Hi everyone. Help please with porosity question?

TarynTaryn Registered Users Posts: 3
Hi to everyone. I'm trying to figure out as much as I can about my hair due to a recent hair disaster. This is the back story to my question. After liking my hair pretty well for a couple of years, something has happened, and now it is a mess: the curls don't lay right, they don't stay together at all, they look as if I have split ends. I'm not sure what happened - three different hair stylists have told me it could be the wrong product, dull shears used by the last person who cut it, or just a really bad haircut. I did try a new product, it left a film on my hair, I used a clarifying shampoo, and now I have dry, separated curls with ends that are no longer blunt. Each curl ends with numerous ends at different lengths.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to do when everyone seems to tell me something different.

Question: when determining hair porosity, when figuring how long your hair takes to dry, do you have to do that without any product in it? Because I usually use gel, and then my hair takes hours to dry. If I don't use gel, it won't take as long to dry.

If you've read this, any advice would be appreciated!! Thanks

Comments

  • naturecatnaturecat Registered Users Posts: 1,986 Curl Neophyte
    Yup, porosity/dry time is measured without product.

    3A/f/i
    Super baby fine hair, low porosity
    Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
    Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
    Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT
  • TarynTaryn Registered Users Posts: 3
    Thanks. So, no gel. Can I have used conditioner?
  • StraightPassingStraightPassing Registered Users Posts: 86 Curl Connoisseur
    Hi Taryn, sorry to hear about your difficult time with hairdressers etc. :/:)

    From what I understand having used conditioner is ideal because it moisturises your hair and allows you to see what it's natural pattern is, how much spring/bounce it has etc. :) The only reason product is not advised is because you want hair that is clean and in its natural state. Conditioner helps but product may well coat the hair shaft which effects the result of what your porosity seems to be. After all, If you need something to tame frizz, fair enough, however more often than not such products will contain silicones which can be necessary (if your hair is of the type that humidity effects how it lays, curl size etc for example). The problem is though, silicones act as a sealant, which is fine for humidity etc but can make hair seem differently porous that it actually is because it coats the shaft and stops moisture getting in, thus medium porosity may actually seem to be low while high porosity may seem medium etc.

    As to the issue with dryness and lack of curl/curling oddly, I think conditioner should definitely help with that. So long as you make sure your hair is clean and product free, you can try either running your finger up a single strand of hair from tip to root and seeing how many 'bumps' you encounter. Many bumps indicate high porosity, a middle amount indicates medium and smooth or almost smooth indicates low. What this test does is checks porosity by looking at the number of raised cuticles on your hair shaft, the bumps being kind of like microscopic tiles/shingles on the 'roof' of your hair, analogous to a house of course. Again making sure your hair is clean and product free you can also try taking a strand of shed hair (you will know it's been shed because of the little round bit at one end so best to take this from a comb or brush to avoid breakage) and place it in a glass of water. Leave it for 3-5 minutes and watch what happens. If it sinks quickly, that's high porosity, if it sinks slowly that's medium porosity. If it sits on the surface of the water and doesn't sink at all, you're a witch.... I mean, the hair has low porosity. ;):D

    Sorry to ramble, it's early here, but I would say that with regard to conditioner, use a little for cleansing for now, but make sure that you don't go overboard just yet. You want to do the porosity test first so that you know what your hair's natural state is, because as you may know too much moisture is as bad as too much protein.

    Finally re the curl issue, I know entirely where you're coming from, the dryness/lack of alignment etc may well be a lack of moisture (it's generally the case that people recommend moisturising first as even without going into shampoo etc most people will eat more protein than they drink enough water as diet effects hair too of course) but hence why the porosity test is important. As to the curling at different lengths. I have that too, this may be an indication that my hair needs a trim (so don't take my word on it) but I did see something on here saying that what appear to be 'splits' in curly hair are usually actually frizzy ends and the fact that the natural chemistry of curly hair means it often won't grow uniformly anyway in terms of each strand. To check for definite split ends, examine strands of hair individually, that will make a split more obvious.

    Sorry for the wall of text, I hope that helps and hope you get your problem sorted soon. Good luck! :)
  • StraightPassingStraightPassing Registered Users Posts: 86 Curl Connoisseur
    Hi Taryn, sorry to hear about your difficult time with hairdressers etc. :/:)

    From what I understand having used conditioner is ideal because it moisturises your hair and allows you to see what it's natural pattern is, how much spring/bounce it has etc. :) The only reason product is not advised is because you want hair that is clean and in its natural state. Conditioner helps but product may well coat the hair shaft which effects the result of what your porosity seems to be. After all, If you need something to tame frizz, fair enough, however more often than not such products will contain silicones which can be necessary (if your hair is of the type that humidity effects how it lays, curl size etc for example). The problem is though, silicones act as a sealant, which is fine for humidity etc but can make hair seem differently porous that it actually is because it coats the shaft and stops moisture getting in, thus medium porosity may actually seem to be low while high porosity may seem medium etc.

    As to the issue with dryness and lack of curl/curling oddly, I think conditioner should definitely help with that. So long as you make sure your hair is clean and product free, you can try either running your finger up a single strand of hair from tip to root and seeing how many 'bumps' you encounter. Many bumps indicate high porosity, a middle amount indicates medium and smooth or almost smooth indicates low. What this test does is checks porosity by looking at the number of raised cuticles on your hair shaft, the bumps being kind of like microscopic tiles/shingles on the 'roof' of your hair, analogous to a house of course. Again making sure your hair is clean and product free you can also try taking a strand of shed hair (you will know it's been shed because of the little round bit at one end so best to take this from a comb or brush to avoid breakage) and place it in a glass of water. Leave it for 3-5 minutes and watch what happens. If it sinks quickly, that's high porosity, if it sinks slowly that's medium porosity. If it sits on the surface of the water and doesn't sink at all, you're a witch.... I mean, the hair has low porosity. ;):D

    Sorry to ramble, it's early here, but I would say that with regard to conditioner, use a little for cleansing for now, but make sure that you don't go overboard just yet. You want to do the porosity test first so that you know what your hair's natural state is, because as you may know too much moisture is as bad as too much protein.

    Finally re the curl issue, I know entirely where you're coming from, the dryness/lack of alignment etc may well be a lack of moisture (it's generally the case that people recommend moisturising first as even without going into shampoo etc most people will eat more protein than they drink enough water as diet effects hair too of course) but hence why the porosity test is important. As to the curling at different lengths. I have that too, this may be an indication that my hair needs a trim (so don't take my word on it) but I did see something on here saying that what appear to be 'splits' in curly hair are usually actually frizzy ends and the fact that the natural chemistry of curly hair means it often won't grow uniformly anyway in terms of each strand. To check for definite split ends, examine strands of hair individually, that will make a split more obvious.

    Sorry for the wall of text, I hope that helps and hope you get your problem sorted soon. Good luck! :)

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