The Cookbook


How to Determine Natural Hair Density

Your unique hair has a variety of characteristics, from your visible curl pattern and hair length, to less apparent properties such as porosity, thickness, and density. This is what makes natural hair so diverse, vibrant, and beautiful! This week, let’s learn more about our hair density. In this guide, we'll explore how to determine hair density, and what what products to use for your hair.

learn about natural hair density

Hair density is a measurement of how much hair you have on your head, or how densely packed your hair follicles are on your scalp. Simply put, to have dense hair is to have more strands of hair on your head than someone with low density hair (and the same size head, of course!)

Density impacts the volume and shape of your hair as a whole, so it affects what products you should use and how best to style your hair. While you may have the same curl pattern and even the same porosity as a friend, if your hair is more dense than hers, you’ll need to use different products to achieve the same look.

How to measure hair density

Theoretically, the most accurate way to measure hair density is to count all the hair follicles in a square inch of your scalp. But no, we do NOT suggest taking the time to do this. (You’ll be dealing with roughly 2200 hairs in that square inch.)

A much easier way to measure density is to smooth or stretch your hair as much as possible, and then tie it into a tight ponytail. Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your ponytail. If the circumference is less than 2 inches, you have low density hair. If you measure 2-3 inches you have medium density hair, and if you measure 4 or more inches you have high density hair.

Don’t have a tape measure? Instead, you can attempt to see your scalp through your hair. Don’t part your hair, but let it hang loose and look in the mirror.  If you can clearly see your scalp, you have low density hair. If you need to move your hair to see your scalp, you have medium density. If your scalp is really hard to see, even moving your hair, your hair is high density.

How to take care of your hair based on density

low density natural hair

How to care for low density hair

If your hair is low density, your hair has less volume relative to others, so avoid heavy products that weigh down your hair and further limit volume. Reduce the amount of products you use, especially leave-in products like stylers, moisturizers, and oils. Make sure to keep your scalp clean and free from product buildup.

You might also want to try products that enhance volume, such as mousses or leave-in conditioners. This Avocado and Kiwi Leave-in Conditioner is a great option. You can use different methods to make your curls expand, such as picking or fluffing them out, encouraging frizz, or stretching them.

medium density hair

How to care for medium density hair

Medium density hair responds well to a range of products, whether you want to enhance volume with light leave-ins and sprays, or reduce volume with butters. You can also easily achieve a variety of styles on medium density hair! Deep condition your hair regularly with your favorite Fresh Frozé Treatment Deep Conditioner.

high density 4C hair

How to care for high density hair

You have high volume hair, which is fun to work with! Use thicker or heavier products to encourage your curls to clump together and reduce volume/frizz... or embrace your volume with full-bodied styles. You can try a range of gels, creams, and butters to see what works for you. Just watch out for tangles in your densely-packed curls- detangle carefully and with lots of conditioner. To keep your hair moisturized and prevent tangles, use the Hydrating Fresh Frozé Treatment Deep Conditioner for Dry Hair on a regular basis.

black women natural hair

Remember, your hair's density interacts with your porosity and curl pattern to make your hair unique. This means some instructions might be contradictory! For example: if you have low density, high porosity hair, you’ll have to find a balance between avoiding heavy products that weigh down your hair, while still using thicker moisturizing products that keep your hair hydrated. The more you learn about your hair and the more you experiment with products, the better regimen you’ll develop for your unique natural hair. 

At NaturAll, we create and elevate clean haircare and beauty standards, providing freshly-made products that are better for you and your hair. Sourced from small farmers in Jamaica and Ghana. We source ingredients directly from small farmers in Jamaica and Ghana, so we always know how our ingredients are sourced and exactly who is being supported by our business. We are proud to support Black farmers and small businesses around the world. We believe that what goes on your body is as important as what goes in it. Too many hair products are made with synthetic ingredients that are irritating, damaging, or even hazardous, and the problem is worse in hair products marketed to Black women.

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