Porosity, Density, Elasticity Tests

Porosity:  Determines how your hair absorbs water. Knowing hair porosity will allow you to assess how healthy the cuticle of your hair strand is. Use this knowledge to help decide what products would be best for your hair.

  • Test Your Porosity:
  1. On freshly washed clean hair (without product), gather one strand of hair
  2. Place it into a bowl of water
  3. Observe the hair for up to one minute to see if it floats. Hair should not sink. If it does, the hair is porous.
  • My Results:  I’ve tried this test twice now. I let the hair sit in the water over night. This morning, my hair was still floating on top of the water; thus, I have low porosity hair
Results: Low Density Hair

There are several ways to test porosity. Check out this excellent resource to determine other ways to test the porosity of your hair.

 Density: Refers to how much hair you have per square inch

  • Test Your Density:
  1. Look closely at your hair from all angles; can you can see your scalp through the hair strands?
  2.  If you can, your hair has medium to low density, depending on how much scalp you can see; else, you have high density hair.
  • My Results: After examining my hair loose and in a bun, I was unable to see any scalp; thus, I have high density hair

Check out this resource for a different density test.

 Elasticity: Elasticity is the ability of your hair to stretch and then return to its original length without breaking. It dictates your hair’s ability to hold its curl, whether natural, or relaxed.

  • Test Your Elasticity:
  1. Wet a single strand
  2. Stretch it to 50% of its original length. If it bounces back to its original length without breaking, you have normal elasticity. If it does not return to its original length or breaks, you have low elasticity.
  • My Results: After stretching my strand, my hair bounced bounced back to it’s original length without breaking; thus, I have normal elasticity

Check out this resource for a different density test.

Why is knowing the Porosity, Density, and Elasticity of my hair helpful? Simply put, this information will help determine the health of your hair and give you insight into which products will work best for your hair.

For low porosity girls like myself, who need assistance absorbing and retaining moisture, here are a few tips:

  • Invest in a steamer: This will lift the hair cuticle
  • Try a baking soda rinse

Anytime your cuticle is open, you can use a ACV as a final rinse to close your cuticles

  • Deep Conditioning: Apply your deep conditioner (DC) generously to hair, cover hair with a plastic cap, and sit under a warm dryer for 30-minutes. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate the hair shaft. Rinse hair with lukewarm water

I usually don’t DC with heat; instead, I wrap a warm towel around my head for 45-minutes to an hour (or more) out of laziness really. I can do more if I’m not confined to one spot; however, the few times I used a hooded dryer for heat, I noticed that my hair is much softer. 

  • Use protein sparingly
  • Because healthy hair with low porosity does not lose moisture as quickly as high porosity and normal porosity types, you should not require daily refreshing. In between weekly washes, lightly re-moisturize your hair and seal.

Currently, I am experimenting with the L.O.C. Method

  • When styling, avoid being heavy handed with products. Try using dime to quarter sized amounts of products to avoid product residue sitting on the hair strands

I hope these suggestions help ladies! Please feel free to add tips!

Has knowing the Porosity, Density, and Elasticity of your hair been helpful?


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