The biggest difference between fine and thin hair involves texture and density. If you thought figuring out your skin type was tricky, just wait until you try to narrow down your hair type. There are oodles of charts, graphs and quizzes out there, and even if you spend a good chunk of time perusing those, you can still be stumped. But there’s one debate in particular that can be a real mystery: deciding if you have fine hair vs. thin hair (and how to care for your hair type accordingly).
What’s the difference between fine and thin hair?
To get technical, these two hair definitions differ when it comes to width and density.
Thin hair refers to the overall density of the hair, and fine hair refers to the diameter of the individual strand of hair.
Diameter or width of the hair is often described using terms like fine and coarse, whereas density refers to thin or thick hair. Fine hair just means that the strand of hair itself is thin. It is possible to have a lot of fine hair or even thick fine hair.
Thin hair, on the other hand, refers to the amount of hair you actually have per square inch on your scalp or simply how much hair you have on your head. Having thin but coarse hair is possible.
Thin Hair vs. Thinning Hair
Since thinning hair refers to the loss of hair density on the scalp, this means existing hair follicles are becoming smaller, resulting in finer and sometimes shorter hair, and less hair overall.
“Thinning hair is when you are losing hair and the density of hair on your scalp is getting less”
How To Tell If You Have Fine Or Thin Hair
The easiest way to determine if your hair is fine or thin is to look at the width. Compare a piece of hair to a piece of thread. If you find that the hair is smaller than the thread, chances are good your hair is fine. The way your hair feels can also be an identifier, as fine hair often feels silkier and may not hold up so easily in a ponytail.