moisturizing low porosity hair
Hair Regimen

How to Moisturize & Seal Low Porosity Hair (that’s also fine)

moisturizing low porosity hair
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Regardless of your hair porosity, there’s one thing that rings true for all hair types. You need to keep your hair moisturized to keep your hair soft, pliable and in good condition.

Yet, even though we all need moisture, how you moisturize your hair based on your porosity level will determine if it’s most effective. Let’s take a look at how to moisturize low porosity hair, especially when it’s fine.

Low Porosity Hair: Moisture Tips

Low porosity hair is hair that’s classified as having a cuticle layer that’s very tightly closed. It’s difficult to get moisture into this hair type as it is resistant to attracting moisture. The good news is those with low porosity hair, typically have very healthy hair. Once moisturized, low-po hair tends to retain moisture much longer than higher porosity hair. You just have to be very diligent with getting moisture into your hair shaft and in the right manner.

Since the cuticles on a low porosity strand of hair are very tight, it stands to reason that you need to get those cuticles open (temporarily) so that you can get much needed moisture into the strands. When you have fine hair, you need to do so while also taking into consideration the delicateness of fine hair. Here are some simple tips for moisturizing low porosity hair:

Don’t skip the Pre-poo

Pre-pooing your hair with a penetrating oil like coconut oil will help to get moisture deeper into your strands when it’s time to wash. Applying your pre-poo followed by putting on a plastic cap will make it more effective. Add to that plastic cap some moist heat and you’ve taken the first step (also the next tip) to help you moisturize your low porosity hair.

Related article: Why & How to Pre-Poo

Carefully embrace heat

Heat is your friend if you have low porosity hair. For fine hair that’s also low porosity, handle with care.  I’m not talking about heat styling. Rather:

– Washing hair in sections with very warm water
– Deep conditioning your hair with heat using a deep conditioner that has lots of slip. Do it with a plastic cap on under a heat source for 15-30 minutes
– Applying warm conditioners (this includes your leave in conditioner)
– Steaming your hair with a hair steamer working in small sections a couple times a month (more often in the warmer months)

The key to working with heat on fine hair is to more so embrace moist heat/warmth while carefully manipulating your hair (smaller sections, etc) so you don’t cause breakage. Finger detangle lightly when applying your pre-poo or conditioners. Reducing the number of times you detangle during the wash day process also cuts down on your chances of hair breakage.

Go deeper than topical applications of moisture

This is exactly what you’re doing when you deep condition your hair on wash day. Sometimes you’ll find that you need an extra shot of moisture mid-week. In this case, you don’t want to use a heavy moisturizer or heavy butters to seal in that moisture. Not only will these types of products weigh the hair down, they are virtually useless at getting moisture into the hair shaft when the cuticles are closed tight.

Instead, consider working in sections lightly steaming your hair so that the cuticles begin to lift, Then, apply a light moisturizer spray or cream. The Q-Redew handheld hair steamer is great for light steaming sessions.

Sealing in the Moisture

Once you’ve successfully infused moisture into your strands, you can use a light oil to seal but it’s actually more effective to close the hair’s cuticle as quickly as possible once getting the moisture into your hair. This is basically ensuring that the pH level of your hair is balanced and can be done with the following steps:

  • Make your final rinse on wash day, an apple cider vinegar rinse: 2 parts water, 1 part apple cider vinegar or an aloe vera juice rinse
  • Smooth your hair with your fingers. Repetitively smoothing the hair in a downward fashion.
  • Use the cool air shot on your blow dryer to blow your hair in a downward fashion

Moisturizing low porosity hair may take a few more steps than for someone with normal porosity hair but once you’ve accomplished it, your hair will retain moisture for a significant period of time.

Coincidentally, ensuring that your hair’s cuticle is closed also helps add shine to your hair.

moisturized low porosity hair

If you’re interested in a more in-depth explanation on low porosity hair, The Science-y Hair Blog has written an excellent article here. it’s a bit technical and wordy but the article has some solid information.

Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

2 Comment

  1. Apple cider vinegar rinse is for high porosity hair because it help close cuticles. You don’t want that when your hair low porosity as your cuticles are already closed.

    1. you actually do want to close your cuticles back once you’re done adding moisture to your strands. Regardless of what porosity level your hair is, you don’t want your cuticles open.

      When washing low-po hair, you do that with warm water to open up the cuticles but once you’re done conditioning etc, the ACV will be the final rinse to close the cuticles back up which is definitely what you want. They should not stay open.

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