Although, I’ve been natural for almost ten years I have never had a low porosity hair routine and I’ve never taken proper care of my low porosity hair. If it smelt good, came in cute packaging, or was “thee” product of the moment, I put it in my hair. Thankfully, I never had any disastrous results! But, in the last year I felt like my hair stopped growing. I know my hair probably was growing but, it wasn’t growing at the rate it had grown before. In an attempt to get my hair to grow I did everything imaginable. I trimmed my hair regularly, I drank a gallon a day for 30 days, I even went heat free for 5 months. I eventually realized that I needed to completely overhaul my hair routine. My first step was determining my hair porosity.
Porosity refers to hairs ability to absorb moisture. “High Porosity” hair has an open cuticle layer which water can easily penetrate. While “Low Porosity” hair has a closed off cuticle layer which makes it difficult for water to enter and be absorbed. Those with low porosity hair may find their hair is difficult to moisturize. So, creating a routine that maximizes their hair’s ability to retain moisture is key. Below you’ll find my low porosity hair routine and all the products I use to execute it. This post does contain some affiliate links. Clicking on the links will not cost you any money but, I may receive a small commission when you do.
WASH : With low porosity hair, products (especially the wrong kind of products) may to sit on the hair shaft instead of penetrating the strands. So, it’s important that you thoroughly cleanse your hair to prevent product buildup. Look for sulfate and silicone free/clarifying shampoos that will leave your hair squeaky clean and won’t leave any residue behind. I’m currently using and loving Cantu’s Cleansing Shampoo. As I Am’s Curl Clarity Shampoo is another great option.
DEEP CONDITION : Deep conditioning and moisturizing treatments might be the most important part of a low porosity hair routine. I try to deep condition my hair twice a month to keep it soft and hydrated. (The other two weeks of the month I use the bond repairing treatment Olaplex No. 3 which I wrote about here). There are a lot of studies out there on how long you should deep condition your hair. I find 15-20 minutes under a hooded dryer works best for me. My current favorite treatment is the TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask. Urban Hydration’s Honey Health & Repair Deep Conditioner is next on my list to try.
HEAT : With low porosity hair your goal should be to open up your strands so that they can absorb moisture. Using heat with your deep conditioner or moisturizing treatment is the best way to do it. I’ve been rocking with an Ion Hooded Dryer for YEARS. When my last one broke, I went out and bought the exact same one again. If you don’t have the money or the space for a hooded dryer try a Soft Hood Hair Dryer Attachment.
CONDITION : One of the critical steps in a low porosity hair routine is making the move to a silicone free conditioner. Products with silicone tend to have a lot of “slip” so they feel GREAT while you’re in the shower. However, silicon coats your hair and will ultimately leave your hair feeling dry. NYC Curls’ The Curl Conditioner is a great sulfate/silicone/paraban free leave in conditioner which I used years ago and am currently revisiting. Not Your Mother’s also specializes in sulfate/silicone/paraban free conditioners, I’m currently using their Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Repair & Protect Conditioner.
MOISTURIZE : For years I struggled to find a moisturizer that “worked” for my hair. Many products formulated for natural hair left my hair greasy and dry. I discovered that for low porosity hair, lighter liquid based products are best. Try to find water based products (where water is one of the first or second ingredients) or a “hair milk.” Also look for products with humectants (like honey, glycerin, and fructose) which are good for low porosity hair. My hair loooooves Pattern’s Leave In Conditioner. My hair also really loves TGIN’s Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer.
OIL : After moisturizing your hair you may want to seal in the moisture with an oil. Stay away from heavy oils (coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil) which will sit on your hair. Instead look for light oils which your hair will easily absorb. Some common light oils are Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil or Sweet Almond Oil which I purchase from Alpha Botanical’s. Ulta also carries their own branded Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil.
Pattern also makes Self Heating Jojoba Oil Packs for hot oil treatments. I haven’t yet tried them but I plan to in the very near future.
ACCESSORIZE : Cotton absorbs moisture and can steal all the moisture you worked so hard to incorporate into your hair. Because of this, I’ve made the switch to a Satin Pillow Case. I’m featuring these Silk Scrunchies too because they are a cute/breakage free way to pineapple your hair at night.
I also have to shout out the Pattern Edge Tool and Pattern Hair Pins. The edge tool has been such a game changer in getting my edges together. lol And the the reusable case the hair pins come in helps me keep track of them.
I’m so excited to begin this new hair care journey! And I’m committed to sticking to products that will help my low porosity hair grow and thrive. If you have low porosity hair and have found products that your hair loves, please let me know in the comments below.
READ MORE: Olaplex Natural Hair Review
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