Porosity is the term used in the science of hair care to describe how easily water and other matter can diffuse back and forth through the cuticle layer and into or out of the cortex. Hair is much like a sponge, capable of absorbing water and other substances from the environment, and also susceptible to losing precious moisture and lipids to the environment. Maintaining an optimal balance of moisture in your hair preserves its suppleness, strength, and shine. This is especially important for those of us with curly hair, as it greatly influences the health and beauty of our tresses.
- Use the right products for your hair.
- Avoid harsh surfactants and soaps.
- Only comb tangles with a wide-toothed comb when hair is wet and saturated with conditioner.
- Avoid chemical processes as much as possible.
- Avoid thermal styling tools.
- Protect your hair from the sun and the elements.
- Get regular trims.
- Treat your hair as gently as you would an expensive cashmere sweater!
If you already have a problem with high porosity, please make sure you have an excellent deep conditioning treatment available, preferably one that contains proteins. Use lots of conditioning and moisturizing products, especially those containing natural, plant-based oils. Avoid all of the sulfate-based surfactants and soap bars. Use a mildly acidic rinse regularly and avoid humectants. If possible, avoid the processes that created the high porosity, and get your hair trimmed regularly. These things should help restore your hair to a more manageable porosity level, but it will take time.