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How To Use Protein Treatments to Battle High Porosity Hair

Avatar • Jan 16, 2009


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.

ACV rinses should never make your hair feel hard. If the ACV rinse makes your hair feel hard or tangly after rinsing, your mixture needs to be diluted with more water.”

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.

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jenteel
jenteel
11 years ago

great info!
porosity and sealing cuticles is very important in dealing with natural hair

addressing these needs can help avoid breakage and promote ta-daa healthy hair growth 🙂

this is why henna is so helpful for ethnic hair. like commercial protein treatments,it deposits “strength” onto the hair by “filling in the gaps”.

(i also gave up cantu — didn’t like the buildup and ingredient list)

dasia
dasia
11 years ago

really helpful … I’ll keep these things in mind

Amber
Amber
11 years ago

i love those pictures of wakeema hollis. She is so beautiful <33

Moni
Moni
11 years ago

This is a good article, but I don’t think it applies to natural (i.e. Black) hair as much as to other types of hair. There are two ways that hair can be porous. I can be naturally porous (like ours is) or it can become porous because it is damaged. That article is referring mostly to hair that is damaged, especially the protein part. Using a whole bunch of protein will not do much decrease the porosity of natural black hair because most of the porosity isn’t due to damage (although it may help if you color or use a… Read more »

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

Laquita
Laquita
11 years ago

Great info. WoW propylene glycol — and I practically drink Cantu Leave-In — it actually works great on my hair. Maybe I can try making my own. Also check out what the cosmetic database says about it http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=705315

Jc
Jc
11 years ago

Great article, porosity is the enemy of curly hair. Every curling/bending point represents a point in which the hair cuticle can lift. 

Long hair for naturals means learning how to keep that cuticle lying down. 

If your hair gets super dry after washing, you NEED this info.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Protein fills in gaps, binds to damaged places, and mends individual exterior scales along the cuticle” isn’t really true. Once the cuticle is damaged, it’s damaged. It can’t be repaired. Conditioners can help to mask the damage and give the appearance of repair. IMO, the best conditioners can be whipped up in the kitchen.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ anonymous… thanks for the insight. i guess this info is best for hair that isn’t currently damaged, but needs some strengthening.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
' s??rz » exclaimationmark » shariEbelle
11 years ago

Thanks a lot for sharing! Some of this I was told froom my step-mother, i kind of recognized the word (porus), but she told me when i was eight years old. Haha.
Thanks a lot again. And i remember cantu, its really builduppy.

Lucky Reid
Lucky Reid
6 years ago

While Cantu does contain propylene glycol, it is by no means a main ingredient. Cantu contains only a small amount of propylene glycol, it is the third smallest ingredient in the product.

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