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Differences Between Thick and Thin Hair

Depending upon the type of hair you have, you may opt for certain hair cuts or hairstyles over others. Perhaps you have thin hair and you want it to look fuller or you have thick hair and try to play it up. There are major differences between thick and thin hair that may affect your hairstyling techniques or hair care treatments.


To determine your hair’s visibility, begin by washing it and allow it to air dry. It’s important that you do not towel dry or style your hair in any way once you have washed it. Dirty or styled hair may skew the results in determining your hair’s visibility. Hold a single strand of hair in between your fingers, pulling it in front of your face so you can examine the hair shaft. If your single hair strand is barely visible, you have fine hair, according to the HairCareHints website. When you roll the hair shaft between your fingers, you should barely feel it if your hair is thin. Thick hair is easily felt when rolled between your fingers. It may even feel coarse or wiry and is easily visible


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You can also determine the thinness or thickness of your entire head of hair. If your hair is long enough, pull it back into a ponytail and measure the circumference of the ponytail. Thin hair generally measures less than two inches in circumference, according to the HairCareHints website, whereas thick hair generally measures four inches or more in circumference. You can use a tape measure similar to one you would use for sewing, which is soft and pliable.

Hair Follicles

The size and shape of your hair follicles will greatly affect how thin or thick your hair is, according to The Tech Museum at the Stanford School of Medicine. Your hair follicle is a tiny pocket located on your scalp that your hair grows out of. Hair follicles factor into hair thickness in two ways. The size of an individual hair follicle will determine how thin or thick each hair shaft will grow. Large follicles will produce thick hair, whereas small hair follicles will produce thin hair, according to The Tech Museum. Next, the amount of hair follicles that actually line your scalp will factor into your hair thickness. Those with a greater amount of hair follicles will have thicker, fuller hair while those with a lesser amount of hair follicles will have thinner or finer hair.