Most non-colourists have never heard of porosity before when dealing with hair. It is always good to learn something new, so we’re letting you know a bit more about porosity and how it can affect your colour.
What is Porosity?
Porosity refers to hair’s ability to absorb moisture. The absorbency or porosity of your hair depends on the natural the natural texture, colour history, styling, and degree of environmental exposure.
The same factors which contribute to hair damage, such as bleaching or lightening processes, excessive heat, sun and salt water, not only leave hair weakened, they also increase hair’s porosity.
If your hair is damaged, then it is porous, as hair damage leads to physical effects on the hair which increase hair porosity.
How Porosity Affects Hair Colour
Porous hair has a damaged and lifted cuticle. In healthy hair the cuticle is smooth and lies flat, but the cuticle in porous hair is lifted or raised.
When the cuticle is damaged and raised, as in the case of highly porous hair, any colour mixture which is applied to the hair will penetrate too easily and be over-absorbed, which can lead to darker, duller colour outcomes as well as lead to further weakening of the hair. Increased hair porosity can also lead to rapid colour fade, as the raised hair cuticles can leak the colour pigment molecules. When the hair does not retain the colour molecules there will be a noticeable fading of the colour.
How Porous is My Hair?
You are one second away from knowing your hairs porosity level. Grab a strand of hair and slide your fingers from the ends toward your scalp. If it feels bumpy, your hair is overly porous, and may look puffy, frizzy, and suffer from split ends.
How to manage highly porous hair
You’ve read this article, and the results of your one second porosity test are in. Your hair did have a bumpy feel and is consistent with the description of highly porous hair.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – knowledge is power. Armed with information about your hairs porosity, you can know take some simple but effective steps to reduce further damage to your hair and to repair the damage and porosity you currently have. Get on to some damage control with deep condition treatments and nourishing oils. Use conditioning products such as our own Colour Protection Conditioner as a weekly leave-in treatment (10-15 minutes) for a deeply nourishing and intensive moisture and condition boost.
And when it comes to your colour application and processing time, you have the wisdom of knowing the general instructions may not apply to your fast-acting, porous hair. Remember – highly porous hair will over-absorb and over-process colour, leading to darker, duller colour outcomes which will also weaken your hair further. Porous hair people can take remedial action – shorten your process time to a zippy 10 to 15 minutes, and your hair will thank you by being bouncier and with a more balanced, consistent and true colour result.
Talk to our colourist for even more advice on how to get to your perfect hair colour.