One BIG mistake I made when delving into the natural hair possibilities was the fact that all the YouTubers and Instagrammers seemed to have already perfect hair, I’m talking Merida from Brave type of hair. And yet I knew that from past experiences (and the very reason why I relaxed my hair in the first place) was that my hair was definitely NOT like that.
In this post I’m going to delve into two very important aspects of hair texture and how it responds to products; hair type, and porosity.
So what is Hair Type?
Hair type is simply a question of how does your hair naturally grow? What physical aspects are noticed with your hair? Are there others like me?
Well hair type is categorized in numbers and lettered subsets. What I mean by that is it goes from 1A all the way to 4C/D. These categories basically help to rank the hair according to how curly or not it is. Knowledge is power, and once you know what is needed for your hair to thrive then you can start to treat it the way it needs to be.
So, back to it. There are 4 main hair types, 1-4 and with each, they have 3 subsets, A-C, sometimes D. I’ll leave you a chart to show you what these hair types are and how they behave. Hopefully you can identify with one of them and treat your hair accordingly.
As you might have noticed this blog is called 4C Mami specifically because I have 4C hair and as such will be giving out tips of how to care for 4C hair. If you do not identify in this specific group, I’d suggest you find a suitable blog to give you the advice you need. I’d be sad to see you go, but even more if you weren’t getting the type of information you needed.
I always say this but allow me to reiterate: there’s no formula. Your Hair is not ”one size fits all” so you should never treat it that way. What works for me might not work for you so please give your hair the time and attention it needs, and after a while you’ll be more than happy with the result.
This term refers to the ability of the hair follicle to absorb water into it. There are three rankings of porosity; high, medium and low porosity. Knowing which kind of porosity you are is important if you want to know what your hair’s moisture needs are. Moisture is VERY important for your natural hair to thrive
As you’re reading this I’d ask you to get a small container or a glass of water so you can see what I mean exactly.
High porosity: this kind of hair might be best with moisture. It receives moisture at a much higher level than the other types. It is usually a characteristic of naturally straight hair, as well as relaxed hair. However, it does not necessarily retain the moisture for longer
Normal porosity: This one is the most balanced type. Moisture is retained at a relatively average pace, and it is not so quick to lose it. Hair of this type is usually smooth to the touch.
At this point I’d ask you to reach up and pull out just 1 strand of your hair (gruesome, I know, but I’m getting somewhere with this) Put that strand into the water.
Low porosity: This kind of hair is now the problem child when it comes to moisture. It takes long to receive any moisture offered, and however when it does, can take even longer to retain it. This kind of hair gets dry and brittle very easily, and if your hair is low porosity you might testify to the difficulties in combing or oiling your scalp. It is usually a characteristic of very kinky hair. If moisturised well, however, low porosity hair can be the epitome of convenience compared to the other two
Now, check your container and see where the hair strand is. Is it at the top, bottom or middle of the water? Take note, while I explain it next. Feel free to pour out the water, or just drink it. (Please don’t drink that water; it’s literally got a hair in it!)
If the hair floated on the surface of the water, it is definitely, without a doubt, Low Porosity hair. If it sunk and stopped in the middle of the container, it’s most definitely Normal Porosity. If it sunk to the bottom, congratulations, your hair is the water hoarding High porosity. Clap for yourself, I’m not even mad.
Now that you know what kind of hair you have and how it responds to moisture, moving forward you can treat it the way it needs to be. If you found out that you have low porosity hair, worry not, next time I’m going to delve into the world of low porosity hair type.
Leave a comment about what hair type and porosity you have, I’d love to know!