Yes, although an individual’s genetics will ultimately decide their hair type and characteristics, anyone can have low porosity hair.
To determine if you have low porosity hair, check the cuticles of your hair roots. Low porosity means that the cuticles are firmly closed to keep moisture out.
What is Low Porosity Hair?
Low porosity means that the cuticles, those outermost, nonliving cells, are tightly closed. This means it is difficult for anything to enter the cortex of your hair or exit from it.
If you have low porosity hair, water will not easily penetrate the outer cuticle cells, nor will whatever is inside your hair be able to exit.
Your hair will become dehydrated and feel coarse or straw-like because it won’t absorb anything put on it (including water), no matter how long you wait.
What Can I do About Low Porosity Hair?
You could try an acidic rinse (such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) to break down the cuticles, allowing them to lift and making it easier for moisture to enter your hair.
You may need to do this several times before you see improvement. However, some people find this causes build-up over time, which could make your hair feel greasy.
Another option is to use heat (a hairdryer or steamer, for example) to help open up the cuticles, followed by a deep conditioning treatment.
You must ensure you do this on completely dry hair, as water closes down the cuticles of your hair.
If you follow up with brushing your wet hair, you will simply be brushing the water down the hair shafts and closing those cuticles.
If none of these methods work for you, your hair likely has a natural tendency to have tightly closed cuticles.
In this case, one should try a protein treatment as a temporary fix for dry hair. Although bear in mind that too much protein can make it difficult for moisture to penetrate your hair shafts.
It’s also possible that whatever product you’re using is drying out your hair, even if it claims to be moisturizing.
Try a different brand or a lighter formula that will not seal up the cuticles of your hair.
And don’t forget to deep condition your hair at least once a week.
How do I Tell if My Hair is Low Porous?
You can check the cuticles of your roots by rubbing them with a piece of cotton wool (like you would rub your skin if you had a mole there).
Do this after washing and conditioning your hair but before blow-drying or styling. If your cuticles are tightly closed, the cotton wool will not move quickly over your hair and may even snag a bit.
Your hair may feel a little straw-like or coarse at first if it is low porous.
However, as soon as you apply some heat-styling product to your hair, whether a straightening balm, serum, or oil, the cuticles will open up, leaving your locks smooth and silky.
Please be aware that this test indicates how porous your hair is, but it is not a definitive guide.
Some people have naturally tightly closed cuticles, even though they are white or Caucasian, while others may have more open cuticles despite being of different ethnicity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Low Porosity Hair Always Bad?
No, not at all. Having low porosity hair is often associated with having strong, healthy hair that’s easy to grow long without the need for frequent trimming.
It also means your hair retains its color well because dye molecules are too large to escape quickly.
However, if your hair is lowly porous, it will lose moisture quickly and need extra care to stay hydrated.
It may also mean you need to use stronger (higher) protein treatments than someone with higher porosity hair.
What can I do if my Caucasian friends have low-porosity hair?
If you find that your Caucasian or white friends all have tightly closed cuticles, it could be down to race rather than hair type.
However, Caucasian and white hair types vary greatly, and not all Caucasians have low-porosity hair.
If you’re looking after your friend’s hair, it is always a good idea to ask them about their routine and products to ensure that you aren’t doing anything that might damage or dry out their locks.
And of course, don’t forget to deep condition.
How many times can I use hydrogen peroxide?
Multiple times. However, if you’ve bleached your hair, it’s best to leave out the hydrogen peroxide for at least a month while your hair recovers.
You may also want to dilute the solution depending on how light you want to go with your highlights.
Is it ok to leave straightening balms in overnight?
Yes, you can sleep with the product in, but make sure it’s thoroughly washed out before bed.
This will allow the product to sink into your hair shafts and nourish the cuticles.
Leaving the product on for a shorter time will still give you some conditioning benefits but not as many as if it’s left to work overnight.
- Tightly closed cuticles mean your hair can retain its color well and won’t have as many split ends.
- Hair may need less conditioning than someone with high porosity hair.
- It requires a more potent protein treatment because the cuticles are tightly closed.
- If your Caucasian friends have low porosity hair, that doesn’t mean yours will too!
- If you have low porosity Caucasian or white hair, your cuticles may be more tightly closed than someone else’s.
- Hair loses moisture quickly and needs extra care to stay hydrated.
- Products can quickly get stuck in the hair if not washed out thoroughly.
Caucasian people can have low porosity hair, and it is not the wrong hair type.
Those with Caucasian/white hair with tightly closed cuticles will lose moisture quickly and need extra care to stay hydrated.
Products can quickly get stuck in the hair if not washed out thoroughly.