How to determine density and porosity of your hair

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The identification of hair’s nature goes through several steps that can also determine porosity or density to choose the best products to suit the needs of your hair. There are several types of porosities, densities, and thickness but there is always a pattern that predominates.

Determining capillary porosity

Porosity means the ability of hair to keep moisture. There are three levels of porosity: low, medium and high. When the porosity is low it means that the hair does not absorb moisture well. The cuticles – a kind of scales located on the upper layer of the hair that protect the hair fibre – are closed. Water and moisturizers cannot properly reach the hair fibre. The hair is very dry. To remedy this problem, it is necessary to open the cuticles and for that we need to use heat in our favour. When applying care, it is recommended to use a bowl of hot water, a hot towel (not boiling!) Wrapped around the head or a heating cap to relax the cuticles and open them.

What is the ideal porosity?

It is ideal to have average porosity. Cuticles should not be facing external forces to open them.  If, however, the porosity is too high, it means that the cuticles aren’t doing their job effectively and are damaged. The hair then has a lot of difficulties retaining hydration. Many factors can be at the origin of this phenomenon such as the abuse of heating tools (hair dryers, irons …) or repeated straightening and colouring and hair transitions. It should then reduce or stop any activity harmful to the hair. However, the high porosity can also be hereditary and therefore natural.

How to determine your hair’s porosity

To determine your porosity, there is a simple method available to everyone: the glass of water method. Fill a glass with lukewarm water and carefully place a few strands of your clean hair. Wait a few minutes and observe the result. If your hair stays on the surface, your porosity is low. If they find themselves in the middle of the glass, it is average. Finally, if they are at the bottom, your porosity is high.

Determine hair density

There are several methods to determine if your hair is of low or medium to high density. The easiest way is to simply try to touch your scalp. If you can easily touch and feel your scalp that means you don’t have a lot of hair and its density is low.  If instead, you have to make a line and flatten your hair to see it, you have a medium to strong density. Depending on the volume you are going to have, you will use more or less heavy products. On the other hand, if you have a large mass of hair, heavy products will help to control them.

Determining the thickness of the hair

After determining the overall density of your hair, you can also determine the thickness of each hair strand – their circumference. This step is optional but always good to take into account for personal knowledge.

A fine hair strand is fragile and breaks easily. Hair with medium thickness is the strongest. However, that doesn’t mean we can handle them aggressively.

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