Density is what a lot of people are incorrectly referring to when they say they have thick or coarse hair. We, of course, have correctly defined what those mean in the previous post, but density, as we explained in the HAIR GLOSSary is simply…
the definition: Density is Crowdedness
The denser your hair, the more strands you have per section, the lower your density, the fewer strands you have per section.
the test: Look & Feel!
At the base of a loose braid at your scalp, if your finger can go in one end and you can maneuver it fairly effortlessly out the other end, you probably have low density. If your finger struggles to move through the hair at your scalp, you most likely have high density, and of course you can be in-between. You can also look at your hair from different angles. If your scalp is easily visible, you probably have low density, if it’s partly visible, you are medium, and if it is difficult to see, your hair is highly dense.
the meaning: Density Is Volume
Those who have high hair density, usually have good volume or body, meaning that hairstyles will tend to hold up well.
the reasoning: the More the Better
The more strands of hair in a section, the more resistance you will have against elements that cause hair styles to flop, and the more strands you have, the more surface area your hair has to receive, absorb and hold products applied.
the breakdown: High | Medium | Low
Some people have low hair density by nature and some have developed it due to the damage they have caused. A common contributor to low density is hair loss. A variety of reasons cause hair loss which you can read about here, but those who already have low hair density might want to take care not to worsen the damage.
Those with low density will want to shy away from anything that increases tension to the scalp and traction on their strands, to prevent further loss. Experimenting with products that have volumizing properties might prove beneficial in creating certain styles.
Again, it is also worthwhile to note that it is not uncommon for some people to have different density levels in different sections of their hair perhaps due to excessive exposure of those parts to certain damaging conditions. For example you might have low density at your hair line caused by the damaging pulling of hair known as traction alopecia while having higher density in other parts of your head.
the conclusion: Pay Attention
If you get your hair done and a few days later, you notice small pimples developing at your hairline, ask your hairdresser to make your braids looser next time or if possible take them down. If you feel tension when moving your head around, up, down or to the sides, or your hair is so tight it is hard to sleep comfortably, make adjustments to your style to lessen the tension.
Have you taken note of how dense your hair is? What did you discover? Let us know in the comment section below.
Next article: Curl Patterns