The 16 Best Products for High Porosity Hair

Frizz? I don't know her.

High Porosity Hair
(Image credit: Sebastian Reuter / Getty Images)

When shopping for the best hair products—from shampoos and conditioners to leave-ins and hair growth oils—it's best to know as much as possible about your hair type. In addition to obvious elements like hair texture, curl pattern, and level of thickness, it's also important to consider other, less visible qualities, such as hair porosity. And if you have high porosity hair, which absorbs water quickly but has trouble retaining moisture, then it's paramount that you shop for the right products so that your strands look as good as possible. 

"High porosity hair appears frizzy, feels dry, is usually fragile and will break fairly easily," explains Alicia Bailey, who is a licensed master cosmetologist as well as the CEO and Global Hair Education Director of Iman Yvonne Beauty

Because of how dry this hair type can look and feel, Bailey says that moisture is key when shopping for the best hair products for high porosity hair. Furthermore, it's important to avoid harsh ingredients that run the risk of causing more harm in the long-run to these fragile, thirsty strands.

Below, Bailey breaks down what to look for and avoid when shopping for the best high porosity hair products, and even recommends a few of her favorite options on the market.

What to Look For in High Porosity Hair Products

Anyone whose life has been changed by the right leave-in knows that when it comes to this hair type, hydration is key. 

"People with high porosity hair should gravitate towards ingredients that help provide a moisture barrier or layer that aids in locking moisture in," agrees Bailey. "I like using the LOC method which involves using liquid or leave-in, oil, then cream." I, too, have used this method for my own high porosity hair and find that it makes all the difference. 

"There are some great oils that can help," Bailey adds. "Coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and shea butter are just a few ingredients that I look for to improve this hair condition."

What to Avoid

When it comes to haircare, knowing what to stay away from is almost as important as knowing what to look for.

"Avoid using anything with harsh ingredients," warns Bailey. "Products that could be drying to the hair should also be avoided."

More specifically, she recommends "avoiding products with high alcohol content." And when it comes to types of shampoos, she advises, "Do not use clarifying shampoos because they contain sulfates and may be too drying for the hair. Sulfate-free shampoos would be the best choice because they are gentle and provide moisture. They also help to preserve color. High-porosity hair will fade quickly even if it appears to absorb the color easily during the application."

Best Products for High Porosity Hair

The Best Shampoos for High Porosity Hair

Best Conditioners for High Porosity Hair

Best Leave-Ins for High Porosity Hair

Best Styling Products for High Porosity Hair

Best Tools for High Porosity Hair

Meet the Expert

Alicia Bailey
Alicia Bailey

Alicia Bailey is a licensed master cosmetologist and the CEO and Global Hair Education Director at Iman Yvonne Beauty with over 30 years of experience. She is also an author, life coach, and public speaker, and has owned salons such as Flawless Sessions Hair Salon in Georgia and Flawless Unisex Hair Salon in Hampton, Virginia. She has also worked as an educator for McBride Research Laboratories since 1999, and has worked with a number of women's magazines to promulgate education about black haircare. 

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at