If you have been told "Your hair is so thick!” the person complimenting you may actually have been alluding to hair density, because "thick" hair technically refers to the width of a single strand of hair, whereas hair density refers to the number of strands on your head.
So if you want to know, quantifiable, the density of your hair, we've outlined three ways of determining that.
One way is by actually counting the number of hairs on your head. The best way to do this is to count the number of hairs in one square inch of your scalp and then extrapolate from there.
On average, each person has approximately 2,200 strands of hair per square inch on their scalp, so counting can be a tedious task
Can You See Your Scalp?
Alternatively, you can judge your hair density by taking a look at it in its natural state. Do not part your hair—let it hang loose, and take a look in the mirror. Can you see your scalp without moving any hair? If you can, you most likely have low hair density.
If you can see your scalp with little or no effort then you most likely have medium density. If it’s difficult to see your scalp, you have high hair density. To learn more about high, medium and low densities read here.
Measure Your Ponytail
Another way to measure approximate density is to put your hair in a ponytail and measure the circumference of the ponytail. Low-density hair will be less than two inches, Medium density will measure between two to three inches, and high density will be at least four inches.
Why Does Density Matter?
Knowing your hair density will help you make smarter choices, not only in the styles you wear but also with the products you use when putting together a healthy hair regimen. Using light products in low-density hair is helpful so as not to weigh hair down and make it look greasy or lifeless.
Thicker gels and creams are usually ideal for high-density curly hair. Medium density hair does well with light leave-ins and spray-in leave-in conditioners.
Knowing your hair density also helps to identify what type of hairstyles is best suited for you. If your stylist does a hair density test, or, if you already know your hair density, it’s easier to pick out styles that will suit you well. For example, thicker hair tends to style easier with longer layers and thinner hair with blunt cuts.
Just remember every hair type is different, so factor in density next time you make a purchase at your beauty supply store. What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up with textured hair in a predominately white area was hard. I wanted my hair to look just like my friend's effortlessly silky straight hair but I never realized how much damage my curls were enduring in the process. I got my first relaxer when I was in 6th grade.
Up until college, my hair was chemically straightened. Once I started school, I began to realize the versatility of my natural hair. What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?
I started my freshman year of college with weaves. I would straighten my leave out daily in between working out, going out, and forget to wrap my hair at night. I realized my hair was suffering. Leaving my hometown and growing into the person I've always wanted to be inspired me to embrace who I am wholehearted.
What has been the most empowering moment of your natural hair journey so far? The most empowering moment in my natural hair journey so far has been witnessing how I inspire my nieces and other close friends to embrace their natural hair.
How Do You Protect Your Curls At Night?
If I have time, I usually double-strand twist my hair using my favorite curl cream and oil and sit under my dryer to make sure my curls are dry for the next day. If I'm in a rush, I'll just pineapple my curls with my scarf and use a bonnet top protects my ends.
My current curl regimen includes pre-pooing with the DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder Pre-Cleanse Slip Detangler, washing with the Ajaá Naturals Lavender & Honey Coconut Moisturizing Shampoo, conditioning with The Mane Choice's 3 in 1 Revitalize & Refresh Conditioner, using the Curly Chic's Your Curls Conditioned Leave-in, Grape-seed oil, and then the Creme of Nature's Hydrating Curling Creme.
What has been the most challenging moment of your natural hair journey so far?
Finding the best products for my dry scalp. I've tried so many different oils and butter, but grapeseed oil is the only product that works!
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a huge impact on your hair health? Deep conditioning is what gets my hair through the dry and cold winters in New York. I've also purchased a small overhead dryer that helps with deep conditioning and hot oil treatments.
What's your advice to women who are still struggling with loving their natural texture?
Be patient and take the time to learn about your hair. Don't compare your hair type to what you see online and on TV. Your hair is unique so embrace it