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Ten Tips to Improve Your Hair’s Porosity

We would all like to maintain that hair high point when your fresh colour looks great.

However, some of us are more likely than others to experience darker colour results or colour fade after colouring. This is typically due to porosity.

Porosity means the hair can both over-absorb colour (leading to darker colour results) and also leak colour (leading to faster colour fade).

Porosity can occur due to the natural texture of the hair. Hair which is very fine is more likely to over-absorb colour. Porosity due to natural texture can not be rectified, but it can be managed.

Your hair’s porosity refers to how much moisture it can retain.

2 Second Porosity Test:

Grab one strand of hair, hold it from the end and run two fingers up it towards your scalp.

If you feel any ridges or bumps, then this can indicate porosity. The ridges are the cuticles on the outer layer of the hair which should lie flat. If they are raised you can feel them as little bumps in this strand test.

The raised cuticle will allow colour to readily enter the hair (hence over-absorption and darker results), and to leak colour, as it can’t hold the colour within the hair.

Your hair can also become porous after being damaged by lightening processes, heated styling tools, chlorine or sun exposure.

My own hair wilfully obstructs my efforts to do pretty much anything to it, including retaining consistent colour. I rolled the ‘super fine, flat, porous hair’ with a dash of ‘stubborn greys’ dice, which makes achieving a nice, balanced colour more complex.

I have finally established a routine which involves thermal oil treatments, no heated tools, a 27 vol developer at my roots only and semi-permanent colour in my lengths, which delivers ongoing great colour and condition outcomes.

Reducing porosity involves removing environmental factors which can degrade the hair such as hot styling tools and lightening processes. This approach can save you money by using less products, and you will see benefits over time. There isn’t a quick fix, but start today, and your hair will improve in the coming weeks and months.

Here’s our top 10 tips to avoid and manage colour fade:

  1. Reduce or avoid lightening processes. Repeated lightening will damage your hair and increase porosity. Adjust your colour goals to avoid separate lightening processes, and enjoy improved hair health.
  2. Avoid heat on your hair. Any direct contact with heat sources such as styling tools and even hot water will erode your hair health. If you must use hot styling tools, use a heat protection product, and keep the styling process as short as you can. Another trick is to use a hair dryer on the “cool” setting.
  3. Hot water can also dry and stress your hair. Move your hair out of direct contact with hot water in the shower, and lower the temperature to lukewarm when you are washing your hair. Heat will open up the cuticle, which can lead to colour ‘leakage’.
  4. Slip, slop, slap. It will save your skin and your hair. Wear a broad brimmed hat on sunny days. Cheap or expensive, if you are happy with your hat options then you will be more likely to wear a hat. Products which provide UV protection to your hair can also be helpful.
  5. Select products with a cleaner ingredient profile. Products with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and alcohol will build-up and degrade the hair cuticle, leading to increased porosity and increased colour fade. Conventional ingredients can weaken the hair with repeated use. Porous hair is essentially a bit over-sensitive. It will respond better to clean, botanical products free from unnecessary chemicals.
  6. Water hardness refers to the mineral content of water. Hard water has higher than normal amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Most water in Australia is considered ‘soft’, although South Australian and Western Australia have harder water. Hard water can prevent colour molecules from entering the hair, leading to weaker colour results.
  7. Colour processing time – follow the instructions and let the colour process for the full time according to your colour application instructions in the Colour Kit. If you shorten the colour processing time, there will be insufficient colour absorption and coverage.
  8. Boost the condition and strength of your hair. Porous hair is fragile and it requires more support to maintain its integrity. Weekly deep conditioning treatments will help hydrate and strengthen your hair and boost hair condition, health and performance.
  9. The right colour for the right place – Apply permanent colour (using either a 20 vol or 27 vol developer) on your roots only, and boost colour and shine in your lengths by applying semi-permanent colour only in your lengths. This helps you avoid overlapping and layering colour, which is critical if you are aiming to avoid darker, duller colour results. It also reduces processes on your lengths, and your hair is only subjected to one permanent colour application only, which will help protect your hair and improve its overall health and condition.
  10. Apply permanent colour only to your roots to colour regrowth. Use a 5 vol developer only on your lengths to boost colour or tone and shine. Porous hair over-absorbs colour. By using a lower vol developer only on your lengths, you will avoid over-processing the colour and over-saturated, darker, duller colour results in your lengths. Your lengths will benefit just from a shine and tone or colour boost, and porous hair in particular should not be over-exposed to repeated permanent colour applications.

Talk to our colourists and we can assist in finding a colour which works for you, and provide personalised advice to help improve the health and condition of your hair.

I recommend this to everyone I know! The best hair dye, non smelly and comes with everything you need, from shampoo and conditioner and barrier oil. I totally love this company and their product!!!

C. Connors

Love this product! Colour is lovely, I always get comments about my hair colour. Easy to use and leaves my hair looking and feeling soft, glossy and healthy.

F. Sartor

I have tried every boxed colour because I really haven’t got the time to go to the salon any more as I have two little ones. This is my favourite – high quality, easy to use, love the accessories, the colour, covers my greys. My hair doesn’t feel as dry after colouring as it did with other brands, and the service and advice is very thoughtful.

S. Kozlowski

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