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How to Test Your Hair Porosity Level

How to Test Your Hair Porosity Level

Test Your Hair Porosity

Naturals, in today’s post we’re sharing with you 5 ways to “test your hair porosity.” If you already know what your hair porosity level is, Sis you are well on your way. Knowing your hair porosity makes it so much easier to care for your hair and purchase products. First, we’re going to share with you some important hair care information on hair porosity and then a tutorial by @HealthyAfroHair demonstrating the different ways to test your hair porosity.


Knowing your hair porosity helps you to know what products are going to work best for your hair. It makes shopping for products a lot easier. That way you aren’t buying products that will not work for your hair. It will also save you a lot of money in the long run.


Porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and hold moisture. Porosity is usually determined by your genetics but some external factors can alter your hair porosity such as heat and chemical processing. I believe knowing your hair porosity can be a major game-changer for you in your natural hair journey. As I mentioned before it can help you choose the right products to keep your hair well-moisturized, strong and shiny.


  • Low
  • Normal
  • High


  • Hair takes a long time to get wet and take a long time to dry (water beads on your hair)
  • Products sit on the hair and tend to build up rather than absorb.
  • Natural oils don’t readily penetrate, but rather sit on your hair.
  • Thick products make your hair feel greasy
  • Does not take hair color (dye) easily


  • Hair is full of bounce and elasticity.
  • Requires very little maintenance.
  • Easily accepts and retains moisture inside the cuticle.
  • Holds styles well and can be colored with good results.


  • Hair easily absorbs water, however, it requires more products.
  • Hair often looks and feel dry
  • Tangles very easily
  • Often frizzy
  • Dries quickly
  • Hair lotion and milks don’t cut it

We’re going to focus on Low and High porosity hair in this post that’s where the problems lie. If you have normal porosity hair my sister consider yourself BLESSED!

First, we’re going to take the porosity test for those of you who don’t know what your hair porosity is. After you watched this video we’re going to share with you how to care for low and high porosity hair.


Video Credit: Healthy Afro Hair be sure to follow her on IG: HealthyAfroHair and subscribe to her YT Channel: HealthyAfroHair


THE FLOAT TEST– Take a couple of strands of hair from your comb or brush and drop them into a bowl of water. Let them sit for 2-4 minutes. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity. (recommend hair strand on freshly washed hair)

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THE STRAND TEST AKA THE SLIP N SLIDE TEST: Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the shaft (toward the scalp). If you feel little bumps along the way, this means that your cuticle is lifted and that you have high porosity. If your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair.

THE H20 TEST: To determine your hair porosity level using water, spritz a small section of curls with water and watch how your hair reacts – does your hair absorb the water quickly (indicating high porosity) or does it remain on top (indicating a low porosity level)?

Now that you know what your hair porosity is let’s move onto the fun stuff.  How to care for low and high porosity hair.


Here are some tips to take into consideration when caring for your hair.

  • Apply heat when deep conditioning to open up the hair shaft—-When deep conditioning your hair be sure to use some form of heat. Use a heating cap or hooded dryer. If you don’t have either or I’ve heard some people take a hot shower after deep conditioning with their plastic cap covering their hair.  Supposedly the steam from the shower works the same way to help open your hair cuticle. I just prefer to invest in a heating cap in the long run. You can also heat your deep conditioner before applying it to your hair. Please don’t leave in it for long guys you don’t want to burn it.
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  • Use warm or hot water when washing your hair. —  If you have low porosity hair you can benefit from washing your hair with warm water because it allows the dirt and product buildup from your scalp to be rinsed away. Warm water helps to open up the pores and cuticle of your hair shaft. Disclaimer: Just be mindful that over-washing your hair with hot water can leave your hair overly porous, causing it to be dry and brittle. Yes, you heard right hot water strips your hair of its natural oils. Hot water can also cause frizz. If your hair is prone to frizz you might want to turn off the hot water.
  • Lighter products work best for low porosity hair, like hair milk and lotions. Creams and butter will cause your hair to be greasy because of the thick consistency it’s harder for your strands to absorb those products.  Use lighter oils like grapeseed oil, Almond oil, avocado oil, Jojoba oil, and argan oil.
  • Apply products on damp hair
  • Go easy on protein. Low porosity hair tends to be protein sensitive and I’d advise you to use any products with protein ingredients at your discretion.
  • Products with humectants – Which attracts and holds moisture. When buying products look for ingredients that contain a humectant, Honey, glycerin, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, sorbitol just to name a few.


Here are some tips to take into consideration when caring for your hair.

  • Buy conditioners with lots of slip (Because our hair cuticles are open it’s very easy for your hair to get tangles. So you want products that will help to easily detangle your hair) Products with slip usually gets it done.
  • Apply heat to your deep conditioner – Deep conditioning is a MUST for high porosity hair. I believe it’s a must for all hair porosity. A Deep conditioner is thicker in substance and contains ingredients to penetrate the hair shaft. The purpose of a deep conditioner is to TEMPORARILY repair and nourish the hair cuticles with higher viscosity. Because the deep conditioner is thicker it needs to be left on the hair longer to penetrate the hair shaft. When you use heat with your deep conditioners it allows for the conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft easier. Deep conditioners are like a temporary fix. It’s something you should do regularly.
  • Protein treatments are a MUST – So unlike low porosity hair. For those of us who have high porosity hair, our hair relies heavily on protein. Highly porous hair has holes in the hair shaft and protein temporarily fills those holes and strengthens the hair. It’s like a tire that has a hole and patching the tire will never take away the hole, you have to keep patching that same spot. Protein treatments are usually advised to be used monthly. For an extra boost, you can also use light protein treatments every few weeks in between the monthly heavy protein treatment. Remember that protein is not a moisturizer and should not be treated as such.
  • Rinse with cold water- Unlike low porosity hair, we have to rinse our hair with cold water to close our already opened cuticle. After deep conditioning your hair the best way to seal in the moisture is to rinse with cold. Because our cuticle is opened to seal moisture we need to rinse with cold water.
  • Apply products on soaking wet hair – Your hair is going to soak up the water in a few minutes anyway, so it’s best to apply the products on soaking wet hair.
  • Heavy Products – Like Creams and Butters tends to keep our hair moisturized for a longer period vs. lighter weight products. Heavy butter and cream help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and further protects your hair from losing too much moisture.
  • Layered products ( try the L.O.C method [Leave in conditioner or water (liquid), Oil and Cream] or L.C.O Method [Liquid, Cream, and Oil)  – Because our hair can lose moisture easily, it’s important to use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you’re giving it.
  • Oils for sealing– Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut oil, Hempseed oil (Me personally I mix my little concoction of oils. I mix a sealing oil with a carrier oil and throw in some Tea tree and rosemary oil (both promote hair growth) and use it as a sealant. I also use it to do scalp massages.
  • Air dry your hair – People with high porosity hair drys fast so it’s best to just air dry your hair.

I know this was a lot of information to digest naturals. But this post is always here for you to come back to. I hope you found this article helpful. That’s it for now. You can also check out my regimen for high porosity hair here. Stay tuned because I do plan on doing a post with products for low and high porosity hair. It will include the best creams, butters, hair milks, and oils etc. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for more tips!

How to Test Your Hair Porosity Level
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