You feel like no product makes a difference to your kinky hair.
You are trying to take care of your hair but it just doesn’t style like the Youtube Videos or TikTok despite following instructions to a tee.
There is a chance that you may have low porosity 4c hair.
Maybe you’ve already discovered that your 4c hair is low porosity.
Either way, in this post, I’ll talk about how to care for long 4c low porosity hair.
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What is hair porosity?
Before we understand what hair porosity is, you need to understand what a healthy hair strand looks like.
The outer most layer of the hair strand is called the cuticle.
Hair porosity generally measures how prorous your hair is.
If your hair has high-porosity, it means that there is space between the cuticles. This indicates that your hair will absorb moisture and product easily.
High porosity hair is also referred to as damaged hair because your hair will absorb moisture quickly, but ti won’t be able to retain it. You’ll find your hair getting dry very easily.
However, if your hair is low-porosity, it means that the cuticles are overlapping or closed which means that your hair doesn’t absorb moisture and product easily.
How to test my 4c hair for low porosity?
There are 2 tests you can do.
Test 1: Drop 2-3 strands of your hair (make sure it’s cleaned and shampooed) in a glass of water
- If the hair floats on the top, it means that your hair is low-porosity.
- If it takes some time and still floats in the center, it’s medium porosity.
- If it sinks to the bottom immediately, it’s high porosity.
Test 2: On clean hair, see how products sit on your hair
After applying a cream or oil to your hair, leave it for 2 hours and then touch your hair. If you’ve noticed that the hair is moisturized, then you have high-porosity hair.
If however, you feel that the products are just sitting on top of your hair and it’s not absorbed or your fingers are slick with oil and cream, it means that your hair is low-porosity and not absorbing the moisture or product.
Test 3: Spray water on your hair
Use a regular spray bottle and spray water on your hair.
If you notice water beads on your hair, there is a very high chance that you have low-porosity hair.
What are the characteristics of low porosity hair?
If the tests are still leaving you in doubt, then read further.
You have low porosity hair if:
- Your hair takes a long time to get wet. You may be standing under the shower, but it takes a long time for your hair to get completely soaked
- You often find water droplet beads on your hair. It doesn’t penetrate your hair easily
- You find it difficult to color your hair, you have to wait for a long time for your hair to absorb color
- When you apply any styling products or cream, your hair doesn’t absorb it. It sits on top of your hair.
- Your hair takes a long time to dry – like a lot of hours to dry.
Okay, now that we understand what porosity means and how to test for porosity, let’s move on to caring for low-porosity 4C hair.
How to properly care for long 4c low porosity hair?
1. Always use warm water to wash your hair
Low-porosity hair has closed or overlapping cuticles.
This means that it’s very difficult for low-porosity 4c hair to absorb moisture or creams or oils.
This is why you need to use warm water to wash your hair. Warm water opens up the cuticles and helps your hair absorb moisture.
You’ll find it easier for your hair to absorb products.
2. Make sure your hair is 50% wet when applying products
Low porosity hair already absorbs so little moisture.
This means if your hair is soaking wet (like straight from the shower), your hair won’t be able to absorb any product.
So, wait till your hair is halfway dry and then spritz on water using this spray bottle (specifically designed for curly hair)
I cannot even tell you how much of a life-changer this bottle made for me.
It’s more like a mist than a spray. It works beautifully when you spritz water on your hair and evenly coats your entire hair without soaking it. You’ll find it so easy to apply products on damp hair compared to wet hair.
Please get this bottle, it will last you forever.
3. Get rid of product build-up regularly
Curly hair products are great for styling and keeping hair moisturized. That’s why we use them.
But because you have low porosity hair, your hair cuticles are not going to absorb that much product.
Meaning, instead of going inside the hair cuticle, the product will build up around the hair cuticle, coating it completely.
This is going to leave your hair sticky and greasy.
So, the first thing you need to know is if you have low porosity 4c hair, wash it regularly with a clarifying shampoo.
I recommend washing your hair 2-3 times a month tops – preferably once every 10 days.
This will ensure that your hair isn’t greasy or slick with product and you’ll be able to do your buns, twist-outs, etc. properly.
This will not dry out your curls but get rid of all the product build-up.
When shampooing your hair, don’t use a regular curl shampoo.
You want to aim at getting rid of the product buildup – so use a clarifying shampoo like this:
When buying a clarifying shampoo, make sure that the liquid is transparent or see-through – this is the one you want to get.
I highly recommend this Morocannoil Clarifying shampoo.
This product is specifically for kinky curls (4A, 4B, and 4C hair). It will remove only the product buildup without drying your hair.
And based on the reviews, most curly girls have said that their hair feels soft and shiny after washing.
It’s also a great shampoo to use if you have hard water.
4. Deep condition your hair while it’s warm
Because your hair is low-porosity, your hair is not going to absorb any moisturizing product properly.
This is why you may have seen little to no results when you deep conditioned or did hair masks.
When your hair is low-porosity, the cuticle remains closed which means the product simply coats the hair cuticle instead of penetrating it.
So, to get the most out of your deep-conditioning, do it with warm water.
There are 2 ways you can do this:
- Rinse with warm water before applying: After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair with warm water (not hot!) and then apply your deep conditioner. This will ensure that the deep conditioner penetrates your cuticles thoroughly.
- Steam: After applying deep conditioner, wear a plastic cap and then sit under a steamer.
I honestly prefer the first method because it’s easier for me. After shampooing and rinsing with warm water, I gently apply the deep conditioner throughout my whole hair and then cover it with a plastic cap.
The heat from the water prior and the heat from my scalp will help the deep conditioner enter my hair cuticles – thus making my hair soft and smooth.
I highly recommend doing this weekly or at least 3 times a month.
You can do it on the days you shampoo your hair! That way you can hit 2 birds with 1 stone!
I highly recommend getting this deep conditioner:
The Black Vanilla deep conditioner by Carol’s Daughter is made specifically for kinky hair (4C hair) and contains shea butter, and cocoa butter, and is infused with vitamin B5.
It contains both the good butters (cocoa and shea) that actually moisturize your hair. And your hair will be soft and shiny after deep conditioning with this one.
Although it contains butters, I’ve found that it works great for kinky hair.
I also recommend it for women who have kinky, colored hair. It will help you retain moisture without affecting the color.
If you are looking for a combination of shampoo and deep conditioner then you can get this also by Carol’s Daughter:
This combination works wonders for low-porosity curly hair.
The only con is that it’s very flowery and is strongly scented when washing. But you’ll notice the smell lighten and become very faint after washing.
I highly recommend deep conditioning over regular conditioning.
5. Don’t use very heavy products
If you take good care of your hair, you don’t need heavy products. You can make do with light or medium heavy products.
This will avoid product-buildup.
If you’re buying a heavy product that’s very creamy or very oily, get small containers.
Try the product out first.
If you’re looking for a good oil to use, use grapeseed oil.
6. Avoid protein treatments
Protein treatments are mainly for medium or high porosity hair.
As a curly girl with low porosity hair, you do not need a protein treatment. Your hair will manage fine without it.
Our hair lacks moisture as it is and it’s mostly always dry so you do not need a protein treatment.
If your hair is always dry and you feel it snaps easily (it’s very brittle), this is a sign that you need moisture.
7. Protect your curls when sleeping
If you are tying your hair in buns or ponytails, use satin scrunchies. I recommend that all curly and kinky girls use them because it reduces hair breakage and hairfall tremendously.
You can wear a satin bonnet like this when sleeping or just use a satin pillowcase.
This will reduce the friction, and protect your curls while you sleep.
At the end of the day, your aim should be to retain maximum moisture.
How to keep low porosity 4c hair moisturized?
1. Wash your hair 2-3 times a month
Low porosity hair like I mentioned before is prone to product build-up. And you don’t want to end up with sticky or greasy hair.
So, use a clarifying shampoo and shampoo your hair at least once in ten days.
If you use a ton of styling products, then I recommend washing once a week minimum.
2. Seal the moisture everytime you apply a styling cream
As a curly girl with low porosity hair, I highly recommend adding oil to your hair after the styling cream.
The moisturizer will penetrate your hair cuticle and the oil will seal in the moisture, helping your hair stay moisturized for longer.
If you have dryness or dandruff and your scalp is usually itchy or dry, then use jojoba oil.
Jojoba oil is almost like sebum that is produced in your scalp. It nourishes your hair and leaves it smooth and shiny. It’s a beautiful oil that used by kinky curly girls all over the world and trust me when I say that it lives up to the hype.
3. Protect your hair when you go out
If you live in a place with high humidity or very dry hair, wear protective hairstyles so that your hair doesn’t dry out.
Remember, low porosity hair is already prone to dryness.
This means your hair will dry out thoroughly if you leave it open for long.
You can tie your hair up in a bun and then wrap it with a satin scarf like this to prevent your hair from losing moisture.
These satin scarves also help your hair retain moisture.
How often should I wash my low-porosity 4C hair?
As I mentioned before, you can wash your hair 2-3 times a month tops.
Don’t overwash or overshampoo your hair because this will leave your hair very dry and make it rough.
If you notice that your hair is more frizzy and dry, then moisturize it more and wash it only 2 times a month.
It really depends on how many products you use for your hair. You should only wash your hair if your hair feels too heavy from product-build up.
What oils are best for low-porosity hair?
This oil is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
If you want to grow your hair and you’re looking for a good oil to nourish your hair, then get moringa oil. It has a nice scent that’s not overpowering at all.
This oil is not too heavy and is suitable for afro and kinky hair.
If your hair is very dry and frizzy, then your hair needs a lot of moisture. Apply avocado oil to your hair. It absorbs really easily and you’ll find your hair smooth and shiny afterward.
As I mentioned before, jojoba oil is very beneficial to your scalp. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you have dandruff, then you definitely need to incorporate jojoba oil to your routine.
Jojoba oil will help you maintain a healthy scalp, and if your scalp is healthy, you’ll find your hair growth faster and your hair stronger.
Low porosity hair definitely requires a lot of maintenance.
But if you are consistent with moisturizing your hair, you’ll actually find it easy to maintain.
The main idea is to keep your hair moisturized always.
Avoid heat and coloring if possible. This will help you grow your hair much quicker too.
If at all you have found more methods that work for your hair, please let me know so I can include it in this list.