In our previous post, we identified the importance of knowing the porosity level (low, medium or high) of your hair. Here, we will discuss the best hair care regime, techniques and ingredients to avoid and embrace when caring for low-porosity hair.
Oils such as castor and coconut as well as avoid using shea butter in its rawest form.
They are too heavy and have the tendency to sit on top of low-porosity hair, rather than absorb into the shaft. This can lead to unnecessary product build-up and weighing your hair down, giving it a dull, limp and lifeless look. If you must, the best way to use any heavy oil or shea butter is for pre-shampoo treatment (with heat) and then wash off afterwards.
The very nature of what co-washing entails is counter-productive for low-porosity hair. You need to wash your hair with shampoo (gentle one of course) at least once a week. The last thing you want do is adopt co-washing method, which will only make room for another layer of products to rest on top of your hair. Don't do it!
Non sulfate-free shampoos
Sulfate (sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Ammonium Laureate Sulfate) is a cleaning or degreasing agent that is commonly found in shampoos and other household cleaning products. Due to is harsh properties, it can strip natural oils off your hair and scalp. Remember your hair type needs to retain all the oil it gets.
Light oils such as Grapeseed, Argan, Almond, Babassu and Jojoba and water-based post-shampoo products such as conditioners, butters, pudding, lotions and moisturisers.
It easier for lighter oils and water-based product to penetrate your hair shaft. When deciding which post-shampoo products to choose, make sure water (Aqua) is listed either first or second ingredient and light oils are not to further down the ingredient listing.
Washing your natural hair weekly, using gentle detoxifying/clarifying shampoo for your first wash, followed by nourishing or rich shampoo to replenish moisture. Make sure your shampoos are sulfate-free.
Do practice this routine if use styling products 3 times or more per week or if you work/live in a highly pollutant environment. Low porosity hair as we have mentioned is very prone to build up and you need to wash and detox your hair regularly to keep on top of it.
Products that contain natural humectants such as Honey, Aloe Vera and Vegetable Glycerin.
They help to draw moisture from the air and inject it into the hair, especially during warmer months.
It opens up the hair cuticle and allows moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, so always treat or deep condition your hair with heat. Another tip is to apply hair moisturiser just as you are about to have a warm shower or bath.
Editor's note: I find Obia Naturals post-shampoo products (conditioner, moisture cream and custard gel) work best with my low-porosity hair. It contains most of the ingredients that this hair type thrive on.