Hair Porosity + Protein 101: Everything You Need To Know For Optimal Moisture + Protein Balance


When it comes to your hair, protein and porosity go hand in hand—that’s why the first step in caring for your curls is understanding why you need the optimal balance of moisture and protein for your healthy hair care routine.

All hair types and textures are affected by porosity and protein, but curls are especially delicate. Because curly hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, it’s more prone to dryness, breakage, and frizz from humidity. Protein is essential to building strong, healthy hair—but when it comes to your strands, too much of a good thing can create imbalances that lead to limp, lifeless hair with split ends and unwanted frizz.

Understanding protein and porosity is a game changer when it comes to wearing your curls with confidence and choosing the right products for your hair care regimen.


What is Hair Porosity?


What is hair porosity?

Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to retain and absorb moisture. The porosity of your hair affects the appearance of your hair and how products and oils penetrate the hair cuticle—the outermost protective layer of your hair.


How does protein play a role in porosity?

Your hair is made mostly of keratin, a strong protein. The cuticle of the hair is composed of stacked protein scales that resemble shingles on a roof. Depending on the porosity of your hair, these scales will either be tightly closed, wide and raised, or slightly raised and just right.

The placement of these scales determines your hair porosity and whether or not your hair needs protein.


What are the types of porosity?

High porosity: This is where frizz and tangles begin. Widely spaced, high keratin scales on the hair shaft allow lots of moisture to penetrate the cuticle. These strands tend to lack protein and hold on to excess moisture, which can lead to frizz in humid weather.

Medium porosity: This is the sweet spot. Medium porosity hair has the ideal amount of protein and isn’t as vulnerable to damage than other porosity types. These scales are a tad bit looser and slightly more raised than low porosity cuticles.

Low porosity: These hair cuticles are protected from humidity and the hair shaft maintains a healthy shiny appearance due to flat, tightly held together scales that repel moisture. Low porosity hair is very sensitive to protein and typically, products and oils have a harder time penetrating the hair shaft.


How do you find out your hair’s porosity?

Discovering your hair’s porosity can be done easily at home by taking a quick Strand Test to discover what your hair needs. To do, take a strand of wet hair and pull on it, and take note of how that strand reacted:

Low porosity hair - Did your hair stretch a bit before it snapped? Your hair is most likely craving hydration and moisture. 

Medium porosity hair - Did your hair stretch and return to its original shape? 

High Porosity hair - Did your hair immediately snap and didn’t stretch? Your hair is craving protein for strength. 


Caring for your curls based on your porosity levels

Now that you’ve completed your crash course in Hair Porosity + Protein 101, it’s time to show off your porosity expertise. Let’s get started by choosing the best hair mask to target your hair’s unique needs, enhance your natural curl pattern and give you the optimal balance of moisture and protein.


Low porosity

Go easy on the protein here. Too much protein on low porosity locks can create protein overload or dry, brittle, weak hair, which can lead to tangles, frizz, split ends and dreaded breakage.

You want to retain the moisture you put in, without weighing down your curls, that’s why we love using our Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Defining Mask™. The newest member in the Curl Charisma family, this lightweight, protein-free hair mask is perfect for enhancing curls, hydrating and sealing in the moisture that tends to escape low porosity hair. This hair mask is infused with our ultra nourishing Curl Complex of Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract and Amino Acids, blended with our NOVA ComplexⓇ that is fortified with natural oils like Avocado, Castor, Chia and Flax Seed Oils, vitamins and antioxidants to help your hair better absorb these ingredients for optimal hair health. Use this hair mask treatment 1-2’xs a week in place of your regular Briogeo conditioner to give your natural curl pattern some serious definition.


How to use:

Shampoo, rinse and gently wring out your hair to remove excess water.

Section your hair into 4 manageable sections and secure with a clip.

Start with 1 section and massage the mask into the hair.

Use the Brigeo® Wide Tooth Detangling Comb (our go-to tool for detangling) to evenly distribute the mask throughout your strands and to prevent snagging.

Continue and repeat on all 4 sections.

Leave the mask on for at least 10 minutes before you rinse it out.



2a-3c curls: Be sure to apply the hair mask starting at the root and work your way down to the tip of the hair.

4a-4c curls: Start applying the mask at the tip of your hair and work your way up to the root to detangle your hair and maintain moisture.

Follow up by applying Curl Charisma™ Chia + Flax Seed Custard Coil Custard or Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Creme.

Finish off with a layer of Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel for added control and definition.


Medium Porosity

Your curls have the optimal balance of protein and moisture, and your locks are less prone to damage. To protect and prevent damage to these locks, have a multi-mask session with lightweight hair masks like our Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Defining Mask™ and our Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask. Pairing these masks together will help to clarify, cleanse, remove unwanted buildup (that can lead to imbalances in the hair cuticle), and nourish your strands, while simultaneously focusing on your healthy hair and scalp needs.


How to use:

Apply our Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Defining Mask™ as detailed above, focusing on the mid-length of the hair to the ends.

Add in our Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask to the scalp.

Leave both hair masks on for at least 10 mins before rinsing it out.


High Porosity

Keep humidity, tangles and frizz in check by adding in protein. When your hair is deprived of protein, mask up with our Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. This hair mask is enriched with ingredients that work to strengthen the hair without stripping it of essential moisture to keep your hair balanced.

As an added nourishing treatment, you can use our Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Defining Mask™ to multi-mask. Multi-masking is a great way to simultaneously target your unique healthy hair and scalp needs in just 10 minutes, 1-2x’s a week.





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Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating & Defining Mask
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Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask
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Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask
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