Hair Care Tips

What is Hair Porosity?

The topic of hair porosity can sound confusing and hard to grasp. For the longest, I wanted to pull my hair out of my scalp because I would be told by many YouTubers and bloggers how important it was to know my hair porosity. I could not figure it out although, I will preface that taking time to research and perform trial and error is really all that it takes to find your natural hair’s porosity.

Knowing and understanding your hair porosity level will help in determining which hair products work for your hair and what kind of hair care routines you need to focus on. Your hair porosity is how fast or slow your natural hair receives and retains moisture. You might have heard of the float test, strand test, and the what-ever-else test which is supposed to be the secret sauce for helping you figure out your hair porosity level. But before you continue reading this post, know that it is impossible to constrict the right porosity level of your hair by any of these tests. It might work for some, but these tests tend to provide faulty answers simply because everyone’s hair is different. No two 4C hair textures behave the same. 

Black girl with 4c natural hair sitting down and smiling

Why the Float Test and Strand Test is Flawed

The hair porosity float test is one that is said to be done by simply dividing your hair, in its natural state, into 4-6 equal sections and taking a strand of hair from those sections. Next, the strand from each section must be placed into lukewarm water in separate containers (one container per section of hair of course). Wait about fifteen minutes to observe if your hair sinks (high porosity), floats at the top (low porosity), or floats in the middle of the water (medium or normal porosity). The float test only works if the natural hair has products in it. Outside of this, you will not get an accurate result on what your hair porosity is. If the natural hair is also manipulated in any way with products, shampoo and conditioned, or even towel-dried, it will affect the accuracy of the float test. Aside from that, the float test overall is not entirely representative of the porosity of the entire head full of hair. The best way to get a good result is on freshly shampooed hair, without any conditioners and oils present. 

The strand test (or the Slip’n’Slide Test) is simply when you run your fingers up and down a piece of a hair strand. It can be done by diving your hair into sections and getting the feel of each strand. The test teaches that you have high porosity hair when you feel small bumps along the strands of your hair. It also holds the notion that you have low porosity when your strands feel smooth on your fingers as you move up and down the strands. This is simply flawed because it is a test that, in my opinion, did not carefully consider the afro-textured hair when the conclusions were made. Granted afro textured hair runs anywhere between 4a, 4b, and 4c, 4c hair is specifically coarse in texture and is always going to feel somewhat bumpy when you glide your fingers through the strands. So then is all 4c hair High in porosity? I would not make that grand conclusion. Although I am not a 4a or 4b chick, I would imagine that the same principle applies.

What is Hair Porosity: Low, Medium, and High Porosity hair?

Here is a youtube video I created to better explain hair porosity, as well as, differentiate between low, medium, and high porosity hair. Remember, it is possible for parts of your natural hair to have a different porosity level than other parts of your hair.

Accurate Hair Porosity Test

The accurate hair porosity test is to simply step in the shower or sink to properly cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo, preferably first. This will allow you to remove any product build-up and leave your strands squeaky clean and void of dirt. Do not apply any conditioner or additional product yet. After this cleansing process, simply do the old fashion wait period. This might sound shocking, but think about it, how can you get the accurate porosity level if you have past products just sitting on your hair? The wait allows you to see how fast or slow your hair dries. If your hair dries fast, you are high porosity. If your hair takes hours to dry or sometimes over 24 hrs, then you are in the low porosity range. For normal porosity, I would say the regular dry time should not exceed 3 to 3.5 hours.

young lady washing her 4c hair in the bathroom


Demonstration of how I wet my 4C hair in the shower. Hint: Small beads of water sitting on your hair are typical signs of low porosity.

An Alternative but Still Accurate Hair Porosity Test

There is another way to test if you keep up with clarifying your hair. This would still be the same process of stepping in the shower or leaning over a sink. Run room-temperature water over your entire head of hair. If you notice that your hair takes a while to absorb the water, meaning it takes a while to get all the strands wet, then you are low in porosity. On the flip side, if it absorbs the water rather quickly, you may have high or medium porosity hair. The only way to figure out the answer regarding whether or not it is high or medium would be during the natural drying process. Now, I know some of you loathe shrinkage. Trust me. I’ve been there and done that. I have a perfect solution, once your hair is wet, you can part it into sections and let it dry that way. I personally like to not have my results manipulated in any way, but some of us have severe shrinkage, so you can get away with twisting your hair into sections, just don’t twist it too tight to avoid getting the wrong result.

I hope this helps you on your natural hair journey. Stay Blessed

Hair Care Tips

How Often Should I Use a Clarifying Shampoo on 4C Hair?

5 minute read.

young lady washing her 4c hair in the bathroom
Oh, nothing. Just me and my Wash Day Routine.

The natural hair community screams, “make sure you cleanse your hair!” We are told to do these things, which are important, BUT there is a lingering question of how and when to use clarifying shampoos. I believe part of that reason is that Google and other search engines do not have enough data on the difference between clarifying shampoo and cleansing shampoos. Truth is, clarifying and cleansing shampoos do the same thing. Some shampoo brands just do a fine job of marketing themselves well. Clarifying and cleansing shampoos remove build-up, residues, and impurities and perform a deep cleanse on your scalp, leaving it squeaky clean.

What’s the Difference between Clarifying and “Regular” Shampoos?

Before debunking any myths about clarifying and cleansing shampoos, let’s first understand the role of regular shampoo. By “regular”, I am referring to moisturizing and hydrating shampoos. Hydrating products penetrate the inner layers of your hair and contain humectants while moisturizing products seal in moisture and prevent hydration from escaping quickly. When you see hydration and moisturizing shampoos, they are basically doing the same thing. It is the marketing component that could come across as confusing, to be honest. Your main goal is to look for a shampoo that has hydrating ingredients. What makes a clarifying shampoo different from other types of shampoo is that it contains surfactants, which are hydrophilic (attracts water) and lipophilic (attracts oil), and that is how oil, dirt, and build-up is thoroughly removed with this kind of shampoo.

Here is my wash day routine using Shea Moisture’s BEST Cleansing Shampoo for 4C Hair!

Cleansing Shampoos are Not Replacements for Bentonite Clay Mask.

Clarifying shampoos must not be confused with Bentonite Clay Mask, which acts as a detox to draw out dirt and impurities from natural hair. Similar to the Bentonite Clay Mask, a clarifying or cleansing shampoo is a product you want to use as often as once a month or once every six to eight weeks. This is the general time frame I would advise anyone with normal (or medium) to high porosity hair. Please take some time to understand the difference between normal, low, and high porosity as this is the game changer for the betterment of your hair’s health! There are some exceptions to the time frame of how often you should use a clarifying or cleansing shampoo! Low porosity hair, like mine, for example, is known to gather build up easily due to product build-up. For low porosity, this means using a clarifying shampoo more often. In a unique situation like that, It would be recommended to use a clarifying shampoo once a month, but of course, it will depend on how much your hair gathers build up. In other words, you really want to pay attention to your hair! I personally like to switch between the Bentonite Clay Mask and a clarifying or cleansing shampoo when removing build-up from my hair. Another great way to know you need a clarifying shampoo is simply when your hair does not have elasticity after using your regular shampoo to wash. If you notice that your shampoo is not leaving your hair 100% clean and you see dullness after your regular wash routine, then try clarifying your hair with a really good cleaning shampoo. Hair that is not properly cleansed is bound to keep layers of build-up and will lead to dryness and breakage in the long run. Most importantly, you want to have an awesome deep conditioner to bring back the moisture after using a clarifying shampoo.

Black natural hair on black woman

Keep in mind clarifying and cleansing shampoos strip the hair of its natural oils and can leave the hair dry when over-used. Also, just because gels and heavy products can lead to product build-up does not mean that you should use a clarifying shampoo every time you use them. If you notice that your natural hair gathers build up from certain products, then try to make less use of those products. Because I have 4C Low Porosity hair, I try to use more water-based leave-in conditioners and curl/twist-defining creams. I also try not to use too many gels around my edges anymore.

If I do, I make sure to rinse it out with warm water and rehydrate that part of my hair that had the gel on it before the next day. This is how I prevent myself from resorting to the overuse of clarifying shampoo. Lastly, I would advise using a hydrating or moisturizing shampoo on those other wash days you do not use a clarifying or cleansing shampoo. This does not mean a cleansing shampoo with a moisturizing agent in it cannot be used on those wash days when you are not strictly clarifying your hair! Pay attention to the ingredients in your shampoo to determine what exactly you are using on wash day. I truly hope this blog post brought about some clarity for my natural ladies! As I mentioned earlier, make sure you understand the porosity level of your hair before deciding on how to go about your wash routines. Stay blessed.

Hair Care Tips

What Are Soft Locs?

Remember those wiggle-like crotchet Locs? They would be shiny in appearance and look like little snakes lined up against each other–at least to me. Here is a photo below to juggle your memory a bit:

(I mention the terms "Crotchet Locs", "Regular Crotchet Locs", and "Locs". Please note that I am referring to the umberella term, “Faux Locs”.  ).

If you ever had this kind of locs, think back on how the texture felt and the weight of the locs. Try to remember the common way most people would install them. When crotchet locs were first introduced, people would have them installed in the most unnatural way. By this I mean they would first have their natural hair cornrowed and then loop the crotchet loc into the braid row by row until everything was installed to reach the desired fullness. This way of installation made the crotchet knot at the roots of the hair rather bulky looking, especially if you had type 4 hair. Having natural hair more than likely led to a visible difference between how your edges looked versus how the actual Locs looked after a week or so–again, unnatural! The same wiggle-like crotchet locs style has been redefined over the past few years. Today, there is more than one way to install and style crotchet locs.

Transitioning from Crotchet Locs Installation to Soft Locs

As various crotchet techniques progressed, hairstylists came up with variations on how to install Crotchet Faux Locs. The method most people became accustomed to was—and still is–the individual crotchet method. This is the method where the natural hair is parted into small boxed braids and the Faux Locs are crocheted individually into one braid. This was a step towards achieving a more natural look. Depending on what stylist you went to, the knot at the root may or may not have been obvious to the natural eye. Here is a photo of individual crotchet Locs:

If you notice closely, the roots have a knot. It’s okay if you don’t immediately notice the knot–that just means it was not as obvious to you. I actually think the Black Crotchet Locs are not too bad, but there are cases where the knots are just super large and screaming at you! On a fine day, someone figured it out. He or she kept playing around with different Crotchet Faux Locs and landed on trying out a seamless look using nu-Locs.

Nu Locs Are Used For Soft Locs

Nu Locs are a type of pre-made Crotchet Faux Locs sold by the Bobbi Boss brand. In fact, the moment one person figured out how to make Crotchet Faux Locs look like they were coming out the scalp, it was over. Nu-Locs has become the go-to for Soft Locs. I believe once Bobbi Boss figured out that people knew how to create an extended version of their 18-inch Nu-Locs, they started to manufacture extended lengths of 36 inches.

Below is a photo of a client that booked 36 inches Soft Locs in color 1B or Black.

Soft Locs extended 36 inches

Soft Locs is the refined version of how to crotchet Locs were known to be styled. Regular crotchet Locs typically lack texture and have an unrealistic shine to it. What sets Soft Locs apart is the fact that they are super soft, light-weight, and bouncy from the day you leave your stylist’s chair! I was one of those people that refused to be taken over by the trend of Soft Locs, but after seeing the different colors and styles people were pulling off, I was sold.

What Exactly Are Soft Locs

Soft Locs are pre-made crotchet Faux Locs. They were first recognized by a company, Bobbi Boss, that brands them as “nu-Locs”. These Locs are loved by many and are a preferred protective style for natural, relaxed, or transitioning hair. Because of their popularity, many other brands and hair vendors have produced their versions of the nu Locs. The market continues to expand. Many beauty supply stores are almost always out of stock when it comes to the nu-Locs. I have been able to bring satisfaction to my client when I styled her Soft Locs in 36. Travel styling is now available for booking, however, you can select the link to book your very own Soft Locs if you reside in the Philadelphia area.

Hair Care Tips

How To Wash and Maintain Faux Locs: Beginner’s Guide

Faux Locs have been trending since 2015. They became popular when installed on Meagan Good. Since then, hairstylists from all over have come up with different ways of doing Faux Locs. Then 2020 came in and introduced the new soft (Faux) Locs that everyone is raving about! A strategic care routine goes a long way in helping your natural hair grow, stay healthy, and be moisturized while wearing Faux Locs. Below are some helpful tips on how to wash and maintain your Faux Locs, including how to take care of your natural hair underneath.

Can You Wash Your Hair When You Have Faux Locs?

Client wearing Premium Locs in color 99j/33 blend

The short answer is YES. Faux Locs are a protective style that guards your hair against potential damage caused by a lack of consistent hair care. When you have Faux Locs installed, your natural hair is wrapped underneath. I recommend wearing your Faux Locs for a maximum of 3 – 4 months unless you are wearing 100% human hair Locs. With this protective style, your roots and edges are the only areas of your hair that need attention, especially when it comes to washing and moisturizing. I advise washing your Faux Locs 3 to 4 weeks after installation. This gives your roots a chance to grow out, however, if your hair grows out fast, feel free to wash it sooner.

Here are some things you will need when prepping for the wash:

7 Easy Steps on How to Wash Your Faux Locs

  1. Pour 20 ML of shampoo into the Root Comb Applicator bottle.
  2. Fill the spray bottle halfway with warm water and spray the roots of your hair. Try not to drench your roots with water.
  3. Squeeze out the shampoo from the applicator bottle onto your scalp and then use the comb tip at the end of the bottle to gently massage the shampoo onto your scalp. *If you do not have the applicator bottle, skip step one and apply a dime size of shampoo onto your fingertips. Then massage the shampoo onto your scalp.* Massage for 30 to 45 seconds when using either method.
  4. Head over to your sink to rinse using warm water. Be careful not to drench Faux Locs with water, otherwise, the water will add excess weight to Faux Locs until they dry out. Focus on getting the shampoo off the roots/scalp of your hair.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 3 for the conditioning. Apply only to the roots of your hair. Leave the conditioner on the roots of your hair for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
  6. After rinsing, blot out excess water with a microfiber towel. Apply a quarter size of leave-in conditioner onto the tips of your fingers and massage the product onto the roots/scalp of your hair.
  7. Put 1 tablespoon of hair oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of peppermint or tea tree oil into a spray bottle or root comb applicator bottle. Shake together before applying to the scalp. Massage mixed oils into your scalp after application. *Disclaimer: When using the Root Comb Applicator Bottle, you must rinse out one product before proceeding to use a different kind of product. *

It is advised to wash once every two to three weeks when you have Faux Locs installed. You want to focus most of your time on maintaining your Faux Locs and caring for your hair underneath. I have added another section here on the daily maintenance and care of Faux Locs.

Taking Care of Your Hair Underneath Faux Locs

I have found myself in many situations where I would have Faux Locs installed and never oil my scalp or cover my hair at night. It has always led to disasters and seeing balls of excess shed hair when taking down my Faux Locs. This is why I urge you to take this section seriously! Faux Locs are a protective style, yes, but you are encouraged to do your part so that you will maintain hair growth and length retention. When taking care of my hair underneath Faux Locs, I like to create a mixture each week. My mixtures typically last me a week and I use them every 1 to 3 days depending on if my roots need hydration. If I have some products left at the end of the week, I keep using them till it runs out and store the mixture in a cool, dark space, like a cabinet.

The mixture is created by mixing water-based leave-in conditioner, aloe vera juice (make sure it is organic), any carrier oil, and an anti-bacterial oil (tea tree or peppermint). For this mixture, you can grab your spray bottle and insert 3/4 cup of everything, except the anti-bacterial oil. You only need between 1 to 2 teaspoons of your essential oil in the spray bottle. I like to keep my mixtures warm or at room temperature to open up my hair cuticles so that moisture can set in. In order to achieve this, I place the spray bottle full of mixture into hot water to warm it up for about 1 minute before spraying the contents onto my scalp. The aloe vera juice will help block moisture from escaping over a long period of time and the oils altogether add shine, remove bacteria from your scalp, and help reduce itchiness. You can store your mixture by putting it into a fridge, but if it is not empty by the time your week is over, store in a cool dry place and keep using it until finished before refilling.

Use Silk Bonnets or Silk Pillows for Your Protective Styles at Night

Before going to sleep, I like to slap on my hair bonnet. Depending on the length and size of Faux Locs, you might need an extra large-sized bonnet or a regular-sized one. Silk is highly recommended because it retains hair moisture, prevents frizz on your Faux Locs, and helps prevent breakouts as a bonus! Silk pillowcases are also great for my ladies with busy schedules. With a Silk pillowcase, no need for scarves and bonnets. You can simply just lax down and sleep off. Although silk is steep in price, it has its many benefits but, you can opt for satin scarves or satin bonnets as alternatives.

Here is a video below demonstrating how I moisturize my hair underneath Faux Locs. I did not use any of the carrier oils I mentioned because I had a wild growth oil, which is essentially a mixture of essential and carrier oils for the promotion of hair growth. Hope you found this information insightful and helpful.

Hair Care Tips

6 Mistakes That Ruin Your Twist Outs (4C Hair Care)

If you’ve got thick 4C hair, you probably experience super puffy or uneven twist outs. Let’s try to avoid those mishaps!



You are probably here because you are a 4C babe, like me, and struggle with achieving the perfect twist out. Perhaps you twist outs tend to be frizzy, and, or end up looking flat with little to no volume. No worries girl, I got you! Here are a few things to consider the next you attempt twist outs again. I do have a visual representation on my YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe as well (:

1. Your ends are not trimmed

Keeping your ends nicely trimmed does wonders for your twist out. This is highly important when you want length retention and definition in the way your twist-outs turn out. I used to make the habit of getting twists and not actually trimming my hair. A few things that happened was that my ends would get either knotted up and tangled in the process of  taking down my twists. I would end up doing a lot of separation of curls just to get the ends to stop snagging onto one another. This is also why I made a tutorial on how to avoid single strand knots. Trust me, it goes hand in hand with the information laid out in this article.

2. You have build up/product build up

As a stylist that specializes in protective styles for natural hair, I have noticed many 4c hair clients tend to also fall in the low porosity range. In short, this is the type of hair that collects build up easily and finds it hard to absorb moisture.  Product build up occurs when ingredients of hair products are are sucked into the shaft without being thoroughly cleansed, leading to build up. I cleanse my natural hair with Bentonite clay mask every 6-8 weeks to rid my scalp of any product build up. Sometimes I will simply make use of a clarifying shampoo because it does just about the same thing as a Bentonite clay mask, except it is less messy and it is removing my build up in a different way than Bentonite does. 

Hey look, It’s with my Twist outs again. These were 4 days old by the way (:

Another cause for product build-up on could be the choice of ingredient(s) we pay attention to (or don’t pay attention to) when purchasing natural hair products. Gels containing significant amount of alcohol and other products containing silicone do not improve the health of your hair. In fact, products like those tend to sit on top of the hair strands and cause build up or dandruff if not properly cleansed out of your hair. This is why clarifying your natural hair is important.This does not mean you HAVE to clarify or use a bentonite clay mask every time you apply gel into your hair or around your edges!

3. You are “accidentally” borrowing your hair from parted sections

GIRL. Don’t do this anymore. If you want defined results in your twist-outs, it is important that when you are parting your hair, you part evenly, not taking hair from one section to another.We need to start seeing and understanding that our natural hair is out crown. 4C hair is naturally course in texture. There are even people with type 4 hair that carry all or some mixture of 4A, 4B, and 4C. Either way, type 4 hair has to be treated with gentleness and care. We defeat the purpose of achieving healthy hair growth when we do not part twist-outs evenly. Making such a mistake in twists can actually lead to some hair breakage and some tension in your hair, trust me, I have had my fair share of going to sleep in pain. Yeah, I’m tender headed in some areas, don’t laugh at me (:

 Borrowing strands not only leads to snagged ends and tangles, but also frizzy twist-outs. Once you become more cautious about how you manage your hair, you will make fewer mistakes.

4.  You are using the right product in the wrong quantity

The being “at the right place at the right time?” principal inadvertently applies to the use of products when styling our natural hair. Some people tend to overload their hair strands with products, especially if they have trouble getting moisture in. We just have to be careful though, because putting the wrong amounts of the right product or just putting the wrong products into your hair can be a contributing factor to why your twists outs are not turning out right. Lathering too much product weighs down the hair and causes it to take longer to dry. When premature twist-outs are unravelled, a frizzy hair style is born.

5. You are not retesting your twist-outs every night

When you have afro-textured hair or simply thick course hair, your hair strands tend to be springy or coily in appearance, causing the hair on the ends to hang on to one another. This will more than often lead to snags and tangles. Re-twisting your natural hair every night, as tiring as it sounds, is your best shot at allowing your twist-outs to last.

6. You are not protecting your hair with a silk bonnet or scarf

Many stylists, including I, will tell you that you need to “wrap your hair up at night”. It has been the unfailing mantra that hair stylists use as a first line of defense, especially when it comes to preaching about maintain neat braids. In the same regard, I recommend silk scarves to tie your hair with or silk pillows for you to lay down on without the twists being covered. Silk can be very pricey, although, it brings the best result There are also workable substitutes, such as simply getting a bonnet or just a hair scarf should help.