Life is full of challenges. Some big, some small, but they never end and as soon as we accept this the better we’ll be able to deal with adversity. The reason I’m saying this is because I’m currently facing a new challenge in my curly hair journey. You may think that at this point in my hair journey, as a curly girl and as a blogger, everything is cut and dry and there are no more surprises on the horizon, however, you’de be wrong to think that. Stick with me while I share how my hair porosity has changed and how I intend to fix it.
Yes, I know, just when you think your hair goal was reached, the hair transition has ended or the knowledge is set, life steps in and throws you a curve ball to keep you sharp, to teach you a lesson, to open your eyes to something new or maybe because she’s sadistic. 😀 😉
But let me start by sharing how I discovered that my hair porosity changed.
From Low To Medium-High Porosity
So to make a long story short, a little over a week ago I finally got tired of trying to blend a wavy section of hair on the top left side of my head. I picked up a shear and cut it. Well… just a few strands, I ain’t crazy!
I knew this section of my hair was genetically looser because my son’s hair is just the same. However, as of lately, this section of my hair seemed looser and more frizzy. I suspected the porosity had changed, though I never tested that section specifically.
So I did a porosity test on freshly clarified and dry strands of hair and, lo and behold… my result revealed medium-high porosity. The ends of my hair slightly touched the bottom of the glass of water and the rest pretty much stayed in the middle.
To add to this scenario, I also performed an elasticity test on the same strands of hair and it revealed my hair didn’t break but it also didn’t return to its normal shape (low porosity)
Wanna hear my theory of why I now have 3 different porosities on my hair? Keep reading.
Why My Hair Porosity Changed
The short explanation of why this section of my hair is now medium-high porosity with low elasticity is none other than, “I wasn’t giving it what it needed!”. Simple.
My theory is that this specific section of my hair is actually medium porosity because the section close to the roots (and the newest) stayed in the middle of the glass of water.
While I was focusing on making sure my medium-course, low-porosity hair was accepting moisture and as I was giving it some occasional protein, I didn’t cater enough to this other section of my hair with more protein and nutrition and not as much moisture. This resulted in mushy, limp, frizzy curls with lack of elasticity with hair ends now leaning towards high porosity.
But, should you cater to your hair’s different porosities?
Well, yes and no! Some people, if not most, will have different hair porosities, some naturally (like me) and others because of external factors (mechanical, chemical or environmental), and while I don’t advocate spending your wash day using two or three different products in different sections of your hair to Clean, Condition or Style your hair (this would be crazy!) I also don’t advocate for you to only cater for the majority (i.e the porosity which you have the most in your head).
The right thing to do, which is what I clearly failed to do, is to achieve the right balance of moisture, nutrition (lipids) and protein. This means I obviously need to make some changes to my hair regimen.
Interested in knowing what I intend to do fix my hair regimens shortcomings?
Changes To My Hair Regimen
One thing I’ll definitely continue doing in my hair regimen is my oil pre-poo with extra virgin olive oil, which is one of the few oils able to penetrate the hair strand. However, I will make an oil blend with grapeseed, rice bran and/or walnut oil because these oils are known to have ceramides, simply put a this is a lipid found in the cell membrane complex of the hair – a ‘glue’ that helps keep the hair structure together and influences hair elasticity.
I will also change my technique and instead of applying this pre-treatment on dry, has as I’ve done all along, I will slightly moist my hair with a water spray bottle first and sit with my soft hooded hair dryer for 15-30 minutes to facilitate penetration and moisture.
Though I will keep my hair cleaning process the same, I will introduce a rinse-out conditioner with some protein (medium-low to low protein content to start with and see how my hair feels) and an elasticity treatment like Redken Extreme Strength Builder, which has synthetic ceramides to help rebuild the cell membrane complex and give my curls their spring. I will alternate this practice with my moisturising deep conditioning sessions and keep my protein treatment to every 6 weeks.
Adding a hair steamer like the one from Curls & Co (another option) to this my deep conditioning treatment would be ideal as it’s more effective than a softhood or standing hair dryer for adding moisture and improving hair elasticity. However, this is an item I don’t have in my curly hair toolbox, though it is on my list of items to splurge on. Therefore, I will continue to use my softhood hair dryer attachment for my conditioning treatments.
On the days I use my protein rinse-out conditioner and elasticity treatment I will also use a protein leave-in conditioner like Shea Moisture’s JBCO Strength & Restore. I believe that layering protein and lipids in this way will generate better results. It will strengthen and protect my hair better as with elasticity lost also comes protein loss.
When (and if) using oils to seal, prevent frizz or add shine I will use grapeseed oil which is light and helps with keeping the protective lipid barrier of the hair and has ceramides that help with elasticity.
Since I am rehabilitating my hair’s elasticity and trying to maintain it’s medium-porosity, I will probably need to make changes to this modified hair regimen according to how my hair feels along the way. Since most of my hair is low-porosity and only a small portion is medium-high porosity, I need to pay special attention to how my hair responds.
Therefore, I may need to tweak some things like decreasing the use of protein on elasticity treatment days if my hair feels too dry or mixing some moisture deep conditioner with elasticity treatment to infuse more moisture. I will definitely need to reevaluate my hair regimen again once my elasticity is back to normal. This is why keeping a hair journal like The Ultimate One Year Natural Hair Journal is so important.
A journal allows us to keep a record of hair care practices, products used and impressions of our hair without relying on our memory which normally fails over time. With this data, you are better equipped to make informed decisions to improve or adjust your hair regimen.
Don’t Do What I Do!
Though I am sharing this part of my hair journey, I don’t want you to copy what I plan to do if you have a similar issue going on with your hair. Each hair is unique. It has a different story to tell and different needs, so following my footsteps my get you into more trouble.
I am sharing because even though I may have more knowledge than some people I still face hair-related struggles like you do. It’s life happening! It may be I’m not be paying enough attention because my life is not just about hair and something slips or maybe because my health is impacting on my hair health. Whatever it may be, the important thing is that you have a game plan to follow any problem you may bump into and get your hair back on track.
I don’t claim to have all the knowledge ’cause that would be stupid and wrong but what I do know I like to share. Sharing is caring, and by sharing my story you’re also learning. I have a game plan to follow my recent hair challenge and I want you to learn from my strategies, either by reading my blog post or through my Shed & Rescue coaching call. Ultimately, I want you to succeed!
How do you solve a curly hair problem?