Porosity means the 'condition' of hair, interested now ?
Hair Porosity is the ability of the hair to retain & absorb moisture, determined by how raised or compact the cuticle layers are. Porosity is commonly referred to as the CONDITION of the hair, which affects a lot more than you think! The degree of porosity is directly related to the condition of the cuticle layer - when the cuticle layer is damaged that's when you feel your hair and think, "I must deep condition my hair, get a hair cut or a hair color . . . something is just not right."
Hair porosity is classified as:
- resistant : has a tight, compact cuticle layer that resists penetration. Chemical services performed on resistant hair require a more alkaline solution. A high pH raises the cuticle and permits uniform saturation and processing. . . therefore requiring a longer processing time . Cuticle -- Tight = Hair resistant therefore a Longer processing time.
- normal : is neither resistant nor overly porous. Color services performed on this type of hair will usually process as expected. Isn't "normal" wonderful sometimes!
- porous: Has a raised cuticle layer that easily absorbs color. Chemical services performed on overly porous hair require a less alkaline solution than those performed on resistant hair. A lower pH minimizes swelling and helps prevent excessive damage to the hair. Cuticle is lifted which makes the color take quickly AND Fade quickly.
Manufacturers write formulation recommendations with average, normal hair in mind -- that is, medium texture and normal porosity. For very coarse hair, very fine hair, resistant hair, or over-porous hair, adjustments are necessary which is a big chunk and the largest percentage of most of your hair out there . . .another of the points not taken into account with BOXED Color Kits, They don't ask, they don't explain and you can see by this Post it is a very important part of each individuals color formula. I solve this when we go through the HHCC Home Hair Color Consultation, making that a better choice than just randomly throwing color on your hair. Its all about education here, that is my goal, I simply hope to get more of you involved.
Both the diameter of the hair strands(texture) and the condition of the cuticle (porosity) significantly affect hair color acceptance.
Starting from the outside -- in on a hair strand . . .we first encounter the cuticle...which is the tough outer layer of the hair. The cuticle surrounds the inner layers and protects the hair from damage. A strong compact cuticle layer makes for resistant hair, meaning that the hair resists penetration and is difficult to service.
Effect of Porosity on Hair Coloring
Resistant hair takes longer than average to soften and penetrate...therefore should be allowed the maximum timing when processing. Very-low developer volumes ( less than 15 to 20 Volume) won't soften it sufficiently. Super-duper resistant hair sometimes referred to as "tenacious" which is Gray sometimes requires pre-softening or pre-pigmentation.
Hair of normal porosity accepts and retains color normally. A slightly open cuticle allows chemicals in normally, and, once the coloring process is complete, closes enough to prevent dye molecules from escaping. Timing and formulation are normal for hair of normal porosity.
Porous hair sponges up color - it drinks it ---but it releases color quickly, too. It lets it IN and it lets it OUT. A highly raised cuticle is penetrated instantly (so timing is shorter) but it is not compact & intact enough to retain color molecules normally. Overporous hair tends to fade faster than the other 2 classes and may require 'filling' ( a subject I have yet to go into). High volume developers are generally unnecessary and can be quite detrimental on super overporous hair. If the color service is deposit only, a low or no-peroxide color is a gentle alternative (demi-permanent or semi-permanent products are great choices).
Overporous hair accepts dyes differently than that of normal porosity. The more overporous the hair, the more selective its acceptance of permanent hair color (oxidative dyes). With permanent haircoloring, overporous hair tends to reject warm artificial pigment ( red & gold) and accept ash (cool & drab) pigment.
The problem with many client's hair is: there may be multi-porous hair along one strand, more than one porosities along one strand, YYYepp! What solves that? Equalizing the porosity of the entire head of hair prior to coloring makes huge difference, I am such a promoter of this idea that I carry many products in the store to combat the problem. I am finding many hair stylists don't under stand the concept either. (about 1/4 to 1/3 of our members are licensed Cosmetologists!) I write this to accommodate you the CRIB COLORIST, I want you to be as educated as I was, if you choose to do so. Here are a few of the porosity equalizing products I carry in the Killer Color Clinic hl=enhttp://groups.google.com/group/killerstrands/web?hl=en
- In Depth by WELLA
- Malibu 2000 Treatment Packs - Color Prep package
- Malibu 2000 Shampoos
- Spray Porosity Equalizer (its on its way for the Killer Color Clinic) which I use on my clients, helpful with blonding especially.
- Thriven : leaving this on overnight as directed, would be the closest product to regaining some of your original porosity.
Keep this in mind about porosity: it lasts forever. Once the cuticle is lifted, there is no returning it to it virginal / compact state. Any porosity you create will remain forever, until the hair is cut off and GONE ! Another reason to keep your haircuts regular!
Although normal porosity cannot be restored once lost, treatments such as the Malibu 2000 Treatment Packs that only sell for $3.50 in the store, are of great value, along with the Gold Standard for Hair Conditioning : THRIVEN. Both the entire Malibu 2000 line and my Killer Strands Line of products is dedicated to the porosity of the hair, as you can see its not an easy concept to explain OR understand . . .so I am hoping with this post, I have made it a little more clear at least and expressed the importance of porosity with your hair.