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Getting to Know Your Hair: Diameter, Density, and Porosity

Blake Charles Salon
November 5, 2021

For many of us, our hair tends to be either our best friend or our worst enemy. All hair has the potential for being stunningly gorgeous, but if left to its own devices it can be nothing short of a stubborn mess. One of the most important things you can do to make sure your hair is always your friend and looks beautiful is to get to know it. In this first article of our two-part series on getting to know your hair, we’ll discuss the diameter, density, and porosity of hair.


When someone talks about having thick hair, that can mean one of a couple of different things. One thing they could be referring to is the diameter of their hair, or how thick the individual strands are. The thickness of the strands can impact how strong they are. Diameter is divided into three categories: fine, medium, and coarse. You can test diameter by holding a single strand of hair between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair can be distinctly felt. Medium hair can be slightly felt between the fingers. Fine hair will barely be felt, if at all.


The other thing someone might be referring to when talking about hair thickness is how dense their hair is, or how closely the strands are grouped together. A person who has more strands of hair is going to have hair that is more dense. This can impact the volume of your hair. Density is divided into three groups: thin, medium, and thick. It’s easy to tell how dense your hair is with a simple mirror test. Grab a large handful of hair and pull it to the side. You have thin hair density if you can easily see your scalp, medium density if you can partially see your scalp under your hair, and thick density if you can hardly see it.


Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Because the correct level of moisture is important, knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose and use products better. Again, a simple test can help you determine your hair’s porosity, which can be divided into high, normal, or low porosity. Pluck a single strand of hair and submerge it in a cup of water. If it sinks, your hair has high porosity. If it floats in the middle, it has normal porosity. If it floats on top of the water, it has low porosity.

If you want to have beautiful hair on a regular basis, you need to become intimately familiar with it. So much of how your hair looks is impacted by the products you use on it. The more you know about your hair, the better you’ll be able to choose the right products to get the results you want. 

We like to say that a great haircut is a work of art. Check out our Hair Design Services to see how we can give you your own personal work of art today.