I’m sure the majority of us know the importance of hair porosity but what about hair density? Although hair density is not mentioned nearly as often as hair porosity, both play an important role in our hair care regimen. They drive what products we use and how often. Both control the overall appearance of our hair on a daily basis — having a better understanding about hair porosity and hair density will help transform our hair from limp and lifeless to bounce and fabulous.
Hair porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb moisture. High porosity hair typically results from chemical or mechanical damage. It absorbs water and product quickly but also loses it quickly. Therefore, frequent use of product may be required.
Low porosity hair have cuticles that are tightly closed, thus it absorbs less water and product. As a result, low porosity hair craves moisture! However, when the proper amount of moisture is absorbed into the strands, moisture tends to hang around for a while and evaporate slowly. Therefore, applying product daily, when moisture is achieved, may not be required.
Hair density relates to the number of strands per square inch on our scalp. High density hair is said to be thick whereas low density hair is said to be thin. Do know, this definition does not apply to all. I’ve seen some suggest they have low density, thick strands and high density, fine strands. How can this be, you ask? In the case of low density, thick strands, ladies have thick strands but not a lot of strands per square inch so the overall appearance of the hair is thinner. In the case of high density, fine strands, ladies have a lot of smaller strands in diameter per square inch so the overall appearance of the hair is thicker.
Generally speaking, high density, thick strands can use product frequently and it takes well to thick butters and creams. Low density, fine strands doesn’t require nearly as much product so it responds best to lighter products like lotions and creams. Low density hair tends to get weighed down easily and become limp and lifeless when too much or too heavy of a product is applied. This then translates to styles not lasting or holding. Limp and lifeless hair can also happen with higher density hair although it’s not as common.
My hair, for example, is normal to high porosity and medium to thick in density. Because my hair’s porosity falls in two different categories, I’ve learned that my hair requires frequent use of product. The key to what types of products I use relate to its medium to thick density. My hair loves creamy moisturizers but it hates thinner consistency products like hair lotions. Hair lotions do nothing for my hair and vanish without a trace, leaving my hair lacking moisture. Because my hair’s density falls in two different categories, I’ve learned to limit the use of thick hair butters because it weighs down my hair and makes it appear greasy, limp and lifeless.
Although hair porosity and hair density differ, each is important in determining how we care for our hair. Having a grasp of where our hair falls in the porosity spectrum will help us determine how much moisture is required on a day-to-day basis. It also helps us to know what ingredients to use and/or avoid. Hair density helps us to determine what product consistency works best for our high or low density hair. Understanding and balancing the needs of our hair porosity and hair density will better equip us to creating the perfect hair regimen.
What is your hair porosity?