Hair Density 101

There are many factors to keep track of in the broadening world of haircare. If you’ve had trouble finding the styles and products that highlight your natural hair texture while minimizing fuss, you may be missing a vital element to hair type—hair density. 

Hair density plays a huge part in your hair’s appearance and management. 

By unpacking hair density’s meaning, specifics, and functionalities, you can get even closer to understanding the ins and outs of your ideal haircare routine. Let’s dive into what it is so you can discover the right hair products online that you need.

What is Hair Density?

If you want to get technical, hair density refers to the number of individual hair strands per square inch of your scalp. Most people have between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs. 

People often confuse hair density with hair thickness, but density measures the volume of hair rather than the width of each hair strand. 

Of course, hair density is a scale, so how do you find out where exactly you land?

How to Determine Hair Density

A person holding up their dark hair with her hand.

You can decipher your hair density with simple visual or tangible tests. Don’t worry—you won’t need to count each hair strand on your head. 

The easiest way to discover your hair density visibly is to look at your scalp. 

  • High-density hair – If your hair follicles congregate close together, you may find it hard to see much of your scalp without pushing and spreading your hair around. You can take note of the sides of your head around the temples to discern the density of your hair. Your hair density is high if you can barely see your scalp through each hair follicle. 
  • Low-density hair – If your hair follicles appear relatively spread out and far apart, you may find it much easier to see bits of your scalp. If you tie your hair up, you may see scalp on the sides of your head or underneath your ponytail. If you can see your scalp relatively easily, you may have low-density hair.

If your hair’s long enough, you can also check your hair density by tying your hair up and measuring the ponytail circumference. 

  • Low density hair – Less than 2 inches
  • Medium density hair– 2-3 inches
  • High density hair – More than three inches

Tips Based on Hair Density Type

A person with blonde hair.

Now that you have a clearer idea of how densely your strands grow together, you can explore general practices for hair health and how to uncover your new signature style.

Hairstyles for Your Hair Type

You can always do your ‘do however you’d like, but if you want to see how your hair density can work in your favor, here are a few hairstyles to try. 

Styles for Lower-Density Hair

Low-density hair tends to be more malleable. If you’re searching for tailor-made low-density hair cuts, you may want to consider:

  • Blunt bob
  • Pixie cut
  • Shoulder-length cut

The sky’s the limit when you adjust your style to complement your hair. Of course, keep your hair type (straight, wavy, curly, or coily) into account when updating your hairstyle.

Styles for Higher-Density Hair

High-density hair can make a statement when styled wisely. Hairstyles that work best for dense hair add hair texture and decrease bulk. These include:

  • Layers
  • Face-framing bangs
  • Lob (low bob)

Haircare is more manageable when honoring the specific strengths that your hair brings to the table. 

Haircare Tips

The density of your hair should come into play when putting together your haircare routine. With great hair comes great responsibility. 

Low-Density Haircare

With low-density hair, it’s important not to overwork or add any unnecessary stress. Try to focus on maintaining healthy hair and avoiding hair breakage

  • Limit heat styling – Excessive heat on your hair can result in breakage. Though heat protectants work in your favor, it’s still in your best interest to avoid heat. So if you are wondering how to prevent heat damage on hair, give heatless curlers a try, or achieve dreamy curls overnight by pinning or wrapping your hair before bed. 
  • Limit shampoo use – Washing your hair is, of course, a necessity. However, how often should you wash your hair if it is low-density? If you have low-density hair, you don’t need to wash your hair much more than three times a week. Overwashing means overworking. Give your hair a break from time to time. 
  • Opt for soft bristles – A brush that suits your needs can help prevent breakage and split ends. Rigid, fixed bristles can tear low-density hair easily. Try a brush with softer, more flexible bristles. 

High-Density Haircare

High-density hair requires proper moisture and root care. Due to the nature of high-density hair, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Here are a few haircare tips to help with your hair health. 

  • Conditioning masks – A deep conditioning mask can do wonders for healthy hair. They lock in moisture, and your hair reaps the benefits of a strong foundation: volume, shine, and smoothness. 
  • Vitamins – Due to the sheer volume of hair that requires attention, it’s best to incorporate vitamins into your hair routine. You may also consider using styling products like a leave-in conditioner to help maintain your hair volume.
  • Detanglers – Since high-density hair can be so condensed and close to each other, detangling conditioners can come in handy. Ensure that your strands don’t twist and snarl together while also adding hydration for a smooth finish. 

Untangle Your Hair Type With Living Proof 

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new on your haircare journey, it’s clear that the world of hair is extensive. Knowing where you fall on the spectrum of hair density can help you discover nourishing products and stunning, low-maintenance styles.

At Living Proof, we use our expertise and scientifically tailored solutions to provide you with the attention your hair has been craving. Take our haircare quiz today to begin your path to hair enlightenment. Become the Living Proof. 


StatPearls. Anatomy, Hair.