Do I Have Thick Or Thin Hair? Ways To Check The Hair Texture And Beauty Hacks

Knowing the difference can entirely change how you care for and maintain your hair.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti ChavanDr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS
By Anjali SayeeAnjali Sayee  • 

Thick vs. thin hair – How do you know which type you have? Does it refer to the total girth, or is it about how thick or thin a single strand of your hair is? Well, it is the latter. This article lists out all the differences between thick hair and thin hair, along with a few useful hair hacks to thin out thick hair and vice versa. Read on to know more!

What Is Thick Hair?

Hair thickness indicates the width of a single hair strand. People often confuse thick hair with a density of hair. Hair density is a measure of the number of hair strands per square inch of the scalp.

What Is Thin Hair?

If the hair thickness is lesser than the width of a thread, it is referred to as thin hair.

Confused whether you have thick or thin hair? The next section differentiates between the two clearly. Read on!

Thick Vs Thin Hair

Appearance And Diameter

Thick HairThin Hair
A single hair strand is coarse to touch.A single hair strand cannot be felt on the hands. But the texture is smooth and soft.
The hair strand is visible clearly.The hair strand is hardly visible.
The diameter is 120 microns.The diameter is 50 microns.
The average thickness is 0.08-1 mm.The average thickness is 0.04-0.06 mm.

Hair Density

To check your hair density, tie a ponytail on the top of the crown, and measure its circumference.

Thick HairThin Hair
The circumference of the ponytail is more than 2 inches.The circumference of the ponytail is less than 2 inches.

Hair Follicles

Hair follicles are tiny pockets on the scalp from where hair roots are developed and hair grows out. The size of these pockets determines the texture and density of the hair.

Thick HairThin Hair
Large hair follicles.Small hair follicles.
More number of hair follicles per square inch of the scalp.Less number of hair follicles per square inch of the scalp.

Hair Width

Hair width is the circumference or thickness of each hair strand.

Thick HairThin Hair
Thick hair strands have a large circumference and look coarse under the light.Thin hair strands have a small circumference and are barely visible under the light.
Hair width
Hair width

Now that you have a fair idea of your hair type, here’s how to analyze hair thickness.

How To Measure Hair Thickness

1. Strand Test

This simple method may help you analyze the thickness of your hair easily at home. All you need is a hair strand.

  • Pluck a single hair strand and hold it in between your fingers.
  • If you cannot feel the hair, and it is not visible to the naked eye, it is thin.
  • If you can feel it a little, it is medium hair.
  • If you feel it is grainy and strong, your hair texture is thick.

Check out this video for more details:

Strand test

Image: Youtube

2. Thread Test

Pluck a hair strand and place it beside a strand of thread. Observe the following to analyze the thickness:

  • If your hair is slimmer than the thread, it is thin hair.
  • If it matches the thickness of the thread, it is medium hair.
  • If the hair thickness is more than the thickness of the thread, you have thick hair.

The next section will help you distinguish between thin and fine hair.  Keep scrolling!

Difference Between Thin And Fine Hair

If your hair has less volume and the hair follicles are far apart, your hair looks thin.

‘Fine’refers to the width or diameter of a single hair strand. Fine hair is smooth and silky, but it might not always mean that the hair follicles are far apart. This hair type is lightweight and prone to breakage.

For better understanding, we have discussed the term ‘low-density hair’ and ‘high-density hair’ in the following section.

Low-Density Hair Vs. High-Density Hair

Low-density hair means the number of hair strands on your scalp is lesser than normal. The hair strands are fragile, and your scalp is visible. It is difficult to style low-density hair and get a voluminous look.

High-density hair means the number of hair strands on your scalp is high. This hair type tends to tangle more but looks voluminous and is easy to style.

Whether you have thick or thin hair, you might face some issues with hairstyles. Check the following section to know what they are.

Thick And Thin Hair Problems

  • If you have thin hair you will find it difficult to tie a ponytail. The clips and rubber bands tend to slip because of the smooth texture of thin hair. Your hair might not hold any curls and look limp or greasy without a good conditioner or hair mask.
  • If you have thick hair, it is prone to tangles and takes up a long time to blowdry. You need big hair accessories to tie thick hair properly. It takes a lot of time to dry damp, thick hair, and it might feel wet throughout the day.

Check out the next section for some hacks to make your thin hair look voluminous.

How To Get A Thick Hair When It Is Thin

Trim your thin hair to create the illusion of thicker hair

Image: Shutterstock

  • Trim your hair short to create the illusion of thicker-looking hair. Chop a few inches at the tip and add some layers for a voluminous look.
  • A volumizing shampoo helps add body to your limp, thin hair.
  • Blow dry your hair with volumizing styling products. Use a lightweight mousse to achieve a long-lasting bouncy look.
  • Use the right kind of hairbrush to help boost the hair volume. Brushes made of boar bristles are gentle on the scalp and add volume to thin hair.
  • Spray a dry shampoo on the roots of your hair to cleanse your locks and add volume without making your hair greasy.
  • Tie your thin hair in a double ponytail to make it look voluminous.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also spritz some volumizing root spray onto the hair roots and apply mousse to the rest of the hair to make your mane appear thicker.

If you are frustrated managing your thick, coarse hair and want to make it shiny and smooth, here is your solution. Read on!

How To Thin Out Thick Hair

A woman applying a deep conditioning hair mask to thin out her thick hair

Image: Shutterstock

  • Choose a hair treatment for your thick hair. Apply a deep moisturizing hair mask or spa treatment cream to control the volume and impart a shiny, smooth look.
  • Use a smoothening shampoo and conditioner to make your hair visibly thin.
  • Rinse your hair with cold water. Washing the hair with hot water strips essential oils from the scalp, making the locks dry and frizzy.
  • Apply hair cream or serum before blow drying. This will weigh the hair down without making it greasy.
  • Try a flat iron for a smooth and sleek look.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Long waves, wavy lob, medium layers, and mohawk pixie are some hairstyles ideal for thick hair.

Infographic -Thick Vs. Thin Hair: A Comprehensive Guide

Hair texture is an important factor that helps you choose the correct hair product. However, the confusion between thick and thin hair can have an impact on the hair care routine you build for yourself. To solve this problem, we have created a comprehensive guide to help you understand the difference between thick and thin hair in the infographic below!

thick vs thin hair comprehensive guide (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The difference between thick vs. thin hair is very clear. Following the thread test, if your hair’s thickness is less than a thread, you have thin hair. If your hair is wider than the thread, then you have thick hair. Thicker hair also appears and feels coarse, as opposed to thin hair, which feels smooth and soft. Check your hair density, hair follicles, and hair width to confirm if you have thin or thick hair. You can also try the strand test to check your hair thickness. Both thin and thick hair have their own issues. Scroll back up to learn how to thin out thick hair and vice versa!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is normal: thin or thick hair?

Thin and thick hair are two different types of hair. Therefore, they are both normal. However, consult a dermatologist if you experience any hair thinning suddenly or gradually.

Key Takeaways

  • Large hair follicles, a ponytail with more than 2 inches of circumference, and clearly visible hair strands are some indicators of thick hair.
  • If your hair is thinner than a thread or not visible to the naked eye, chances are you have thin hair.
  • One can always trim their hair and use a volumizing shampoo to give the appearance of thicker and voluminous hair.
  • Application of deep moisturizing hair masks and a smoothening shampoo can make your hair look thinner and slicker.
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