Have you always wondered why your hair grows only at a certain length and never goes past it? Low porosity might be the culprit. Low porosity hair means the cuticles of the hair, which are the outer layer of the hair shaft, are so densely packed together that there is hardly any space left between them.
Due to this, it is almost impossible for any hair care product to penetrate the hair shaft and provide benefits like fast and long growth to the hair.
But worry not, there are ways to tackle this naturally occurring problem. Here, we share the best tips for how to grow low-porosity hair.
You’ll love it.
3 Tests to Know Whether You Have Low Porosity Hair
There are three ways to know whether you have low porosity hair and if the following tips will help you.
1. Spray Water
Spray some water on a part of your hair using a spray bottle. Two things will happen- either the water will collect in one spot in a drop form and slide off the hair, or the water will get absorbed by the hair.
If the water slides down your hair, it means you have low porosity hair.
2. Sinks or Float?
Another way you can test whether your hair has low porosity or not is to take a strand of hair and drop it in a glass of water. Make sure you wash your hair and let it dry before taking this test. Also, take care to use room temperature water and not hot water as it will not show accurate results.
Observe the hair- does it sink or float? If your hair floats on the surface, then you have low porosity hair.
3. Slide Your Fingers on Strands
Take a strand and place it between your thumb and finger. Slide it upwards. Repeat this on different strands on the sides, at the back, at the temple, etc. If your finger and thumb get a hard feeling while moving them upwards, then your hair has low porosity. If you feel bumps when sliding, then you have high porosity, and if it is a smooth slide, then you have normal porosity.
You can do one, two, or all three of them to know whether you have low-porosity hair or not.
How to Grow Low Porosity Hair and Care for Them
If the above tests confirm you have low porosity hair, there’s no need to lose heart. Here are 14 ways to grow them to your desired length, maintain them, and enjoy continued health.
1. Keep Them Moisturized
Water forms the basis of life. That is the reason this list starts with moisturization because it is the crucial ingredient for your hair to grow and stay healthy and beautiful. The roots need hydration to build strength, making your hair soft and easy to tame and style. True, your scalp naturally produces oils to keep your hair moisturized. But this is not enough for hair that has low porosity. So, it is important to keep applying moisture to your hair from outside as soon as it starts turning dry.
There are many ways to moisturize your low-porosity hair correctly. But the LOC method is the best one. This method uses three moisturization steps to nourish the hair deeply. In the Liquid, Oil, and Cream or LOC method, you first dampen your hair with water to soften and open up the hair cuticle layer so it can absorb the products you will be applying next, which are oil and cream. Then, quickly apply oil to lock in the moisture, followed by cream to close the cuticle to stop moisture from getting out.
2. Clean Product Build Up
Low porosity hair tends to get dirty easily as its non-absorbing nature leads to product buildup on the strands and scalp. You can clean this build-up using clarifying products or make your own at home.
Apple cider vinegar is a great home remedy for cleaning product build-up on your hair. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 cup of water. Apply this mixture after washing your hair with a shampoo. Leave it for some 3-4 minutes and rinse off using just water. Apply a leave-in conditioner.
Another way is to use homemade clay masks using bentonite clay. This type of clay has negatively charged ions, which neutralize the positively charged ions of low-porosity hair.
Bentonite clay works like a magnet, removing all the dirt and chemicals from your hair. Take 3 cups of water. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay to it. Mix well till you achieve a thick consistency. Add more clay if the mixture is thin. Apply the mixture to wet hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wash off with a shampoo and hydrate with a conditioner.
If you are not for DIY cleaning products, you can go for clarifying shampoo that has all the ingredients in it to wash away all the debris from your hair in one or two washes.
3. Use Vapor as a Moisturizer
You will find yourself needing to add moisture to low-porosity hair using more than 1 method. We have covered one way to moisturize low-porosity hair, and this is the second most effective method. In steaming, water turns to vapor, which is easier to get to the places where other moisture products have difficulty penetrating. Water in the vapor state moves more freely and quickly than in the liquid form, thus enabling your low-absorbing hair to be completely hydrated from within.
You can use hair steamers to hydrate your hair using steam. Also, hair steaming is quite relaxing and will leave you with a nice and light feeling in the head afterward.
4. Switch Heavy Oils with Light Oils
One reason you are not experiencing enough growth with your hair is using heavy oils like castor oil. For hair with low porosity, light oils are preferable to heavy oils because they penetrate the hair better. So, switch your heavy oil with a light oil right away to expedite the growth of your hair.
You can know if an oil is light or heavy by checking its consistency. Light oils are thinner in consistency, while heavy oils are thicker and greasier.
5. Prep Your Hair Before Shampooing
Before shampooing your hair, do a small prep before to ensure your hair’s cuticles open up to absorb the shampoo and conditioner and reap their benefits. You only need to apply a conditioner before shampooing your hair. This will ensure your hair has more moisture before shampooing because shampoo strips the natural oils from your hair and makes it dry. So, the before shampoo conditioning adds a protective layer to your low porosity hair and makes you achieve the growth and health results you are aiming at faster.
To do the prep, follow this instruction:
- Create sections in your hair to make sure each hair gets applied with the conditioner to reach the roots easily.
- Apply the conditioner on the sections and scalp by gently massaging so that it can work its way inside the hair shaft and roots better.
- Use your fingers to detangle any knots on the hair because that will be like a roadblock for the conditioner and shampoo, stopping them from entering that part.
- Secure the sections by loosely twisting or tying them into a bun.
- Cover the hair with a bonnet or scarf and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour for best results.
- Wash your hair with a shampoo. Make sure to clean the applied conditioner well so as to not let it accumulate on your hair follicles.
6. Deep Clean Twice a Month
Deep cleaning for low-porosity hair involves three steps. The first is using pre-shampooing, which we shared above. Second is cleaning with a clarifying shampoo to clean away all the dirt and product build-up. The third is adding moisture with a conditioner. This deep cleaning should be done at least twice a month to make sure your hair gets rid of all the leftovers from the products you use to grow low-porosity hair.
This will unclog your pores and allow the hair cuticles and shaft to grow more hair and increase the length of hair faster. You can lightly clean your hair using just a conditioner between the deep cleanings to ensure your hair stays clean throughout the month and aids in faster growth.
7. Choose a Microfiber Towel Over Cotton Towels
Cotton or other material towels may have many benefits but may be damaging for low-porosity hair. Microfiber towels are smoother on hair and lead to less breakage because you don’t need to rub your wet hair to dry them on these towels. Microfiber towels soak up the extra water from your hair without you needing to do anything.
Just wrap your hair with the towel and keep it for around 10-15 minutes. After you remove the towel, you will find your hair to be smoother, drier, and frizz-free with no breakage.
8. Hot Oil Treatment
In this treatment, heat is used to enter the hair shaft deeply for maximum moisturization.
To do this treatment:
- Use any lightweight oil.
- Heat it for a minute or two in the microwave or over the gas stove.
- Take the hot oil on your palm and apply it on your hair from roots to tips before going to bed. Add a cloth over your pillow or wear a heat cap to not soil your pillowcase.
- Wash the oil the next morning.
This method opens up the cuticles, thus allowing conditioning products to seep into the roots and work their magic in aggravating the growth of your hair.
9. Don’t Use Too Many Products
Your low-porosity hair absorbs only a small amount of the hair care products you apply to it. The rest lies on your strands and the surface of the scalp. If you use a lot of oils, creams, conditions, etc., you must be ready to deal with a large amount of product buildup on your hair. This means you will have to wash your hair more often and risk it being prone to breakage, dryness, hardness, and more. The added layer of product build-up further reduces your low-porosity hair’s ability to absorb, too.
So the wise thing would be to avoid using too many products in the first place. Choose a handful of good quality, chemical-free oils, and conditioners to ensure you can see your hair grow at a faster rate and desired length.
10. Don’t Sleep with Your Hair Open
One habit that has been ruining your hair’s chances of growing at a decent length is sleeping with it open. This is because your hair loses moisture throughout the night while you sleep as it is exposed to the moisture-sucking air. A cotton pillowcase can rid your hair of moisture, too.
When you start to take care of your low-porosity hair, you will be applying moisture often to maintain its flexibility and increase its absorbing power. If you sleep with your moisturized hair unprotected, you’ll wake up with even drier and rougher hair in the morning. The good thing to do is to cover your hair with a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase. Satin is known to help your hair retain its moisture.
11. Don’t Use Hair Care Products with Silicone
Most hair care products are laden with chemicals that are supposed to provide some benefits to your hair. Although chemicals are never really good, if you want to maintain the health of your locks, you need to stay away from one chemical in particular- Silicone.
Silicone is a hydrophobic synthetic polymer that attaches to the strands and stops moisturizing and other products from penetrating it. This becomes problematic for low-porosity hair, which is already struggling to absorb hair care products. So make sure your shampoos, conditioners, creams, etc., don’t have this notorious chemical to make all the points we are discussing here work in your favor and help you enjoy long hair.
12. Don’t Give Your Hair Too Much Protein
Protein boosts the strength of your hair and promotes its growth. But that doesn’t mean you load your system and hair with food and products rich in protein. You need protein in certain quantities to see the best results. Exceeding the acceptable quantity will lead to your hair becoming stiff and brittle.
So whether it is protein-rich hair care products or protein-rich food like eggs, berries, spinach, etc., ensure you are not overloading your hair with it.
13. Massage the Scalp
Indulging in a soothing scalp massage is advisable for increased hair growth. Massaging helps increase the blood flow in your head, which wakens up your closed cuticles to start producing more hair. You can choose to massage your scalp before washing your hair.
Apply hair on your hair, covering each strand and the entire length of the scalp. Apply the oil using gentle circulatory movements. Dedicate some minutes to each part of the scalp using this movement.
Massaging your head regularly will give you lush and long hair.
14. Go for Rice Water Rinse Once a Month
Have you heard of rice water rinse for hair growth? Rice water is a traditional method that is a known natural remedy for stimulating hair growth and is especially beneficial for low-porosity hair. Fermented rice water has nutrients like protein, starch, magnesium, folic acids, vitamins B1 to B6, vitamin K, and more.
The reason this method should be done just once a month is because of its protein content. Too much rice water rinse can give your hair too much protein, and we have already covered why too much of it can cause breakage.
A rice water rinse is a simple method and can be done over one weekend.
Here’s how to do it:
- Wash and strain 1 cup of rice in a jar
- Add 3 cups of water to it.
- Let the water soak the nutrients of the rice for 24 hours
- Apply this rich water on your hair, leave for 1 hour, and rinse off.
These 14 proven tips on how to grow low-porosity hair will work for you if you follow them diligently. No matter the type of hair you are blessed with, you can make it grow as much as you want with these tried and tested methods.
You can choose all of these or go for a certain number of tips to see the results. If these tips don’t work out for you, you can visit a professional for help. They may suggest some products or other alternate methods.
Just ensure you steer clear of chemicals that create a layer on your hair and stop it from absorbing further. Happy growth to you!