What’s Your Hair Type? High vs. low porosity

Hey girl, what’s your type? We’re not talking dark, mysterious babes vs. blonde surfer honeys – nope, what’s your hair type? Now, we know you’re across whether your hair is curly or straight, and probably all over whether it’s fine or coarse too (if you’re not, check out our recent blog post deciphering this very topic here) – but do you know whether your strands are high porosity or low porosity?

Yep, stay with us – this is info actually pretty crucial to determining how to best care for and grow your hair. And, because we can see those perplexed looks from over here, let’s clear up some terminology first: in a nutshell, porosity refers to how your hair absorbs and holds moisture. So, if you’re all in the dark about whether your hair is high porosity or low porosity, scroll on for our expert guide.

High vs. low porosity: please explain

Let’s geek out for a moment: basically, which type of hair you have is determined by the structure of your strands’ cuticles. If your locks are low porosity, this means that the cuticle has a tightly bound cuticle layer, making it harder for moisture to penetrate your strands – and also harder for moisture to escape, once it’s in your hair. On the other hand, if your hair is high porosity, this essentially means that your cuticles have holes or gaps in them, which allow moisture to enter and leave easily.

And this is important because…

The porosity of your hair helps determine whether it’s sleek or frizzy, dry or relatively hydrated. And this, friends, helps you know how to care for your locks and which hair products will help you reach your hair goals faster. 

How to know your hair type

Don’t take your geek hat off just yet – because there are a couple of experiments you can do to work out whether you have high porosity or low porosity hair. 

  • Slip N Slide Test

Grab a strand of your hair and slide your fingers along it slowly, starting from the end and moving up towards the root. What do you feel? If your fingers slide along the strand, you have low porosity hair. If the texture along the way feels slightly bumpy, you’ve got high porosity hair.

  • Float Test

Place a couple of strands of your hair into a glass of water. Next, let them sit in there for 3 minutes. Now, check where they’re at: if your hair has floated to the top, your hair is low porosity. If it’s swimming around in there, your high is high porosity. 

So, how should I care for my hair type?

If you have low porosity hair, your strands likely look fairly healthy and shiny. To keep them at their best, avoid overly heavy treatments which may weigh them down. A good shampoo and conditioner formulated with clean ingredients (like this duo) will keep your hair in tip-top shape. Avoid leave-in conditioners, and when using treatments such as oils or hair masks, stick to once a week for maximum results.

If you have high porosity hair, you might notice that dryness or frizz is your constant companion. This type of hair is also more prone to breakage, which can lead to thinning – definitely not part of the plan when you’re after lush, long locks! This hair type might be simply due to your genetics (yep, thanks Mum and Dad) or it could be a result of damage from chemical or heat styling.

Either way, more hydrating products and intensive treatments are your friend when dealing with this thirsty hair type. Our deeply hydrating Growth Miracle Mask, packed with argan and jojoba oils, will make your hair so happy she’ll shine. Also, lay easy on the styling – even just a day or two off from your curling tongs can give your hair time to recover and get back to being her best self.

Psst! You can check out our range of delicious Intensive Treatments for your hair here.


  • Taylor

    Such a good article, I wouldn’t have even known any of that if I didn’t read this! Thanks guys!!!! Absolutely love your products, they are amazing!!

  • Sophia

    Love the written blog. I now know my hair is low porosity. I just bought your shampoo and conditioner, can’t wait to try it.

    No need to publish this post but I think there’s a small error in your blog in the part that explains the float test.

    It says “your high is high porosity” but I think it’s supposed to say “your hair is high porosity”

    Don’t want to seem like a know it all at all I failed all my school tests lol just wanted to help your page so it’s perfect as it deserves to be.

    Thanks, Sophia

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