cuti­cle up and it will help to retain all the mois­ture I just put in. Try­ing that today.

Tamikah

I know for me after two years of deal­ing with low poros­i­ty hair I’m total­ly con­fused. I love Hawai­ian silky but it con­tains min­er­al oil and I was told not to use glyc­erin in the win­ter. HOWEVER that is the only thing that mois­tur­izes my hair. I have tried all of these meth­ods and I have plans to do the cher­ry Lola treat­ment once I take out these twists. I pray to god it works I’m on the slip­pery slope if heat train­ing or a tex­tur­iz­er GASP I’m try­ing to stay strong

Lesdawn

I too love 14 n 1 hawai­ian silky. Its the only thing that keeps me moist and doesn’t fade away thru out the day. Wish there was some like it for wash­ing.

Tikvah

My hair loved Hawai­ian silky when I tried it. Unfor­tu­nate­ly I had to stop because the lano­lin in it made my scalp itch — it was like wear­ing a wool sweater on my scalp (just too itchy too stand). I encour­age you to hang on to prod­ucts that seem to work for you. There is a lot of an advice out there that may work for cer­tain hair types, but not all.

Lalli

Hey Tami­ka

Girl if it works for you, use it! Use that Hawai­ian silky! lol prod­ucts con­tain­ing min­er­al oil, petro­la­tum etc. are so-called ‘no-no’s!’ because they are detri­men­tal to some people’s nat­ur­al hair, but if they are help­ful for you, you shouldn’t exclude them just because some­one said you should. Espe­cial­ly not when it’s the only thing that works! If you’re on the hunt for an alter­na­tive, in the mean­time enjoy using Hawai­ian silky, don’t stress your­self!

Hope that encour­ages you!

NatBurke30331
I learned today that I am low poros­i­ty and actu­al­ly became depressed. I am 2nd round try­ing and 1 yr 2 mos nat­ur­al. I’ve already been strug­gling with if I was actu­al­ly nat­ur­al or not because I only wear braids out or twist outs. I avoid­ed the big chop by wear­ing a sew in for over a year before chopping/trimming. I know I can’t do wash and gos and I am obsessed with need­ing a defined curl or wave. I was doing a deep con­di­tion via bag­ging using svc and Gio­van­ni con­di­tion­er when I learned my hairs true fate and… Read more »
Jan
I do lath­er twice on the low­er 2/3rds of my bra-strap-length hair, as I seem to need to to get the oil out. I just dc with coconut oil, but I’m very new to this so once I’ve got that fig­ured out I’ll see about adding a post-wash treat­ment or oil. The trou­ble is all the nat­ur­al ones stick like glue and just make my hair greasy, so maybe a lit­tle coconut post-wash as well would be the way to go. Any­way, I’ll def­i­nite­ly be using the damp-rather-than-wet tip, I’ve only tried wet and dry so far but I can… Read more »
LynnseyB

Hey Curlies!! I am so thank­ful for all the info every­one has shared!! I am able to grow my hair quick­ly but I was always unable to retain mois­ture, until I start­ed adding bak­ing soda to my cow­ash once a week fol­lowed by my deep con­di­tion­er( overnight bag­gy method) with steam in the a.m. I am soo eager to try curl acti­va­tor to see if it works on this head as well as it has for some of you.
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Alisha

I use a com­bi­na­tion of a few of the above men­tioned meth­ods — I pre-poo w/ oil, using the overnight bag­gy method; deep con­di­tion using one of the steam meth­ods; and I apply mois­tur­iz­ers to damp hair — with good results. I find, how­ev­er, I receive the best results after I sham­poo with a sul­fate-free sham­poo than I do with co-wash­ing. Going for­ward, I will cleanse my hair twice per week with a sham­poo and omit my week­ly co-wash.

jae

I acci­den­tal­ly dis­cov­ered that putting prod­ucts on while my hair is damp real­ly makes a huge dif­fer­ence. Putting them on dry is a no-no and putting them on soak­ing wet hair also is a no go.

Now I will have to try the curl acti­va­tor.

Pam

I have tried hot oil treatments/deep con­di­tion­ing with a heat­ing cap and/or under a hood­ed dry­er, curl acti­va­tor, apply­ing prod­uct to damp hair, non sul­fate sham­poos — the works. I don’t own a steam­er and am afraid that bag­gy­ing will leave my “takes for­ev­er and a day” to dry hair too wet. What works for me is the Kim­may­tube leave in con­di­tion­er con­coc­tion. It leaves my hair mois­tur­ized and soft; it’s going to be a sta­ple for me.

Sharon

I agree with you Pam, that works for me also, I end up with shiny, soft, mois­tur­ized hair.

Charlotte
Like you I have tried a lot, includ­ing kim­may­tube. I have had my best results so far by doing the loc method and co-wash­ing fre­quent­ly, then in turn doing a deep cleans­ing here and there. I will con­tin­ue dc in mod­er­a­tion but it does not real­ly make a huge dif­fer­ence. By co-wash­ing, I can remove some of the excess conditioners/oily stuff so that I can do the loc method dai­ly with­out get­ting too greasy, because I have fine hair. The loc method is like the only thing that seems to mois­tur­ize my hair and yet I have a 3a, fine,… Read more »
Pam

I have tried the LOC method and it left my hair greasy and dry (my hair responds best to prod­ucts applied to damp hair). So far, the Kim­may­tube con­di­tion­er mix is the only thing that keeps my hair mois­tur­ized and soft with min­i­mal shed­ding. I use the curly girl method — no sul­fates and no sil­i­cones. Thanks for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence, Char­lotte! ????

Pam

Idk how those ques­tion marks got insert­ed.

Charlotte
I do find the loc method to be quite heavy but I want healthy hair so I have been deal­ing with it. How­ev­er, I am bored of no vol­ume. Unfor­tu­nate­ly I can­not use glyc­erin prod­ucts or aloe Vera. Any ideas? My hair rejects con­di­tion­er, even on damp hair, by the time my hair is ful­ly dry, it is real­ly dry, unless I seal with Shea but­ter, which is heavy on my hair. I want to try hen­na but it is said to only work on dry hair. If I wait until my hair is dry before putting any­thing on it,… Read more »
Marcelo

my friend has always strug­gled with her low poros­i­ty hair and she told me that using the sauna at the gym and a curl acti­va­tor has helped tremen­dous­ly! Def­i­nite­ly would sug­gest it to oth­ers in the same sce­nario. My hair isn’t as porous, I have 3b curls, but both tech­niques worked great for me as well : )

mlank64

I should add that the long aide acti­va­tor can be sticky and tacky if you use too much. I tend to sec­tion my hair and apply it how­ev­er, I don’t shin­gle it into my hair. I shin­gle only when I use the styler of choice on top of the long aide acti­va­tor. Hope this helps some­one.

Charlotte

So you are basi­cal­ly say­ing that you use a curl acti­va­tor as a leave in con­di­tion­er? What is the dif­fer­ence when a lot of con­di­tion­ers con­tain glyc­erin as well? I’m try­ing to under­stand. :-)

mlank64

I use the long aide acti­va­tor as a leave-in or com­bine it now with the Gio­van­ni Direct leave in. Many prod­ucts like the gio­van­ni direct leave in has glyc­er­ine but appar­ent­ly not enough for me so I have to add more by using the the long aide acti­va­tor.

mlank64
I have very low poros­i­ty hair and I have stugggled to find any prod­ucts that will absorb into my hair. Until very recent­ly I stayed away from thick but­ters like shea or man­go but­ters or any thick con­di­tion­ers because it would not pen­e­trate into my hair. How­ev­er, I have stum­bled on to a sys­tem that works for me and found that I can use but­ters and creamy thick con­di­tion­ers. I co-wash or use terresential’s mud wash as my cleanser. I let my hair dry a lit­tle so it is damp by plop­ping a white tee-shirt on my hair. On damp… Read more »
Heidi

We offer a hand held steam­er for quick con­ve­nient hydra­tion treat­ments. Con­ve­nient enough to be used sev­er­al times between cleans­ing days with­out the need to apply more prod­uct or get the hair wet. The steam­er is called the Q-Redew.
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Danielle

I tried s curl with weird results.. I dun­no, it was a year ago when I first tried it so I only remem­ber not get­ting the same results oth­ers claimed to get. The bak­ing soda thing works well though; I mix mine with con­di­tion­er and water then let it sit for a few min­utes. I use it like sham­poo.. Yogurt, hon­ey, and ben­tonite clay are also good. I avoid a lot of oils, like hot oil treat­ments, because they make my hair greasy and knot up real­ly bad.

Jessica

I have low poros­i­ty hair and Hawai­ian Silky is my TRUTH!!!!

Danielle

Maybe I just need to try the oth­er brands of acti­va­tors, like Hawai­ian silky

Melissa

I have anoth­er curl acti­va­tor and it’s great on my daughter’s hair but just okay on mine, I need to try Hawai­ian silky

cb

#2 work

Sandra

I have low poros­i­ty hair and recent­ly start­ed using s-curl acti­va­tor and my hair LOVES it! :)

Bridget J

I have low poros­i­ty hair and employ two of the meth­ods list­ed. First, I apply my mois­tur­iz­er and styling prod­ucts on damp not wet hair. If I apply it to soak­ing wet hair it just slides of the hair leav­ing my strands parched and wast­ed prod­uct. Sec­ond, I often incor­po­rate curl acti­va­tors into my styling process. Either apply it before or after apply­ing gel to my hair. My per­son­al favorites are Long Aid acti­va­tor gel and Care Free Gold curl acti­va­tor.

Dabney

Regard­ing tge bking soda. I found mak­ing a rinse with 3 table­spoons of bak­ing soda to 8 cups of water, then rins­ing after my cow­ash helps. After you do this fol­low up with a good mois­tur­iz­ing deep con­di­tion­er. Only do this once a month. It real­ly works and its not so harsh on the hair.

shelikes

beau­ti­ful mod­el and beau­ti­ful hair on mod­el

TINA SMITH

AND THIS STILL MAKES NO SENSE. SO I WILL CONTINUE TO JUST LISTEN TO MY HAIR ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

Temple

Are you MRS.KINKY on youtube cause you both stay angri­ly say­ing irrel­e­vant shit in all-caps?

Nix
I think Tina might be refer­ring to the def­i­n­i­tions of low- and high-poros­i­ty: they’re almost iden­ti­cal. That could be con­fus­ing and frus­trat­ing for some­one try­ing to fig­ure out which cat­e­go­ry their thirsty hair falls into. Also, some of the sug­gest­ed meth­ods involve lift­ing the cuti­cle, but since the hair in ques­tion is porous, it seems log­i­cal that the mois­ture will just flow right back out, since the cuti­cle is still open. Seal­ing after mois­tur­iz­ing is the miss­ing step that’s crit­i­cal for porous hair. (I’d say rinse with cool water or ACV dilut­ed with cool water to close the cuti­cle and… Read more »
Melissa
I just real­ized I have low poros­i­ty hair so I have been doing a lot of research about it and low and high poros­i­ty hair is very dif­fer­ent. With low poros­i­ty the prob­lem is not seal­ing, it’s actu­al­ly the oppo­site, the cuti­cle is so tight that the mois­ture has a hard time get­ting in, so it is very impor­tant to try to lift/open the cuti­cle to be able to get some mois­ture in. Many peo­ple rec­om­mend not using a sealant at all on low poros­i­ty hair because it doesn’t need it and the build up can fur­ther pre­vent mois­ture from… Read more »
Sabrina @seriouslynatural

I haven’t but I will as soon as I can. Just found out I have low poros­i­ty hair.
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