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Fine Hair Vs. Thin Hair: What’s The Difference?

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair: What’s the Difference?
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on April 11, 2023

53% of men between 40 and 49 will experience moderate to extensive hair loss, leading to what some perceive as “thinning” hair. However, there’s actually a difference between hair loss and simply having fine hair.

While thin hair is often seen as a sign of male-pattern baldness or age, having fine hair doesn’t necessarily mean your strands will be sparse or in poor health. If you’re confused about the difference, sit tight. This quick guide will clarify the confusion surrounding fine hair vs. thin hair and help you determine which hair type fits your needs best.

Whether you want to choose the right styling products for optimal results or better understand how your locks fit into society’s beauty standards, read on.

Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair: Why the Distinction Matters

Before diving into the distinction between thin vs. fine hair, let’s answer a common question: Why does this even matter in the first place? It’s just hair.

We hear you. However, men need to understand what types of hair they have to care for it properly. Knowing if your hair is fine, coarse, thick, or curly can help you decide the best shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.

For example, if you have fine hair types, using a softer shampoo and conditioner can help retain moisture and make it look thicker. If you have to use stronger products because you have an oilier scalp type, always following up with a high-quality deep conditioning treatment will keep your delicate strands healthy. The list goes on.

Overall, regardless of your type, taking the time to figure out what type of hair you have can significantly help improve its appearance and texture long-term. This is a key part of ensuring healthy hair growth as you age. It’s also a great way to engage in proper grooming if you’re trying to, ahem, attract a partner.

What Is Fine Hair?

It happens as you age. One morning you’re brushing your hair in the mirror, and you think, “Has my hair always looked like this? Is my hair thinning or just fine?” There’s one simple way to tell the difference between fine hair vs. thin hair in men.

Fine hair is often fine and delicate, so spotting the difference between fine and thin hair is easy.

Fine hair usually has a lower density than thin hair, meaning that each strand can look quite, well, fine. Though fine hair may not be as thick or voluminous as you’d like, its texture can simplify styling since it’s more pliable. This is the same whether you have fine, straight hair, fine wavy hair, or even fine, coarse hair (all of which speak to the diameter of your hair).

On the other hand, thin hair with a greater number of strands can appear thicker even though the diameter of each strand may be fine, making it easier to get more volume. The bottom line is that both fine and thin hair need special care to keep them looking healthy and nourished.

Read more:Alopecia Areata Self-Care: Tips for Living With This Autoimmune Disorder

What Is Thin Hair?

Thin hair is characterized by seeing portions of your scalp through it. On the other hand, thick hair barely shows any scalp at all. If you think your hair has something in-between thin and thick, then it has a medium density. It’s important to note that some men genetically have thin hair and that it’s not a sign of male pattern baldness. That can be a cause, though.

Hair thinning can happen for many reasons, from aging to genetics or a vitamin deficiency. If thinning becomes too noticeable or bothersome, various treatments can help improve the volume and overall health of the hair.

That’s why knowing exactly what thin hair is can be beneficial. It helps you determine the corrective steps needed to ensure your locks look their best.

Read more: What is an M-Shaped Hairline, and Can It Be Fixed?

What’s a Normal Hair Part?

Often, men look at their natural hair part or hairline and see a large space of skin. Then, they freak out, thinking that their hair is thinning. Don’t freak out.

A hair part should lie flat along the scalp and individual hair properly. Normal hair should show a definite line where the hair parts, while thinner hair may struggle to define that area. What should you do if your hair part looks wider than usual?

Monitor it for about six months. Contact your doctor to discuss your concerns if it’s still thinning.

Read more: Alopecia Areata in Men: The Key Things To Understand

How to Care For Different Types of Hair

Good male hair care can help keep a healthy scalp and lead to healthier, more manageable hair. It also helps create a strong sense of style and confidence in your appearance. You need to take different approaches to fine hair vs. thin hair. Here are a few tips for each type of hair.

Fine Hair Care

Caring for fine hair takes a bit of extra TLC, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Daily shampooing is key to keeping fine tresses bouncy and shiny since the buildup of dirt and oils can weigh fine strands down. However, it’s still important to condition fine hair to keep it healthy and smooth without limpness.

In addition, choose a shampoo specifically designed for fine hair that will help add bulk and volume. Remember that only the mid-lengths and ends should receive conditioner, not your roots. Applying conditioner to your roots could make your entire man oily and leave your locks looking weighed down and dirty depending on what kind of scalp you have.

Read moreDealing With An Uneven Hairline: Causes And Solutions

Thin Hair Care

Taking care of thinning hair requires a unique approach. Start by looking at your current hair care routine and reducing the heat styling you use. Thinning hair is fragile, so too much heat can further damage it. Regularly using a deep-conditioning mask or oil-based scalp treatment will help keep thinning hair hydrated and nourished.

Additionally, if thinning hair is an ongoing concern, speak to your healthcare provider about products that may be able to stimulate growth. Supplements like folic acid (vitamin B9), biotin, collagen, and saw palmetto could help, too.

Read more: Hair loss and alcohol

Thin Hair vs. Fine Hair: Key Takeaways

Regarding fine hair vs. thin hair, knowing the difference makes all the difference. Whatever your type might be, thin or fine, don’t stress. Rest assured, plenty of options are available to help you style it in a way that gives you confidence in yourself. Several hair loss products, oils, and supplements can help you achieve a fuller head of hair.

To learn more about hair loss solutions and natural remedies, read through our hair resources. They were written specifically with you in mind.


UPGUYS has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.