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Friday, July 14, 2017

I Was So Wrong About My Porosity!

I know, it's been forever.  Since my last post, my hair has gone through so much, including going back to the relaxer!  More about that later...in this post, I have to discuss how misdiagnosing the state of our hair can result in damage, setbacks, and making bad decisions.

Shortly after I started my healthy hair journey, I diagnosed my hair as low porosity.  For years, I've been doing techniques and using products for low porosity hair.  Most things didn't work, but I kept at it, because I thought it was the right thing to do.  Sometimes, when things worked for me, I stopped doing it because I didn't think it was good for my low porosity hair.

The strand test is the primary reason I thought I had low porosity hair.  My hair floats sometimes, but other times it sinks.  This is a reminder that one test doesn't always determine the answer!  My hair is also dry a lot, but I thought it was blocking moisture out, not letting it slip  through my hair open cuticles.

Lately it's been a challenge managing my hair.  It's been dry, breaking, and hard to keep a style.  A few days ago, I was racking my brain, thinking about what I did when I had healthy hair:

* I deep conditioned consistently
* I used protein often
* I used semi-permanent color (which I've been doing, without stellar results)
* I used Roux Porosity Control once or twice a month

Me talking to myself: Roux Porosity Control- that's what I had been missing! But isn't that for high porosity hair?  But I'm low porosity- why did it work for me?  Let me just buy some and see what happens...

A couple of days later, I bought some and applied it after I rinsed out my deep conditioner.  I left it in about 5 minutes and rinsed.  When it was dry, I had a different head of hair.  Smooth, soft, shiny, manageable. Retains moisture. Holds curls.

Finally, I breakthrough!  I went back and researched hair porosity. Duh, I have almost every symptom of high porosity hair:

  • Accepts product, and then is dry shortly after
  • Feels dry and coarse
  • Absorbs product quickly and then loses moisture fast
  • Lacks luster and shine (unless I applied a black rinse, which I don't do anymore)

High porosity hair holds up to 45% of its weight in water. When magnified, hair will have raised or broken cuticles, or part of the cuticles will have been completely removed. This hair type does not hold onto moisture as well and therefore may need some help, even if it is taking in a lot of liquid.


This also leaves the inner cortex exposed and the hair vulnerable, which can lead to damage and split ends. This is usually caused by chemical processes, heat styling, and the elements (salt water, cold dry hair, etc.).

This makes so much sense for me, because I've been relaxed most of my life, and have used color.  Also, I've been saying for years that I need a product that will absorb into my hair and give it some weight.  It's like my hair was always so light and didn't clump well.

Every time I did something for high porosity hair, I thought it was just a fluke.  It's really crazy how all this time, I could have been giving my hair what it needs, but I was doing the opposite.  This is why my mis-diagnosis hurt me and my hair:

* I was using the wrong products and techniques.
* My hair was frizzy and hard to manage
* My hair suffered breakage
* I started to hate my hair
* I went back to a relaxer

Now I know what I have to do for my high porosity hair:
  • Deep condition often
  • Use protein regularly
  • Use heavier products
  • Seal moisturizer with oil
  • Try not to use any direct heat
  • Use gentle, moisturizing shampoo
  • Anti-humectants
  • Coconut oil, aloe vera and apple cider vinegar are my friends (the jury is still out on this one)
  • Roller set and pin curl often- high porosity hair does better when "clumped" together

I'm still kicking myself, because I could have a totally different head of hair right now. But, know I know...and knowing in this case is more than half the battle. Maybe I'll think about transitioning to natural again. I just want to get my hair to a healthy state where I feel optimistic about making that change again.  It was tough for me.

The moral to this story is, LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR.  Regardless of your porosity, texture, color, etc., we all have different heads of hair that react differently to products and techniques.