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Oils for Low Porosity Hair: 13 Light Oils for Natural Curls

Are you looking for the right oils for low porosity hair? Low porosity hair can be difficult to manage and is more prone to breakage, frizz and general dryness. 

To help combat these issues it’s important to use the right oils on your hair. A lot of people mistakenly believe that any oil will help to add moisture to the hair, but this isn’t the case. If you have low porosity hair it’s important you choose lightweight oils that won’t weigh the hair down or make it look greasy.

This post explores all the best oils for low porosity hair type!

oils for low porosity hair

Oils for Low Porosity Hair

What Is Low Porosity Hair?

Low porosity hair is often found in people that have coarse, tightly coiled or naturally kinky hair.

This hair type has hair cuticles that are very tightly compacted making it more difficult for products, conditioners and oils to penetrate the hair shaft. For this reason low porosity hair tends to be naturally dryer than other hair types, and more prone to damage caused by heat and over processing.

Low porosity hair is also more resistant to chemical processes, colouring and straightening. It can appear dull, dry and lack shine even if you follow proper conditioning routines.  

Low porosity hair also tends to be less elastic and much more resistant to being stretched out of shape. For this reason it is often tougher to style.

With low porosity hair it’s important to get your products right. Choosing heavy oils that sit on top of the hair shaft such as coconut oil, olive oil or even heavily perfumed products with lots of alcohol, will not only weigh down your hair but can actually make it look worse!

The best oils for low porosity hair will have a light consistency and are formulated to penetrate the hair shaft. These oils absorb well into strands, moisturize from within, and leave even coarse strands feeling soft and supple.

Don’t know your hair porosity? Click here to take the Hair Porosity Quiz!

Heavy Oils Vs Light Oils: What’s the Difference?

Heavy oils coat the hair and create a barrier on top of it in order to seal a porous hair shaft. Light oils, on the other hand, can soak into the hair more easily.

The factors that determine whether an oil is heavy or light include fat saturation (which determines the shape of the molecules) and the carbon chain length of fatty acids. Oils with shorter chains can soak into the hair easier than oils with longer chains.

The amount of triglycerides in the oil also determines how light the oil is since triglycerides are small enough molecules to sink into your strands.

Heavy oils are recommended to promote hair shine, detangle the hair and increase manageability and gloss. They are great for protecting cuticles from breakage and reducing friction on the hair. These types of oils are best for sealing high porosity hair.

Light oils are good for adding moisture to dry and brittle hair strands. They help to strengthen the hair and reduce frizz. Light oils are recommended for increasing hydration in low porosity hair.

What are Heavy Oils?

Heavy oils that should be avoided for low porosity hair types include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Castor oil

These oils can leave an unhealthy coating on low porosity hair which does nothing to promote moisture and in fact only weighs down your strands and can make the hair look lank and greasy.

Thick and heavy oils such as these work better on high porosity hair as they help to reduce frizz and seal the porous hair shaft, but with low porosity hair they can make the hair appear dull.

What Are Light Oils?

Light oils like Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, and Grapeseed Oil are lightweight plant based oils that penetrate the hair shaft of low porosity hair very well.

They do not sit on top of the hair like heavy oils do but rather absorb easily into your strands leaving them feeling soft and silky instead of sticky or greasy.

Below is a list of great oils that work well on low porosity hair.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is derived from almonds. It has a sweet, pleasing scent that is quite subtle and easily absorbed into the hair.

This oil will help you to retain moisture in your strands, which as we know is important for keeping low porosity hair moisturized and healthy.

The oil contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, proteins, potassium and zinc. These ingredients give your curls a bouncy appearance whilst also stimulating the growth of thicker, longer and stronger strands.

The linoleic acid will help to seal moisture in your hair for added resilience against breakage.

Sweet almond oil is naturally antibacterial which means it will help keep your hair clean and fresh.

This oil is especially good for low porosity hair since its chemical components include oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. These components help to condition your low porosity hair without making it feel greasy or heavy.

You can use sweet almond oil in the same way you would any other conditioning treatment.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, D and E.   It also contains manganese, vitamin C, iron sulfur and amino acids.

Grapeseed oil has a very light consistency so it’s great for all types of hair. You can use this oil for moisturizing dry hair and for adding shine to your low porosity hair.

It helps you to retain moisture in the strands, which is especially important for keeping low porosity hair healthy. This oil also absorbs readily into your skin without leaving a greasy residue so it’s great if you have acne prone or oily skin too.

Because Grapeseed oil is lightweight, it will help to seal the moisture in your hair shaft so that you don’t lose the shine or luster from your low porosity hair.

This oil also contains linoleic acid which helps to condition and smooth out the texture of your strands without making them feel greasy or heavy.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is rich in Vitamin A and E. It also contains the minerals iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium and phosphorous. Its benefits include healthy hair growth and keeping low porosity hair bouncy and hydrated.

Argan oil penetrates deeply into your strands so you don’t have to worry about it evaporating off.

It has a light, sweet scent that will leave your hair with a lovely fragrance that doesn’t overpower.

Argan oil is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which is good for the health of your hair. It contains linoleic acid which helps to make your strands more flexible while also adding shine and luster to your low porosity hair.

Argan oil can also help to reduce frizz and static in your strands whilst promoting growth of healthier, thicker and longer curls.

Pomegranate Oil

The oil is rich in Vitamin C and A, E, B1, B2, B3 and B6. It also contains the minerals copper zinc, potassium and magnesium.

This oil has nutritional benefits for both your hair and scalp. It helps to promote healthy cell growth while protecting your strands from sun damage.

Pomegranate oil is lightweight and non-greasy so you won’t have to worry about it weighing your low porosity hair down.

Pomegranate oil has a fruity aroma that will add a subtle fragrance to your hair. It also absorbs quickly so you don’t have to wait for it dry before styling like with other oils.

Baobab Oil

This oil is a light yellow color and it has a soft, buttery aroma.

Baobab oil helps to restore elasticity to your strands while also reducing frizz and static in low porosity hair.

It penetrates deeply into the shaft so you won’t need to worry about heavy build up or greasy residue on your hair.

Baobab oil also contains fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties.

It helps to protect your hair from the damaging effects of sun exposure while promoting growth of healthy, thick low porosity hair.

Related: 9 Benefits of Baobab Oil for Hair

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil moisturizes and softens your hair while also helping to reduce frizz and promote growth of thicker, longer low porosity hair.

It’s great for keeping your strands shiny and luscious without weighing them down or making them look greasy.

This oil is lightweight so it won’t leave you looking like you’ve just bathed in a vat of oil!

It contains Vitamins A, B1 and B2 which are good for nourishing your hair.

Apricot kernel oil is absorbed easily by the hair shaft so you won’t need to worry about getting that heavy feeling or greasy residue with this type of product.

Safflower Seed Oil

Safflower oil contains linoleic acid and it also contains Vitamin A, D, E and K.

It’s great for moisturizing dry hair and helping to reduce breakage in low porosity hair. It also helps to promote growth of thicker, longer curls by reducing the risk of damage from heat styling tools or over-styling.

Safflower oil is lightweight so won’t make your strands feel greasy or weighed down. The oil has a sweet, nutty scent that will enhance the fragrance of your hair while also leaving it feeling silky and shiny.

It penetrates deeply into your hair shaft for a long lasting moisturizing effect. It absorbs into the scalp for added conditioning that you won’t need to worry about washing out.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2 and E which helps to keep your hair healthy and nourished.

It also contains linoleic acid and Omega-6 fatty acids. These nutrients increase elasticity of the strands while reducing breakage and enhancing shine.

This lightweight oil won’t weigh your hair down or make it look greasy.

Sunflower oil can be used on low porosity hair to help maintain moisture and hydration while enhancing shine without leaving behind any oily residue or build up.

Jojoba Oil

This oil contains Vitamin E, linoleic acid and palmitic acids. It also has medicinal properties that can help to soothe your scalp, maintain moisture levels in your hair and leave it feeling light and healthy.

The antioxidants in this oil will protect the strands from sun damage while acting as a natural conditioner.

Jojoba oil moisturizes but won’t weigh your hair down or make it look greasy. It also helps to reduce frizz and improve shine without the oily residue that you might get from other oils.

It contains Vitamin A, C and D along with antioxidants which help protect your strands while promoting growth of healthy, thick low porosity hair.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is not the same as regular coconut oil. The difference is that this product has been refined and the long, chain fatty acids have been removed in order to reduce buildup on your strands.

What’s left is primarily the medium-chain triglycerides which are great for moisturizing your hair and promoting growth of thicker low porosity hair.

This oil can also be used as a detangling agent for your hair. It contains anti-bacterial properties which help to prevent dandruff and an itchy scalp whilst also helping to reduce frizz and adding shine to your hair.

It contains Vitamin E along with antioxidants so you can use this oil on low porosity hair to protect it from UV rays, pollutants and other environmental factors that break down the strands and reduce volume.

Related: What is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a great choice for moisturizing dry hair that’s low porosity. It contains many healthy nutrients including Vitamin E, phytosterols and essential fatty acids.

It penetrates deeply into the hair shaft to condition your strands from within and help reduce breakage.

This lightweight oil won’t weigh down your hair or leave behind an oily residue. It absorbs into the hair shaft for long lasting moisture retention and conditioning that will keep your strands looking healthy, shiny and full of volume.

Sesame Seed Oil

Sesame oil is a lighter oil that will help control frizz and add shine to your hair. It contains monounsaturated fats along with Vitamin E for moisturization and protection from UV rays, pollutants and other environmental factors.

It won’t weigh down your strands or leave behind an oily residue so you can use it on low porosity hair to help reduce frizz, add shine and boost volume.

Sunflower seed oil is high in Vitamin A, B1, B2 and E which helps your hair retain moisture for a healthy sheen without the greasy feeling that you might get from other oils.

This oil also contains linoleic acid and Omega-6 fatty acids which promote elasticity of the strands and strengthen them to reduce breakage.

This lightweight oil will penetrate deep into your hair shaft for long lasting hydration and conditioning that won’t leave behind any oily residue or buildup.

Neem Seed Oil

Neem oil is rich in fatty acids and it helps to strengthen the hair shaft while reducing breakage. This type of oil is great for keeping your hair looking healthy, strong and shiny. Neem seed oil conditions low porosity hair without weighing it down.

This oil is also high in Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins along with antioxidants which promote healthy hair growth, increase your strands’ elasticity and reduce frizz.

Neem oil helps to clear any clogged hair follicles and enhance hair growth. It also has anti-bacterial properties and can treat dandruff and other scalp issues.

Oil Combinations for Low Porosity Hair

Rather than using one oil alone, mixing different oils together can give you the nutritional and moisturising benefits of both! Some good oil combinations for low porosity hair include:

  • Argan and sweet almond oil (for keeping your hair soft, shiny and luscious)
  • Grape seed and sesame oil (for shine)
  • Jojoba and fractionated coconut oil (for softness)
  • Jojoba, sweet almond and avocado oil (to strengthen strands)
  • Argan and avocado oils (for eczema/dry scalp/dandruff issues)

Low porosity hair can be a struggle but by choosing a mixture of the right hair products and oils, you can get the results you want!  

How To Use Oils to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair

How often you use hair oil​ depends on what your hair needs.

If it’s feeling dry, for example, use oil every day until the dryness subsides. Once your hair is moisturized and feels normal again, you can alternate between using and not using oils in order to maintain that moisture balance.

There are several different ways you can use oils on your hair. You can use them as a pre poo treatment or as a styling product. You can also use oil on hair that’s either wet or dry depending on your styling routine.

Other Ways to Care for Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair needs a lot of care. Some tips on how to look after low porosity hair include :

  • Apply your hair products when your hair is wet and warm, or before using a heat cap or hooded dryer. Heat helps to open up the hair cuticle allowing more of the product to penetrate the hair shaft.
  • Since residue tends to build up on low porosity hair, ensure you always use a clarifying shampoo (shampoos for hard water work well). This will make it easier for your conditioning products to absorb into the hair.
  • Avoid protein treatments as these tend to make low porosity hair drier and more brittle.
  • Keep your hair trim. It will help to maintain healthy ends, and prevent your ends from going into hard or brittle stages.
  • Once every 6 weeks, deep condition to restore moisture and shine back into the hair. Deep conditioning can help reduce breakage in low porosity hair and increase hydration.
  • Try weekly treatments of hot oil massages for several minutes while wearing a shower cap or bonnet to help increase moisture. You can also apply heavy creams in the same manner as you would with a hot oil treatment, but keep the heat on longer to allow the moisture to soak deeper.
  • Sleep on a silk pillow case or wrap your hair in a silk scarf. Silk can help to keep your hair moisturised and prevents frizzing and breakage.
  • Avoid using harsh brushes on your hair as they can cause breakage. Opt for a wide tooth comb only when wet and make sure to always detangle from the end of the hair first.

Related: 10 Lightweight Hair Products for Curly Hair

This post was all about oils for low porosity hair

Thank you for reading my post about the best oils for low porosity hair. What’s your favourite oil? Let me know in the comments below!