Trials N Tresses

The Recreation Center for the Natural Hair Community

Proper Hair Care Routine For Low Porosity Hair

The other day we shared a proper hair care routine for high porosity hair and since we are never in the business of leaving anyone out of the TNT convo we had to do a post on  a proper hair care routine for low porosity hair as well. What makes high porosity and low porosity hair different from one another is the speed in which moisture enters the hair shaft and how long it remains/stays within the hair shaft. Since these types of hair are the two opposite extremes the hair care routine must differ in order to have a successful progressive natural hair journey.

Low porosity struggles to take in moisture because the hair cuticle lays so close together/tightly shut. This means it takes a bit more work to properly moisturize your hair. There are steps you can take to make taking care of your low porosity hair not only bearable but also successful.

Proper Hair Care Routine For Low Porosity Hair

1. Steam your hair: If you are battling low porosity hair your best friend is going to be indirect heat. You are going to want to steam your hair 1-2xs a week for 10-15 minutes to help open up cuticle of your hair. I find it is best to choose to steam your hair the days you are choosing to cowash or remoisturize your hair so that the process of remoisturizing is easier.

2. Clarify with Bentonite Clay: Shampoo (even the sulfate free kind) can strip/dry your hair and make it harder to moisturize. Your cortex is already laid down compactly shut, so you want to focus on gentle ways of cleansing. Using a bentonite clay mixed with carrier oils as well as ACV would leave a clean refreshed feeling without being stripped. You also want to rinse this mixture out of your hair with warm water to help keep the cuticles open as you proceed with your wash day regimen.

3. Stay away from too much protein: Low porosity hair usually is protein sensitive and does not require too much protein in your hair care routine. This can be tricky as many products do contain protein without necessarily being a protein based treatment. Go for moisture based/ moisture replenishing/balancing products instead of protein products that will have your hair feeling very dry and straw like. This will also lead to damage and breakage.

4. Water Based/ Humectant/ Emolient products: You want to focus on using products that list their first ingredient as water. If the first ingredient isn’t water chances are it is not the best moisturizer for you to be using. Besides that you also want to focus on products that contain humectants like aloe vera gel/juice and emollients like honey. What you should avoid using are products labeled as butters/puddings because they will be too thick and lay on top of the hair instead of being absorbed into your strands.

5. Lighter Oils: Because low porosity hair struggles to allow moisture in, it will also struggle to allow oils to penetrate the shaft. In most cases the oil will sit on top of the strands and weigh it down causing your hair to feel heavy, lifeless ,and look greasy. This will also clog your scalp which will affect the growth and health of your hair. Instead of using the holy grail oils that naturalistas rave about such as coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil you’ll want to focus on lighter oils like grapeseed, almond oil, and babassu oil instead. Here is a larger list of oils you may have great luck in using for your low porosity hair. 

6. Deep condition with heat: Deep conditioning is truly a must for low porosity hair. It is a crucial way of getting moisture to penetrate the shaft of the hair. However just as I stated with the first step adding indirect heat will help open the cortex and make it easier for moisture to enter. Even if you can not sit under a dryer, you can steam your hair while deep conditioning, use your hand held blow dryer, or count on a little body heat. Also warming up your deep conditioner will help the process as well. When you are done you can rinse with cool water to seal in the moisture that your hair has taken in.

What are some steps you have taken to help you battle your low porosity hair? Share with us in the comments below!

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16 Discussions on
“Proper Hair Care Routine For Low Porosity Hair”
    • I love Mielle Organics Babassu Protein Balancing Deep conditioner, TGIN Honey Miracle Mask is also a fave! Hope this helps

  • This was really good and helpful tips, so many beauticians act like they specialize in natural and healthy hair, when half of them won’t put you under the dryer with a moisturizer or deep conditioner. I get better results doing my own hair and getting good advise from you and other people on you tube.

  • I have been natural all my life, but in my case natural has not always meant healthy. I decided to cut off half of my hair two days ago and I’m trying to get my hair healthy. I found out I have low porosity hair, I’m going to be incorporating these tips into my hair regimen from now on thank you.

  • I noticed that glycerin is a good moisturizer for my hair. I think my problem is the cleansing the scalp part. I have a very dry scalp so what do you think could help me with it?

  • once I seal my hair with cool water, how do I get my leave in into the cortex of my hair if its already closed?

  • I have tried so many oils and so many deep conditioners and none of them ever really work… or at least they do at first for the very first time then the look quickly fades. Does using heat make a huge difference in terms of deep conditioning? I’m really hoping it does, going to try this 🙂

    Thanks <3

  • Well said, especially regarding the oils. As it unfortunately took me years to realize the “holy grail” of oils were a no no for my hair. Almond and jojoba work well for me or a little pure argan. I’ve been wanting to try aloe vera. Butters and puddings are also not friendly to my hair. Im still working on finding the right balance of protein because I am relaxed, I do still need some, but most of the time I’m more moisture focused. You’re info helped reinforce what my hair’s been trying to tell me.

  • Okay so for a complete novice who has no idea what they are doing these tips are great. For all of the tips though would you be so kind as to list some products for each one? I went almost batty trying to choose products, it would be a great help sigh

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