How To Figure Out Your Curl’s Porosity Level

curly hair

Part of understanding the needs of your curls is understanding what level of porosity your hair is at. Once you know this, it will be much easier to establish a curl care regime that works for you. Porosity refers to your curl’s ability to maintain moisture. When curls are unable to keep moisture in, they are much more likely to become frizzy, as they naturally seek moisture from the air. Here’s how you can figure out your curl’s porosity levels:

One of the easiest ways to test porosity is to perform the float test.

  1. Take a couple strands of clean, dry hair. Your curls should have no product in them when you test. Drop the strands into a glass of bottled or filtered water.
  2. Allow the hair to sit for 3-4 minutes undisturbed.
  3. After the time is up, observe your hair. Is it floating at the top of the class, is it somewhere in the middle or is it lying on the bottom?

If your hair is floating at the top:

This means you have low porosity hair. Your hair’s cuticles are closed, which means they do not absorb moisture easily. This also means that you’re going to be more prone to product build up.

If your hair is floating in the middle:

Good news! Your curls are medium porosity. This means they are easy to moisturize, and they retain moisture well. This is exactly where you want your curls to be, so if you fall in here, good for you!

If your hair drops to the bottom:

This means you have high porosity curls. While your curls easily absorb moisture, they also lose moisture very easily. Your curls may appear to be dry, dull and lack shine. They also may tangle easily, which can make them difficult to manage. You might also find your curls are prone to frizzing more easily.