Yes! It's Porous now Help Me Fix It!
Hair porosity refers to the hair's ability, or inability, to absorb water or chemicals deep into the cortex. Unfortunately, damage to the hair shaft can affect the hair's level of porosity. Too much porosity reduces the hair's ability to retain moisture, move well, and fight breakage. This article will help you understand why you should be concerned about your hair's porosity levels. It will also describe 4 simple ways that you can correct your hair's porosity issues.
Why Should You Correct Your Hair's Porosity?
In Part 1 of the Porosity Series, I explained that the more damage the cuticle has endured, the greater the hair's porosity will be. Moisture absorption and moisture loss are the primary concerns for porous hair.
Moisture Absorption and Loss
Though porous hair often feels dry and parched, it can absorb LOTS and LOTS of water. Normal hair can absorb roughly 30% of its weight in water when washed, while extremely porous hair can absorb up to 40-50% of its weight in water! Generally, the more porous your hair is, the more water or moisture it tends to absorb. Seems great, right? Not quite. There are two downsides to this high level of water absorption in hair with high porosity:
1.) High levels of moisture loss are also experienced over time. Highly porous hair absorbs more water when wet, but also loses even more as it dries. The moisture loss is a result of a shoddy cuticle layer barrier. Water flows in, and flows right on out just as easily. The cuticles are so lifted or damaged that they cannot adequately hold the moisture inside. This is why when porous hair is fully dried, it often feels swollen, puffy, and rough to the touch.
2.) .Hair lengthens as it absorbs water. The more water the hair absorbs, the more the hair will have to stretch to accommodate the water. Once the hair is stretched beyond its comfortable limit of roughly 30%, it grows weaker and weaker. If this process occurs too frequently, damage to the cuticle layer ensues, cortical damage follows, and then the hair eventually breaks under the stress. This is why it is also NOT advisable to keep the hair in a perpetual state of dampness. Moisture is beneficial to the hair, but too much moisture will damage and place stress on it.