Hair Porosity Test: is it a Lie or Legit?

Many tests on determining hair porosity are common in curly hair communities, but is it really effective? Within the article, you will find the answer.

Pricey products are the key to get healthy, good-looking curly hair; this is the most common idea among new girls in the curly hair community. Actually, that isn’t accurate at all.

Good products are the ones that match your hair’s nature and porosity, as porosity is the real key to getting lustrous curls.

Once you know what type of porosity your hair is, you can consider the effort that could be saved in finding suitable products. Google and social media are full of porosity tests that are going viral all over the internet, but are they really accurate? or scientifically proved? What is the best hair porosity test to do? 

Here are all the answers to the porosity test questions you need to determine your curly hair’s porosity.

How to know your curly hair porosity legitimately?

It’s a confusing task to do, especially if your hair is exposed to heat, chemicals processing, or you walk or sit under the sun, which may change the porosity and decrease it over time. Either if your hair virgin or not, you can know its porosity type by asking yourself some questions which are related to each porosity Characteristics: 

Does your hair take a long time in the shower to get soaking wet?

If your hair takes a long time 2-3 minutes to get soaking wet in the shower, may that due to your closed hair’ cuticles which mean you may have low hair porosity, while your hair absorbs the water quickly this may be an indication that you have high porosity.  

Does your hair take a long time to get dry after a shower?

The water and conditioning treatment won’t get into your hair quickly when you have low porosity, so it’ll take at least 4-5 hours to get dry, and sometimes it takes 24 hours; it seems forever. 

Did you expose your hair to heat, chemicals processing, or coloring?

All the mentioned habits are bad for hair, cause damage and increase porosity. Even though the porosity is genetic but if you do that habit constantly, your hair is probably porous.

Does your hair absorb products, or it build-up easily?

Using too many products on low porosity hair will cause layers of them on the hair because the hair can’t absorb them easily; on the other hand, porous hair will absorb those products quickly.

curlsbot quiz
hair porosity test can be done by curls bot porosity quiz

Instead of answering those questions by yourself, you can try this test on curlsbot to know what porosity you have.

These questions were not everything!

There are many factors that can play a significant role in answering the previous questions and may change the results; you should know those factors to get an accurate answer about your hair porosity as possible as can:

  • Hair density and length: denis and long hair will take more time to get soaking wet or to dry. Comparing the time that your hair takes to get wet or dry with others who have the same hair density and length will be a good idea.
  • Temperature: if you dry your hair using a diffuser, high temperature or low, you rely on air-drying; when you wash your hair in winter or summer, you’ll get different results.
  • Heavy products: applying products with oils, butter, or silicon will coat your hair and make the hair drying take longer; it’s better to wash your hair without using any products, then take your notices about how long your hair takes to get dry.
  • Too many products: using too many products will cause the same problem that heave products cause, just follow the same advice.
  • Different porosity level: it’s surprising, but it’s real, using heat or walking under the sun, swimming, chemicals, and other habits, can have its effect on your porosity in different level, so you may notice some times that your hair from the roots is different from the ends and that totally normal, don’t worry you don’t have to use two kinds of products for each porosity, just try products until you get the suitable one for your hair.

Types of hair porosity test

isn’t it better compared to get lost in the previous questions? I would rather say yes, but actually no; the porosity test you may hear about on social media or from one of your friends is not scientifically proven, and they don’t give accurate answers. I will mention the most common hair porosity test and discuss them, and explain why you can’t rely on them:

Float test

To do this test, you need a clean glass of water and strands of your hair. It’s more recommended to try this test after washing all the products and build-up from your hair.

hair porosity test
hair porosity float test

Take some strands of your hair and place them in the water and wait for 2 minutes. If the strands float, your hair is low porosity, hair with high porosity will sink immediately. But if the porosity is normal, the hair strands will flow and then begin to sink slowly.

What does science say about float tests?

Float test is not reliable; we can explain that in very simple points, relying on scientific sources such as science-yhairblog and thenaturalhavenbloom:

  • Surface tension: which means the property of a liquid’s surface that allows it to resist an external force due to the water molecules’ cohesive nature. If you place a light-weight object on the surface of the water gently, it will float even when you try a high porosity strand.
  • The primary lipid (18-methyl): this lipid is found on the hair cuticle; it’s responsible for giving the hair its natural hydrophobicity; if your hair has enough amount of 18-mea, it’s more likely to float even if it’s porous.
  • Specific gravity: Things of similar or lesser specific gravity to a given liquid will float in that liquid; that’s what happens with water and hair.
  • What coating the hair strand: sometimes, even when you shampoo your hair, it may not strip all the hair oil or product build-up, and that affects the test result due to the product type if they heave and contain ingredients that repel the water or not. 

The Slip n Slide Test

Take a strand of your hair and slide your finger up the shaft (from the end to the root); if your finger slid smoothly, then your hair low porosity; if you feel little bumps along the way, that means your hair cuticles are open, and your hair porosity is high.

What does science say about Slip n Slide Test?

I didn’t find research or sources that talk scientifically about this test, but I think this test may make you more confused because it is difficult to feel those tiny open cuticles with your finger. Also, if you have a build-up on your hair may change the result.

Is there any scientific test to determine the hair porosity?

Yes, there is a scientific test to know your porosity type, this test called “gas sorption”. It works by determining total pore volume, adsorption pore-size distribution, and damaged hair’s surface area. Unfortunately, this test is not available for all and it’s not cheap.

Don’t worry; there is still a way to know your hair porosity; by listening to your hair needs, take notice of the results you gain after using products that contain specific ingredients, use the questions that I mentioned above.

each of us has different hair needs and characteristics; it is wise to listen to what your hair wants to say to you and choose the path of trial and error to reach the satisfaction of your hair with its needs

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