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Fine Hair vs. Coarse Hair: How To Tell the Difference

Determining your hair type helps you know what type of products will benefit you in the long run. It also allows you to know the health status of your hair.

So, if determining your hair type width is essential, how do you tell the difference between fine hair and coarse hair?

There are different ways you can determine which type you have, but if you want to be absolutely sure, this fine hair vs. coarse hair guide will help you distinguish the two hair types. 

What Is Fine Hair?

Fine Hair
Fine Hair

Fine hair is a type of hair with minimal to no thick hair strands. Fine hair typically has a lesser diameter than if it was coarse.

However, it’s essential to note that fine hair is significantly different from thin as fine hair isn’t measured by dense growth. So while you can have thin hair, your hair fibers can be fine. 

What Issues Come With Having Fine Hair? 

One primary issue with fine hair is the risk of hair breakage. Hair breakage is when your hair strands snap or split, reducing your hair health as it eventually becomes ragged. 

Sometimes this might occur due to excessive bleaching, harsh styling, under-conditioning, or more. You can always remedy this with gentle shampooing, yogurt, or avocado and minimizing heat.

How Do You Maintain Fine Hair?

Now, when it comes to maintaining fine hair, there are several ways to manage the upkeep. Several of those include the following: 

  • Brushing your hair twice: Brushing your hair twice daily is a perfect method for strengthening its health by allowing natural oils to encase your strands and increase blood circulation. However, only brush for a minute and twice daily, as excessive brushing can lead to split ends. 
  • Incorporating a protein mask: This is another method for maintaining fine hair. Applying a yogurt or egg white solution helps to hydrate your hair strands and strengthen your roots. 
  • Incorporate supplements and fruits: Incorporating supplements and fruits in your diet can help to boost hair health significantly. Several examples include vitamins, minerals, apples, oranges, apricots, and more. 

What Is Coarse Hair?

Coarse Hair
Coarse hair

Coarse hair refers to a type of hair that has a thicker diameter. This is what contrasts rough with fine hair. Some often mistake curly or frizzy hair for coarse, which isn’t the case.

The significant difference is that all layers of the hair shaft are divided equally in contrast to other hair types. Coarse hair is genuinely thicker than typical fine hair. 

What Issues Come With Having Coarse Hair?

One of the primary issues that come with having coarse hair is frizziness. It typically tends to dry out faster than fine hair, which can also lead to brittleness.

Fortunately, once you determine whether or not you have coarse hair, you can seek out specific hair products that help to aid in this particular issue.  

How Do You Maintain Coarse Hair?

There are several ways you can maintain coarse hair. Several include deep conditioning masks, limiting heat styling time, and incorporating protective hairstyles to lessen the risk of weather or outside elements potentially damaging your hair.

It’s essential to maintain moisture when you have this type of hair.

What Do Fine Hair and Coarse Hair Look Like?

Differences Between Fine Hair and Coarse Hair
Fine Hair Vs. Coarse Hair

There is a significant difference as to what fine and coarse hair look like. For instance, fine hair is often mistaken for thin hair, and the difference in determining thin hair is that they typically have thicker strands.

As previously mentioned, you can distinguish coarse hair by checking the diameter of the hair strands; if the diameter is more than 120 microns, then it’s coarse.

When comparing fine hair vs. coarse hair, another way to tell the difference is by feel. For example, take a strand of hair between your thumb and forefinger and gently roll it back and forth.

If it feels rough and stiff, then it’s coarse. On the other hand, if it is barely noticeable and feels fragile, then it is thin.

Key Differences Between Fine Hair and Coarse Hair

Aside from diameter, there are other factors to consider when distinguishing between fine and coarse hair. Several of those include the following: 


Fine hair

Coarse hair

Hair diameter

50 microns or less

120 microns or more

Hair porosity



Hair density



Hair elasticity



Hair texture

Soft and silky Wavy, curly, coiled, or straight
Scalp moisture Normal to oily

Normal to dry

Here’s a more in-depth look at these factors:

  • Hair diameter: This is the primary factor determining the difference between fine and coarse hair. Typically, coarse hair is 120 or more microns, and fine hair is 50 microns or less.
  • Hair porosity: This factor determines if your hair can absorb moisture. Fine hair typically has no issue absorbing a significant amount, while coarse hair might have difficulty withholding it. 
  • Hair density: This factor measures the density of hair. Fine hair typically has a low density as its fine and thin, while coarse hair is thick and textured. 
  • Hair elasticity: Hair elasticity determines if your hair strands can easily break or not when stretched. Fine hair typically has low elasticity, while coarse has high elasticity.
  • Hair texture: Fine hair texture is typically soft and silky, while coarse can appear as wavy, curly, coiled, or straight.
  • Scalp moisture: Determining what type of scalp you have tells you what type of products to use. Fine hair is either a normal or oily scalp due to oil absorption. Coarse hair is typically normal or dry.  

So, How To Tell the Difference Between Fine and Coarse Hair?

How do you tell the difference between fine and coarse hair? There are several ways to determine this, but their diameter is essential to consider when distinguishing between the two.

Knowing if you have either hair type is crucial as it helps determine what products to incorporate. We hope you enjoyed reading this article!