Woman combing her hair
Hair Styling | Thick Hair

Do I Have Thick Hair? Here’s How To Find Out

Despite what you might think, your hair tie being stretched to breaking point doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got thick locks. No offense to your hair, but it might just be dense. Why is this important, do you ask? If you know your hair’s structure, you’ll then know which hairstyles you’re more likely to suit.


What is the difference between thick and dense hair?

Hair density and hair thickness are not the same thing, rather they work together to make up your hair’s profile. The thickness refers to the actual width of a single strand of hair whereas density relates to how close in proximity your hair follicles are. This means that it’s possible to have fine hair that’s also very dense.

If you have naturally straight hair, it’s more likely to be denser than that of people with curly hair or an afro.


Fact: The average person has around 100,000 strands of hair on their head and this can vary depending on the natural hair color! Redheads have around 90,000 strands and blondes almost twice as many at 150,000.

Is my hair thick or dense?

Woman putting her hair into a ponytail
© EyeEm

An easy way is to measure your ponytail to check the density

You can work out yourself whether your hair is actually thick or simply dense.


To check the density

One method is to measure the circumference of your ponytail. If the result is less than two inches, you have low density, two to three inches is medium density, and anything above that is high density.

If your hair is too short to be pulled into a ponytail, try this: Take a look in the mirror with your hair down and if you can see patches of your scalp through your hair without parting it, then it’s likely that your hair has low density.


To check the thickness

Pluck a strand of hair from the middle of your head (so there’s more chance of it being fully developed) and compare it with a sewing thread. If the strand is just as wide, then you have thick hair, but if it’s much narrower then you have thin hair.

If you don’t want to pull strands out of your scalp, then take a single strand (while it’s still attached to your head) and roll it between your fingers. If you can’t really feel anything, this means the strands are fine.

Which hairstyles do my hair profile suit?

Hairstyles depending on density

High density hair can sometimes end up looking too big and voluminous, therefore it’s best to opt for a style with graduating layers such as the inverted bob where the back is shorter than the front.

If you want to add more volume to your hair due to low density, a straight cut can do wonders to liven up your locks and add some weight.


Hairstyles depending on thickness

An angled bob or lob (long bob) are the best haircuts for fine hair since they help your locks fake a thicker appearance - make sure you ask your hairdresser for blunt ends for extra fullness.

For thick hair, there are a few things you can do to “remove” the excess weight such as staying away from blunt ends and asking your stylist to thin out the ends. Bangs can help to take some of the weight away from the main body of your hair.

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