In the previous article, we looked at what hair porosity is all about and how you can gauge whether your hair has low porosity or not. We also looked at how low porosity of hair can cause trouble for your entire head of hair.
In this article, we will continue to look at the same topic, but here we will look into what can be done to correct the condition and how the porosity can be improved.
From the moment you start working towards the improvement of your hair porosity, you will notice that hair that had seemed dull and lifeless for so many days, will start looking and feeling healthy. Ensuring better hair porosity will become all the more important, when your hair does not respond to treatments and breaks off easily. When your hair has the right level of porosity, it will feel healthy, shiny and thick.

Let us first look at how an imbalance in porosity can cause trouble for your hair:

Porous hair might look like it is very dry, however, the fact is that it can still absorb a large amount of water. Studies have shown that hair can absorb almost 30 percent of its actual weight and if your hair is overly porous, it can absorb ten to twenty percent more! While many people might think that more the moisture absorption, the better it is, but the fact is far from it. If hair is absorbing that much moisture, it will lose the same with just as much ease. Let’s go back to the example of a sponge – a sponge can absorb large amount of water in one go, but the moment you wring it, all the water will be lost too.
When your hair absorbs too much water, the actual structure of the hair is compromised and makes it weak. The excess moisture stretches the hair by more than 30 percent, which is what makes it weak and prone to breakage. If the process continues over an elongated period of time, there can be irreversible damage to the first two layers of the hair. This is why you should not leave your hair wet for too long. Allow it to dry naturally or use a hair dryer with settings that are on the lower side.
If your hair is not absorbing as much moisture, it could possibly be because of the cuticles are raised and there is damage to the scales as well. When the cuticles are in a raised condition, the moisture is able to escape much more easily, which is why hair becomes dry. So, the easiest way of controlling hair porosity is to repair the cuticles.
When the hair absorbs moisture, quite obviously, it becomes longer and your hair feels heavier. However, it is important to remember that like any sponge, when there is constant absorption and removal of water, hair too will start to become saturated. Eventually, your hair too will start to wilt and lose the original structure. This is when you will need to take corrective measures for your hair.

Now, let’s look at methods by which the hair porosity can be improved:

  • Perhaps the best way to treat low hair porosity is to increase the amount of protein, both in hair as well as in your diet. The easiest way would be treat your hair to regular protein treatments. Hair is essentially made up of keratin, which is actually a type of protein and when there are gaps in the hair, protein can fill the same up, quite easily. Protein is able to bind with the gaps in the hair and offer the same a chance to heal on its own. When you use protein regularly, the hair will be able to hold the right amount of moisture and make its way to becoming healthier.

However, you need to take care of the amount of protein you use, because too much protein and you will end up with hair that is dry and ready to break. Just because protein is good for your hair does not mean that you should overdo the same. The protein treatments should be spaced over time and should be done with proper gaps. Alternately, you could follow up each protein treatment with proper moisturising or use hair reconstruction products. Such deep conditioning will assist greatly with the improvement of porosity of the hair.

  • If you have hair that is coloured or are planning to do so, it would be best that you follow up each protein treatment with a conditioner that is meant exclusively for coloured hair. It is also important your hair conditioner is one that suits your actual hair type. The conditioner will allow the hair cuticles to close and retain the moisture within. In addition, the conditioner will also help with the maintenance of the pH levels of your hair.
  • Yet another method of bringing hair porosity to normal would be to use hair glazes, at least once in a month. This should be done after you have completed your protein treatment, and you can decide whether you want a coloured glaze or a clear one. If you have coloured your hair, you can use a hair glaze that matches the same and this will also allow you to enhance the current hair colour. Glazes will not only protect your hair but also help with the recovery process.
  • It is also important to clarify your hair once in a while, and you could simply purchase a clarifying shampoo for your local stores. It is also easy to make a clarifying rinse at home – combine a small amount of apple cider vinegar with some tap water and use that as the second last rinse. Once you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, use this concoction and finally rinse with normal water.

When your hair is back to being properly porous, you will notice how healthy and shiny it looks and feels!

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Your hair is more than just your crowning glory – it is a part of your personality and for many, it is the foundation of their confidence. However, most people are of the opinion that as long as long as they oil, shampoo and condition their hair regularly, there is all that there is to it. The truth is actually much more than this, because there are several aspects to having healthy and beautiful looking hair. One such aspect related to hair is hair porosity and there are several people who have no idea what it means.

Let’s try to understand the concept of porosity – imagine a sponge, which is completely porous. While it can absorb a lot of water in one go, the moment you squeeze it, all the moisture is lost. Imagine the same condition in your hair – if your hair is porous it will absorb a lot of moisture, but the same moisture will be easy enough to lose as well. On the other hand, if your hair is not at all porous, then it will not absorb any moisture. So, hair needs to have the right amount of porosity to be healthy.

The porosity of hair is highly dependent on how much moisture your hair is able to absorb and take beyond the cuticle layer, into the cortex level. So, it is important to keep a close eye on the cuticles of the hair, in order to keep the porosity under check.

Studies have shown that darker hair are lesser porous, as compared to blonde hair; but all hair does have some amount of porosity. Almost all hair has three layers – the outer most layer being the cuticle and the next being cortex. People, who have really thick hair, will have another well developed inner layer, known as medulla. The outer most layer is either open or closed and in some cases, it is somewhere in between. Normally, this layer has tiny scales, which tend to stand out. When these scales stand up, your hair will look frizzy and dry, whereas their lying flat is what leads to smooth looking hair.

Generally, the lifted scales do not lie flat against each other leading to a condition of low porosity. When the same hair is subjected to chemical treatments regularly, the condition worsens and the porosity increases. Porous hair actually absorb more colour, which means that such hair will look better when they are coloured, but since they are already damaged, the extent of the same will be greater, when the hair colour starts to wear off. The ends of our hair are normally more porous, as compared to the roots, mainly because they are more exposed.

So, if you are constantly having bad hair days, even though you hydrate them regularly, maybe there is something wrong with the porosity!

    What causes poor porosity?

There are several factors that can lead to poor porosity of the hair and these include:

  • Usage of harsh chemicals, such as bleach or colours
  • Other chemical treatments such as permanent straightening or perming
  • Constant use of heating tools such as curling or straightening irons
  • Pulling on wet hair
  • Regular use of shampoos and conditioners that have strong chemicals
  • Constant exposure to extreme temperatures

    How can the hair porosity be determined?

Checking the level of hair porosity is actually not all that difficult and there are numerous tests which can be done to determine the same. Some of the tests include:

Test 1: Take some hair from either your head or from your hairbrush and place them in a glass of water. If your hair is floating, then your hair does not suffer from poor porosity. However, there are some ifs and buts to this test:

  • Hair is normally light, which means that there is quite a strong chance that it will float in the water.
  • If you are someone who uses leave in conditioners or gentle oils after shampooing, your hair will float.
  • Naturally oily hair will also float.
  • Coarse hair is a little heavier, which means that it will sink.
  • The temperature of the water you are using for the test will also make a difference, because hot water will remove any and all oils on the hair, making them sink.

Test 2: Another method of checking the hair porosity is the fingernail test. For this test, you need to make sure that the glass you are using is clean and dry. There should be no residue in the glass, from conditioners, oils or any other hair care products. Pull out a single strand of hair and make sure that you retain the root of the hair as well. Now simply run your fingernail from the end of the hair to the root.

If your fingernail pulls or tugs at any part of the hair, then you might need to look to handling a poor hair porosity issue. When you wet your hair and the feeling is one of mushiness or your hair tends to overstretch when you run your comb through it, there is a problem of elasticity with your hair and this is a sure sign of hair lacking the porosity that it needs.

In the next article, we will take a look at how you can ensure that your hair is the right amount of porous. In addition, we will also look at the necessity of improving hair porosity for healthy hair.

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