Hair Density Explained

Hair is often described by color, length, texture, coarseness, thickness, and density – density being the focus of this blog. Many use the term “thick” and “dense” interchangeably, but the two hair types are quite different. Thickness refers to the width of a single strand of hair while density measures how many strands of hair grow per square inch on your scalp. So, you can have thin hair with a high density, thick hair with low density, and so on.

Typical Hair Density

Hair density varies from person to person and even by ethnic group. Unless someone has a nutritional deficiency or other medical issue, hair density is not indicative of one’s health. Most individuals have between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs on their scalp, with the area at the back of the head (the crown) having the highest density.

How to Determine Hair Density

If you want to accurately measure your hair density, you can hire a research lab to perform an imaging technique called a trichoscopy or a phototrichogram. Otherwise, carve out a little time from your day, plot a 1-inch by 1-inch section of your scalp, and start counting each individual strand – but who needs that aggravation!

And now for two less extreme methods for evaluating hair density. If you can see your scalp while looking in a mirror without moving your hair, you have less dense hair. If you need to move or part your hair to see the scalp, you have denser hair.

Less extreme method #2 – if your hair is long enough to put in a ponytail, measure the circumference to get an idea of its density.

  • Circumference of 2 inches or less means low density
  • Between 2 – 3 inches means medium density
  • Four inches or more means high density

Why Is Hair Density Important?

Knowing hair density helps a stylist recommend the best types of cuts, styles, and products for your hair. But remember, length, texture, coarseness, and overall health play critical roles, too.

  • Low-density hair can get weighed down with heavy conditioners and oils. Choose light but volumizing products and try a cut with blunt lines and minimal layers to make hair appear fuller.
  • High-density hair requires heavier products to keep styles under control. Layers can reduce bulk while oils and serums tame frizz.

Increasing Hair Density

If you have naturally low density hair, there is no way to improve it. Remember, just like your hair color or texture, density is determined by genetics. However, if you’re experiencing patchy areas, a widening part, or pattern baldness, contact DiStefano Hair Restoration today to schedule a free consultation. We don’t want you to just tolerate your hair, we want you to love it – for life.