When I began researching natural hair porosity, it was like glitter rained down from the sky and I truly began to figure out my hair. I found focusing on porosity to be much more helpful than relying on curl pattern. For those of you unfamiliar, porosity is how well your hair absorbs and holds onto moisture. For additional information, check out my video about natural hair and porosity:
As the seasons change, you might need to make some changes to your regimen due to lower temperatures and dew points. Low porosity hair often has trouble absorbing moisture, while high porosity hair has issues retaining moisture. This may become even more of an issue when it gets cold and dry outside. Modification of your hair regimen should typically depend on your local climate. For instance, in Los Angeles, I never really had an issue or needed to re-assess my regimen for my porosity because the weather is pretty mild year-round. But on the East Coast, the quickly falling temps (Seriously, 50 degrees in October? Sigh.) make some regimen tweaks necessary.
If you have low porosity hair, it might be best to focus on thoroughly moisturizing your hair as you won’t get as much moisture from the environment. Consider using a steamer during your deep conditioning treatments for about 30 minutes a week. The steam will slightly lift your hair cuticle and allow your deep conditioner to penetrate more into your strands. There are also several additional claims of the awesome benefits of steaming, so why not give it a go? If you don’t feel like sitting under a steamer for 30 minutes, you can also use a Q-Redew, a handheld tool that releases bursts of steam. I know I’ll be breaking mine out. If tools aren’t your thing at all, consider a Cherry Lola treatment to increase moisture absorption. Every time I do this treatment, my conditioner turns my hair into butter. And don’t forget the dryer! As low porosity hair takes forever and a day to dry, you might want to invest in a dryer so your hair doesn’t turn into popsicles when you go outside. I love my Babyliss Hooded Dryer.
If you have high porosity hair, it might be helpful to increase your use of oils to help seal in moisture. Oil rinsing is a good option, as all of the oil doesn’t wash out of your hair after rinsing, therefore adding another layer of protection. For high porosity hair, it seems that this would be effective after your deep condition, because you’ve just moisturized your hair. After you style, always use an oil/butter or heavy moisturizer. I recently offered up my favorite heavy moisturizers for sealing in this post. It can also be helpful to use leave-ins and stylers with more oils, like Oyin Hair Dew. Just remember to also cleanse your hair properly if you’re increasing your oil use
Have you tweaked your regimen for the colder temps yet? What are your hair plans for winter?
**This post also appears on Black Girl with Long Hair.**
4 thoughts on “How Focusing On Hair Porosity This Winter Can Lead to Healthier Longer Hair”
Hi Elle. For several reasons, I won’t be using “tools”, so it’s Cherry Lola for me. My questions is how do I judge when it’s time for this treatment? Also, is it helpful to use a D/C with a cap and using a blow dryer to try to create the effects of steaming? Thanks for the recommendations for sealants. Watching your video on winter moisturizers was also really helpful. I’m always learning something new. I have a problem being a popsicle head. After letting my hair down from it’s “pineapple”, it never seems that I can get a second day out of it, unless it’s pulled up. So, it’s back to wetting it down in the shower, adding conditioner to the length and starting all over. Any suggestions are appreciated to remedy this long standing 3c, low porosity, ice princess situation.
I would do this treatment when I felt like my hair wasn’t taking in moisture – I could really tell when my fave conditioners felt ineffective. However, it may be different for you and it’s important to feel and listen to your hair. I also don’t think that using a blow dryer and/or cap is the same thing as steaming, but it could help as well. Some people like to use a cap then use the steam from the shower.
Thanks for the advice and suggestion Elle. That should work!
The weather where I live doesn’t drastically change between seasons but I have to agree that finding out our porosity really really helps! It not only helps to determine what kind of products/ingredients to use, but also how you should apply them and layer products. Great post 🙂
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