Yep! I'm here to talk about porosity, and no it won't be the hair strand in the water "float test." If you're like me, you've heard this word a lot in the natural hair community. When I was transitioning, I tried the float test and my hair floated in the water, which is supposed to mean that my hair is low porosity, but I felt that all of the actual characteristics of my hair, were high porosity characteristics. Because of that contradiction, I figured it was too difficult to figure out and really, I forgot about it.
Now I know that that float test just doesn't work. I know some will swear by it, but personally I think it's flawed. Fast forward two years since I big chopped and I wanted to take another look at my porosity, and this time, I did it by paying attention to the characteristics.
I'm no expert on this, so this blog post will not go over all of those characteristics, but a huge help to me were these videos from GreenBeauty on Youtube. Determining Low Porosity and of course, this one on Determining High Porosity Some of the major characteristics I noticed about my hair are:
My hair dries pretty fast
Tangles easily, and I mean like nobody's business. Single strand knots for DAYS, even after getting a trim
Snaps easily, even if I detangled it
So while I had a good idea of all of these things, I wanted to test it just to be sure. I clarified my hair so it was completely stripped and clean, so the results wouldn't be impacted by products. I didn't condition or deep condition, or even follow up with a lighter shampoo. I just used a clarifying shampoo and let my hair dry. My goal was to see how long it actually took my hair to dry. Within 20 minutes, my hair was almost 90% dry, and within an hour, just a few spots were still wet. It's pretty safe to say that my hair is high porosity.
A lot of naturals are low porosity so it can be hard for high porosity naturals to find resources. There is also a weird misconception that high porosity hair, is damaged hair, which simply isn't true. My hair is healthier than it's ever been and it's still high porosity, naturally, and always has been. When I was a kid and my mom used to do my hair she would always say "wow your hair just sucks up water so fast, we just washed it and it's already drying out." I now know that to be high porosity characteristic number one.!
So, what does this mean for me, moving forward? Well it means that I will now treat my hair as high porosity hair. Once I clarified my hair and let it air dry, I did an Aphogee protein treatment. I will now be doing protein treatments about once a month. Another thing I intend to do, is use more creams and butters on my hair. I've never really done that, but knowing that high porosity hair tends to love butters and creams, I am willing to give it a try!
The natural hair journey is just that, a journey, and I'm now moving on to the next step of the journey. For me, step one was transitioning, then I big chopped and worked on achieving general healthy hair habits. I feel that that has been achieved and I'm ready to focus on what my specific hair needs are, and length retention. I'm excited for this next step and of course, I'll be sharing it with you!