Natural Hair

How to Start Effectively Caring for Low Porosity Hair

December 1, 2019
Learn how to start effectively caring for low porosity hair.

Featured image: @coily_dawn

We all know that I’m a high porosity girl, however, I have many readers and followers who have low porosity. It’s only right that I include tips on caring for low porosity hair, I can’t leave you guys hanging! I’ve done a lot of research and at one point thought I was low porosity because of the “Float Test”.

Once I started paying attention to the characteristics of my hair, that’s when all signs pointed to high porosity. I had to switch up my regimen and noticed a huge difference afterward! That’s why knowing your porosity is important — it’ll help you choose the right products and techniques for your hair.

Related Post: How to Determine Your Porosity the Right Way

What’s Low Porosity?

Low porosity hair has tightly sealed cuticles that make it difficult for moisture to be absorbed and penetrate. After doing some research, I found out that the Float Test isn’t accurate and shouldn’t be used to determine your porosity. There are certain characteristics you should look for to find out which category you fall into.

Here are some characteristics of low porosity hair:

  • Your hair takes a while to get saturated
  • Water beads on top of your hair
  • Products sit on top of your hair
  • Your styles take longer to dry
  • You may be sensitive to protein

Although those things can be frustrating at times, caring for low porosity hair doesn’t have to be a hassle. You can still maintain healthy hair by following the tips in this post.

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.


Caring for Low Porosity Hair

Use Heat on Your Hair

Since the cuticles are tightly sealed and can have a hard time absorbing products, it’s important to use heat in your regimen. One way to incorporate this step is while you’re deep conditioning your hair. You can add heat by using one of the following:

The heat helps to open up the cuticles which will allow your product to penetrate more effectively. You can also use heat for your pre-poo treatments!

Another place you can purchase a Thermal Cap from is Pydana Collection! You can use the code TEXTURE20 to save money on your order! Shoutout to @texturelove16 for sharing her discount code!

Related Post: Sis, You Need to Pre-Poo. Here is Why.

Clarify Regularly

Shampooing natural hair

Cleansing your hair is important for the overall health of your scalp. When it comes to low porosity hair, you want to shampoo regularly since it’s prone to product buildup. You can use a clarifying shampoo or one of my favorites, clay washes!

With the number of products we use, it’s easier for low porosity hair to have buildup. Products may sit on top of your hair if they aren’t properly absorbed. If you continue to apply more on top, it can lead to dryness, flakes, and limp curls.

Some people use sulfates to remove buildup, however, there are other natural, effective options to choose from.

Related Post: 6 Amazing Shampoos that Won’t Dry Out Your Curls

Avoid Heavy Products + Silicones

Everyone isn’t picky about what they use on their hair, however, if you have low porosity hair and want to prevent product buildup from happening often, then paying attention to the products you use can be helpful. Products that contain silicones or heavy butter/oils can be too much for your hair. It can build up quickly which can lead to less moisture retention.

Locking in moisture when styling your hair is important, however, you should opt for lightweight oils and refresher sprays to keep your curls flourishing throughout the week.

Be Careful With Protein

The last tip is to be careful when using protein. One thing I’ve heard the most from those with low porosity is using protein makes their hair feel dry and brittle. Having a good moisture-protein balance in your regimen is important, however, make sure you’re paying attention to how your hair looks and feels. You don’t want to end up using too much of one thing.

When it comes to deep conditioning, focus on using moisturizing treatments. It’s also important to pay attention to the other products you’re using such as shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and styling creams since they can contain proteins. You’ll have to go through trial and error to see which proteins work best for your hair and which ones you should steer clear from.


I hope this post helped you realize that caring for low porosity hair doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about paying attention to your hair and following healthy hair practices. If you have low porosity hair, keep these tips in mind so you can start maintaining the overall health of your curls!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Marquita December 2, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for this blog because at times I feel like I have to do so much because a product is just too much for my hair. Having low porosity hair is definitely challenging at times, however, it will all be ok as I’m finding out what works for my hair.

    • Reply Madisen December 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      You’re welcome! Yes each porosity has its own struggles but there are ways we can start managing it better. Things will get better once you find what works for you! Thank you for reading ♥️

    • Reply Aisha December 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      After finally taking down my locs and washing my “loose natural” hair for the first time in over 15 years(I did wash my locs but not as much as I’m going to wash my hair now). I’m learning about porosity from you (you’re the first person I’ve even heard about porosity). I learned that I am high porosity. Thank you for sharing.

      • Reply Madisen December 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm

        That’s amazing sis! I’m excited to continue watching your journey. Thank you for reading and I’m glad you’ve been able to learn your porosity!

  • Reply Colette December 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Always use warm water to shampoo and rinse and if possible, warm up those products that I keep in the fridge!

    • Reply Madisen December 2, 2019 at 9:31 pm

      I’ve heard of those tips as well, especially when it comes to warming up products!

  • Reply Faranda December 7, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Great to know that the floating test is not accurate! Thank ms for this post! It was a great read!

    • Reply Madisen December 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad it was helpful.

  • Reply Najiibah Uthman May 2, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I had used the float method and ended up thinking I had low porosity hair type. My hair though, dries up easily and so fast after wetting it. Does this mean I have high porosity hair?

    • Reply Madisen May 2, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      Hey! The hair drying easily and fast after adding water to it is one of the signs of high porosity hair. That’s one of the first things I noticed about my hair when I was trying to figure out which category I fell into. Make sure you check out this blog post: http://www.naturallymadisen.com/natural-hair-porosity to see more characteristics for each one!

  • Reply Isabelle David January 2, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Madisen, I just read your article & I am so impressed. My head is so dry & I am facing low porosity hair. I hope I will not let this issue grow. I hope I will solve this problem with your tips for caring. Have you ever faced a low porosity hair problem? Thanks for sharing this article. Keep writing.

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