Hair porosity is the determining factor of how your hair routine will look since it will highly influence your choice of hair products based on the components that can moisturize your hair.
Millions of girls have low porosity hair, and if you do, you probably suffer from your hair not absorbing moisture. No matter how hard you try, it just insists on staying dry! Moisturizing, check. Deep conditioning, check. Greenhousing, check. And still, nothing works!
I’ve been in your shoes, but I was determined, relentless, and persistent to find something that works until I did.
The 10 best oils for low porosity hair, which I decided to share with you today.
Table Of Contents
- List of the Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair
- What Is Low Porosity Hair?
- The 10 Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair
- 1. Argan Oil
- Argan Oil
- 2. Jojoba Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- 3. Sweet Almond Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- 4. Grapeseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- 5. Baobab Oil
- Baobab Oil
- 6. Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 7. Pomegranate Oil
- Pomegranate Oil
- 8. Apricot Oil
- Apricot Oil
- 9. Sunflower Seed Oil
- Sunflower Seed Oil
- 10. Safflower Seed Oil
- Safflower Seed Oil
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How Do You Moisturize Low Porosity Hair?
- Why You Should Avoid Heavy Oils
- Final Thoughts
List of the Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair
What Is Low Porosity Hair?
The question probably sounds naive, but it really isn’t. Actually, the core issue can sometimes be that you’re categorizing your hair as something that it isn’t. Yes, you might have high porosity while you consistently consider its low porosity.
So, let me just summarize what low porosity is.
Hair with low porosity is identified when the cuticle layer of the hair is rather flat and tightly drawn close together to protect your hair.
As an immediate result, this makes it super difficult for water to penetrate your hair, and accordingly, moisture is prevented from being absorbed. That’s when you start witnessing product buildup, and you feel that your hair is dry and greasy all of the time.
Therefore, low porosity hair requires a longer process in order to be saturated with water and requires special products that not only provide but hold moisture to your hair. Most commonly, these special products are light-weighted oils, since they’re easy to absorb.
A very simple test will determine whether your hair is low porosity, normal porosity, or high porosity.
It’s called the float test, and here’s how you can do it at home:
Take a couple of clean hair strands off your hair. Again, I’m stressing on cleaning because oils, creams, or any hair products can alter the results.
Place them in a glass of water with room temperature.
Observe what happens for 2-4 minutes.
If you find that your hair strands are still floating, that’s your confirmation!
You have low porosity hair.
On the other hand, if your strands instantly sink, you have high porosity hair, my friend. What about if they’re between this and that? Not floating but not really sinking, either? That’s normal porosity.
The 10 Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair
Out of experience and after many trials with products for low porosity hair, I’ve compiled a list of the best oils for low porosity hair that are easily absorbed and, at the same time, aren’t heavy enough to weigh down your hair.
So, let me introduce you to my favorite oils and tell you the details of each and why I chose them.
1. Argan Oil
Commonly known as Moroccan Oil, argan oil is among the rarest yet most precious hair oils in the world. It works perfectly well with low porosity hair, and I can easily call it the best oil for low porosity hair for different reasons.
Firstly, argan oil can moisturize your hair in ways you probably didn’t know were possible. Why so? Because by nature, it has moisturizing properties that empower it to form a layer around your hair, which means you can finally have moisture locked in until your next wash!
In other words, argan oil is your new deep conditioner, hair mask, hair styling product, and heat protectant. And on those summery days that electrify our hair, argan oil will be your frizz-free hair enabler while being your UV-protector.
Other than the moisturizing benefit, argan oil also has tremendous benefits that strengthen your hair and treat your scalp because of its mineral composition.
It contains vitamin E, ferulic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids that work together towards making your hair healthier.
Lastly, let me just say that argan oil offers great value for the money. You can use it for your skin too as a moisturizer and combat anti-aging effects. Not to mention, it can be used in the kitchen, of course!
2. Jojoba Oil
Extracted from the Jojoba plant seeds in North America, jojoba oil is among the most popular oils for low porosity hair and natural hair promoters in general. This is not only due to its moisturizing effects but also its characteristics, which resemble our natural hair oil.
I don’t want to take you into too many details, but it’s worth noting that jojoba oil is made out of fatty acids and esters that are produced out of straight-chain alcohols.
What concerns you about this is this precise composition makes jojoba oil difficult to rid the hair of, which is exactly what we want for our moisture-blocking, low porosity hair.
And when I say difficult to rid the hair of, I don’t mean that it will cause buildup. Quite the opposite, actually. Jojoba oil has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that make residues nearly impossible.
In addition, jojoba oil is super easy to be absorbed by the hair, and is quite light as well, which is great! The fact that it’s very similar to our hair’s natural oils is also great, guaranteeing safe results whenever used.
Finally, the fact that jojoba oil is so light makes it a valid option to combine with other oils to maximize your hair’s results!
3. Sweet Almond Oil
I like to start with the source, especially when it has to do with nuts. Yes, your thought is right! Sweet almond oil is extracted from the Almond Tree, known as The King of Nuts, and is one excellent low porosity hair oil!
Sweet almond oil contains quite a unique combination of elements that are all great for moisture. To name a few, it contains vitamin A, vitamin E, proteins, zinc, and potassium. On the acid front, sweet almond oil contains oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, and linoleic acid.
Putting aside the chemistry, linoleic acid, in particular, is great for moisture retention. And to make the perfect combo, stearic acid is your deep conditioner while being light at the same time.
Oh, and did I mention that these very same components also maintain softness and radiance while promoting thicker and longer hair?
Do you still need any other incentives to go for sweet almond oil? I don’t think so! But if you do, let me tell you that it can be used for the skin too! Win-win.
4. Grapeseed Oil
If you find every oil heavy on your hair and you’re tired of looking for light oils, then grapeseed oil will be your new best friend. Grapeseed oil, extracted by cold-pressing grape seeds, is one of the most light for low hair porosity, making it ideal for even the thinnest hair.
Grapeseed oil is the go-to for girls with oily scalps like myself and those with thin hair due to its magnificent ability to seal in moisture without being heavy on the hair or making it greasy.
Furthermore, grapeseed oil is frequently used as a heat protectant before heat styling with flat irons or blow dryers, so if you need a great, natural alternative to heat protectant products, you’ve found the one!
By the way, if you have a sensitive nose that picks up on smells and that’s why you tend to avoid oils, let me assure you that this one is odorless.
5. Baobab Oil
Baobab oil isn’t as popular as most oils, although I wish everyone with low porosity hair knew about it! Derived from the Baobab tree in Africa known as the Tree of Life, baobab oil lives up to the name and provides extreme nourishment to your hair.
If you’ve been putting away taking those hair vitamins or you simply don’t believe in their effects, listen to this: baobab oil is one of the rare natural oils that have omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids. So, you’re getting the benefits on a gold platter.
In addition, it contains a great selection of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and F, which have endless benefits to low porosity hair that’s exceptionally dry or maybe brittle. If your hair is dry as a result of your dry scalp, be sure that baobab oil will soothe it.
That’s not it; the oil also contains the infamous linoleic acid, the same one we discussed in sweet almond oil, remember? The moisture retention king!
All these features combined together make this oil great for strengthening your hair while significantly enhancing moisture penetration and giving it an extra shine. It’s an excellent pick, right?
6. Fractionated Coconut Oil
Coconut oil and low porosity hair don’t mix (more on that later). But what does work is fractionated coconut oil, which has had fatty acids removed from it and is extremely beneficial for low porosity hair.
I, for one, suffer from extreme frizziness. Even when my hair is moisturized, the frizz is still there. What helps tame it? Fractionated coconut oil. I found that my hair easily absorbs it, and it doesn’t leave that ‘extra’ shiny look either; it isn’t even visible on the surface of my hair.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that fractionated coconut oil can easily be used with essential oils as a carrier oil. Because of the hydrolysis process, it goes through to remove the fatty acids, it’s very soluble.
7. Pomegranate Oil
Just like its name suggests, pomegranate oil is extracted from the fruit itself. What’s so great about this oil is that it requires a minimal amount to enjoy its benefits fully. Plus, it’s largely scented and will make your hair smell beautiful all day long.
And what are those benefits? Nourishing your low porosity hair starting from its follicles by stimulating blood flow.
Also, if your hair has been taking forever to grow just 2 inches, count on pomegranate oil to stimulate hair growth, since it contains punicic acid, vitamin C, and linoleic acid.
Let me not forget: this oil is magic when it comes to hair loss reduction and dandruff elimination. I’ve noticed both myself and seeing the results really put an end to my misery.
Last but not least, pomegranate oil is very light, which is why it’s one of the best oils for low porosity hair. Also, it’s unlike other oils in that it isn’t commonly used in shampoos and moisturizers, so it’s a rare one!
8. Apricot Oil
I hope you’re loving the names as much as I am! It makes them so much easier to remember. Back to the point, apricot oil is ideal for low porosity hair because of how absorbable it is, enabling your hair to retain moisture for long periods of time.
Derived from apricot kernels in Asia, apricot oil barely leaves any residue when applied, but its effects are long-lasting, especially the softness.
The oil contains several acids; linoleic acids, alpha-linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid, which all cumulatively work on improving your hair’s moisture absorption levels, as well as restoring its overall health.
What’s also unique about this oil is that its lubrication process is a breeze; you’ll find it very light and gentle on your hair. In addition, it manages to reach every hair strand so smoothly. Fun fact: these two reasons are actually what make it popular as a great massage cream ingredient!
9. Sunflower Seed Oil
Extracted from the sunflower plant, the sunflower seed oil is one of the most favored and used by those with low porosity hair for being light, absorbable, and double-functioning as a moisturizer and deep conditioner.
If you find your hair to be in its best shape when it’s conditioned, you should rely on sunflower seed oil to continuously condition your hair. And since it’s a natural oil, it will also promote hair growth, strength, and luster in the process.
Not just that, if you have a dry scalp that can get itchy, sunflower oil contains vitamin A and vitamin E, which are both antioxidants that fight bacteria. Therefore, your scalp is restored back to normal, too! And a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair.
Last but not least, if split ends are one of your endless hair problems (I know it’s one of mine!), sunflower seed oil also keeps them to the bare minimum. It even prevents hair thinning as well. So, if you miss your long, thick hair, you might be welcoming it back soon!
10. Safflower Seed Oil
Safflower seed oil is derived from the Saffron flower and is commonly used by builders, painters, and constructors since it was originally a dye plant. Today, the safflower seed oil is most popularly recognized for its remarkable hair growth capabilities.
For starters, safflower seed oil works on solving one common problem among those with low porosity hair: hair loss. It noticeably reduces hair fall and then works on supplying your hair with sufficient nourishing for it to start growing by enhancing blood flow to your scalp.
Furthermore, it’s a perfect moisturizer as well, mainly due to the presence of linoleic acid. So, not only will your hair stop falling and start growing, but it will also be moisturized and soft enough to glow!
Last but not least, safflower seed oil can very well be used with other products or oils; it’s an effective emulsifier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Olive Oil Good for Low Porosity Hair?
Is Jamaican Black Castor Oil Good for Low Porosity Hair?
That’s another no! In all cases, castor oil is not a beneficial oil for low porosity hair, mainly because it’s a very thick oil that would barely be able to penetrate low porosity hair.
If you really want to use Jamaican black castor oil, only do so once per month as a clarifying shampoo that removes residue. Other than that, avoid it by all means because it will weigh your hair down and cause greasiness as well.
Is Shea Butter Good for Low Porosity Hair?
Yes! Shea butter is actually one of the best moisturizers out there because it’s rich in emollients. It creates a unique coating on your hair strands that manages to keep moisture locked. Not to mention, it doesn’t create any buildup.
How Do You Moisturize Low Porosity Hair?
There are several tips that come in really handy to lock in moisture in low porosity hair without resorting to chemical products. Here are some of the ones I’ve tried:
Use light oils
I’ve already shared my favorites, so try them out either a couple of hours before you wash your hair or use a thermal heat cap for around 30 minutes and then wash your hair thoroughly.
Clarify your hair
Low porosity hair is usually a victim of buildup from different products. Therefore, use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup.
Always deep condition
It works wonders for low porosity hair, especially when combined with heat. Again, the thermal heat cap can come in handy here; the heat doesn’t have to be direct. I would also highly recommend a hair steamer, whether with conditioner or oil, since it creates the necessary steam that opens up hair cuticles to make the oil dissolve better and get absorbed by the hair.
Tone down your conditioner
Conditioners can be heavy on low porosity hair, so don’t use them right out of the bottle. Water down your conditioner and work it throughout your hair so that it penetrates every hair strand.
Sleep with a satin cap or on a satin pillowcase.
It won’t strip away your hair’s moisture, as is the case with cotton. Not to mention, it also tames down frizz big-time!
Related: Why silk pillowcases are better for your hair
Use the greenhouse/baggy method
After moisturizing your hair, cover it with a plastic cap or hair turban and leave it covered overnight. The aim of this process is to create a humid setting with sufficient moisture for your hair to absorb it.
Avoid styling products
Especially the heavy ones! Not only do they cause buildup, but they also add weight to your hair.
Why You Should Avoid Heavy Oils
Before I wrap up, I just want to emphasize the importance of only using light oils for low porosity hair and completely avoiding any type of heavy oil for low porosity hair to reach the desired moisture levels.
If you’ve noticed, the list I compiled of oils for low porosity hair consists of light oils. If you’re still wondering why, it’s simply because light oils don’t weigh down the hair. Furthermore, they’re absorbed very easily and quickly.
A heavy oil for low porosity hair, such as olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, and similar, will only end up sitting on your hair and causing buildup instead of moisture.
That’s because the hair won’t be able to fully absorb the oil in the first place. Have you ever noticed that your hair gets flaky after you using coconut oil? Yes, me too!
That was a real bummer for me because coconut oil was always my go-to when it came to putting in effort with my hair. When I came across a social media group for natural hair embracing, I was truly shocked to know that coconut oil doesn’t work with low porosity hair.
The reasoning behind that is that virgin coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which leads it to just sit on the scalp and solidify back, leading to the flaky substance. Therefore, I recommended fractionated coconut oil since it’s in a liquid form.
Because I know that the benefits of such oils are highly advertised, I want to tell you that some people mix different types of oil together to increase the absorption rate of the heavier oil involved. So, if you really want to use heavy oil, make sure you try it through a blend.
By understanding your hair porosity, you’re already halfway there on the road to embracing your natural hair! Don’t lose hope in your natural hair and resort to heat just because you have low hair porosity.
As you saw, it’s not impossible to lock in moisture with low hair porosity; it just requires some special steps. And I gave you the key: the best oils for low porosity hair. Now, you’re one step closer to rocking that natural hair of yours!
Also, remember that oils aren’t the only way to ensure moisture with low hair porosity, and always refer back to the tips we’ve discussed above.
You’ll see a difference once you start incorporating these changes into your hair routine, so keep going! Embrace the process, and have the most fun while taking care of your hair; it’s your crown, anyway.
Kayla is a self-proclaimed skincare and haircare junkie who loves testing out new products and writing about her experiences. Her bathroom shelves are always overflowing with beauty products. You name it - it's there.