Natural Hair

The Guide to Caring for High Porosity Hair

March 12, 2019
A black woman with curly hair

High porosity hair can be a pain to deal with at times, however, learning how to start caring for it doesn’t have to become a hassle.

Knowing your natural hair’s porosity will help you choose the best products and techniques to use in your regimen. It’s important for those with high porosity to find ways to retain moisture and keep their strands strong.

In this post, we’re going to discuss how to start properly caring for high porosity hair to keep it healthy, moisturized, and flourishing on your journey.

This blog post is in collaboration with Consy from Dominican Curly. If you have low porosity hair, check out her blog post here for more tips!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

What is High Porosity Hair?

High porosity hair has cuticles that are raised which makes it easy to absorb moisture. But unfortunately, you can lose that moisture just as quickly. For this reason, most people with high porosity deal with dryness.

Here are a few characteristics you may notice:

  • Dry, brittle hair
  • The appearance of dull hair
  • Your hair tangles easily
  • Styles dry quickly
  • Hair is easily saturated with water

Caring for High Porosity Hair

Do Protein Treatments

High porosity hair has gaps in the hair shaft because of the cuticles being raised. Using protein will temporarily fill in those holes and provide strength.

Protein can also do the following:

  • Provide fuller, thicker hair
  • Improve elasticity
  • Reduce breakage + shedding

Here are some of my favorite protein treatments:

Deep Condition Regularly

Deep conditioners contain nourishing ingredients that help to alleviate the symptoms of high porosity hair.

When you deep condition, it provides your hair with nutrients that help replenish moisture, promote elasticity, increase strength, and smooth down the hair cuticle.

In the last section, I gave you some of my favorite protein deep conditioners, however, moisturizing deep conditioners are important too!

Since high porosity hair is prone to dryness, you want to maintain a good moisture-protein balance by alternating between moisturizing deep conditioners and protein treatments as needed.

Here are some of my favorite moisturizing deep conditioners:

Related Post: 10 Effective Deep Conditioners for High Porosity Hair

Use Sealants When Styling

A sealant is applied to your hair to help lock in moisture. High porosity hair has raised cuticles, therefore, using a sealant will help to smooth them down and prevent moisture from escaping quickly.

A good technique to use is the LOC method. Layering your products in this order can limit frizz and increase moisture retention.

Some great sealants for high porosity hair are:

Limit Using Heat/Chemicals

You can be born with high porosity hair, however, there are other factors that can cause you to have this porosity, such as:

  • Dyeing your hair
  • Excessive use of heat tools
  • Using other harsh chemicals

It’s important to limit how often you use heat if you want to maintain the health of your curls. Using heat and chemicals can cause damage to your strands and impact your curl pattern.

When you use heat, you want to have healthy hair care practices in place. Deep condition beforehand to add strength and limit damage to your hair. Also, choose a good-quality heat protectant and use the lowest heat setting on your tool.

Before purchasing a product, check the label to see what ingredients it’s formulated with. Try to stay away from anything with sulfates, mineral oil, or isopropyl alcohol since those can cause dryness.

Avoid Harsh Shampoos

An ingredient you should avoid using in your shampoos is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sulfates are harsh cleansers that can strip the natural oils from your hair and scalp.

After cleansing, you may notice a “squeaky” feeling, an itchy scalp, or excessive dryness.

Since high porosity is prone to dryness, it’s best to use sulfate-free shampoos that provide a gentle cleanse without leaving the hair stripped. You also want to look for cleansers with natural, moisturizing ingredients.

Related Post: 6 Amazing Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Natural Hair

Detangle Carefully

It’s important to use the right tools and techniques to detangle your hair. Learning how to detangle carefully will reduce the chance of excessive breakage and damage.

One of my favorite hair tools is the Kazmaleje Paddle Comb. It’s sturdy and helps to detangle thick sections of hair without causing breakage.

Another good way to detangle is by using your fingers. Make sure you apply a product with a lot of slip and never detangle dry hair.

Incorporating these tips into your regimen will help you take care of your high porosity hair with ease. As long as you follow healthy hair practices, use good techniques, and choose quality products, you’re on the right track!

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  • Reply Derecka March 12, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Great tips! I have low porosity. I do most of these tips as well. I also heard that you can have more than one porosity.

    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Yes some people told me they have more than one porosity! Our hair is so unique. Thank you for reading!

      • Reply Natalie Mochaccino June 28, 2020 at 6:26 pm

        Thank you for sharing this. I’m still not sure of what category my hair falls under but I am inclined to find out 😊
        Your doing a great job, keep it up!

        • Reply Madisen June 29, 2020 at 5:32 pm

          Thank you so much for reading!

  • Reply Queen | The Blessed Queens March 12, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Hey Madisen !

    Nice write up! Natural hair ladies with high porosity will find this super helpful dear!! Keep it up

    xo, Queen :)

    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Hey Queen! Thank you for reading!

  • Reply Consy March 12, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    I love that protein moisture balance is key for both :)
    It was a pleasure to collab sis! xo


    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      I enjoyed collaborating with you as well sis! You know I’ve always loved your blog! And yes protein-moisture balance + deep conditioning is key for everyone no matter what hair type/porosity they are!

  • Reply Brittney March 12, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Great tips boo! I have low porosity but I think my mom has high porosity so I’ll deff be sharing these tips with her ! Also pretty cool that you guys collab’d on this blog ! I’ll deff be referencing back here often !

    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you for reading boo! Yes, and I hope these tips help your mom on her journey!

      • Reply Renea September 6, 2019 at 9:19 pm

        I’m so glad I found your blog! I just found out I have high porosity hair. I wish I would’ve known years ago to save time and money. Thank you for all your help!

        • Reply Madisen September 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

          Awe thank you! I’m glad this post was helpful for you. I wish I would’ve had this information when I found out about porosity!

      • Reply Ganiyat May 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm

        Thanks so much. I just know my hair porosity

  • Reply Aisha March 12, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    I had no idea about all of this. I read the guide you provided for how to know what porosity hair type you have and my daughter has high porosity according to the guide. I definitely will be getting her some hair protein. All these products ?. I’m grateful for the you and Consy provided.

    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      I’m glad we were able to teach you something new! Thank you for reading and I hope this helps your daughter!

  • Reply JoAnna March 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Awesome tips hun, I have low porosity hair but my kids have high porosity hair! I’ll definitely use these methods on them. This was a great colab! I enjoyed learning more about both high and low porosity hair. ??

    • Reply Madisen March 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for reading! I hope these tips help them, please keep me updated if you can! I’m glad you were able to learn from both of our posts!

  • Reply seniya March 21, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Nice post Madisen! I really love how clear you were in this write up. I am definitely subscribing to get more updates from you, I am a fellow natural hair blogger showing some support!

    • Reply Madisen March 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you for reading! I appreciate the support! ♥️ That means a lot!

  • Reply Brittany C June 6, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I recently learned the definition of porosity. However, I always knew that my hair dried super fast — often before it is done being styled. Knowing this has definitely helped me to make sure I have what I need to do it properly. I purchased a continuous spray bottle, and I have lots of shea/mango/coconut butters. I also get regular deep conditioning treatments and hydration (steam) treatments at the salon. It has definitely been nice to be able to put a name to the concept though!

    • Reply Madisen June 6, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      I feel like knowing your porosity is more important than anything! I’m glad you figured out your porosity because it’ll definitely help your journey and choosing the right products. I’ll have more posts on what I use for my high porosity hair soon! Thank you for reading and commenting sis. ♥️

  • Reply Juanita September 12, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks Madison,
    Finally answers.
    Your insight is sooo valuable❤

    • Reply Madisen September 13, 2019 at 12:16 am

      Thank you so much sis! I appreciate that.

  • Reply Chante April 5, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Madisen. How often should I wash my low porosity hair, and my daughter’s high porosity hair? Also, do you know if Mielle Organics pomegranate & honey hair care line is good for low porosity?

    Thank you!!

    • Reply Madisen April 9, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Hi Chante! Everyone’s hair is different and it depends. I wash my hair weekly and some may do it biweekly. Whenever my scalp feels irritated or I start noticing build up, I make sure to wash my hair as soon as possible. Also, I’ve seen many women who are low porosity use that line from Mielle. It works great for my high porosity hair and it’s very moisturizing.

  • Reply Tiana Gee May 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the tips! How do you know the difference between deep conditioners: if they’re protein or moisturizing ? I’m in Charlotte too!

    • Reply Madisen May 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm

      Hey! Thank you for reading and you’re welcome. Glad to hear that you’re in Charlotte! Make sure you follow me on IG so we can keep in contact. In order to know the difference you’ll have to check the ingredients and sometimes the name of the product can tell you whether it’s for protein/moisture. For example, most protein DC’s will have the word “treatment”. Some ingredients in a protein DC are: keratin, amino acids, or you’ll see something with the word “Hydrolyzed”. A moisturizing DC will have water-based ingredients that will infuse moisture into your hair. I will work on a blog post with my favorite moisturizing + protein deep conditioners. Thank you for asking that question!

  • Reply Lisa August 28, 2021 at 4:27 am

    Hey Madisen
    My question is what can I do with my high porosity hair since I have hypothyroidism. I have tried what I know and that doesn’t work. So I keep my hair in braids or a wig. so frustrated and at my wits end, and going through menopause. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it. Thanks Lisa

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