In my last post I discussed the dangers of using YouTube as a crutch without first assessing your hair’s needs. Today, I’ll be giving a step by step guide to testing the porosity of your hair. It is important that you know how well your hair accepts and retains moisture, because you can frame a hair routine based on that info. So, let’s get into what it means to have high, low or medium porosity hair.

High Porosity- Like mine, your hair cuticles are raised and take in moisture quickly. The downside to this is that moisture also leaves our hair very quickly, so it is harder to retain moisture throughout the day.

Low Porosity- Your hair cuticles are not raised so it’s difficult for the hair to accept any moisture. However, once your hair is moisturized it will retain that moisture for the same reason.

Medium Porosity- Your hair cuticles are raised just enough to allow the right amount of moisture in and out. *rolls eyes*

Most likely if your hair has high porosity it is because of damage done with heat, color or any chemical processing. On the other hand, having low or medium porosity usually means your hair is healthier, but medium porosity hair requires less maintenance. Now onto the actual test!!

  1. You’ll need to cut or pluck strands of hair to test

  2. Grab a clear bowl or cup and fill it with warm water

  3. Drop the hair into the bowl/cup

  4. Wait 30 seconds or so to see whether the hair sinks or floats


If your hair sinks to the bottom of the bowl/cup, then you have high porosity hair. SO PUT DOWN THE BLOW DRYER, YOU HAVE TO CHILLLLL! Also, you must seal your hair with a good leave in conditioner and a butter or heavy oil when moisturizing. This will coat your cuticles and prevent excess moisture from leaving your hair. Additionally, protein treatments, done occasionally, can strengthen the damaged strands.

If your hair floats at the top of the bowl/cup, then you have low porosity hair. This means that you may need to use heat when moisturizing your hair to allow your hair cuticles to open. STEAM IS YOUR FRIEND! Additionally, hair milks and light oils are ideal for this porosity type.

If your hair floats in the middle, then you have medium porosity hair. YOU’VE BEEN BLESSED! Your hair doesn’t require much nurturing, but applying unnecessary heat or chemicals to your hair can still increase porosity. So, be careful!



Written By: Twanna F.