Young woman with layered black hair smiling.

You’ve figured out your hair type and tried countless products to get the mane of your dreams. Still, your locks do not meet your expectations. What’s left for you to do? Try to check your hair porosity. It tells you how well your strands absorb and retain moisture, which can help you determine the right products and routine.

How to Do Hair Porosity Test

Knowing your hair porosity can help you understand why your mane behaves the way it does. There are two simple ways to find out. The first technique is called the finger test, and you can do it when your hair is dry. Slide your thumb and index finger up a single strand of hair. If it feels rough, your hair is highly porous. On the other hand, you may have normal to low-porosity hair if it feels smooth to the touch.

Still not convinced? Try the second method. Fill a bowl with water and dip your strands in it. Low-porosity hair will float because it can’t absorb water as fast as high-porosity hair, which will sink almost immediately.

If You Have Low Hair Porosity...

In low-porosity hair, the cuticles – the outermost part of the shaft – are flat and tightly packed, making the strands more resistant to water and other substances. It's also unable to retain moisture, which makes it prone to dryness, and . Its structure makes it more difficult to process with hair treatments. will fade after a few washes. The goal is to get enough moisture into the strands. It can be tricky, but it’s possible with the right products and routine.

1. Do the pre-poo.

A pre-poo treatment is essentially a blend of oils you apply to your hair before shampooing. It gives your hair cuticles a chance to take in moisture and nutrients, and residue will be washed away with shampoo, leaving your hair soft, shiny, and non-greasy.

is a popular choice, but it can weigh the hair down. Instead, go for lightweight oils like and . You can also use a conditioner, hair mask, or even .

2. Use silicone-free shampoo.

Most shampoos contain silicone, which leaves hair feeling slick and smooth. However, this ingredient can also coat your strands with a water-resistant film, making it more difficult to absorb moisture.

It’s worth noting that silicone-free shampoo benefits all hair porosity types. But for those with low hair porosity, it’s an essential base that boosts the effectiveness of the rest of your hair products. Choose a gentle formula that not only cleanses but also revives , like Dove Botanical Silicone Free Shampoo for Damaged Hair Restore. It’s made with 100% botanical oil and Moroccan rose extract for soft and silky strands.

3. Deep-condition your hair with warm water.

First, wet your hair with warm water and apply the hair mask. Warm water helps raise the surface of your strands so your deep-conditioning product can penetrate the hair shaft. The next step is to wrap your hair in a towel and steam it with a blow dryer for two to three minutes. After that, rinse it again with cold or .

4. Try the LCO method.

The LCO method, which stands for Liquid, Cream, and Oil, will help your strands absorb and lock in moisture. When your hair is almost dry, apply TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum on your strands to moisturize the hair. Follow it up with a leave-in cream to hold down the fort. Lastly, apply hair oil to seal everything in. Avoid applying these products to your roots to keep your hair from going flat.

If You Have High Hair Porosity...

You often struggle with frizz and breakage. Your hair cuticles are lifted and not tightly woven, so the strands absorb moisture quickly and lose it just as easily. This quality also makes your hair more prone to damage from chemical treatments, such as coloring and perming. When it comes to highly porous hair, the goal is to get strands back in shape and repair damage.

1. Use ultra-moisturizing products.

Hair products infused with oils are great for high-porosity hair because they hydrate and help the strands retain moisture. Try Sunsilk Smooth & Manageable Shampoo with five flower essences, which leaves your locks five times smoother and more fragrant.

Right after you shampoo, apply a conditioner to further nourish your hair. And don’t forget to do a mask two times a week, ideally with a to fortify your hair fibers.

2. Sleep on silk pillows.

High hair porosity means your strands are fragile and prone to tangles. If your tresses tend to form a nest in the morning, ditch the cotton and invest in a silk pillowcase. The former steals away moisture that your hair works so hard to keep. Meanwhile, silk is a less porous material that reduces friction and makes your hair, well, silky. As a bonus, its hypoallergenic properties help curb .

3. Try the LOC method.

Here’s something you need to know: the hair swells when it takes in water and shrinks when it dries. If your hair is highly porous, it expands and contracts a lot, causing your strands to lose elasticity over time. The LOC method can help solve this problem. When your hair is damp, apply oil to “close” the cuticles and prevent repeated stretching. Seal everything with a cream leave-in conditioner.

4. Let your hair just be.

Hairstyles like and beach waves are cute, but they can strain your already brittle locks by pulling on them. On the other hand, heat styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can strip the hair of moisture, making it dryer.

Choose loose hairstyles that minimize stress on the strands. You can accessorize with hats and hair clips or try . It’s also best to skin brushing and use a wide tooth comb to detangle any knots.

Establishing a hair care routine based on your hair porosity gets easier once you understand all the factors that come into play. With this handy guide, you can give your tresses the TLC it needs.