Fake Hair Porosity Tests Exposed and the Real Way to Test

real hair porosity test

Does your hair dry up super fast after moisturizing? Most likely High Porosity.

Does your hair acquire buildup easily, has a hard time receiving moisture, but the moisture lasts for a long time once moisturized? Most likely Low Porosity.

Neither of these problems? Medium Porosity

Now, that is the real, fast and easy way to know what your hair porosity type is. There are tons of infographics being spread around and websites promoting a FAKE hair porosity test. The sink or float hair strand in water test is not the real way to determine porosity.

hair porosity hair in water test

In fact, a few scientific resources have spoken out about this, yet this myth is still being peddled:

#1 Lorna Casse, Hair Care Consultant with a Master’s in Chemistry

Lorna did a breakdown about How the Hair Porosity Test is NOT Accurate. She provided 5 detailed reasons why this test is not legitimate.

#2 JC Blogger and UK Scientist at The Natural Haven Bloom

Exposed this hair porosity test myth years ago, yet it still continues to get pushed all over the internet.

She points out that in most cases, your hair will float:

This is because hair is generally covered in oil. This oil is naturally produced sebum and any extra that you may use in your hair care routine will have an added impact. Now oil will always float on water, so your hair floating does not mean that it has low porosity. 

You can tell that your hair is porous if it absorbs water quickly in the shower even when it has products on it, but then also dries up very fast. Based on this knowledge you should use products that can seal the moisture before the hair starts to dry completely. Low porosity is harder to tell. If your hair doesn’t soak in the shower very fast. It could be of low porosity or it could be so well coated with products such that they repel the water. Either way, low porosity means that the hair takes longer to absorb moisture but it also retains moisture for a longer time which in the end is not a bad thing.


#3 Sister Scientist a Cosmetic Scientist also debunked this in a video and explained how porosity works.

Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to retain moisture after absorbing water. Making porosity perhaps even more important than knowing your hair texture type. Good thing, you now know the real way to determine your hair porosity.

10 thoughts on “Fake Hair Porosity Tests Exposed and the Real Way to Test”

  1. Thank You for this article!! I have tried the water test multiple times and my hair always floats but I’m pretty sure it is either High or Medium porosity based on other symptoms. (Gets wet fast, dries fairly quickly, I color my hair monthly….blasted grays!, etc, etc)

    1. My hair does not dry quick. Once it dried it is hard and brittle. I describe it as feeling like wool. What porosity hair do you think I have?

  2. My hair takes a long time to dry. Using a towel to soak up water, it stays damp after 5-6 hours covered with towel. I then let it air dry. I always believed I had low porosity hair and had the best success using rose water and glycerin resin for softness and shine. The float test indicated that I have 4C hair because the hair would float on top of the water for a long time. Is this indicative of low porosity?

      1. My hair air dries pretty quickly. It is NOT soft, & has a rough/dry texture. My hair is also prone to split ends/breakage even though I never use heat on it. What would you think my porosity is?

          1. My roots can get super oily but my ends are dry/rough looking. My hair isn’t smooth, bouncy, or shiny. Flat, even when I apply products.

  3. My hair frizzes easily is prone to breakage and split ends, but it doesn’t dry quickly and can often remain wet at the roots for a day or so if I air dry. Also if I hop in the shower the water kind of just sits on top of the hair. Any advice? When I did the float or sink test one strand sank quickly and then floated to the top about two mins later?!

  4. Thick, wavy hair, frizzes in humidity. Takes @ 3-4 hours to dry. Baby fine texture, but thick. I’m thinking low porosity, but not sure. And my PhD Chemist husband has NO idea!

  5. Danielle Salomon

    My hair gets wet easily and takes forever to dry. My hair gets tangled easily, and it breaks off when wet. What’s my hair porosity?

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