What Is Hair Density and Why Does It Matter?

Typically, when we’re categorizing our hair and how to treat it, we’re looking at how thick or long it is. We’ll also look at what texture it is and whether or not it’s processed to determine how often we need a trim. But another, lesser-known metric that should be taken into consideration is hair density.

What Exactly Is Hair Density?

Simply put, hair density is the number of individual strands per square inch on your scalp. (Fun fact: The average person has approximately 2,200 strands of hair per square inch on their head. The average person also sheds between 50 and 100 hairs per day.)

How Do I Figure Out What My Hair Density Is?

Though you could bust out a microscope and get to counting if you really want to kill some time, the much easier way to measure your hair density is to just look at your ponytail.

To do this, tie your hair back and measure the circumference of your tail. If it’s less than two inches, you have low-density hair, if it’s two to three inches, you have medium-density hair and if it’s four or more inches thick in circumference, you have high-density hair.

For ladies (and gentlemen) who have a short bob or pixie that can’t be pulled back into a ponytail, take a closer look at your scalp. If you can easily see it without touching or moving your hair around, you likely have low-density hair. If your scalp is somewhat visible from the top of your head, then you have medium-density hair. And if your scalp is barely visible then you have high-density hair.

Since We’re Measuring Things Now,How Do You Measure Your Hair Thickness?

There are two main ways to go about this. (One is decidedly less painful than the other, but it also depends on how long your hair is.) The first option is to pluck a single strand of hair from your head. We’d recommend pulling one from the back of your head as opposed to a spot in the front.

Now compare the strand to a piece of thread. If the strand is thinner than the thread, you have thin hair. If your hair is the same width as the thread, you have medium hair. If your strand is wider than the thread, you have thick hair.

The other way to test for hair thickness (which is easier if you have longer hair) is to grab a single strand between your fingers and feel it. If you can barely feel anything, you have thin hair and if you can feel it, you have thicker hair. This method is (ahem) a hair less precise than the former, but it will give you a general idea.

Haircare Tips for different densities

Different hair densities require different care. For instance, if you have low-density hair, you should use light products that will not weigh it down and reduce its volume. Use a mousse to make your thin hair look voluminous. You may also consider using volumizing shampoos, dry shampoos, and volumizing conditioners with thickening agents.

For medium-density hair, you can use a wide variety of products and styles to enhance its texture. You can try mousse and dry shampoo to give it more volume. You can also use heavier creams and butter to give your hair more weight and hang. You can also try other styles such as braids and twists to alter the curl pattern and give your hair more structure.

For high-density hair, you can use products with heavier hold such as a cream, gel, or a styling butter, especially if you have curly and dense hair. Of course, this will help hold your hair strands and minimize puffiness. Layered hairstyles work perfectly for high-density hair.

High-density hair also tends to feel heavy. So, if you feel like they are a bit heavy for you, you can ask your hairstylist to remove some excess weight. Avoid blunt ends as they can create that pyramid effect. So, if you are going to remove some weight, ensure that your hairstylist carefully thins out the ends.

What should I do if I have low-density hair?

For medium-density hair, you can use a variety of human hair bundles or wigs to enhance your natural texture. For example, try a body wave or curly wig, or other wavy wigs to add volume to your hair.