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How Focusing On Hair Porosity This Winter Can Lead to Healthier Longer Hair

• Oct 28, 2014


When I began researching natural hair porosity, it was like glitter rained down from the sky and I truly began to figure out my hair. I found focusing on porosity to be much more helpful than relying on curl pattern. For those of you unfamiliar, porosity is how well your hair absorbs and holds onto moisture. For additional information, check out my video about natural hair and porosity:

As the seasons change, you might need to make some changes to your regimen due to lower temperatures and dew points. Low porosity hair often has trouble absorbing moisture, while high porosity hair has issues retaining moisture. This may become even more of an issue when it gets cold and dry outside. Modification of your hair regimen should typically depend on your local climate. For instance, in Los Angeles, I never really had an issue or needed to re-assess my regimen for my porosity because the weather is pretty mild year-round. But on the East Coast, the quickly falling temps (Seriously, 50 degrees in October? Sigh.) make some regimen tweaks necessary.

If you have low porosity hair, it might be best to focus on thoroughly moisturizing your hair as you won’t get as much moisture from the environment. Consider using a steamer during your deep conditioning treatments for about 30 minutes a week. The steam will slightly lift your hair cuticle and allow your deep conditioner to penetrate more into your strands. There are also several additional claims of the awesome benefits of steaming, so why not give it a go? If you don’t feel like sitting under a steamer for 30 minutes, you can also use a Q‑Redew, a handheld tool that releases bursts of steam. I know I’ll be breaking mine out. If tools aren’t your thing at all, consider a Cherry Lola treatment to increase moisture absorption. Every time I do this treatment, my conditioner turns my hair into butter. And don’t forget the dryer! As low porosity hair takes forever and a day to dry, you might want to invest in a dryer so your hair doesn’t turn into popsicles when you go outside. I love my Babyliss Hooded Dryer.


If you have high porosity hair, it might be helpful to increase your use of oils to help seal in moisture. Oil rinsing is a good option, as all of the oil doesn’t wash out of your hair after rinsing, therefore adding another layer of protection. For high porosity hair, it seems that this would be effective after your deep condition, because you’ve just moisturized your hair. After you style, always use an oil/butter or heavy moisturizer. I recently offered up my favorite heavy moisturizers for sealing in this post. It can also be helpful to use leave-ins and stylers with more oils, like Oyin Hair Dew. Just remember to also cleanse your hair properly if you’re increasing your oil use.


Have you tweaked your regimen for the colder temps yet? What are your hair plans for winter?

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7 years ago

Just wanted to thank you for continuously being THE best natural hair sites out there…your work is not taken for granted 🙂

7 years ago

I’m committed to wash-and-wear styling at this point so what’s probably going to happen is that I’m going to wash more often instead of less, use slightly heavier leave-ins — last winter was the first time in 19 years of being natural that I could honestly say that (whipped) shea butter worked for me — and deep condition a little more frequently. Last winter I also blow-dried pretty regularly, which was fine but I think my hair feels and looks better air-dried. That said, I’d rather not step outside in winter cold with wet hair, not because of the fear… Read more »

7 years ago

So if you live in an area like you did in LA, will porosity not really affect how you style and manage your hair?

7 years ago
Reply to  Adia

Oh no, porosity is still definitely important! It’s just that with milder temps, you may not need to worry as much about the moisture in the air b/c the dew points are optimal more often (not too high and not too low). However, if you live in the Valley or a drier area, the dew points may be lower. Just make sure you’re monitoring them. Sometimes my hair would be great in my neighborhood, then dry out when I went to the Valley b/c it’s often much hotter and drier.

Cal Lypso
Cal Lypso
5 years ago

Is it possible to have cuticle damage and low porosity hair? Does chemical and heat free natural hair need regular protein treatment?

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