Mischo Beauty School: Hair Porosity 101

I've received a few emails asking me to discuss the reason(s) why hair becomes damaged and dry after certain chemical services. Well, there could quite possibly be hundreds of answers to those questions depending on the history of services performed on the hair and the home care regimen. I will say that if your hair is damaged and overly dry, then your hair's porosity has probably been compromised. So what is porosity? Porosity is simply the ability of the hair to absorb and retain moisture and is used to describe the condition of hair. It falls into the following categories:

a. Very porous
b. Porous
c. Normal
d. Resistant

A “normal” porosity will mean that the cuticle (outermost layer of the hair shaft) is closed and smooth. Healthy hair will usually have a normal to resistant cuticle, depending on the texture. ”Porous” to “very porous” hair will have a roughened cuticle meaning that the hair is probably damaged. It usually loses moisture very easy and is easily damaged.

So, to determine the porosity of your hair, feel it - both when it's wet and dry. If it feels like straw and it's rough when it's dry, or if it feels gummy or slightly rubbery when it's wet, then you probably have a problem with porous to very porous hair. You should definitely talk to your stylist before receiving any chemical services in order to prevent further damage. Haircolor, perms and relaxers will process much faster on porous to very porous hair and may cause damage.

Porous to very porous hair can be caused by:

1. Over coloring
2. Bleaching
3. Permanent Waving
4. Relaxing
5. Flat/curling irons
6. Improper blow-drying
7. Environment (sun, salt/chlorinated water)

Please feel free to e-mail me with more questions! Love your hair.



Johnica said...

I will have to check the RF vitamins out. I don't have thinning hair, but the reviews say that they also help w/ scalp issues/dandruff.

September 29, 2008 at 10:01 AM
UAintNevaLied said...

Tell me more about thinning hair. Girl, you KNOW my hair because you've cut it! i think it has thinned even more with the move and stress of adjusting to a new place. What's new out there that i can try? I'll check out those RF vitamins too. I just wonder if it would be too much since i'm already taking other vitamins.

September 29, 2008 at 10:44 AM
MakeupByRenRen said...

i think i have porous hair :(

September 29, 2008 at 1:39 PM
Dominican Enigma said...

I'd say my hair is normal. What's the resistant category?

September 29, 2008 at 3:36 PM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "Johnica": Definitely consider them and please let us know your results! :)

September 30, 2008 at 11:15 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "UAintNevaLied": For you I'd probably recommend seeing a Dermatologist, Herbalist and Acupuncturist. The Dermatologist will know if it's a "medical" issue, the Herbalist can help you w/ your diet (which is good for everyone) and the Acupuncturist- well, in my experience acupuncture has been AMAZING for me and has helped me with so much!

Please let me know what you decide to do! :)

September 30, 2008 at 11:18 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "MakeupByRenRen": No worries, your hair just needs some TLC! Try good conditioning treatments and try to avoid chemical services for a while... :)

September 30, 2008 at 11:26 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "Dominican Enigma": It's "normal to resistant"- which is good. Your hair can withstand hair color or relaxing, as along as it's applied correctly and well-maintained. No worries! :)

September 30, 2008 at 11:27 AM
PBW said...

Can your porosity be different on your gray hairs vs. dark?

September 30, 2008 at 4:53 PM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "PBW": GREAT question and the answer is yes! For most people, gray hair is very resistant- not porous at all! I know this because when I'm coloring someone's gray I have to pay special attention to make sure the color is specifically formulated to cover gray hair,that the hairs are fully saturated with color and that they are allowed to process in the correct amount of time or the gray will still be present.

Thanks for that question!

October 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

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