Why the Hair Porosity Test is a Lie

Take a strand from your hair and put it in a cup of water. If it floats, your hair has low porosity. If it sinks, your hair has high porosity.

The Internet.

Difference between High and Low Porosity

  • High porosity hair means your hair takes in moisture just as easily as it lets go of it.
  • Low porosity means your hair has a difficult time taking in moisture.

Porosity can be affected by different things, like chemical damage, but that’s not the only factor: people just have different hair, including different porosity levels.

The lie is that you can easily find the porosity of your by simply doing the water test, which is not an accurate representation of how your hair takes in moisture.

hair porosity test

First of all, there are so many variables involved with this porosity test. Our hair naturally has oils in it, and oil floats on water. We may also have a lot of products in our hair, which doesn’t accurately show our porosity if we take a strand of hair with tons of product.

Even if you wash your hair and take a clean strand, what is the certainty your hair is free of oils?

When it comes to porosity, you should know:

Damaged hair is going to be more porous than virgin hair.

There are better and more accurate measures to test the porosity of your hair.

Hair Porosity is More Important than Anything Else

Even though we have debunked the common porosity test, finding another way to test your hair porosity is vital. Knowing your hair porosity is important, and it can lead you to the right products as well as cancel out the ones which aren’t working for you. I would even say knowing your hair porosity is more important than anything else when you are transitioning or gaining more knowledge of the natural hair world.

We try to find hair products by going off of our hair type or texture, when in reality, finding hair products based on our porosity is so much more important. It won’t matter if a Shea Moisture product works wonders for a girl with your similar hair texture if your porosity levels are different. I made this mistake once, and it took me a while and a lot of hair products to realize I need products that have protein or don’t weigh my hair down.

How to Test Your Porosity?

You can evaluate your own hair’s porosity level without taking out any strands or setting aside two cups of water.

Shower Test:

How does your hair take in water when you wash your hair? Does it easily absorb it? That would be a sign of high porosity.

Ask yourself:

Does my hair dry up easily after moisturizing? You may have high porosity hair.

Does it take a lot to absorb moisture? Once that moisture is captured, does it last for a long time though? You may have low porosity hair.

Or does my hair have none of these problems? You may have normal porosity hair.

Testing your hair porosity is almost like playing a guessing game, compared to the inaccurate test all across the Internet, but is definitely a better option to figure out how to treat your hair.

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  1. Hi!

    When in water, the bottom of my hair becomes dry ASAP and the top/middle holds the water ok.

    When spraying my hair it takes forever to get it wet enough so i end up dunking my hair.

    What porosity does this mean I have?

    My hair also has splits ends for days, and they split a day – few days after a fresh cut.
    Also my hair is super thin and loves silicone products like ditemone which i am trying to avoid!

    It is dry for dayssss!

    Any advice?


  2. Thank you for this!


  3. but your own ways to test, thinking how “quickly” and “easily” our hair gets wet and soaks in moisture, is even LESS objective than putting hair in water. Because who defines quick and easy, what are the controls.


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