How Hair Porosity Affects Hair Colour

What is Porosity?

Porosity refers to hair’s ability to absorb moisture. The absorbency or porosity of your hair depends on the natural texture, colour history, styling, and degree of environmental exposure.

The same factors which contribute to hair damage, not only leave hair weakened, they also increase hairs’ porosity.

Hair damage leads to physical effects on the hair which increase hair porosity.

Hair porosity refers to how much moisture it can retain. Grab one strand of hair, hold it from the end and run two fingers up it towards your scalp. If you feel any bumps or ridges, this indicates porosity. The hair cuticles in the outer layer of healthy hair lie flat against hair shaft, but if the hair is porous they are raised, and can be felt in this porosity strand test.

Natural Porosity

Hair can also naturally have high porosity, and this is more often seen in hair which is either very fine and thin, or in curly, textured hair. These hair textures tend to have a thinner outer cuticle layer, and it is this thin cuticle layer which can lead to over-absorption of colour, or colour leakage and rapid colour fade.

How Porosity Affects Hair Colour

Porous hair has a damaged and raised 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, 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. Increased hair porosity can also lead to rapid colour fade, as the raised hair cuticles can leak 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. If your hair did have a bumpy feel and is consistent with the description of highly porous hair.

You can take some simple but effective steps to reduce further damage to your hair and to repair damaged and porous hair.

We recommend weekly or fortnightly deep conditioning thermal Tsubaki oil treatments – a pure, gentle, lightweight oil which is high in nutrient and which can repair damage, strengthen, hydrate and boost the condition of your hair. It is also best to avoid direct heat contact with your hair where possible. Reduce or eliminate contact with hot styling tools, wear hats for sun protection and try to reduce exposing your hair to direct hot water in the shower. These steps can reduce ongoing heat damage and protect the integrity of the outer cuticle layer of the hair.

When it comes to your colour application and processing time, remember that highly porous hair will over-absorb and over-process colour, leading to darker, duller colour outcomes which will also weaken your hair further, so you want want to shorten your process time to a zippy 10 to 15 minutes, and it could also be helpful to slightly soften your colour, to avoid darker colour results. Talk to our colourists for personalised advice on how to best work with porous hair.

It has been over 3 weeks since I first colored my hair using The Shade. The color has started vibrant and fresh, and the condition of my hair has stayed shiny and healthy, which is different to the supermarket dyes that I have been using for years. Really happy with the result so far. I also love the convenience of having regular deliveries so I don’t need to remember to purchase each month!!

N.

Gorgeous colour! I got individual help with my colour choice as my hair is damaged and the colourist helped me with a colour choice which really works for me to correct colour I didn’t like and also she gave me great advice to help with my hair health and condition (which is part of my colour problem). Very happy.

Amaya D.

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