High Porosity Vs. Low Porosity Hair

Have you ever wondered why some people's hair seems to absorb moisture like a sponge while others struggle to keep their locks hydrated? The answer may lie in their hair porosity, a term that refers to the ability of hair to absorb and retain moisture. Understanding your hair's porosity can help you choose the right products, develop a healthy hair care routine, and promote strong, shiny, and healthy hair.

What is Hair Porosity?

Hair porosity is the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture. The structure of your hair cuticle determines it, the outermost layer of the hair shaft. The cuticle comprises overlapping scales that can be lifted or flattened, depending on the hair's porosity. When the cuticle is lifted, moisture can easily enter the hair shaft. When it is flattened, moisture is trapped inside.

Generally, there are three types of hair porosity: high porosity, medium porosity, and low porosity. Each type has its unique characteristics, and understanding your hair's porosity can help you take care of your hair better than ever.

High Porosity Hair

If you have high porosity hair, your hair cuticles are lifted, and your hair absorbs moisture quickly but has trouble retaining it. High-porosity hair is often damaged, whether from chemical treatments, heat styling, or environmental factors. As a result, the cuticles are raised, making it easier for moisture to enter the hair shaft. However, the raised cuticles also allow moisture to escape quickly, resulting in dry, frizzy, and brittle hair.

Your hair is high porosity if: 

  • It absorbs moisture quickly: High porosity hair absorbs water and products rapidly due to the raised cuticles.
  • It's prone to frizz and dryness: The lifted cuticles allow moisture to escape quickly, resulting in dry, frizzy hair that lacks shine.
  • It's damaged and porous: High porosity hair is often damaged by heat styling, chemical treatments, or environmental stressors. The damage causes the cuticles to lift, leading to high porosity.
  • It requires frequent moisturizing: High porosity hair needs regular moisturizing to keep it hydrated and prevent further damage.

How to Take Care of Your High-Porosity Hair

For high-porosity hair, you need to focus on restoring moisture and repairing damage. Deep conditioning treatments and regular trims can also help restore the hair's health and prevent further damage. The Bask + Lather Hair Elixir Oil is the perfect remedy. The Elixir Oil is formulated with Jamaican Black Castor Oil to help seal in moisture in order to prevent breakage and reduce split ends. If your hair is extremely brittle, we recommend avoiding heat styling until the Elixir Oil can work its magic enough to repair split ends. When you need to use heat, make sure to use a heat protectant.

Medium Porosity Hair

Many people are not even aware that it exists. If you have medium porosity hair, your hair cuticles are neither too tightly packed nor too widely spaced apart. Medium porosity hair is usually healthy, shiny, and easy to manage. The hair can absorb moisture without losing it too quickly, making it easier to maintain moisture levels and prevent damage. 


To care for medium porosity hair, you must maintain balance and prevent damage. Use products that balance moisture and protein, such as the Bask + Lather Replenishing Conditioner. Avoid over-processing or over-styling the hair, as this can damage the cuticles and affect the hair's porosity.


Low Porosity Hair

If you have low-porosity hair, your cuticles are tightly packed together, and your hair has difficulty absorbing moisture. The cuticles' tight arrangement makes it challenging for water and other products to penetrate the hair shaft, resulting in a product build-up on the hair's surface. Low-porosity hair is often healthy and shiny but can become weighed down or greasy if too many products are used.

Your hair is low porosity if it's: 

  • Resistant to moisture: The tightly closed cuticles create a barrier that prevents moisture from entering the hair shaft easily.
  • Product build-up: Due to the difficulty in absorbing moisture, low-porosity hair can experience product build-up, making it feel greasy or weighed down.
  • Shiny and healthy: Low-porosity hair naturally shines and can retain moisture well once it penetrates the cuticles.
  • Prone to dryness if not properly moisturized: Despite the hair's ability to retain moisture, low-porosity hair can still become dry if not adequately hydrated.

How to Take Care of Your Low-porosity Hair

To care for low-porosity hair, you need to focus on adding moisture and avoiding build-up. Therefore, Use lightweight products that can penetrate the hair shaft, such as water-based leave-in conditioners or hair oils that can be absorbed easily. The Bask + Lather Hydrating Hair Mist is infused with aloe vera and avocado oil to penetrate the hair shaft leaving it moisturized and nourished without weighing it down. We recommend avoiding over-moisturizing. Low-porosity hair can become weighed down if too many moisturizing products are used. 

How to Determine Your Hair Porosity

Here are a few methods you can use to determine your hair's porosity:

The Float Test

  1. Take a clean strand of hair and place it in a water bowl.
  2. Observe how the hair behaves in the water.

Result: If the hair floats on the surface, it indicates low porosity. If the hair sinks slowly to the bottom, it indicates medium porosity. If the hair sinks quickly to the bottom, it indicates high porosity.

The Slip 'n' Slide Test

  1. Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers from the end towards the scalp.
  2. Pay attention to how easily your fingers glide along the hair shaft.

Result: If your fingers slide smoothly without resistance, it indicates low porosity.

If you feel some resistance or slight roughness, it indicates medium porosity.

If your fingers slide quickly and smoothly but lack grip, it indicates high porosity.

The Spray Bottle Test

  1. Mist your hair with a spray bottle filled with water.
  2. Observe how your hair responds to the water.

Result: If the water beads up and sits on the hair's surface without being absorbed, it indicates low porosity. If the water is absorbed slowly and forms small droplets, it indicates medium porosity.

If the water is quickly absorbed and disappears, it indicates high porosity.


Understanding your hair's porosity, whether high, low, or medium, can guide you in selecting the appropriate products and techniques for optimal hair health. Remember that everyone's hair is unique, and experimenting with different methods will help you find what works best. Bask + Lather has hair growth products that all help with strengthening and replenishing the hair shaft for all hair types.

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