A Science Lesson in Porosity

Porosity. You hear it all the time. But what is it?

Porosity is basically the amount of empty spaces in any material. One way to measure it is by water saturation. You get pore volume by taking the total amount of water you submerge/saturate something in and subtracting the volume of water left after soaking.


total volume of water – volume of water left soaking = pore volume

When talking about hair, porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb water or chemicals (product) deep down into the root. How do you know if you have porous hair? The most common trait of it is that despite every extreme effort it will not retain moisture. Other ways you know, it may feel rough when completely dry, will not hold curl, and has little to no elasticity.

If you have low porous hair it can be problem whether you are natural or receive chemical relaxers. It may make your relaxers last for a shorter amount of time or not completely take, prompting you to think you need them more frequently than you do. It may also make it hard to color your hair.

Hair can also be too porous. Overly porous hair is dry and easily breaks off. Overly porous hair is usually damaged hair.

Protein treatments may help give new life to overly porous hair. There are also products out there designed for thirsty, porous hair. Try Curl Junkie curl fix or Roux porosity control corrector & conditioner. Some people also swear by aloe vera.

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