- Incorporate Steam into your Regime
Incorporating steam into your regime from the beginning will be the best tip I could ever give you. Start by using steam to raise the cuticles and allow that moisture into your hair. Low porosity hair follicles are “shut” or “lowered” so tightly it’s often difficult to get water or products to penetrate and properly care for the hair. The heat from the steam will essentially pry open the scales on the hair strand to allow the products you use to penetrate instead of just sitting on top. Often when low porosity hair come in contact with water from the shower, the water normally beads up right on top instead of penetrating. Often this will weigh down the hair since it is not properly being cleansed or treated. Steam will help with detangling and any treatment you do such as pre-poo, deep conditioning, etc. Steam will hydrate and quench the hair, while softening it, making styling much easier. Remember moisture in vapor form will allow for long-lasting moisture. Steaming will also help with hair growth as it will cut through the build-up and give the hair follicle the attention it needs to grow long luscious hair. Steam also allows moisture to give you a better curl definition. If the hair is properly moisturized you know your curls will be on fleek.
- Use Humectants
Use products that contain humectants to help draw moisture from the environment into your hair. Remember to alternate products throughout the seasons as humectants can be troublesome in the winter if there is no moisture in the air. This will only allow the hair to frizz in an attempt to reach into the atmosphere looking for moisture. Humectants will help draw moisture from the environment and help keep them it in hair for longer periods of time so you do not have to constantly rewash hair to moisturize it. If you want to learn more about humectants in depth, please click here.
- Clarify Hair
Since low porosity hair often has trouble letting the scales rise to let moisture in, co-washing might not be your best friend all the time. Make sure to clarify at least once a month with a sulfate free shampoo to give your hair a break from those products that weighed it down. Bentonite clay and acv fantastic clarifiers to supplement in your routine as well. They even help define curls! I would recommend using a low poo (a sulfate free shampoo that suds up similar to the shampoos we used to use before the curly girl method) between cowashing and clariying for a gentle cleasning. Clariying is like stripping everthing out of the hair to start over and should be done at least once a month. Low poos provide gentle cleasnsing that can be done on a weekly basis.
- Utilize Protein
Protein will helpful in the gaps in porous hair, while simultaneously, strengthening low porosity hair. This prevents hair loss from the exposure of excessive drying low porosity hair often encounters. Larger proteins will create a film around the hair which will trap moisture into the hair. Smaller proteins will also settle into hair trapping moisture. For those of you who are protein sensitive remember you still need some sort of protein once every 4-6 weeks. So smaller proteins like silk amino acids might be best. Experiment with different kinds of proteins. When looking for products in protein products here’s a little tip that can save you so much aggravation. When looking at protein labels, if you see what we consider a “bigger” or more “heavy duty” protein such as silk protein or collagen make sure they are at the end of the ingredients list. The bigger the protein, the more powerful and since many low porosity ladies struggle with protein sensitivity, using a product with a big protein in the first few ingredients of the product label can prove to be disastrous. On the other end of the spectrum, if you find a product label with smaller proteins like amino acids or hydrolyzed proteins, make sure those are in the first couple ingredients of the list. The first five ingredients in any product label make up roughly 80% of the product. Amino acids are considered protein building blocks, they are essentially smaller pieces of protein that can penetrate the cortex( innermost layer ) of the hair. This will help low porosity hair that struggles with using the bigger proteins. Often the bigger proteins cannot penetrate the hair strand so the protein stays on top of the already tightly closed cuticle. If the protein doesn’t penetrate it cannot help repair the hair from within. So, remember, when choosing a protein product:
- Big proteins (click here for the protein article if you are unsure which is big or small) belong toward the end of the list because it will contain the least amount of it
- Small Proteins (hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids) belong within the first few ingredients on the product label because it will contain most of them
- The first five ingredients of any product label make up roughly 80% of that product
- Sleep on satin or silk.
This is more a tip for all hair types, yet especially important for low porosity hair. Regular cotton pillowcases and bedsheets suck the moisture out of hair and can break your hair strands from friction when sleeping at night. Make sure to value that new-found moisture and protect it at all costs! Low porosity hair already has so much trouble retaining moisture make sure to preserve it with satin or silk accessories such as satin-lined caps/ bonnets, pillowcases, and scrunchies.
Another universal tip (you have to love the versatility of natural options). Pre-poo, especially with steam, will help moisture penetrate into the strand to protect the scalps natural oils from being washed away from the shampoo. Pre-poo will help regulate moisture retention levels and soften the hair for easier styling. It will help keep dandruff at bay during the rough summer and winter months, which in the long term will help with hair growth.
- Use specific oils that would work best with your porosity.
Not all oils are going to give you the ideal intended result. Some oils can be counter-productive. Believe it or not, there is a difference between certain types of oil. There are moisturizing oils and sealing oils. So make sure to use the right ones! For deep conditioning treatments, scalp massages, hot oil treatments, etc., you want moisturizing oils. For scrunching out the gel cast you want sealing oils.