Written By Aspen S. – Official Contributor of The Crowned Series
Having recently moved to a literal swamp environment I have noticed that my curls just don’t have the same bounce that they used to. My hair and been pretty dry and even though it’s very humid here, Maryland’s summer humidity is much different than the year-long humidity that envelopes the entire state of Florida. But with that being said my hair products just don’t hit the same these days. So, I’ve been doing quite a bit of experimenting in these past few weeks.
I’ve done some research on different hair types and have determined that I definitely have low porosity hair. In less scientific terms, it basically takes hours on end for my hair to dry. If I do a wash-and-go in the morning, I have to bring a sweat towel with me because my hair will be dripping for the first three hours in my office (even after 15-20 minutes of towel trying because I truly try to avoid blow drying it). So no matter how cute my wash-and-go, my hair always ends up in a bun to keep the moisture contained.
Like most people with low-porosity hair, my hair cuticles tend to block moisture during initial contact. The best example of this is when I get into the shower and the water will come in contact with my hair and literally bead up like oil and water. And while yes, I’m definitely putting oil in my hair it is not so lathered in oil that it would repel water like that. However, the low porosity means that after a few minutes of being in the shower, my hair cuticles will start to hold onto the water and at that point the hair actually won’t let it go anymore. It is almost as if my hair is dehydrated and has found the last cup of water on earth. It will do anything to make it last.
My low porosity hair is also easily affected by products. Since my hair cuticles are saturated by water after a wash, any products that I put in are not able to get into the hair cuticles. Instead they tend to build up over the cuticles and the ingredients are not absorbed well in my hair. This also means that my hair is not getting well-moisturized even when I put in product to do just that. This can lead to breakage to my hair when it finally dries.
Before I go any further, I wanted to add a tidbit on high porosity hair. If you high porosity hair, your hair is very likely to dry very quickly but will frizz easily with the slightest exposure to moisture. This is because your hair cuticles are very receptive to moisture. Unlike my hair, high porosity hair will grab on to moisture very quickly but it will also lose it very quickly as well once absorbed, thus avoiding that over saturation.
I’ve been looking for products, techniques, and styles that are good practice for low porosity hair. Products can be expensive so my experimentation is going little by little. I am starting off with being better able to moisturize my hair. Deep conditioning is something that I have always been super lazy about, but that is one of the best opportunities to moisturize my hair. Using a shower cap or other system that creates steam in a concentrated environment helps lift up the cuticle so that product can be absorbed. I’m also on the hunt for sticky but light products that can really attached to the cuticle, but not build up very thickly if it isn’t absorbed.
In all of this, I’ve become very grateful for my many natural hair friends who have shared their hair experiences, products, and routines. I’ve realized that hair has a special way of bringing people together. I’ve also grown appreciative of the diversity of Black hair and how different my hair can look on any given day because it truly has a mind of its own. I’m looking forward to my experiments and maybe even exploring new hair opportunities that are completely new to me such a clip in hair, wigs, etc. that serve as both protective styles and the chance to serve new looks and styles.
– Aspen S., Official Contributor of The Crowned Series
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