Top 5 Signs Of Low Porosity Hair!

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You probably know what dry hair, oily hair, or dandruff look like. I don’t really have to describe the symptoms to you, right? But what about low porosity hair? That’s something that isn’t quite as spoken about. But first, the obvious question: what is low porosity hair?

What Is Low Porosity Hair?

Woman receiving hair treatments.

Heat exposure can affect your hair’s porosity.

If you’re my age, or you have a sibling or kid my age, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Spongebob Squarepants. You’ve probably learned the word ‘porous’ from the show, too. (“Absorbent and yellow and porous is he – Spongebob Squarepants!” It’s one of those unfortunate songs that will stick in your head all day. You’re welcome.) Hair porosity measures how much moisture (oils and water) your hair is able to retain.

While Spongebob might be enviously porous, not all of us are as lucky. What is low porosity hair? It refers to hair that does not do a great job absorbing moisture. Hair porosity is genetic, but it can also be affected by treatments like dyeing your hair or continuously exposing it to heat.

If you have extremely curly or kinky hair, it’s probably very fragile and not very porous. This is also true if your hair is damaged or has been through too many chemical treatments or other forms of processing. It’s important to know if you have low porosity hair so that you can choose the best and healthiest products for your hair type. Luckily, there are ways to determine the porosity of your hair. It’s just about knowing the signs.

Top 5 Signs Of Low Porosity Hair

1. Build-Up Of Products In Your Hair/Products Sit On Top Of Your Hair

Woman spraying curly hair.

If products do not get absorbed into your hair, this is a sign that you might have low porosity hair.

Is the most annoying question for you “Oh, have you tried (insert popular product)? It was amaaaazing for me!” Maybe it prompts you to want to answer back “Well, lucky you. Yes, I have tried that product. And that one too. Yes, and that one. No, it didn’t work for me. Why? Because instead of getting absorbed into my hair, it just sat on top of it like some kind of unattractive gloopy/powdery crown.”

Alternatively, do you notice that any hair products seem to be left behind on your hair, no matter how well you try to wash it?

Do either of these situations sound familiar to you? If you’ve experienced a build-up of products in your hair or products sit on top of your hair, it’s a sure sign that you have low porosity hair.

2. Conditioner Does Not Work For Your Hair

Woman combing conditioner through her hair.

You might keep switching conditioners without having any luck.

If you’ve been trying, without success, to attempt to give moisture to your hair with conditioner, you may have to switch to a new one. If you’ve switched so many times that you know conditioner brands in your sleep and you still haven’t found the right one for your hair, you probably have low porosity hair. While it can be frustrating when conditioner does not work for your hair, fear not. Heated conditioner is likely to work wonders for you!

3. Heated Conditioner Is A Must

Have you tried using a certain conditioner with poor results, only to have amazing results once you’ve heated it? Then you very likely have low porosity hair, my friend! Heated conditioner is a must, and luckily, it’s a really simple process. It’s best to do a deep conditioning about once a week. Once the conditioner is in your hair, use a hair steamer for about a quarter of an hour to half an hour on your hair. The heat will help loosen your cuticles, which will allow the conditioner to seep into your hair and work its magic.

Don’t have a hair steamer? You might want to consider buying one; it’ll save you a load of time in the future! For now, though, it is possible to deep condition, even without artificial heat. It will take time and patience, but it’s worth it.

Apply your deep conditioner to your hair like normal. Then, cover it with a shower cap and wrap your head in a towel. Your natural body heat will allow the conditioner to penetrate your cuticles and moisturize your hair!

Keep in mind, though, that this method will take at least one to two hours. Make sure you have something else to do to keep yourself occupied while you wait for your hair to turn beautiful!

4. Your Hair Takes Forever To Dry

Woman adjusting wet hair.

Do you have hair that just won’t dry?

You’re going out tonight, but you just got home from work. No problem, you still have plenty of time to shower, wait for your hair to dry, and then style it, right? Wrong…

For some reason, your hair takes forever to dry. It even seems almost resistant to drying. At least, in a normal amount of time. You’ll often notice droplets of water just sitting on top of your strands, hours after you’ve washed it. That’s another sign that you have low porosity hair.

The best way to dry low porosity hair is by using cotton. This will absorb the moisture without turning your hair into a frizz ball. First, squeeze out all the moisture you can when you’ve finished showering. You can use a towel to extract even more moisture. Once your hair is damp, wrap an old cotton t-shirt around your hair to fully absorb the moisture. When you’ve left that long enough, you can then allow your hair to air dry until it’s fully dry.

5. Hair Color Treatments Don’t Work As They Should

Woman wearing sunglasses and smiling.

People with low porosity hair will have trouble coloring their hair.

Ever noticed that for some reason, hair color treatments don’t work as they should on your hair? That they just don’t work for your hair like they do for other people’s? In some cases, you might have a hard time getting the color to apply to your hair. It’s possible that you might succeed in getting the color into your hair, but it doesn’t look anything like the company says it should look. Or, it just might not work to color your hair at all. If this is you, then you most likely have low porosity hair.

How To Test The Porosity Of Your Hair

Woman holding a glass of water.

A glass of water can help you figure out the porosity of your hair.

Those five signs above are a good indication that you have low porosity hair – particularly if all five apply to you. But if you want to test the porosity of your hair in order to know for sure, there’s a simple way to check just how porous your hair really is.

Fill a glass with water, and place a couple of strands of clean hair inside it. If your hair sinks straight away, that means your hair is high porosity. The moisture gets absorbed into your hair really quickly, which is what makes it sink so fast.

If your hair starts sinking slowly, that means you have normal porosity hair.

And if you’re watching this hair for around four minutes and there’s nothing doing (your hair is refusing to sink), that means that you have low porosity hair. The moisture is not getting absorbed into your hair, which means it won’t sink (or will take more time to do so than you care to sit there watching it).

The Positive Sides To Having Low Porosity Hair

So we’ve covered the hard parts about having low porosity hair. We know that it can take a little more patience and TLC to get your hair to absorb moisture, which can come naturally to your high porosity-haired friends. However, once you’ve succeeded in getting the moisture into your hair, it stays there for much longer. People with high porosity hair might have an easier time getting moisture in, but will have a much harder time keeping it in.

Likewise, you might struggle to get some color into your low porosity hair. Once you’ve succeeded, though, your color will last a lot longer than it would if you had high porosity hair.

Another advantage to having low porosity hair is that when well cared for, it looks shiny and healthy. This is again because it manages to hold onto moisture better than other hair types. So there you have it, the positive sides to having low porosity hair.


Low porosity hair has its challenges. It can need a bit of trial and error before you work out the best way to treat your hair. However, it’s actually often thought of as the best type of hair to have, because of how well it holds in moisture and hair products. Some even think it requires less work than high porosity hair, which can need a lot of treatments to keep moisture in.

If you have low porosity hair, do your research to discover the best ways to take care of your locks. Once you’ve got it down pat, you’ll be able to adore your glossy, beautiful hair without the frustration.