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10 Powerful Oils for Low Porosity Hair in 2024

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If you’re a curly girl, understanding your natural hair texture and curl pattern is essential for healthy hair, but it’s not the only factor that affects your general hair health.

Knowing your hair’s porosity is vital for healthy hair. It affects how your tresses look and feel, your hair care routine, and the products you should use. 

Natural oils are a valuable tool for keeping low porosity hair healthy. However, oils are not all the same, and it’s essential to choose the right ones to keep your hair in good health.

In this guide, we’ve selected our 10 top oils to help you choose the best oil for your low porosity hair. We’ll help you determine whether you have low, high, or medium porosity hair and share tips on how to get the best results from the oils you use.

10 Best Oils for Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair needs oils that are light and easily absorbed, so here are some of the best lightweight oils for low hair porosity. 

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil has a lightweight, non-greasy consistency similar to the natural sebum produced by your scalp, which makes it a good oil for scalp massage. It’s packed with nutrients like copper and zinc, as well as antioxidant vitamins C and E. 

Organic jojoba oil is one of the best sealing oils for low porosity hair. It doesn’t penetrate the strand but instead creates a protective layer on the outside of the hair shaft. You can use it on its own for a lighter touch or apply jojoba oil after a penetrating oil for maximum hydration.

NOW Solutions Organic Jojoba Oil
$14.99 $10.99 ($2.75 / Fl Oz)


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03/09/2024 08:42 pm GMT

Argan Oil 

Argan oil is a rich and intensely moisturizing oil, and it’s also one of a few oils that acts both as a penetrating oil and a sealing oil. That means it can deliver hydration deep into the hair shaft and then create a layer around the outside of the shaft, sealing the moisture in. 

The oil contains fatty acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidant vitamin E. It’s also rich in ferulic acid, an antioxidant polyphenol that prevents UV damage and becomes more potent when exposed to sunlight. These properties make argan oil one of the most popular low porosity hair oils.

Kate Blanc Cosmetics Argan Oil for Hair
$14.95 ($3.74 / Fl Oz)


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03/04/2024 08:37 pm GMT

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil also acts as both a penetrating and sealing oil, making it an inexpensive alternative to argan oil. It doesn’t penetrate the shaft as deeply as a true penetrating oil, and leaves a thinner protective coating than true sealing oils. This means it’s a great choice if you want to avoid weighing down fine hair. 

Grapeseed oil also has a high smoke point, so you can use it as a heat protectant to prevent damage from heated styling tools. 

Sky Organics Organic Grapeseed Oil
$15.99 ($15.99 / Fl Oz)


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03/10/2024 08:17 pm GMT

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is heavier than some of the other oils on this list, but it’s still light enough for low porosity hair. It’s one of the best penetrating oils for low porosity hair, nourishing and hydrating deep inside the hair shaft. 

The natural Omega-3 oils in avocado oil help soften, smooth, and repair the hair while preventing further damage. It’s also great for detangling curly hair and will soothe and moisturize your scalp to reduce dandruff.

NOW Solutions, Avocado Oil
$6.99 $5.13 ($1.28 / Fl Oz)


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03/08/2024 09:22 pm GMT

Apricot Oil 

Apricot oil is made from the kernel at the heart of this soft fruit, and it’s one of the best lightweight oils for low porosity hair. 

This oil contains fatty acids and hair-enhancing nutrients like copper, magnesium, and antioxidant vitamins. Together, these will nourish, moisturize and strengthen your strands, while also improving your scalp health and stimulating healthy hair growth.

PURA D'OR Apricot Kernel Oil
$15.99 $10.71 ($0.67 / Fl Oz)


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04/25/2024 02:53 pm GMT

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is one of the best essential oils for low porosity hair, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which protect your hair from free radical damage. This is my personal favorite on this list.

Massaging your scalp with rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation to your hair follicles, making rosemary oil one of the best oils for low porosity hair growth. Mix rosemary oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or grapeseed oil before massaging it into your scalp for 5-10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. 

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil
$9.20 ($4.60 / Fl Oz)
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03/03/2024 09:17 pm GMT

Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil’s rich combination of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids makes it one of the top oils for low-porosity hair. It penetrates the hair shaft to deliver moisture where it’s needed, making your hair softer, stronger, and less prone to breakage.

Almond oil will also nourish and moisturize your skin, so it’s an ideal carrier oil to mix with essential oils for scalp massage.

NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Oil
$11.02 ($0.69 / Fl Oz)


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03/08/2024 11:57 pm GMT

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is one of the most popular hair oils. It’s a lightweight oil that penetrates the hair shaft to deliver a nourishing blend of essential fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. 

Sunflower oil is ideal for moisturizing fine hair without weighing down the strands, and it will also soothe a dry and itchy scalp. 

PURA D'OR Sunflower Seed Oil
$15.99 $14.39 ($0.90 / Fl Oz)


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03/08/2024 11:27 pm GMT

Rosehip oil 

Rosehip oil has been one of the top oils for low porosity hair since the days of the Ancient Egyptians. That’s due to its rich combination of fatty acids, polyphenols, phytonutrients, and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E.

This combination of nutrients gives rosehip oil powerful antioxidant, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. It can help prevent free radical damage, soothe an irritated scalp, and make your hair look fuller and shinier. 

PURA D'OR Rosehip Seed Oil
$14.99 ($3.75 / Fl Oz)


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04/25/2024 02:55 pm GMT

Sesame Oil

Sesame seed oil is a highly penetrating oil that your hair and scalp can absorb easily. It’s rich in fatty acids, phytosterols, and antioxidant vitamin E, making it very effective at repairing dry and damaged hair. 

Sesame oil also stimulates blood circulation to your hair follicles, so it’s one of the best oils to promote hair growth in low porosity hair. 

Be sure to choose untoasted sesame seed oil for hair, as the toasted oil has a powerful and distinctive smell!

NOW Solutions Organic Sesame Seed Oil
$14.99 $11.01 ($1.38 / Fl Oz)


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04/25/2024 02:57 pm GMT

What Is Hair Porosity?

Along with your hair type and density, hair porosity is one of the most important things to consider when planning your hair care routine. 

Hair porosity describes how easily hair absorbs and retains moisture. It is determined by the arrangement of scales on the outer cuticle layer. 

Your hair porosity will affect how your hair looks and feels, its ability to maintain a vibrant hair color, and how it absorbs hair treatments. 

There are three classifications of hair porosity:

hair porosity chart

Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair has a cuticle layer with closely packed scales, so it struggles to absorb moisture. However, if you get moisture into the strands, they can retain moisture well. The scales lie flat along the hair shaft which makes low porosity hair look smooth and shiny compared to high porosity hair. 

Low porosity hair characteristics include feeling dry and brittle, taking a long time to get fully saturated in the shower, and then taking a long time to dry afterward. You’ll find it develops product buildup easily as the products sit on the outside of the hair instead of sinking in. 

Medium Porosity Hair

As the name suggests, medium porosity hair sits between low and high porosity. It absorbs and retains moisture and nutrients easily, gaining maximum benefit from treatments.

High Porosity Hair

The scales on the cuticle layer of high porosity hair are widely spaced, so the strands absorb moisture and nutrients quickly but struggle to hold onto them. The scales are also slightly raised, giving the strands a bumpy surface that can look dull.

This means the hair feels dry and brittle, breaks easily, and doesn’t gain the full benefit from hair treatments. If you have high porosity hair, you’ll also struggle to maintain a vibrant hair color as the color molecules wash out quickly.

So now you can see why knowing your hair porosity is essential for overall hair health. 

You can read more about your hair’s porosity in our Ultimate Guide to Hair Porosity.

what-is-hair-porosity

How To Identify Your Hair Porosity

There are two easy ways to identify your hair’s porosity. 

The first is the water test or float test, which is easy to carry out but not 100% accurate. 

Wash your hair and dry it without using any styling products, then cut a few strands from your underlayer and drop them into a glass of water. Low porosity hair will float at the top, while high porosity hair will quickly absorb water and sink to the bottom. Medium porosity hair will sink more slowly as it absorbs less water than high porosity hair.

If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to snip the strand in two for testing, as hair porosity can be different at your roots and ends.

You can also check your hair porosity by observing how your hair looks and how it reacts to water. Low porosity hair looks smooth and shiny compared to the bumpy, dull appearance of high porosity hair strands. It also takes longer to soak through with water when you’re in the shower or swimming pool. 

How Can Oils Help Low Porosity Hair?

By now, you might be wondering,’ Are oils good for low-porosity hair?’ The answer is a definite ‘Yes!’ 

Natural oils have three main benefits for low-porosity hair:

Moisturizing and Nourishing

Penetrating oils deliver hydration and nutrients through the tightly packed cuticle layer and deep into the hair shaft. This will make your hair softer and smoother, and improve hair elasticity, making it less likely to break.

Protecting your Strands

Sealing oils wrap a protective barrier around your hair strands, helping to shield them from UV damage and other environmental pollutants. Some oils have a high smoke point, making them an effective heat protectant when you’re using hot styling tools.

Promoting good scalp health

Some oils are also excellent for scalp massage. They help soothe scalp irritation, stimulate blood circulation, and promote healthy hair growth. 

close up of using oil on low porosity hair

How to Choose an Oil for Low Porosity Hair?

There are three main attributes to look out for when you’re choosing an oil for low porosity hair:

Lightweight

Lightweight oils will be able to penetrate the tightly closed hair cuticles. Some oils are too rich and will weigh down your strands, leaving your hair greasy.

Hydrating

Choose oils with good hydrating and moisturizing properties to help your hair feel softer and less brittle. 

Nutrient-Filled

The best oil for low porosity hair will be rich in fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidant vitamins. These will support healthy growth and reduce the risk of breakage. 

What Oils To Avoid for Low Hair Porosity ?

Now you know the best oils for low hair porosity, here are some hair oils to avoid:

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is a very popular hair oil, but its large molecules struggle to penetrate the cuticle layer of low porosity hair. This means it sits on the strand’s surface, making your locks look flat and greasy. 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is too heavy for low porosity hair. It will quickly build up on the strands, making it even more difficult for them to absorb nutrients and moisture.

Olive Oil 

Olive oil is a popular and convenient hair oil for natural hair, as many people have it in their kitchen. Unfortunately, it’s another oil that’s too heavy for low porosity hair.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil 

Jamaican Black Castor Oil, or JCBO, is a thick, rich oil that feels almost like honey. It’s an excellent sealing oil for thick, dry hair but too heavy for low porosity locks. 

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is an artificial product derived from petroleum, which is sometimes used as a cost-cutting additive to natural hair oils. Whichever hair porosity and hair type you have, it’s better to avoid this oil, as it will dry your locks and make them more prone to breakage.

woman applying sealing oil to curly hair

Best Ways To Use Oils in Low Porosity Hair

Now you’ve identified your hair porosity and chosen the best oil for your hair, here’s how to use oils in hair care routines for low porosity hair:

Use Oil as a Pre-Poo

Using oil as a pre-poo will protect your hair from the drying effects of shampoos. Section your dry hair into two or more parts and apply the warmed oil to the full length of your strands, focusing on the ends. 

Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight, before washing. 

Shampooing

To get the maximum benefit from your oils, wash your hair with sulfate-free shampoo to avoid drying the strands out. Using a clarifying shampoo monthly will remove any buildup of oil and products, but always follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

Deep Conditioning

After shampooing, use a cotton T-shirt or a microfiber towel to remove excess water from your strands. Then, generously apply the oil to damp hair, paying extra attention to the ends and any sections that are especially dry. 

To get the maximum benefit from your hair oil treatment, wrap your hair in a warm towel, put on a shower cap, or sit under a hooded dryer. Leave the oil to work for 30 minutes before rinsing out, and follow up with a conditioner to seal in your hair’s moisture. 

Scalp Massage

Gently massaging the oil into your scalp will stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and promote healthy growth in low porosity hair.

The LCO Method

You can also use a lightweight oil as the final step in the LCO method (Liquid, Cream, Oil). This process involves washing your hair and applying a leave-in conditioner, then coating your strands in a rich creme and using an oil to seal in the hydration.

This method is generally better for low porosity hair than the LOC method (Liquid, Oil, Cream), which can lead to product buildup rather than improved hydration. The LOC method is more suitable for high porosity hair.

woman applying grapeseed oil to curly hair

FAQs

Still curious about choosing the best oil for low porosity hair? These frequently asked questions will help you find the answers!

Can Using the Wrong Oils Worsen the Condition of Low Porosity Hair?

Yes, choosing an oil that’s too heavy for low porosity hair can weigh down the strands and leave them flat and greasy. It can also cause a buildup on your hair that makes it even harder for the strands to absorb hydration. This can then make your strands even more dry and brittle.

Should I Apply Oils To Damp or Dry Low Porosity Hair?

You can either apply hair oils to dry locks as a pre-poo treatment or use them on damp hair as a deep conditioner or in the LCO method.

Is Castor Oil Too Heavy for Low Porosity Hair?

Although Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a very popular treatment for natural hair types, it’s very rich and heavy. This makes it more suitable for high porosity hair.

Is Low Porosity Hair Hard to Moisturize?

The tightly packed scales on low porosity hair cuticles make it difficult for moisture to penetrate the cuticle. Using lightweight penetrating oils like jojoba oil and argan oil will help solve this problem.

Does Coconut Oil Dry out Low Porosity Hair?

Coconut oil is often used in curly hair care routines, but its large molecules aren’t easily absorbed by low porosity hair. This causes a build up of oil on the strands which dries them out even more.

The Bottom Line

Knowing your hair type is a vital part of your curly hair journey. However, knowing your hair porosity is also essential if you want to keep your hair healthy and promote hair growth.

If you have low porosity hair that feels dry and brittle, hair oils that are lightweight, nutrient-packed, and easily absorbed will play an important part in your hair care routine. 

Choosing the right oil for your hair’s porosity will deliver the moisture and nutrition you need to give your hair a natural boost and help it look its best.

three women with different textured hair using hair oil on low porosity hair with text overlay: 10 powerful oils for low porosity hair

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2 Comments

  1. Just a heads up – Most of the information on most of the pages is spot on. Very helpful. But THIS page just left my head spinning. There are more ‘Don’ts’ and ‘Do’s BUT’ than clear, outright DO’S. Only thing I’m sure about are the Don’ts (except before shampooing – maybe?).

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