Following on from the porosity articles I have been observing my own hair to try and get to grips with my own porosity issues and needs. You can read the articles here and here if you haven’t already done so.
My hair is high porosity which is not unusual for coloured hair or for hair which has had heat damage. I went from only diffusing my hair once or twice a week to everyday (and on hot too, shhhhh) and I noticed a big difference in the amount of frizz I was experiencing. Needless to say I’ve stopped that now! I also get my hair highlighted and although my hairdresser never goes over previous coloured hair to keep damage to a minimum, I think my hair still suffers as a result.
I carried out the ‘mist test’ where you spray a section of your clean hair with water to observe how your hair reacts with it. My hair soaks up water! As my hair has a high porosity the water was absorbed very quickly. The photo above on the left was taken immediately after spraying my hair. When you use the right products you are basically temporarily ‘filling in’ the gaps from the raised cuticle and your hair is patched up to be less porous. As you can see from the photo on the right, the same section of hair has more water droplets on the surface immediately after spraying – this one was taken with products in my hair and you can see how it’s made a difference to how the water is absorbed.
How does this work? Conditioner contains ‘surfactants’ which are just particles that naturally stick to surfaces – this is how your conditioner combines with your hair. Furthermore, surfactants actually get drawn into gaps in the hair and so they help to seal the raised cuticles you find in high porosity hair. Therefore, layering your products can help to seal in moisture and prevent dry frizzy hair. For example, using a leave in conditioner under a gel or cream helps to seal in the conditioner which helps you to retain moisture/prevent frizz.
There are no hard and fast rules and I’m constantly learning and trying out new things. It takes a bit of trial and error with products and techniques to find out what works for you. I’d say if you have high porosity hair like me then a good place to start is experimenting with how much water you leave in your hair when you style. Also try different combinations of products and check out the tips in the porosity article here.