The right hair routine for low porosity hair can make such a difference in your hair’s ability to retain moisture and improve its appearance. If you’re confused about whether your hair is low or high porosity, here are some telltale signs:
- your hair takes a long time to get wet in the shower
- your hair takes a long time to dry
- hair products don’t absorb well into your hair
The main issue for those with low porosity hair is the ability to retain moisture. Because low porosity hair is less porous, it’s difficult for oils and water to penetrate the hair. This causes the hair to feel and look dry and dull. While this is certainly something you’d want to avoid, a lot of the cause of low porosity hair is genetic, although damage through heat, bleaching, UV rays, etc can contribute as well.
While low porosity hair is has its issues, so does every hair type of hair. The key with all haircare is figuring out what your hair needs and giving it just that. So don’t despair over having low porosity hair. All you need is the right routine!
Why You Need a Hair Routine for Low Porosity Hair
Without a good hair routine, low porosity hair can alternate between looking and feeling dry on the one hand, and greasy with too much product on the other. Low porosity hair can be a tricky thing to care for because while it is often lacking in moisture, too much of the wrong kind of moisture can leave it overly greasy.
What should I avoid with low porosity hair?
So we know low porosity hair needs moisture, but what is the wrong kind of moisture?
- Heavy oil and deep conditioning treatments can leave low porosity hair oily and weighed down, and leave a lot of product buildup on the hair.
- Hair products high in alcohol can be drying on your hair so those are best avoided.
- Protein treatments can cause low porosity hair to become more brittle and cause breakage.
- Heat tools increase damage to low porosity hair.
Hair Routine for Low Porosity Hair
This routine is great for helping improve low porosity hair, but even if you only incorporate a couple of these steps into your routine your hair will thank you for it.
1. Get rid of buildup with a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse
Low porosity hair is prone to buildup thanks to hair product that hair isn’t able to absorb, so a deep cleanse will help wash it all away. A clarifying shampoo offers a super-deep cleanse, perfect for getting rid of all that buildup. Use it once a week (and ideally no more than that) for the best results.
An apple cider vinegar rinse is also a great way to get rid of product buildup and exfoliate your scalp. The acidity of apple cider vinegar makes it a good cleanser and will provide a great base for healthier looking hair.
You can make your own apple cider vinegar rinse by mixing a 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 16 oz of water. Pour it onto your head and massage into your scalp. After letting it sit for a couple minutes, rinse it out.
2. Use water-based lightweight hydration mists or leave-in conditioners
Alcohol-based products can be drying while oil-based products can be heavy and leave buildup on your hair. Water-based products are your best bet for products that will add moisture without leaving your hair a greasy mess. Look for lightweight leave-in conditioners or mists specifically meant lightweight hydration.
3. Steam your hair before applying products
Because low porosity hair has many tightly bound cuticles, it’s difficult for products to penetrate and be absorbed by the hair. Steaming allows the cuticle to open up, making it receptive to add moisture in the form of a leave-in conditioner, hair mask, hydration mist, and more.
So how do you steam your hair? You’ll want to start with hair that is just washed and which you’ve already detangled with a comb.
Apply a conditioning product to your hair like a leave-in conditioner, or a non-protein hair mask to your hair.
Next get a towel big enough to envelop your head (this could be a hand towel or a small bath towel) and soak it with water, Wring it out and put it in the microwave to warm it up. Make sure it is not so hot it will bur you and then wrap it around your head.
Place a hair clip to hold the towel on your head if it is too small to stay there on its own. Put a shower cap or plastic wrap around the towel to keep the towel warm and wet. Leave the towel until it is no longer warm, probably about 15 minutes.
Once you take off the towel your hair will likely feel extremely soft and will dry to a more hydrated and moisturized state.
4. Lightweight oils keep your hair hydrated
Using lightweight oils on damp hair (or steaming for hair with oils in it) is can give your hair amazing softness and aid in hair growth for low porosity hair. Look for oils that are lightweight so you don’t risk them sitting on top of your hair and making your hair look oily instead of adding moisture.
5. Use silk when you’re sleeping to retain moisture
Getting moisture into your low porosity hair is one half of the equation, but keeping it is the other. If you’ve gone through the work of deep cleaning your hair, lovingly applying a conditioning treatment and steaming it, use a silk pillowcase or even better, a silk cap, to keep your hair moisturized at night.
Best Hair Products for Low Porosity Hair
Clarifying Shampoo: Ouai Detox Shampoo
Leave-in Conditioner: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Lite
Hydration Mist: Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier
Hair Oil: Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
Sleeping Cap: Amazon Satin Bonnet for Sleeping (available in multiple colors)
Hair Routine for Low Porosity Hair Conclusion
Low porosity hair isn’t a huge deal to take care of if you’re using the right products and incorporate some of these steps into your routine. The increase in moisture will be well worth it, I promise! Your hair will have hydration you can see and feel and you won’t want to go back.