High Porosity And Protective Styles, Do They Go Together

Natural hair is one of those things that are completely out of our control. You can’t determine what type of hair you will be given at birth. This means you don’t get to decide its texture, thickness, or porosity.

Speaking of porosity, are protective styles good for high-porosity hair? The short answer is yes, totally. This style provides the perfect solution to high porosity’s biggest issue: the loss of moisture. You are not able to lock in this moisture but also protect your hair and barely manipulate it.

However, simply putting your hair in a braid isn’t enough. There is a lot more to it. You need to have a rigorous hair care routine and that’s where we come in. This article acts as a total guide to rocking protective styles with highly porous hair.

Crash Course On High Porosity

Crash Course On High Porosity

Simply put, high-porosity hair is hair that allows moisture to pass through it really easily. This means that it gains moisture without much effort but can’t retain it at all. Why does this happen? What characteristics does this give your hair? Let’s take a deep dive to know the answers to all these questions and more.

Levels Of Porosity

You may have heard of high porosity rocks, these are rocks that have a lot of space between their grains and so absorb a lot of moisture. The concept is very similar when it comes to hair except with cuticles.

There are three levels of hair porosity: low, medium, and high.

I. Low Porosity

Low Porosity

Cuticles are the outermost layer of your hair. When there is no gap between cuticles, your hair can’t properly absorb moisture. The positive side to this is that it doesn’t lose it easily either.

II. Medium Porosity 

Medium Porosity

This is pretty much the perfect balance for hair. There is a decent amount of space between your cuticles so moisture is readily absorbed. At the same time, there isn’t so much space that the moisture leaks out.

III. High Porosity

High Porosity

The difference between high porosity and low porosity is huge. The cuticles have such a large gap between them that your hair loses and gains moisture too easily. This leads to some undesirable consequences.

Defining Characteristics Of High Porosity Hair

Defining Characteristics Of High Porosity Hair

High porosity is generally something you don’t want. This is because this hair has a few characteristics that are generally considered unappealing.

I. Dry

As highly porous hair struggles with moisture retention, your hair will end up looking dry. You won’t get that amazing sheen naturally. You need to take really good care of this hair if you want that shine.

II. Frequent Tangles

Due to the large gap between the cuticles, this hair is susceptible to a lot of tangles. The strands get in each other’s way and create a messy situation. 

III. Easy Breakage 

Lastly, due to the tangling and lack of moisture, your hair ends up quite brittle. If you run a comb down it, don’t be surprised if you see some hair fall. Counteractive measures are important to keep your hair.

Importance of Understanding Porosity

Importance of Understanding Porosity

A lot of people neglect this aspect of haircare. We strongly recommend that you don’t do that. Consult your stylist as soon as you can because they can give you the following information:

  • What products to use
  • What routine to follow
  • What styles to go for

If you get these things right, you can avoid getting all those negative characteristics that are associated with high porosity hair.

Why Hair Porosity Changes

Why Hair Porosity Changes

Have you checked your hair and seen that it doesn’t lose moisture that easily? You’re not out of the water yet. It is very possible for hair to change porosity when faced with these 3 situations.

I. Hair dyeing and other intensive treatments 

Undergoing any drastic change causes a fair bit of stress on your hair. It can literally split apart the cuticles of your hair and this new space is a cause for worry. That’s why we always recommend against hardcore changes to your natural hair.

II. Styling Products

If you frequently use styling products with harsh chemicals, it can do a number on your cuticles. This is unlikely as you need to be really aggressive with the application of product. However, it is not impossible.

III. Extreme Heat

Are you a fan of straightening? We have some bad news for you. Your hair isn’t meant to face such high temperatures. This too will cause your cuticles to drift apart. This can also happen if you move to a much hotter climate.

Why Protective Styles Are Good For High Porosity

Why Protective Styles Are Good For High Porosity

Protective styles are a godsend for anyone who is struggling with high porosity. These 4 benefits make your life much easier.

1. Low Manipulation

Protective styles are simplistic and don’t require much adjusting. Once you’ve put it in, you will no longer need to manipulate it anymore. As you don’t need to style it, you won’t need to use any products on it. You still look good so we see this as a total win.

2. Protection From The Elements

The ends of your hair are tucked away so they are completely safe from any foreign substances. You won’t be absorbing any pollutants in the atmosphere. It creates a dome that saves your hair from external damage.

3. Moisture Lock

Perhaps the main reason why protective hairstyles and high porosity hair are a match made in heaven is that these hairstyles lock in moisture. Any moisture that is introduced to your hair is pretty much stuck. This is the perfect solution to the inability to retain moisture.

4. Easy Management

Last but not the least, this style does not require a really meticulous haircare routine. You just need to check up on it a few times every week and you’re golden.

Which Protective Hairstyles Are Best For Your Hair?

Which Protective Hairstyles Are Best For Your Hair?

We are fans of these 7 styles in particular: Box braids, Twists, Cornrows, Bantu knots, Wigs, Faux locs, or Crochet braids. All of them are fit for your hair in theory but choosing between them also depends on these 4 factors.

I. Length

If your hair is too short, you won’t be able to go for faux locs or crochet braids without the use of a wig. We suggest waiting for your hair to grow out though as natural styles always look much better.

II. Texture

Whatever texture your hair is, straight, curly, or coily, it can have high porosity. Unfortunately, braids are not as universal. You will struggle to get it with straight hair. However, you will still be able to do it with professional help and a lot of effort.

III. Thickness

The thickness of your hair really matters. If you have fine hair, it requires a lot more care. You can’t go for styles that require a lot of manipulation. Even once this style is in place, you need to take extra care of high-porosity hair.

IV. Climate

Wigs are not fit for a hot climate. They can be heavy and ruin your natural hair as you sweat. Braids are perfect for these climates.

How To Care For Highly Porous Hair In A Protective Hair Style?

How To Care For Highly Porous Hair In A Protective Hair Style?

If you follow a few simple dos and don’ts when wearing protective styles with highly porous hair, you can help your hair prevent moisture loss. This stops it from becoming dry and brittle.

I. Washing Recommendations

You don’t want to introduce your hair to too much moisture as that can be bad for your hair. This means that even if you shower every day, you need to spring for that shower cap. Try not to wash your hair more than once or twice a week.

II. Recommended Products

Since you are washing your hair so rarely, the products you use need to be perfectly suited. You also need to look for a few key nutrients such as protein that help with moisture locking. You also need to avoid a few ingredients such as sulfates and paraben.

Opt for a mild shampoo as stronger ones will strip your hair of that important moisture. High porosity is a strong sign that you need deep conditioning or a hair mask so use either one each time you wash your hair.

III. Natural Remedies

Along with the products you need to use some natural oils, preferably ones that are plant-based such as coconut, argon, or avocado. Apply this before your weekly wash. 

What about all the time in between? A heavily diluted apple cider vinegar spray can help keep your hair clean and add nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Use this twice or thrice a week. Ensure that you don’t overdo it as its acidic nature literally exfoliates your scalp. 

IV. Detangling Instructions

As highly porous hair tangles up easily, you need to constantly detangle it. Before your wash, try detangling your hair with a wide-tooth comb. Do it post-shower as well. Use a detangling spray if it helps.

V. Hair Steamer

We recommend not using any treatments on your hair. The only exception to this is a hair steamer as it adds moisture to your hair. Don’t do this more than once a week though. In fact, only use it when you feel like your hair is extremely dry.

Final Words

High porosity is pretty much a curse. There is no upside to having this type of hair as any moisture you are able to introduce to the system will be lost in a matter of seconds. However, if you are able to lock what is absorbed in, then this can be a real asset. So, are protective styles good for high-porosity hair?

The question pretty much answers itself with all the information that you have now. This is a foolproof solution to quick loss of moisture. Well, not exactly foolproof. You still need to take care of this hair seriously.

If you don’t maintain all the practices we coerced, your hair will suffer. The key to having good hair is always constant care and good styling.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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