High Porosity Hair

I have been natural for 3 plus years and I never really thought about hair porosity. When I first did the Big Chop I had never even heard of hair porosity. Over the last 6 months I have been trying many new products. In the midst of trying these new products I really paid attention to how dry my hair was. One night while I was watching videos on Bentonite (Indian Healing) Clay  the girl in the Youtube video mentioned that everyone needs to do a porosity test on their hair. The next day I decided to do a porosity test on my hair.

The Reason to do the Test

When a porosity test is done correctly it will tell you your hair strand’s ability to take in moisture. Moisture could come in the form of water, a hair coloring dye or other liquid. If you have low porosity hair your strands do not absorb liquid well. The product or liquid will just sit on top of the hair. Normal porosity is the type of hair that we all want; it absorbs moisture like is needs to. High porosity absorbs water really fast because the hair shaft had open pores so the moisture also evaporates quickly. Wouldn’t you know that this is the type of hair that I have. Since this is my hair type I have several products I will recommend for high porosity.

The Test

  • Fill a glass with water
  • Drop a strand or two of CLEAN hair in the glass
  • Watch what happens next
  • If the strand(s) stay at the top then you have low porosity hair
  • If the strands float in the middle then Lucky You you have normal hair
  • If the hair drops to the bottom then you have high porosity hair

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Low Porosity

If you have low Porosity hair coconut oil may be your enemy. Coconut oil has protein in it and it is not good for this hair texture. Allowing steam from the shower or a steamer before adding products will help with moisture retention. Always use the LOC or LCO method when styling hair!

Normal Porosity

When you have normal porosity hair it feels smooth to the touch.  Normal hair also floats in the middle of a glass of water.  Your hair type can also used almost any product.  Your type holds styles well and color.

High Porosity

If you have high porosity hair you need to moisturize it in a stretched state as often as you can.  I use Spectrum Essentials Organic Coconut Oil and eggs they are great for high Porosity hair because of the protein. When I wash my hair there are a few Staple products I use most of the time. I love the Giovanni Eco Chic Smooth as Silk Shampoo & Conditioner Deep Moisture  combo. This deep condition gives my hair so much slip.  It makes the detangling process much easier.  I also love Ouidad Curl Recovery Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil. It cleanses but it also moisturizes; it does not strip your hair of moisture because it contains several seed oils and butters.

When I do my Two-Strand Twist, I do a partial Blow-Out using the tension method. When I say partial, I just mean that my hair may still be damp. After I finish I put my hair in 6 sections and then I apply my products using the LCO method to each section. I first apply my Alikay Naturals – Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner. It is my Liquid (L).  Then I apply my Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel.  It is my Cream (C).  I use a gel instead of a cream because it give more definition.  This particular gel is light and it has anti-frizz properties.  Living in MS this is a must!  Lastly I apply my Alikay Naturals – Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer to seal in the moisture. It is my Oil (O) of the LCO method.

Whatever your hair type, you have to take care of it.  Your hair is an extension of your body so without proper care and nutrients it will become fraile and brittle and possibly break off.  When deciding to go natural do the research and learn what works best for your hair.  Your hair is unique just like you so Do You because no-one else can!

Big Chop vs Transitioning

So you’ve decided to go Natural….You go girl! It’s The best decision that you could have made for your hair. “Now what,” you say?  You have to decide if you will do the Big Chop or Transition. When I made my decision as you all know, I did the BC. It was very liberating I must say! In this post I will give you the pros and cons of both and why I decided to do the Big Chop. I will also make suggestions for products to use.

Big Chop

Pros

Texture – Once you cut your relaxer hair off all that will be left is your natural curl pattern. Your hair has to be cut right below the line of demarcation to make sure that all of the relaxer is gone. Having one texture makes styling easier.

Low Maintenance – Short natural hair just requires a few things: Shampoo/ Cowash, conditioner, water, gel or cream based product and moisturizer. You can cowash your hair daily if you like. When my hair was this short I loved As I Am Coconut CoWash as a cleansing conditioner. I also used Hydratherma Naturals Moisturizing Boosting Shampoo and Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment on my wash days.  After you wash then add a small amount of product.  I used these three Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion,  Hydratherma Naturals Protein Balance Leave-In Conditioner and Hydratherma Naturals Hair Growth Oil to make my curls pop. When I rocked my TWA (teeny weeny afro) I also used The Original BLUE Hair Sponge NUDRED  to make my hair curl.

No weather worries – When I was relaxed I was upset when my hair got wet from the rain because I knew it would destroy my style. I also would probably have to wash it and re-curl/ style. With a TWA rain just moisturizes it. Thank God for rain!

Cons

Don’t like short hair – If you have never worn your hair short the Big Chop might be an issue. I personally love short hair and I feel that anyone can rock it with the proper style. If you cringe at the thought of short hair then transitioning my be a better option for you.

Style Options – When you first do your BC you only have one style. You can add some head bands or other hair accessories but you still have one style option.  After I cut my hair I wore Beaded Elastic Headband like these.

Family Reactions – When I first cut my hair I was called boy and Brillo pad head; my family was brutal. Now those same folks are asking me what I use on my hair. They are also giving me compliments. So if family approval Is your deciding factor you have two options: Cut your hair anyway or transition. I would advise you to follow your gut, not their reactions.

Transitioning

Pros

Time – When transitioning you can take as much time as you need before exposing your natural hair. Some people go as long as 2 years before wearing their natural hair out. They keep their hair in protective styles while waiting for it to grow.

Style Options – The styles possibilities are endless when you decide to transition. You can wear braids, sew-ins, crochet braids or wigs. You can also wear scarves or the slap. In the pic on the right I had crochet braids.  I loved them as a protective style.img_4088-1

Cons

Texture – The biggest problem with transitioning is hair textures. As I said previous texture can also be a good thing. Yes I said textures with an s. You have your straight relaxed hair and then you have your new growth which is probably very curly or wavy. Sometimes if you wait to long or do not properly care for your hair it will cause breakage.

My Hair Journey

I have been natural for 3 + years and I love all hair but I especially love natural. Believeit or not I have not always been this way.  I thought that I would never go natural because I loved straight hair.

From Curl to Relaxed

I had chemically treated hair beginning at age 12. My dad actually thought that a curl would be better for my hair than a relaxer ( A Lie… Really Daddy) . I liked the curl at first because that meant no more straightening comb (Ouch,Ma!). I got an actual relaxer at thirteen. After the relaxer I was soooo happy! Throughout the years I was complimented on my hair. It was thick and bouncy and it would grow pretty long.

Big Chop

Fast forward to 2013 I noticed that not as  thick so I decided to cut it. I had started a new job and several of my fellow black women co-workers were natural but I thought my hair will never look like theirs it was too coarse and tight. I remember talking to one of them one night at work and she told me that my hair was NOT too kinky to be natural. Of course I did not believe her. But then I thought about one of my previous stylist that showed me that I could go longer than five weeks without a relaxer. He (Tony) would wash and blow dry and straighten my hair with his flatiron and it would be like silk at 8 weeks post relaxer. He asked me several times if I wanted to start getting blowouts. I refused every time. In May 2014 I decided to get some senegalese twists; I Liked them! I was shocked because I was not a fake hair girl. I prided myself in wearing my own hair 95% OF the time. img_5067

I got my last relaxer on March 27, 2014 and I did the Big Chop myself in August 2014. I went to my boys barber and let him shape it up a week later. I wore my TWA until it grew out. When I first cut my hair my husband hurt my feelings by saying I looked like a boy and my sister said that it felt like a brillo pad ( Gee Thx Sis, love you too). A few days after I shaped up my hair put on my makeup and some red lipstick and my husband changed his toon (for a while anyway). I have only cut my natural hair once while it was still short in these 3 +years. I, as well as you have tried countless of products and I now know what I like. I also know how I like to wear my hair and what is important to me. Style retention and hair health is the most important. If I can not get a style to last at least 2 weeks, I have got to fix it.  When I straighten my hair (even when I do it myself) it lasts 3 weeks. Throughout this blog I will tell you

img_2346exactly what products I use, what styles I wear styles I like and how I get 21 Days of a Natural Hairstyle!