Curly Girl Porosity: Where to Begin Your Journey
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
I have been reserching, experimenting and getting to know my curls for a few years now. Like a lot of us curly girls, I used to straighten my hair all the time. I’m talking back to back with no breaks in between. At this point, my curls were almost non-existent from all the heat damage they endured. For the longest time, if my hair wasn’t straight it was seen as “messy” or “undone”. That’s what society made it out to be and it’s so far from the truth. It brings me so much joy to see so many women of color embracing and owning their natural textures and curl patterns. It’s deeper than “just hair”. It’s a symbol of forward movement and acceptance of our God given beauty; Not just the acceptance of others but self-acceptance. The natural hair movement and community that celebrates our tresses continues to grow and change perceptions of beauty for the better and I’m 100 percent here for it!
That being said I’d like to tell you about my personal hair journey and share some crucial knowledge that turned my curl game up a few levels. It’s way too much for one blog post, so I thought I’d start with the biggest factor that led me to all the right products and routines. Let us begin.
(I am not a hair professional. All of my knowledge and tips have come from research, experience, and the natural hair community.)
The first thing you absolutely need to know about your hair is its porosity. There are 3 types of porosity:
Your hair absorbs water and product very easily. The cuticles of high porosity hair remain open. This allows moisture to enter your strands with no issue. On the same hand, because the cuticle remains open, moisture can easily exit the strand leaving the hair dry or brittle.
Quick Tip- After you condition your hair, rinsing with cold water can close the cuticle and lock in the moisture you just applied.
Your hair requires the least maintenance. The hair cuticle is neither tightly closed or open. It’s right in the middle allowing the perfect amount of moisture/product to enter and exit the strands. Adding a reasonable amount of chemicals or treatments to hair will not have a huge effect on your porosity or hair health.
Quick Tip: Avoid over processing your hair. It will change the porosity level and make maintenance more complex.
(this is me): Your hair does not absorb moisture quickly. The cuticles of low porosity hair are closed. If you find that your hair takes a while to be fully saturated with water when in the shower, you most likely have low porosity hair. Because the cuticle remains so tightly closed, those with low porosity hair will experience a lot more build up (product sitting on top of the hair). It’s important to use a clarifying shampoo to avoid brittleness and breakage. How often you clarify will depend on your routine. I shampoo once a month.
Quick Tip: Hot water and steam should be your best friends. They will open up the cuticle and allow moisture into your strands.
Take this porosity quiz to find out what your porosity level is and get product recommendations!
Once you learn your porosity, it’s much easier to nail down a routine and choose the right products for you. The curly hair community is an amazing source of knowledge! That being said, everyone’s hair is unique, so copying another curly girl’s routine is not always the best option. When you know your hair, you can take another routine and weed out what might not work for you. I will be doing a lot more hair posts and droppin knowledge in the near future so stay tuned for more info and tips! In the mean time, love your natural!!