Have you ever wondered how to grow low porosity hair? Some people assume that low porosity hair equals healthy hair that is a breeze to handle.
This is no thanks to high porosity hair, which often has the connotation of super damaged and abused hair.
That’s not true at all, since low porosity hair has its downsides too.
One of the biggest setbacks of low porosity hair is its limited options for hair care ingredients, since it’s so prone to build-up.
So when you want to use specific miracle ingredients to, say, grow your hair out longer, it’s definitely not a walk in the park.
But if you have low porosity hair, don’t be discouraged!
There are tons of ways to amp up healthy hair growth without relying on popular ingredients that can be risky for your hair type.
Let me give you the lowdown.
What is low porosity hair?
Hair porosity is a characteristic of your hair that has to do with how it retains moisture.
The more porous the hair, the quicker it can absorb water, but it releases it just as fast.
On the flip side, when your hair’s porosity is low, it’s super closed up and repels against water.
It has a hard time getting moisture in, which leads to issues with dryness all the same.
Hair becomes more porous when the cuticles are somehow lifted, either from excessive use of hot tools or frequent chemical processes at the salon, like coloring or relaxing.
This is where the idea that high porosity hair is damaged hair, while low porosity is natural, healthy hair comes from.
Signs of low porosity hair
What many fail to understand is that because the cuticles in low porosity strands overlap with one another and are closed shut, moisture has a hard time penetrating the hair shaft.
This causes frizz, dryness, and challenging manageability overall.
To find the most effective way to grow out your hair, you must first know if your hair is porous or not.
This will affect what ingredients you should look out for.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to find out how porous your hair is.
There are little signs here and there.
If you find that your hair is difficult to saturate with water when you jump into the shower, and you notice that it beads up for a couple of seconds before absorbing your shower water, you may have low porosity hair.
You can also do the ever-famous water-in-a-glass test.
Drop a strand of clean hair into a glass of water and let it settle for half an hour or so.
If your hair sinks to the bottom, you have porous hair that drinks up water like a sponge.
If your hair floats to the top, it means it didn’t let water in because you have low porosity strands.
Hair-growing ingredients that low porosity hair loves
There are tons of rich and thick oils and butters out there that are known as miracle products when it comes to growing long hair.
But sadly, one of the golden rules of having low porosity hair is to stay away from heavy products and ingredients.
Because low porosity hair is so closed up, heavy oils with bigger molecules can’t penetrate the hair shaft.
These oils, like coconut oil and castor oil, end up sitting and hardening outside the hair strand, causing product build-up instead of added moisture.
When scouring for natural ingredients, make sure they’re light enough for your hair to absorb and take moisture from.
They’re friendlier to the cuticle and will give your low porosity just the right amount of hydration.
So what are some ingredients that promote healthy hair growth and are appropriate for low porosity hair?
Luckily, some of the most effective hair-growing botanicals are light and won’t clog your hair shaft or follicles.
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants when it comes to skincare and hair care.
It’s been loved for centuries by South Asian women who grow long, shiny, silky hair.
It’s amazing at soothing the scalp and strengthening the hair, which both encourage abundant growth.
The aloe plant is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, both of which are amazing for hair growth and strengthening.
Calcium, known for making bones stronger, is great for maintaining the integrity of your hair strands.
Meanwhile, magnesium stimulates the roots and follicles to push for growth.
Using aloe vera is one of the things you need to get started on if you’ve been wondering how to grow low porosity hair.
Another thing you can look into is essential oils.
Crowd favorites like rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender oils are amazing for aromatherapy, but also have impressive benefits when it comes to hair growth.
Rosemary oil is proven to reduce hair thinning and loss, so it’s a great scalp massage oil if you want a thicker, fuller head of hair.
It’s actually used as a remedy for alopecia, a disease that makes you lose a lot of hair.
Tea tree oil
On the other hand, tea tree oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.
It’s great for cleaning and stimulating the scalp to gently unclog any blocked hair follicles, promoting better hair growth.
It also has an invigorating cooling effect, like menthol.
This stimulates the roots, encouraging some growth.
Rubbing some into your head and temples is also a good way to relax and unwind after a long day, which is never a bad idea!
Experimenting with essential oils is always fun, but just be sure to dilute them in a light carrier oil that’s friendly to low porosity hair.
Using essential oils directly on the skin can cause burning and irritation.
Speaking of carrier oils, there are lighter botanical oils that many women claim help with hair growth.
Consider using sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil, and rosehip oil to grow long, soft, and shiny hair.
Ingredients to watch out for when trying to grow low porosity hair
As I said earlier, there are lots of rich oils and protein-rich ingredients that are cult favorites for growing out the hair.
But they’re not exactly a match for low porosity hair like yours.
Coconut oil is a holy grail ingredient for many high porosity gals with extremely parched hair.
It’s rich in fatty acids that moisturize the hair deeply and also reduce breakage and hair loss, which is why it’s amazing for hair growth.
But if you use it on low porosity hair, there’s a high chance you won’t get those same silky soft results as women with other hair types.
Coconut oil tends to block low porosity strands and make them look and feel drier.
It ends up clogging your shaft so that no real moisture can come in.
Another miracle product for hair growth is castor oil, but it’s super thick and rich, just like coconut oil.
Many swear by its power to thicken up and volumize the hair, thanks to its fatty acids and ricinoleic acid.
But it can clog up the hair follicles and cuticles too, which is a big no-no for low porosity hair that already has trouble absorbing moisture, to begin with.
Rice water is yet another hair growth fave but frequent use just won’t cut it for low porosity hair.
The online hair community has taken it upon itself to create hair growth challenges using a rice water rinse on the internet, and many women are hopping on the train.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
Rice water is light and isn’t a creamy, thick oil.
Why is it still bad for low porosity hair?
The reason rice water is awesome for hair growth is that it has a plethora of proteins that fortify and thicken up the hair.
These starchy proteins end up creating layers around low porosity hair instead of being absorbed by it.
This, in turn, creates a blockage, making it hard for moisture to enter the hair cortex.
If you’ve been keen to know more about how to grow low porosity hair, then the first thing you need to do is to go slow on thicker oils and protein-rich rinses.
They are simply too heavy for low porosity hair.
They create a coating around the hair that ends up blocking any hydration from coming in at all.
It also might take a couple of wash days to get rid of the build-up, so if I were you, I’d stay far away from these.
So before you join the bandwagon and try out challenges you see on YouTube using these ingredients, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Pick the right oils for your hair type.
It’s not worth risking dry, limp hair that’s rough to the touch just so you can ride the trend.
How to grow low porosity hair by switching up your diet
It’s frustrating when you can’t find the best hair-growing products for your hair type.
If you can’t seem to find that miracle product your hair will fall head over heels for, you can start looking at other techniques to grow your hair out.
One of these techniques is by eating the right food.
Hair health starts from the inside, and if you follow a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, you’ll see an immense effect not only in your hair, but also on your skin, nails, and fitness overall.
In fact, it’s been found that restricting yourself from eating and following fad diets can actually hamper hair growth, since your body doesn’t have the right nutrients.
So it’s vital to be conscious of the food you eat, and whether you’re taking in only the good stuff for your hair and body.
The first thing you should make sure you’re eating enough of is protein.
Our hair is made of protein, and so if you have enough of it, you can promote the growth of long, thick, strong hair.
You can find protein in your favorite meats, seafood, and dairy products.
If you’re practicing a vegan lifestyle, you can always go for yogurt and veggies like broccoli and spinach.
Another nutrient you have to keep in check in your diet is iron, which helps maintain the overall health of the hair, allowing it to grow more.
It’s been found that many problems with hair loss can be linked back to an iron deficiency.
Tasty sources of iron include liver, red kidney beans, dried fruits like prunes and apricots, cereals, and red meats like beef, lamb, and veal.
Vitamin E is another thing you should be getting enough of.
It’s quite a popular vitamin in the hair care world, and for a good reason.
It protects the hair and scalp from free radical damage and even serves as a natural moisturizer for your locks, so if you want longer, stronger hair, this vitamin is the key.
One excellent source of vitamin E is avocado.
It’s rich in this coveted hair vitamin and also has a lot of healthy fats for glowing skin.
Yet another reason to have avocado toast for breakfast every day!
Incorporate the right vitamins and supplements
Another surefire way to boost hair growth is to take the right supplements to feed your hair.
Vitamins B, C, D, and E, omega fatty acids, and other botanicals are essential for your hair and body.
If you can’t always find the right food to ensure you meet your recommended daily intake for each one, you can always rely on supplements.
Your local beauty or health store should be able to supply you with biotin pills, fish oil capsules, multivitamins, and more.
If you go to your grocery’s ethnic section, you may be lucky enough to see supplements like ginseng, which is excellent for stimulating the hair follicles and growing hair.
A healthy diet coupled with excellent supplements won’t just be beneficial to your hair.
It will also do wonders for your skin, energy levels, overall health.
Improving your diet for your hair can also be a terrific way to jumpstart your fitness and nutrition journey.
Care tips for low porosity hair to jumpstart growth
When all else fails, go back to the basics: listening to your hair and pampering it any way you can.
Strong, moisturized hair tends to grow out naturally even without all those supplements and essential oil masks.
Here are some ways to ensure your low porosity locks are healthy and happy:
Use a clarifying shampoo
Low porosity is prone to product build-up because some ingredients have trouble penetrating the hair.
So instead, they pile on outside the hair, making it heavy and dull.
These deposits could also be clogging your hair follicles on the scalp, hampering growth.
Clarify or chelate your hair with a shampoo that can remove mineral and product build-up for a nice refresh.
It brings volume back to your hair and paves the way for healthier growth.
Give yourself a scalp massage.
Good hair growth starts with a healthy scalp.
Pamper your scalp to stimulate growth with a nice scalp massage every once in a while.
You can even use your favorite essential oils to help stimulate your roots.
Not only does a massage encourage growth, but it also promotes blood circulation in the scalp.
The fact that it helps relieve you of stress and anxiety is just the cherry on top.
Avoid using hot tools
Abusing your favorite flat iron may be tempting, but frequent heat styling can damage the hair immensely, leading to hair that is prone to breakage and thinning.
This makes your hair look unhealthy and not as abundant as you’d like.
If you have to use heat on your hair for a special occasion, use a heat protectant beforehand to minimize damage.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Retaining moisture is important for all hair types, but it’s especially difficult for low porosity hair.
Read on to see what you can do to keep your hair nourished all day.
How to moisturize low porosity hair daily
Since low porosity hair has trouble absorbing moisture, it only makes sense that you do everything in your power to keep it happy and hydrated every day.
You can try to infuse moisture into your hair daily in every step of your hair care routine, from nourishing shampoos down to light finishing oils.
This is a daily go-to for those with parched, thirsty hair.
Since you have low porosity hair, it’s better to go for light and watery leave-in conditioners vs. those that are super thick and creamy.
A great option for your hair type is a leave-in that comes in the form of a mist.
Just a few sprays into your hair, and it should be locked and loaded with much-needed moisture.
A leave-in conditioner is a great component of the LOC method of moisturizing hair.
Don’t be afraid of a light leave-in with proteins.
Keratin will do wonders from protecting your hair and sealing in moisture, so it’s a good ingredient to look out for when looking for leave-in sprays.
Just make sure you don’t use a protein-rich leave-in every day, so it doesn’t produce build-up in your hair.
Think about alternating between leave-ins with humectants and those with proteins, just so your delicate hair doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Creams and custards
Creams and custards are great at sealing in the moisture from the leave-in conditioner or water.
They also come in handy when you’re styling your hair in twist outs, braid outs or wash-and-gos.
Besides moisturizing the hair, good creams for low porosity hair leave your tresses soft and therefore quite easy to manage.
It’s good to finish your daily hair care routine with an excellent hair oil to seal all that moisture in while giving your hair some extra shine and gloss.
But remember, low porosity hair only tolerates light oils, because thicker ones like olive oil and shea butter can cause more harm than good.
Look for oils like argan oil, baobab oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil.
These are light on the hair and won’t weigh your tresses down, so you can still get maximum moisture, volume, and shine.
In case you are a sporty person and must wash your hair daily, please avoid using shampoo on a daily basis.
Shampoos are known to strip the hair of moisture and leave it dry and brittle.
Instead, you can use a conditioner to wash your hair.
This is known as conditioner washing or co-washing.
Look for conditioners that feature lightly hydrating ingredients that pack a punch, like honey, aloe, and glycerin.
These help give your hair that much-needed moisture without suffocating or weighing down your locks.
A pro-tip for conditioner is to apply it in sections, especially if you have thick and long hair.
You can do this with your fingertips or a detangling brush.
This helps ensure that your low porosity strands have the best chance of absorbing all that moisture and nourishing goodness.
Because you’re coating every single strand, your hair is more likely to soak up all the hydration even if it’s not as porous as other hair types.
Having low porosity hair doesn’t mean you’ll never make it to the party.
You just have a unique way of getting there without the overly emollient hair masks.
For someone wondering how to grow low porosity hair, try and implement some (if not all) of the things I’ve discussed in this post and let us know how it goes.
There are always ways for you to promote healthy hair growth even if you can’t use coconut or castor oil, whether it’s doing an essential oil scalp massage every week or committing to a healthier, nutrient-dense diet.
Just make sure you’re consistent and that you can manage your expectations – you won’t magically have super long hair down to your waist in just a few weeks.
After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Listen to your hair and what it needs, and long, healthy, luscious hair growth will follow.