Porosity of hair sounds like a term taken from trichologists textbooks. The name itself discourages from delving into the topic. Meanwhile, the porosity is a very important aspect, describing a lot about the health of your hair, the way they should be treated and – what is more important – provides guidance when choosing the right oil for your hair type. Oil are the only preparation that will be able to deeply regenerate and nourish your wisps.
What exactly is the porosity of hair?
Before we answer that question, firstly, you must learn more about natural oils. Everything in this world is made of particles, so are natural oils. The particles come in different sizes depending on the content of fatty acids dominating in the oil. In general, the division is very simple since it is limited to three groups: oils can be small, medium and large particles.
Let’s get back to the topic of hair. If you put your hair under a microscope, you would see that it is not as smooth as velvet, but built with overlaping scales – exactly the same way as cone or spruce pine.
It is all a matter of just these scales. They can either closely adhere to each other, or deviate to a lesser or greater extent. In order to imagine it better, just picture the young cone (yes, again), which has closely overlaping scales, and – in contrast, a mature cone, which has already released the seeds. Its scales are firmly parted to the side and layered.
Hair cuticles behave the same way. Depending on the condition of your hair, they can be closed tightly, or diverged to different degrees. Porosity is nothing but a determination of how wide apart the scales are.
– Hair in a good shape, which has closely adjacent scales is LOW POROSITY.
– Hair which scales are slightly parted is MEDIUM POROSITY.
– Hair very tired and strained, with strongly protruding scales are HIGH POROSITY.
Does everything seem simple and easy now?
Ok, but what do the oils and hair porosity have in common?
As it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, oils have different molecules and the hair scales are parted differently. Therefore, they must match one another. Some oils will be more suitable for low porosity (the small particles), others for average (medium particles) and others recommended for high porosity (large particles of oils that would not have the chance to penetrate little flares at the surface of low porosity hair).
Hence, the oil should be chosen accordingly to the degree of porosity of the hair. Otherwise it can cause more harm than good: either weigh hair down or cause frizz.
How to determine our hair porosity?
If you want to do it professionally, you may go to a trichologist for a special test. However, there is a way to check it out at home. All you have to do is to place a hair in a glass filled with water and wait 5 minutes. The more the hair drowns, the higher the porosity. If after the desired period of time it goes all the way down, it means that the scales ale far apart and hair absorbs water quickly. It is the best proof of high porosity. Medium porosity hair dives, more or less, in the middle, whereas, low porosity hair floats on the surface (closed cuticles do not allow it to soak with water and sink).
Did this procedure bring answers?
All is left is to explain is what oils match particular porosity.
– Low porosity hair – absorbs oils of small particle size. Therefore, look for saturated fatty acids (coconut oil, peanut oil, palm oil, babassu)
– Medium porosity hair – absorbs well medium particles of monounsaturated fatty acids omega – 7 and omega – 9 (almond, macadamia nuts, sesame oil, olive oil, avocado and argan).
– High porosity hair – absorbs high molecular oils that are polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega – omega 3 – 6 (grapes, sunflower, flax, cumin seed, corn).
May your hair oiling treatment be successful!