Basic hair beauty terminology III: Porosity

The term porosity

Hair porosity is our hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. And your hair’s porosity depends on the arrangement of the cuticles, which is affected by genetics, products and any chemical processes applied to the hair. 

Porosity is also a useful indicator that helps us to better understand hair damage by assessing the condition of the fibre.

There are three types of porosity:

When hair is damaged, tiny cracks occur in the protein structure of the fibre. These cracks tell us that the hair has been damaged and, at the same time, they indicate the degree of porosity of the hair.

High porosity:

The hair is usually damaged, bleached, highly chemically treated and has suffered at the hands of hair straighteners. In this type of hair the cuticle is very open and damaged, which makes it really difficult for the hair to hold the products that are applied to it. Such hair needs plenty of constant moisturising and hydration, as consistency and perseverance can make a big difference. Alternating Tasmania Mask with L’Essentiel Mask is the best option here. It is very important to remember that this type of hair generally requires reconstruction treatments too, such as Sublime 10.31.

Medium porosity:

Medium porosity hair is usually hair that has been chemically treated or is straightened from time to time. This hair has a slightly more open cuticle, which means that the moisture does not excessively penetrate the cuticle.

Low porosity:

Low porosity hair, which is usually natural or has had minimal chemical treatment, is hair with a very closed cuticle. This hair needs a lot of moisture, and although it may be difficult to absorb it, once it does, it retains it very easily, which is why the Tasmania Mask is ideal.

How do I know what kind of porosity I have? The water test.

You have probably heard of or read about the water test that is used to determine the degree of hair’s porosity. This test, however, is only an approximation, it does not provide 100% accurate results, and it has no scientific basis.  

Do I have the same porosity throughout my hair?

Hair does not have one single porosity type, rather each part of the hair shows a different level of porosity. At the roots the porosity of the hair is much lower than at the ends. This is because older hair has suffered more damage and exposure, causing an increase in cracks. 

This is one of the reasons why the water test is not 100% reliable.


The bottom line is that it is almost impossible not to have a certain degree of porosity in your hair, which is why we recommend taking care of your hair on a daily basis, with personalised routines that adapt to your needs and provide your hair with everything it needs.