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Thick vs Thin Hair – Everything You Need to Know

3 mins

Sarah Dickenson

Thickness and thinness of hair determine which haircare practices you should follow. Read more about thick vs thin hair and find out more about your hair type.

Thick hair vs. thin hair – which is better? While the question is simple, the answer isn't.

We tend to assume that thick hair is always better than thin hair. While true in some cases, it's a simplistic conclusion drawn from a few factors. 

Thin hair is often confused with hair thinning. The problem arises from the terms themselves. Instead of saying thick vs thin hair, we should think along the lines of thick vs. fine hair and high-density vs. low-density hair.

In this guide, we'll go through everything you need to know about thick hair, thin (fine) hair, hair density, and hair care tips. Let's dive right in.

Table of Contents:

  • What Is Hair Thickness
  • What Is Hair Density
  • Hair Care Difference Between Thick Hair and Thin Hair
  • Caring for Low-Density Hair vs. High-Density Hair
  • Can You Make Thin Hair Thicker?

What Is Hair Thickness

We often mistake hair thickness for hair density. These are two different concepts, but people with thick hair typically also have dense hair.

Hair thickness refers to the girth of an individual hair strand. If you place a strand of thick hair next to a strand of fine hair, you can easily tell the difference between the two.

understanding thickness of my hair, thick hair

Here's a DIY test to test hair thickness. Take a piece of thread, and take one strand of your hair. Place both next to each other and look at their thickness. If your hair is thicker than a normal thread piece, you have thick hair. If it's equal to or thinner than the thread, you have thin hair.

Humans have thicker hair on their armpits and thinner hair on their hands and legs. You can tell the difference between thick vs. thin hair by simply looking at them. Think of thick hair as a strong rope, while thin hair is a flimsy rope/thread.

bunch of hair in a hand, why is my hair like this

What Is Hair Density

Hair density has a more scientific definition than hair thickness. The number of hair strands you have per square inch of your scalp is your hair density. 

The more strands or hair follicles you have per square inch of scalp, the denser your hair is. Dense hair is often misunderstood as thick hair. You can have high-density fine hair, also.

All you need is a mirror to check your hair density. Part your hair in one direction to reveal as much scalp as possible. If you can't see the scalp or see it very vaguely, you have high-density hair. If your scalp is clearly visible, you have low-density hair.

Hair Care Difference Between Thick Hair and Thin Hair

There's not much difference between thick hair and thin hair when it comes to general hair care principles. However, styling thin hair is a different ballgame from styling thick hair.

Thin hair is less voluminous than thick hair. If you have thin hair, your hair care routine should revolve around adding volume to it. Leave-in treatments are great for adding more volume to hair. Consider using a hair revitalizer spray after a shower to get and retain hair volume.

Managing thick hair is more about managing split ends, dryness, and roughness and maintaining tangle-free hair. 

hair revitalizer, how to have better hair

If you have thick hair, you'd want your shampoo to give a deep cleanse. Go for a green tea and tea tree shampoo to maintain tangle-free hair while keeping your scalp and hair clean. For conditioning, you can choose a red onion black seed oil conditioner because it'll keep your hair soft and bouncy.

The fundamentals of hair care are the same for thick and thin hair. You must avoid toxic chemicals in your hair products and have a regular hair care routine. People with thicker hair need to focus more on detangling and smoothing their hair, while people with thinner hair should focus on adding volume.

red onion hair conditioner

Caring for Low-Density Hair vs. High-Density Hair

There’s not much of a difference - everything boils down to how you can and cannot style your hair. Hair products cannot really make a difference to your hair density. Styling products, on the other hand, can hide and accentuate features.

When you have low-density hair and prefer keeping your hair long, you will encounter some styling problems. For example, certain hairstyles will reveal more scalp than you want to. The solution to this problem is in the way you cut and style your hair. Individual products won't make a big difference here, but your stylist will.

Certain chic hairstyles don't sit well on high-density hair. This is because high-density hair is naturally more voluminous and difficult to tame. You can overcome this issue with hair products like mousse, soft hold gel, and serum.

low density and high density hair

Can You Make Thin Hair Thicker?

The answer to this question is complicated. When it comes to fine hair, you can use hair products to get the appearance of thick hair. Note that it won't change the girth of your hair strands – the difference would be 100% cosmetic. 

The same applies to thick hair. You can make thick hair finer with serums and conditioners, but the change will always be temporary.

Hair products don't do anything to your hair density. No amount of mousse or gel can add more hair follicles to your scalp. Focus more on your hairstyle and cut if you're unhappy with the density of your hair.

can you make thin hair thicker

Minoxidil is a drug that increases hair density and thickness. However, there are severe side effects of using it, so you need to be careful. On top of that, minoxidil only works as long you keep using it. Once you stop, your hair density and thickness will go back to normal or worse. It's a strong drug with specific use cases, and you should never play around with it. If you still consider using this drug, consult with your GPA before trying the remedy.

Embrace the natural thickness and density of your hair. Try out different hairstyles to see which suits you best. Stay away from nasty chemicals, and adopt all-natural hair care products.

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Sarah Dickenson

Sarah is a certified dermatologist and beauty blogger. She is also a well-known name in the beauty industry, providing regular updates and reviews on the latest beauty products on her blog. Sarah also hosts a variety of beauty programs for beauticians and dermatologists across the United States.

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