To help an oil affect your hair in the most beneficial way, it has to match your hair’s porosity level. Have you ever wondered why one oil crushes your hair while another makes it frizzy? The secret lies in the structure of the oils and, to be more precise, in the size of the molecules an oil is made of. The composition of the oils is dominated by various fatty acids with molecules of different sizes. And not all molecules match each hair type.
In light of this, the choice of natural oils should be governed by the type of fatty acids that predominate in a particular oil. This is the only way to match an oil to your hair’s level of porosity.
Hair porosity – what is that?
Hair porosity is a parameter that describes the condition and condition of your hair. This term was invented by observing and analyzing the external structures of the hair; more precisely by analyzing the cuticles that make up each hair. The cuticles are not firmly attached to the surface of the hair. Instead, they are arranged in layers that line the hair crust. These are connected with cellular cement. The cuticles begin to rise at the moment when the hair is damaged. The more spoiled and dehydrated it is, the more the cuticles will be lifted, reflecting a greater porosity of the hair . Consequently, the more the cuticles are lifted, the more “helpless” the hair is: it is prone to damage.
The molecules of all natural hair oil well selected fit into the different sizes of the spaces that characterize each type of hair.
Three types of hair porosity
Due to the level of porosity, we can distinguish three types of hair:
- Low porosity hair – with closely contiguous cuticles. This hair is thick and heavy, quite inflexible and definitely difficult to comb. This type of hair requires special care without which the hair becomes oily and, as a consequence, loses volume. Too much fat can lead to excessive hair loss, which is caused by the weakening of the hair bulbs (due to poor oxygen circulation).
- Medium porosity hair – slightly folded cuticles. Improper care can cause hair to be crushed or frizzy. Medium porosity hair often has dehydrated tips, becomes static or oily. Its hair bulbs lose the condition, therefore, the hair falls out. The insufficient amount of vitamins and minerals contributes to hair deterioration.
- High porosity hair – from widely open cuticles. It is dehydrated and damaged hair in extremely bad conditions. This hair is deprived of brightness and vitality, they lose volume and density, often fragile. In addition, the condition of that hair deteriorates more quickly, since it loses moisture easily. This type of hair must be nourished continuously. What is also important, whoever has this type of hair should be careful not to damage it further.
How to define the porosity of the hair?
Hair porosity can be defined in many ways. If you have time and considerable problems with your hair, visit a trichologist, who will examine your hair and scalp.
In addition, you can define the porosity of the hair by putting a clean hair (without silicones, etc.) in a container full of water. Look at the hair to discover what happens after 10 minutes:
- If you swim somewhere in the bottom of the container or if it has fallen to the bottom, it means that the hair is of high porosity; Cuticles absorb water quickly.
- If you swim somewhere in the middle of the container , it means that the hair is medium porosity; Cuticles absorb water moderately.
- If it floats in water, this means that the type of hair is of low porosity; The cuticles do not let water in.
Most of the time women know what level of porosity their hair has, since defining the type is not that difficult. The description of the three types of hair porosity allows you to easily categorize your hair.
How to match an oil with a porosity of the hair?
As mentioned above, hair oils have a different structure due to the different sizes of molecules from which they are made. Thanks to this, oils can ideally adapt to a particular type of hair. To prove it, coconut oil has very small molecules that fit the small hollows of low porosity hair. At the same time, small molecules do not work well in high porosity hair because all they can do is make the hair frizz. In short, when choosing an oil, pay attention to the amount of particular fatty acids it contains.
You can make use of the following guidelines:
- High porosity hair : choose oils that contain a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6)
- Medium porosity hair – choose oils that contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (omega 7 and omega 9)
- Low porosity hair – choose oils that contain a large amount of saturated fatty acids (lauric acid, stearic acid, myristic acid)
What oil combines with low porosity hair?
Choose oils of small molecules:
- Coconut oil
- Shea Butter
- Babassu oil
- Palm oil
What oil combines with medium porosity hair?
Choose oils of medium-sized molecules:
- Hazelnut oil
- Camellia oil
- Moringa oil
- Almonds oil
- Argan oil
- Macadamia oil
- Apricot oil
What oil combines with high porosity hair?
Choose oils from large molecules:
- Safflower oil
- Cedar oil
- Grape seed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Black seed oil
- Corn oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
Hair oil: what should you be careful with?
Hair oils have gained such tremendous popularity that almost all cosmetic brands produce some beauty products that contain oil. However, before visiting a cosmetics store, you should know what you should pay attention to when you buy. In this way, you will avoid bad surprises since you will protect your hair from damage.
- Hair oil composition – oils that do not combine. Many producers do not wonder if the oils they introduce into their product are balanced or selected according to the porosity of the hair. Instead, they use the most common or the most popular oils. This makes the oils less effective since they do not reveal their full potential.
- Composition of hair oil – short chain fatty acids (AGCC). These are very unpleasant alcohols that can irritate the scalp, cause allergies and, when used continuously, can even contribute to hair dehydration. In light of this, it is suggested to avoid such alcohols not only in oils, but also in other beauty products. Said short chain fatty acids are, among others: denatured alcohol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol.
- The composition of hair oil – derived from petroleum and artificial colors together with preservatives and heavy comedogenic silicones can irritate. Remember that the more natural the composition of a hair oil, the better its action. The best hair oils are free of possible irritating substances, therefore, they can be applied directly to the scalp.