Hair is considered the crowning glory of both men and women. There are many different ways to characterize our hair. Color and texture are common ways to describe our hair, but there’s one easily identifiable trait used to describe our hair, which is density.
What is Hair Density?
Hair density is the amount of strands that occupy a square inch of your scalp. On average, humans have between 80,000 and 120,000 total hairs. Typically, the hair on our crown is the most dense.
Like many of our characteristics, hair density is often determined by genetics. Statistics show that certain demographics naturally have thicker hair densities than others.
Determining Hair Density
Certainly, counting every hair on a square inch of our heads is tedious. Luckily, there are easier ways to measure hair density. For instance, there’s a phototrichogram, which uses imagery to measure the characteristics of a single hair.
There’s also easier ways to visually measure the density of our hair. One way is to look directly into your scalp. If you can see your scalp without having to move your strands, it’s likely you have lower density hair.
If you must move it slightly to see your scalp, you have medium density. If you have trouble seeing your scalp, you have a high hair density.
Another simple way is to put your hair in a ponytail and measure the circumference. A circumference of two inches or less means low density. Two to three inches is medium density, and four or more equals higher density.
Factors that Cause Lower Hair Density
In addition to genetics, there are other things that make it likely to have lower density hair. People who apply large amounts of heat to their hair are also vulnerable to thinner, more damaged hair.
Stress is another popular cause of thin hair. When you’re stressed, your hair is more likely to enter the telogen, or dying hair phase. During this phase, your hair stops growing and can fall out at any time.
As we age, our hair naturally loses volume. Other more controllable factors like diet also play a role in how dense our hair is.
Caring for Your Hair Type
Before you begin taking steps towards thicker hair, you have to know how to maintain your hair density type. Many people don’t realize their hair care regimen plays a role in how healthy their hair is. Whether you have high, medium, or low density hair, there are precautions you have to take.
For lower density hair, you should avoid heavier products like conditioners and heavy oils. Heavier products weight your hair down, making it appear limp and unhealthy. Instead, use voluminous products like dry shampoo and mousse.
If you have medium density hair, you don’t have to do much to improve the density of your hair. Since your hair is pretty thick, you have more leeway to experiment with products. Therefore, use trial and error to find which products keep your hair the healthiest.
For those of us who naturally have high density hair, it’s best to use thicker products to maintain your styles. Lighter products have a harder time controlling frizz. Therefore, using hair butters and creams keep your hair moisturized and healthy.
Can I Increase My Hair Density?
Fortunately, there are remedies for us with thinner hair density. In fact, some of them are easy enough to do at home. If you’re looking for ways to add volume to your strands, some of these solutions are worth a try.
Get a Trim
Now, losing some of your hair may seem counterproductive to keeping it thick, but this isn’t the case. Sometimes, we get split ends, which travels up the hair strand and creates breakage. Not only does this make length retention difficult, it also makes our hair appear thinner.
To remedy split ends, it's a good idea to get a trim every six weeks. Even if you can’t afford to regularly get your hair trimmed, you can learn to trim it yourself.
Another way to achieve fuller-looking hair is layers. Cutting your hair in layers gets rid of split ends and gives you an opportunity to change hairstyles.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has been used in holistic care practices for many years. When you apply it to your hair, it stimulates new growth. Aloe vera gel is also considered a thickening agent.
For thicker volume and growth, you can use aloe vera gel in two ways. Since aloe vera gel is mostly made of water, you can ingest it. Adding it to water, juice, or a smoothie are simple ways to reap its benefits.
If you prefer to apply it topically, you also have some options. For one, you can harvest the gel and apply it directly to your hair strands. Sometimes, aloe vera leaves residue once it dries, so it’s best to strain it prior to application.
You can also make a leave-in conditioner with aloe vera gel, your favorite carrier oil, and water. For those of us who prefer oils, you can make an aloe vera infused oil. For optimal results, use aloe vera on your hair at least twice a week.
Regularly Do Oil Massages
Since blood has a harder time reaching our scalp, it’s easier for problems to arise. By massaging your scalp, it helps the necessary blood reach your scalp and improve the anagen phase. Not only will you have thicker, moisturized hair, you’ll have an easier time retaining length.
Applying oil keeps our hair moisturized. For thicker hair, we must take it a step further and massage our scalp. Massaging our scalp increases blood circulation, which is good for thick, healthy hair.
People with long, healthy hair swear by fenugreek. Fenugreek, also known as methi, is a popular seed used in Indian cooking. This spice contains numerous nutrients including protein, folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium.
Just like aloe vera, you can either ingest fenugreek or apply it topically. One way to use them is to soak the seeds overnight and drink the water. You can also add ground fenugreek to salads and meat.
If you don’t want to eat the seeds, you can soak them in water, add lemon juice, and apply it to your scalp. After 30 minutes, rinse as shampoo as usual. Use this combination at least twice a week.
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
When we’re not feeling well, many health experts recommend vitamin C. vitamin C has many benefits due to its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants minimize oxidative stress levels. It also helps build collagen, which is the protein responsible for building strong and dense hair strands.
When we lack vitamin C, our strands begin to suffer. This is especially for those of us with naturally thinner hair. To remedy this, it’s good to add more vitamin C to your diet.
In addition to adding density, vitamin C strengthens roots and helps iron absorption. Iron plays a crucial role in the hair growth process.
There are many foods with vitamin C. Of course, one of the most popular ways to get vitamin C is through citrus fruits. Lemons, oranges, and limes are packed with vitamin C.
You can add these fruits to infused water for an extra boost in hydration and vitamin C. Strawberries and cantaloupes also have lots of vitamin C. Making a fruit salad is another way to increase vitamin C intake.
Vegetables also have vitamin C. Potatoes, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are packed with vitamin C. If you aren’t able to get enough vitamin C through your diet, you can add a vitamin C supplement.
Of course, vitamin C alone won’t be enough to keep your hair healthy and strong. Be sure to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of water.
Find Ways to De-stress
Oftentimes, extra stress wreaks havoc on our appearance. While we may not initially realize it, stress makes our hair thinner and even fall out. In fact, nearly 50 percent of people dealing with hair loss are under high levels of stress.
For a thicker hair density, we must get rid of extra stress. There are a number of ways to do this, regardless of where you are. For instance, when you feel anxiety coming on, try focusing on your breaths.
When you focus on your breaths, it’s easy to block out whatever’s causing your anxiety. You can practice these exercises during your commute to work or before going to bed to calm down.
Similar to breathing exercises, another way to reduce stress wherever you are is to practice progressive muscle relaxation. For this exercise, you simply tense your muscles as much as you can and release. Repeat this until you feel more calm.
If you’re at home, aromatherapy is a great way to de-stress. Aromatherapy is the use of scents to improve mood. It also helps you get quality rest, which is great for protein synthesis.
You can use aromatherapy a few ways. Lots of people use candles to unwind after a long day. Another way to use aromatherapy is with essential oils.
Essential oils are concentrated liquids made of plant compounds. Many people use them for health ailments and aromatherapy. Each oil has its own set of benefits, but combining them increases their healing potential.
When it comes to stress relief, lavender essential oil is very popular. Known for its calming properties, people often use lavender to help with stress-related insomnia. Chamomile is another essential oil commonly used to relieve stress and anxiety.
You can use these oils in a number of ways, including a DIY mist. Combine equal parts water, witch hazel, and 20 drops of essential oil. This mist can be sprayed both in the air and on linens.
Another way is to use a diffuser. Oil diffusers are similar to a humidifier. To use, add some essential oil and allow the scent to filter throughout the room.
If you don’t have an oil diffuser, you can add essential oils to boiling water and allow the steam to spread throughout the room. You can also add essential oils to bath water or the shower for a similar effect.
Another way to utilize aromatherapy for stress relief is making an infused oil. All you have to do is mix a few drops of essential oil into a carrier oil. Massaging it into your forehead for up to five minutes helps relieve tension and stress.
However you decide to use essential oils, make sure you properly dilute it. Applying pure essential oil can burn or irritate your skin.
Seek Professional Help
If you’ve tried using natural remedies to no avail, it may be time to seek professional help. There are some hair transplant procedures that aid thinning and hair loss. During these procedures, the surgeon removes hair from dense areas to fill in thinning or bald ones.
There are two types of hair transplants. With follicular unit extraction surgery, a surgeon works by extracting individual hairs. With follicular unit transplant surgery, a surgeon removes a strip of your skin before removing the follicles.
If you’re considering a transplant surgery, research a reputable surgeon and schedule a consultation.
Thick, healthy hair makes us beautiful and confident. Although hair density is mostly based on genetics, we do have to work to maintain our hair health. When our hair begins to thin, we must take the proper precautions to nurse our hair back to health.
Habits like using the right products, eating a well-balanced diet, and practicing stress-relief techniques are necessary to maintain healthy roots and strands. Applying hydrating materials like aloe vera and fenugreek masks also help increase hair density.
If you struggle with extremely thin hair, seek professional help immediately.