Hair Porosity 101

Hair porosity is simply the hair's ability to absorb moisture. Your hair cuticle determines your hair porosity. There are three types of porosity, high, medium and low. Knowing your hair can help you effectively treat and manage your hair.

Determining your hair porosity-

There are a couple ways to determine your hair porosity. The most common way is the strand test. Take a couple of pieces of hair and drop them into a bowl. Then, let them sit for a few minutes. If your hair floats,you have low porosity hair. If it sinks, then you have high porosity hair. If it's in the middle, you have medium to normal porosity hair. Another way to test your hair porosity is with Shea Moisture’s Porosity Test. Click here to take the porosity test.


Low Porosity -  This hair type is considered healthy with its tight cuticle layers. This means that low porosity hair repels moisture. Low porosity hair is sensitive to protein. It can be left dry, brittle and hard to manage from too much protein.

Do’s- Use products rich in emollients that attract moisture like shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.

Don’ts - This hair type should avoid heat and protein-rich deep conditioners.


Medium Porosity - This porosity type is the most low maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser than low porosity hair allowing the proper amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping.

Do’s - Occasionally use protein deep conditioning treatments.

Don’ts - Don't incorporates protein in your daily routine.


High Porosity - This hair type can be naturally high in porosity or it can be caused by damage from chemical processing, environmental causes or harsh managing. High porosity has gaps in the cuticle that let too much moisture into your hair.

Do’s - Use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers.

Don'ts - Avoid humectant rich products.