thick vs thin hair
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 03/19/2024

Thick vs Thin Hair: Identify Your Hair Type

Are you wondering whether you have thick or thin hair? Thick hair has a coarse, dense feel and a voluminous appearance. The strands are abundant, and the overall volume is full. On the other hand, thin hair refers to hair that has a smaller individual strand diameter. Thin hair tends to have a sleeker, flatter look. 

Understanding the difference between thick vs. thin hair can help you choose the right products and hairstyles that work best for you. Knowing your hair type allows you to select hairstyles and cuts that complement the natural characteristics of your hair, enhancing your overall look. In this blog post, we'll guide you on identifying your hair type and provide some simple tips to determine if your hair is thick or thin.

What Separates Thick and Thin Hair

The distinct factors that separate thick and thin hair are diameter, density, and texture. Let's explore them in detail.

1. Diameter of Hair Strands

The diameter of individual hair strands is a primary factor distinguishing thick and thin hair. Thick hair is characterized by a larger strand diameter, resulting in a fuller, more voluminous appearance. On the other hand, thin hair is characterized by a smaller strand diameter, making it appear more delicate and less voluminous.

2. Hair Density

Hair density refers to the number of hair strands per square inch on the scalp. Thick hair tends to have a higher density, meaning more hair strands are present. This higher density contributes to the overall thickness and fullness of the hair. With more hair strands covering the scalp, thick hair can create a dense and abundant look. Conversely, thin hair has a lower density, with fewer hair strands. This lower density can make thin hair appear sparser and less voluminous.

3. Hair texture

Hair texture plays a significant role in differentiating between thick and thin hair. Thick hair often has a coarser texture due to the larger diameter of the strands. This coarser texture can give thick hair a stronger and more resistant feel, strengthening it against styling and manipulation. Alternatively, thin hair tends to have a smoother texture due to its smaller diameter strands. This smooth texture can make thin hair more prone to breakage and damage, requiring gentler handling and lighter styling products.

How to Identify Thick Hair

how to identify thick hair

If you're wondering whether you have thick hair, there are a few simple observations you can make to help determine its texture. More textured strands generally characterize thick hair. Here are a few methods to identify whether you have thick hair:

Look at the Diameter of Each Strand

Thick hair generally has a larger hair shaft diameter compared to fine or thin hair. You can assess the thickness by examining individual strands and comparing them to a piece of thread or a pencil.

Feel the Density and Weight

You can identify thick hair by feeling its density and weight. Thick hair tends to feel full and heavy in your hand when you run your fingers through it. It may have a substantial amount of hair between your fingers, indicating a high density of strands.

Notice How Much Hair You Lose

One simple way to identify thick hair is by observing how much hair you lose. You likely have thick hair if you don't lose a significant amount of hair during regular brushing or washing. Thick hair tends to have a higher density, resulting in less hair shedding than thinner hair types.

Observing the Volume

You can tell if you have thick hair by looking at the volume. Thick hair has lots of body and bounce. It makes your ponytail and braids big all around. Thick hair also fully covers your scalp. You can't see through it to the scalp like you can with thin hair.

Check How Well Your Hair Holds a Curl or Style

Thick hair holds curls and styles better than thin hair. After curling or styling thick hair, the curls and shapes stay formed all day. Thick hair keeps its style because each strand has more weight and diameter. Thin hair can struggle to hold curls and go flat more quickly.

How to Identify Thin Hair

how to identify thin hair

Thin hair can be identified by paying attention to specific characteristics. Here are some simple ways to identify thin hair:

Lack of Volume

Thin hair usually lacks volume and appears flat or limp. If your hair tends to look thin and lacks body even after styling, you likely have thin hair.

Visible Scalp

One way to identify thin hair is by the visibility of the scalp. If you can easily see your scalp through your hair, with more visible skin than hair, it suggests you have thin hair. This can create a sparse or less dense appearance.

Increased Hair Fall

It may indicate thin hair if you notice that you are losing more hair than usual, especially during brushing or washing. The fragility of thin hair strands makes them more prone to breakage and shedding, resulting in noticeable hair fall.

Smaller Diameter

Thin hair can be identified by its smaller diameter. You can see this by looking closely at each hair strand. The strands are very narrow compared to thick hair.

Thick vs. Thin Hair: Side-by-Side Comparison

Aspect Thick Hair Thin Hair

Hair Thickness

Thick hair has a greater density of hair follicles, resulting in a fuller appearance.

Thin hair lacks volume and may appear sparse.
Texture Coarse and Heavy Smooth and Lightweight
Volume Natural full and bouncy Lacks natural volume
Styling Holds styles well It can be easily weighed down
Heat Styling Can Tolerate Higher Heat Settings More susceptible to heat damage



Thick vs. thin hair can be distinguished by looking at factors like strand diameter, density, texture, and overall volume. Thick hair has wider, more textured strands, greater density, and bouncy. Thin hair has narrower, smoother strands, less density, and a flatter, more limp appearance. Examining the width and feel of your hair strands, amount of shedding, scalp visibility, and how well your hair holds styles can help you identify if your hair is thick or thin. Knowing your hair type allows you to choose products and styles best suited for you.

LPT for Treating Hair Thinning and Loss

LPT or  Laser PhotoTherapy, is a non-invasive treatment option for hair thinning and loss. It involves using laser devices to stimulate hair growth and improve the overall health of the scalp. One popular LPT device is the Theradome hair helmet, designed for home use. Theradome is a helmet-like device that emits red laser light to penetrate the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles. 

There are two kinds of Theradome Helmet: Theradome PRO LH80 and EVO LH40, which are designed to be user-friendly and used conveniently at home. Both models deliver painless and gentle treatment sessions that increase blood flow to the hair follicles, leading to thicker, fuller hair and reduced hair loss.


Do I have thick or thin hair?

You can try a simple test to determine if you have thick or thin hair. Take a small section of your hair between your fingers. If you can feel the strand quickly, you likely have thin hair. If the strand feels dense and you can't easily feel it, you probably have thick hair.

Is thick hair healthy?

Having thick hair doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy or unhealthy. The health of your hair depends on various factors such as genetics, diet, hair care routine, and overall health. However, thick hair is generally considered a sign of good hair health as it indicates strong hair strands.

What are the signs of thick hair?

The signs of thick hair are:

  • High Density of Hair Strands
  • Fuller and Voluminous Appearance
  • Heavy or Bulky Hair
  • Resistant to Breakage

Does thin hair mean balding?

Thinning hair does not necessarily mean balding. Hair may thin temporarily due to stress, changes in diet, post-pregnancy hormonal shifts, medications, or age.


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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.