so, i am continuing my manhunt to learn the true nature of natural hair. this is what i scrounged together from natural hair care forums & blogs. again, it’s a work in progress that is open to comment and dissent, just like my black list.
THIS POST ADDRESSES TWO CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL HAIR — POROSITY & COILINESS — AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS. AGAIN. IT’S A LITTLE LONG… BUT WORTH THE READ.
I found this article on black hair care forum (the author acknowledges that she lifted it from www.associatedcontent.com.) I’ve chopped it down a little, but it still ties in how high porosity (apparently a bad thing) ties in with protein treatments. interesting stuff… please read.
“Moisture absorption and moisture loss are the primary concerns for porous hair.
Though porous hair often feels dry and parched it can absorb LOTS and LOTS of water. Normal hair can absorb roughly 30% of its weight in water when washed, while extremely porous hair can absorb up to 40-50% of its weight in water! Generally, the more porous your hair is, the more water or moisture it tends to absorb. Seems great, right? Not quite. There are two downsides to this high level of water absorption in hair with high porosity:
The cuticles are so lifted or damaged that they cannot adequately hold the moisture inside. This is why when porous hair is fully dried, it often feels swollen, puffy, and rough to the touch.
Solution 1.) Protein Treatments for Porous Hair
The best, and perhaps easiest way to patch up damaged cuticle layers is simply through light protein conditioning. Protein fills in gaps, binds to damaged places, and mends individual exterior scales along the cuticle. Regular protein conditioning improves the hair’s porosity by reinforcing the cuticle layers and allowing the hair shaft to better hold on to the moisture it is given. You don’t want to get too excited with the protein though because this can make the hair even drier. Products with wheat protein, like Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner, are good for shoring up the cuticle without leaving the hair too crunchy. Other more protein intensive treatments for correcting porous hair are Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, CHI Keratin Mist, Motions CPR, and Organic Root Stimulator Mayo Treatment, and Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner. ***BGLH editor’s note — CHECK THE INGREDIENTS on these products. For example, i HATE Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling greasy/limp, and then dry. i just found that propylene glycol (one of the ingredients on the natural girl’s black list) is a main ingredient*** Remember, nothing can PERMANENTLY repair hair that is damaged, but treatments can go a long way for shoring up the weak spots and temporarily managing problems.
Solution 4.)Acidic Rinses for Restoring Proper Cuticle Orientation
A weekly acidic rinse with Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a common home remedy for treating porous hair. Simply combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of cool water. Poor this mixture over the hair as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning are complete. Rinse thoroughly in cool water. This acidic rinse will temporarily reduce porosity by constricting the cuticle scales. The ACV rinse will also enhance your hair’s shine, eliminate tangles, and increase manageability.
natural hair is porous
implication: it absorbs water easily and shrinks up for that reason. it is often thirsty. natural hair is coily implication: each bend in the coil is a point of tension, and an opportunity for breakage. the follicle needs moisture to keep it pliable, and resistant to breaking at each point of tension.