What is hair density and how does it play a role in the products I choose?

When I started my curly hair journey, I read about hair thickness (the circumference of each hair strand), hair porosity (your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture), and curl pattern. However much later I finally learned about hair density- I wish this was one of the first things I learned.

Hair density is based on the number of strands per square inch on your scalp. Understanding your hair’s density can help you choose products that enhance your curl pattern instead of work against it. Density impacts the volume and shape of your hair as well.

An example of this would be a client I met that had fine hair but felt her curl pattern looked “straggly”. When we talked about her hair density it turned out her hair was considered high density. At the time she was purchasing products with the misconception that because she had fine strands creams and butters would weigh down her hair but she really wasn’t getting the results she was hoping for with various brands of mousse. After knowing her density, she tried butters and gels and has since been so much happier with her curls and the pattern looks completely different.

How does one figure out their hair density?

The easy way to figure out your hair’s density is to measure the circumference of your ponytail.

Low Density: Less than two inches

Medium Density: Two to three inches

High Density: Four or more inches


If your hair can’t be pulled back into a ponytail you can look at your scalp.

Low Density: Easily see it your scalp without touching or moving your hair

Medium Density: Scalp is somewhat visible

High Density:  Scalp is barely visible


What type of products work best for my hair’s density?

Low Density: Try lightweight and volumizing products. Low density hair can sometimes lay a little flat. You can also fluff your roots with a hair pick to help the shape and add volume.

Medium Density: Mousse and hair butters work well.

High Density: Products with heavy holds like hair butters, gels, and creams.

There are many factors that come into play when choosing the right products for your hair such as thickness, porosity, and now density! Understanding these attributes will really help your natural curl pattern reach its full potential.