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Thick Vs Thin Hair: What You Need To Know

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > Thick vs Thin Hair: What You Need to Know
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on March 31, 2023

Are you tired of dealing with hair that just won’t cooperate? You might not be using the right products for your hair type.

Thick and thin hair has unique properties that require different types of care. But hair thickness actually depends on two characteristics; density and strand thickness. Understanding this difference is key to working with your hair type. You may be using products for thick hair, but you actually have a lot of fine hair.

To get the best out of your hair, you need to understand what type of hair you’re dealing with. In this article, we will delve into the differences between thick vs thin hair types in men, including their characteristics, common challenges, and tips for maintaining healthy hair.

Thick vs Thin Hair: What’s the Difference?

In terms of appearance, thick hair appears fuller and has more volume than thin hair. The texture of thick hair is usually coarse, while thin hair is fine and delicate. These differences can be attributed to two key factors; individual strand thickness and density. Although many people consider thickness and density to be the same thing, they measure two completely different aspects of your hair.

Hair Strand Thickness

Hair thickness refers to the diameter of each strand of hair. When each strand of hair is thicker, it creates the appearance of more hair.

Thick hair follicles are generally larger in size and produce thicker, coarser hair strands. They are also more likely to have a circular or oval shape. The hair that grows from thick follicles tends to be stronger and more resilient.

Thin hair follicles are smaller in size and produce finer, softer hair strands. They are more likely to have a flat or elliptical shape. The hair that grows from thin follicles tends to be more fragile and delicate.

In addition to their physical characteristics, thick vs thin hair strands may also have different levels of follicle activity. The size of your hair follicles can affect the length of the anagen or growth phase in your hair’s life cycle.

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Hair Density

Hair density refers to the number of hair follicles growing from your head. The more follicles you have, the thicker your hair appears to be. Those with thin hair have around 80,000 fibres on their head, while those with thick hair can have over 150,000 fibres.

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How to Measure Hair Thickness and Hair Density

The most accurate (and tedious) way to measure your hair density is by counting the number of hair strands in a 1-inch by 1-inch section of your scalp. You can then average this amount over your head to get an idea of your density. If your hair is long enough, you can also measure your density using the “ponytail method.” Put your clean hair in a ponytail at the back of your head, and use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the ponytail. Divide that measurement by 2π (pi) to get the average diameter of the ponytail.

The simplest way to check the density of your hair is to look at your scalp in a mirror. If your scalp is easily visible, you have low-density (thin) hair. If you need to pull your hair apart to see your scalp, you have high-density (thick) hair.

To test the individual strand thickness, run your hands through your hair and notice how it feels. Coarse hair often feels rough and stiff because each strand is so thick. Fine hair often feels wispy and light. Take a look at a single strand from your head and note its thickness; coarse hair is about double the thickness of a sheet of paper, while fine hair is barely noticeable when you rub it between two fingers. If your strands don’t look or feel particularly coarse or fine, you may have medium hair thickness.

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What Are The Problems (And Benefits) Associated With Thin Vs Thick Hair In Men?

Comparing the downsides of thin and thick hair is a common “grass is greener on the other side” situation. Both hair types have their benefits in the same way that they have their problems. We’ve put together a brief pros and cons list for each hair type, helping you to see the good parts of your hair while managing the tricky areas.

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Pros and Cons of Thin Hair

Thin hair is more prone to breakage and can lack volume. When dealing with thin hair, hair loss is often more noticeable. Men with thin hair may also experience hair loss, receding hairlines, or male pattern baldness, which can further contribute to the appearance of thinning hair. Additionally, thin hair can be prone to greasiness or oiliness, as it is often difficult for the scalp to distribute natural oils evenly across the scalp.

However, it’s important to note that thin hair is not necessarily a bad thing and can still be styled in a variety of ways. With the right haircut and styling products, men with thin hair can create the appearance of more volume and fullness. Fine hair feels soft and responds easily to styling techniques.

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Pros and Cons of Thick Hair

Thick hair is often difficult to tame. Thick hair can be prone to dryness and frizziness, and it may be more difficult to find products that can effectively moisturize and control the hair without weighing it down. Many men find that thick hair can be more difficult to style with certain haircuts or styling techniques, as it may require more effort to get the desired look. This is especially true when it comes to achieving a sleek or polished look.

But thick hair creates a full and voluminous appearance. It’s also easy to reduce the volume of your hair to manage it, while adding volume can be tricky.

The Best Products for Thin and Thick Hair

Whether you have thin or thick hair, you can eliminate damage by getting regular trims, using smoothing hair masks, and avoiding heat styling. If you are using heat to dry your hair, always use a heat protectant to keep your hair healthy and damage-free.

When choosing products specifically for your hair type, it’s best to look for products that cater to your strand thickness. The same product could work for those with lots of hair or very little coverage, but different products would work best for fine vs coarse hair.

Taking Care of Fine, Thin Hair

If you have thin hair, look for products that claim to strengthen and moisturize. Fine hair is delicate and requires gentle care and gentle products. Thin hair can be prone to dryness, so a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can help keep it hydrated and healthy. Look for products that contain ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, or shea butter.

You can also use volumizing products designed to give you volume and bounce. Products like volumizing mousses, sprays, and powders can help add life and volume to your thin hair. When styling your hair, minimize hair loss by avoiding styles that pull on your hair.

Don’t wash your hair too often because this can strip it of its natural oils and make it look flat and lifeless. Aim to wash thin hair every other day or every three days. When you do wash your hair, opt for gentle, sulphate-free products that are designed for fine or thin hair. If your products are too harsh, they can strip your hair and leave it brittle, dry, and prone to breakage. Thin hair is also easily weighed down by heavy products, so avoid products with high oil or protein levels.

Taking Care of Coarse, Thick Hair

If you have thick, coarse hair, look for products that claim to smoothen and strengthen. Because thick hair can be prone to frizz, a smoothing shampoo and conditioner can help tame flyaways and leave your hair looking sleek and shiny. Look for products that contain ingredients like silk amino acids or keratin.

Strengthening shampoos and conditioners can help keep it healthy and strong. Look for products that contain ingredients like biotin, vitamin E, or panthenol.

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The Best Hairstyles for Thick vs Thin Hair in Men

Part of rocking your hair type is knowing how to style it. Different haircuts show off your thin hair vs thick hair and give it a chance to shine!

The Best Thin Hairstyles

When dealing with thin or fine hair, adding volume is essential. Ask for blunt cuts and minimal layers. Men with thin hair often enjoy shaving their heads entirely!

If you want to grow your hair, regular haircuts are essential. These remove the damaged ends and damage from travelling up your hair shaft and making each strand susceptible to breakage.

The Best Thick Hairstyles

Men with thick hair may have a wide range of hairstyles to choose from, including longer styles that showcase the volume and texture of the hair. Thick hair thrives on layers and texture.

If your hair is so thick it’s unmanageable, you can ask your barber or hairstylists to use shearing scissors throughout your hair to reduce the volume of your hair.

Thick Vs Thin: The Results Are In!

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both thick and thin hair in men. When you know what your hair type is, you can work with your natural thick vs thin locks to feel confident and attractive.

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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.