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Natural Hair Porosity Chart

I think you'll agree with us when we say:

Understanding your hair porosity is CRAZY confusing sometimes...

Should it be though?

Because it turns out, that you can dramatically improve the health of your kinky hair...

...stop hair breakage and see much more lush, gorgeous growth by understanding one simple principle about the porosity of hair.


Today, we have something that will make you feel like you have natural hair superpowers, because...

We're gonna walk you through this, you'll see (and hear) EXACTLY what you need to know for hair...

...that looks bomb, feels good, healthy and vibrant.

Simply put. No matter what your hair type, 4C hair, 4B hair, 4A, 3C hair, natural wavy type 2 hair, or other, porosity is important... So let's get into it!

Natural Hair Porosity Float Test Doesn't Work

And as you've just read:

We'll slap down some misleading information that is STILL being repeated. So congratulations...


Welcome to the Wikipedia of Natural Hair.

Section 1: Let's dive right in, here's what you'll find below...

  • Section 1: Porosity Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
  • Section 2: Natural Hair MYTH BUSTER #117
  • Section 3: The Hair Porosity Chart
  • Section 4: Smart Hair Regimens For Each Hair Porosity Level
  • Section 5: [VIDEO] How To Master Any Hair Porosity Level
  • Section 6: Knowledge Nugget #95 [Gas Sorption Hair Porosity Test]

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Still, before you look down this page for the section that shows you various hair porosity tutorials and tastefully-crafted articles.

I want you to feel your way through this FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section because:

You'll see us address many common hair porosity issues, struggles and concerns.

I bet you'll find ATLEAST ONE hair porosity question that you have wondered before. So take a look while we address some of the other questions we get, like...

Does hair porosity matter? Absolutely, yes. It's valuable knowing your porosity to see what your hair is lacking. Learning that I had low porosity allowed me to switch to better products... See FULL Answer Here - at luxnaturalhairproducts.com.

Natural Hair Myth Buster #117

hair porosity on twistout natural hair black woman

One BIG MYTH beside thinking that coarse hair is that same as "bad porosity hair", is that the hair porosity water test (A.K.A.the float test) is the best indicator for your level of hair porosity. 

Here are reasons why the float test is often not accurate: 

  • Clean hair, in general, tends to float in water because of the natural oils, sebum oil repels water & causes hair to float more easily. 
  • Hair that is coated with styling products and/or conditioner makes your hair more likely to sink because they are wetting agents that make your hair heavier.
  • The surface tension of water can cause objects that are denser than water to float, this can cause hair to stay at the surface for a long time. For example, a paperclip can float on top of water because of surface tension. 
hair porosity test floating paperclip

Here's the deal though:

Knowing your hair porosity is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT things you need to know to help you determine:

  1. The best products for your hair.
  2. Which products and DIY's to avoid.
  3. How often you should wash/clarify your hair.
  4. How to moisturize & seal your hair.
  5. If you should use heat when deep conditioning.
  6. If you are protein sensitive.
  7. The best oil (if any) for your hair.
  8. If you should prepoo.
  9. A great protein/moisture balance.
  10. The best regimen for your natural hair.

The PROVEN, most reliable way to know hair porosity is a lab test called “gas sorption”, we wrote more about gas sorption towards the bottom of this page.

What does medium porosity hair mean? Medium porosity hair characteristics show that it easily allows moisture to enter. This hair porosity type tends to be the healthiest of the 3 and benefits from regular deep conditioning and moisturizing... See FULL Answer Here - at Creed and Colour.

Can you recommend any good medium hair porosity products? Medium porosity hair (also called normal porosity) is ideal, you can use most natural hair products without your porosity causing an issue. 


You usually won't need to use ultra-heavy oils because they can weigh your hair down and get it all grease-a-fied. One highly-rated product that works great is (Black-owned) Camille Rose Naturals, so check them out at Amazon.

Is the float test the most accurate hair porosity test? Not even close, don't wast your time with that, it's junk science at best... See FULL Answer Here at The Natural Haven Bloom.

How can I differentiate high porosity hair characteristics vs low porosity? High porosity can be either an inherent property of hair or the result of damage from chemical processing, rough mechanical treatment, or environmental damage. Also, not every person with high porosity hair will have porous hair... See FULL Answer Here from Verna at The Mestizamuse.

Is high porosity hair damaged hair? Honestly, high porosity hair is more difficult to deal with. But some women can actually change their porosity, it depends, because:

Highly porous hair can be brought on by genetics, caused by cumulative damage from heat, chemicals, or other stressors.

hair porosity frequently asked questions about natural hair porosity

I have high porosity natural hair, any special hair care techniques for ya girl? Use protein. It is the fundamental cornerstone of high porosity hair care. A healthy dose of protein will repair the structure of the hair shaft by patching up the holes.

What's the difference between low porosity hair vs high porosity? When the scales are lifted, chipped, or missing, they allow more water to absorb into the hair – this is high porosity hair... See FULL Answer Here from Kaya at Naturally Young Mag.

What are the best products for low porosity 4C hair? Your 4C low porosity hair regimen need penetrating products. Shea Moisture products for low porosity hair are a good choice... See FULL Answer Here.

How would you define hair porosity? Hair porosity simply refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. Hair porosity is affected by the flexible outer hair layer called the cuticle, the cuticle determines how easily moisture and oils are able to enter your hair follicle... See FULL Answer from Gwen at Naturalicious.

Hair Porosity Chart

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Is it bad to have low porosity hair vs high? Low porosity hair is NOT bad. In fact, Once you understand this, you’ve already got the hard stuff covered.  The best way to keep low porosity hair moisturized is to keep it clean and free of product build-up... See FULL Answer Here at Minimalist Beauty.

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High and Low Porosity Hair Care Regimen TUTORIALS

Explaining The LOC Method for Low Porosity Hair

When low porosity hair is saturated with a liquid (L), it will slowly absorb and retain only the amount of moisture it needs.

Once a cream is added, it will absorb the water content from the product, leaving the rest to coat and seal its strands. Then, when oil is applied, the two outermost layers will mix and form a thicker barrier to protect the strands... Click Here for FULL Article.

A Must-Try LOC Method for High Porosity Hair

The L.O.C. method will work very well on high porosity hair, especially with heavy butters like shea or high-quality mango butter as the “cream” sealants

Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein?

Low porosity hair is protein sensitive. So the less protein you use on your low porosity hair, the better off you will be. Since finding out my hair is low in porosity, I have avoided protein based products like the plague... Low porosity hair protein is a big deal... Click Here for FULL Hair Porosity Article.

Best Oils For Natural Hair With Low Porosity Hair

The best oils for low porosity hair are Oils that are light and penetrate the hair cuticles very easily. Low porosity hair is characterized by cuticles that are tightly clamped making it difficult for moisture and nutrients to penetrate. Therefore, the best oils for low porosity hair are light and deep penetrating oils such as:

  1. Argan oil
  2. Grapeseed Oil
  3. Jojoba oil
  4. Baobab oil
  5. Sweet Almond Oil
  6. Pomegranate Oil 

Low Porosity Hair Regimen Products That Actually Work 

Although shampoos can leave a coating on low porosity hair, it isn’t wise to avoid them all together. Look for a clarifying shampoo as these are great at removing built up residue, leaving your hair and scalp clean and fresh... Click Here for FULL Article from Cadence at youfro.com.

How to Master Your Natural Hair [VIDEO]

High and Low Hair Porosity Products - Full ARTICLE List  

Learn About The Best Oils for Low Porosity Natural Hair

Your hair type determines how effective – or detrimental – the oils you use on your hair can be. Light hair oils are the oils that don’t weigh your hair down and are absorbed very easily... Click Here for FULL Article.

High Porosity Shea Moisture Product Line Review 

I can’t really say “Oh wow my hair was so moisturized the rest of the week I barely needed to touch it” or that I noticed some jaw dropping difference just yet... Click Here for FULL Article from Daizha at daibydai.com.

Just keep in mind though, in the article above, Dai didn't immediatly go nuts of Shea Moisture's High Porosity products.

Still though:

Many do...

high porosity Shea Moisture High Porosity Review4.5 out of 5 Star Ratings - High Hair Porosity Mask - Impressive.

As you can see, Shea Moisture's high hair porosity line has it's share of raving fans.

How To Assess The Need For Medium Porosity Hair Products

If you have medium porosity, you want to protect those cuticles and keep your hair healthy because normal porosity hair accepts moisture fairly easily.

Deep conditioning with every wash and rotating in repairing treatments every other week is usually enough to maintain moisture-protein balance.The recommended course of action is to do regular deep conditioning treatments with nutrients for hair health... Click Here for FULL Article from Monica at moknowshair.com.

The Long List Of Low Hair Porosity Products

Stir clear of protein-heavy products, focus on light natural oils, use lightweight products, don’t layer on too many products, use heat and clarify your hair every few weeks... Click Here for FULL Article from Abi at healthynaturalhairproducts.com.

Knowledge Nugget #95

hair porosity did you know

Did you know? The most reliable and accurate way of measuring your hair porosity is having a lab test done, it's call a "gas sorption" test.

It ain't cheap though:

The lab test called gas sorption costs a pretty penny and is absolutely not a do-it-yourself porosity.

This 100% accurate scientic test measures porosity of hair by how much of a given gas can be taken into your hair - hair that has more pores will permit more gases to pass through. 


Hair Porosity Guide - Quick Hit List

    It's no secret, As the Wikipedia of Natural Hair we can sometimes overwhelm you with so much in-depth information. I know sis, It's true...

    And your hair porosity is too big of a deal, so we couldn't shortchange you on this one, hun! 


    You wanted the REAL DEAL information so you can look like a tasty snack? Right? And you just got it served up on a full, hot plate of PURE TRUTH. So just take your time and enjoy...

And bottom line is:

When "IN THE KNOW" Naturalistas like you bookmark naturalhair-products.com so that you don't forget and miss out later, you stay winning and getting the NEW info before the pack comes rumbling through all late. 


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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