Understanding Density

Density is a common term you’ll hear related to hair systems. It refers to the amount of hair ventilated in a hair system base. Essentially, density refers to the overall thickness or thinness of the hair system (not individual hairs). At HairDirect, density is conveyed through five categories, from extra light to heavy — “extra light” being similar to the hair density of a man in his sixties or seventies, and “heavy” being similar to that of a young woman in her twenties with unusually thick hair. The images shown below give you a general idea of what the different densities can look like.

Why density is so important

When you lose your hair and begin wearing a hair system, it’s common to want a lot of hair. You miss your hair, and want to restore it to its prime. However, we’ve found the tendency is for customers to overcompensate and request much more hair than is natural or realistic for a person of their age. The heavier the density, the less realistic — and therefore the more detectable — the hair system looks.

In other words, too much hair is the easiest way to tell someone is wearing a system.

Even though it’s tempting to want a very thick head of hair, bulky hair systems can be uncomfortable, hard to manage, difficult to attach, and challenging to keep attached for long periods, so it’s best to avoid the unnecessary annoyance.

For these reasons — and the fact that we have to pass on the factory’s increased cost for heavy density — unless you are blending with unusually thick growing hair, we rarely recommend a heavy density.

We want your hair system to look as natural and undetectable as possible. For this reason, we’ll steer you away from a density inappropriate for someone of your age. After you complete Gather®, our personalized pre-consultation tool, your hair replacement consultant will make recommendations for the most natural, age-appropriate density, based on recent photographs of yourself and the hairstyle you’re looking to achieve.

Typical densities by age and gender

Everyone is different, but generally speaking, the chart below gives you an idea which densities are most appropriate for each age and gender. But again, your hair consultant will discuss this with you to ensure your system is ordered with the best density for you. It can be changed or corrected if it’s not quite right.

Keep in mind that men and women with normal hair growth and recession don’t typically lose the same amount of hair in the same areas. Nor is it expected for a woman to show a lot of scalp, even in advancing years. For that reason, the age-appropriate density recommendations are not the same for each gender.

Density scales vary widely from vendor to vendor, so don’t assume ours is the same as another vendor. There are many, many factors that affect the density recommendations for your hair system, including hair color, wave and curl, length, and base type. If you’d like to learn more about the various factors to be considered, please see Factors that Affect Density.

FEMALE
Up to 35 (Medium)
Up to 35 (Medium) Up to 35 (Medium)
36-45 (Medium to Medium Light)
36-45 (Medium to Medium Light) 36-45 (Medium to Medium Light)
46-55 (Medium to Medium Light)
46-55 (Medium to Medium Light) 46-55 (Medium to Medium Light)
55-65 (Medium Light to Light)
55-65 (Medium Light to Light) 55-65 (Medium Light to Light)
Over 65 (Light to Extra Light)
Over 65 (Light to Extra Light) Over 65 (Light to Extra Light)
MALE
Up to 35 (Medium to Medium Light)
Up to 35 (Medium to Medium Light) Up to 35 (Medium to Medium Light)
36-45 (Medium Light to Light)
36-45 (Medium Light to Light) 36-45 (Medium Light to Light)
46-55 (Medium Light to Light)
46-55 (Medium Light to Light) 46-55 (Medium Light to Light)
55-65 (Light to Extra Light)
55-65 (Light to Extra Light) 55-65 (Light to Extra Light)
Over 65 (Extra Light)
Over 65 (Extra Light) Over 65 (Extra Light)

Please note, these photos are not HairDirect customers, nor are they wearing hair. The purpose of these photos is to demonstrate what age-appropriate density should look like.