Density is one of the most important specifications when designing your hair system. It can single handedly make your hair system look completely natural or completely unrealistic.
With decades of experience in planning just the right density for each customer’s hair system, our hair replacement consultants make professional recommendations for your system’s density to give you the best, most realistic look for your age and hairstyle, so no one knows you’re wearing hair.
If you’re curious how we do it, this page details all the minutiae considered when determining your density. As you will see, there are a tremendous number of factors to consider.
To learn more about what density is and to see photos of various densities, please see Understanding Density. And, of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your hair system’s density, don’t hesitate to speak to a hair replacement consultant.
First and foremost, you must understand that the density of your hair system will always vary a tiny bit. Whether you’re changing from one vendor to another, or staying with the same vendor, you have to accept a small variation in density as an inherent part of hair system manufacturing. There is no way to avoid this.
Differences between vendors
Each vendor (online or retail center) uses its own density scale to communicate with the factories that make hair systems. Some vendors allow you to order by percentage (or number of hairs per square centimeter) and others.
It’s particularly important to note that every vendor’s scale is different if you are switching to ReHair from another vendor. If you know you ordered a medium density from your current vendor, the medium density may varies a little bit from us or any other vendor.
Tweaking density between orders
Because our hair systems are made by hand and not by machine, it is impossible to re-create the same system twice. For this reason, you may notice a slight inconsistency in density from one of your hair systems to the next. We estimate the variation in density is generally about 5% higher or lower that what is ordered. This is just an approximation, is standard in the industry, and is not unique to ReHair. This variation is to be expected, but should never be so much that it’s noticeable to anyone but you.
If you have an ongoing concern about your density, please speak to your hair replacement consultant. We will work with you to ensure the density in your system meets your expectation in future orders. However, understanding the inherent variation that is to be expected with a handmade product, we highly recommend you do not constantly tweak density from one system to the next.
Each base material we offer has its own threshold for the amount of hair it can hold. This is because some materials are so fine that if too much hair is ventilated into the base, the hair will shed quickly and the base will break down. So, based on your requirements for a certain base material (such as breathability and durability), the amount of hair our factories can put into that base material varies.
Following are the density thresholds for each base material:
- Thin skin: Medium Light
- Lace: Medium
- Monofilament: Heavy
Also, due to the thickness of the base material in your hair system, the density may look and feel a little different. You may notice this when switching from one base material to another while not changing the density at all. This should not be a major concern; it’s just something to be aware of.
We cannot emphasize enough that hair density must be age-appropriate to look natural. Men and women both experience hair thinning and recession as they age, although it is markedly different for each gender. For more information on typical densities by age and gender, please see Understanding Density.
A certain amount of hair is needed to achieve certain hairstyles, and your ventilation style (brush forward, brush back, left part) may dictate your needs for density.
For example if you have short hair, ventilated in a brush forward style, and need your hair to stand up, as in a faux hawk style, you need enough density to hold that style. However, if you just want lift, body, and volume, you may require a lighter density to achieve that look while avoiding excessive bulk.
For longer hairstyles that lay flatter to your head with a specific ventilated part, you may require extra density in the part, where there is excessive and repeated friction from combing. This ensures your part will not look too thin, even if it sheds faster than the rest of the system.
If you don’t have a growing hairline and need to re-create it with the system, we recommend a high definition hairline (only available on lace and thin skin bases). This ventilation style for the front hairline masterfully mimics a naturally growing hairline. It starts out lighter at the front edge, gradually increasing to your full density as it goes back, within the span of a few millimeters.
If you’re placing your hair system behind your growing front hairline, the full density should begin at the front edge of the system for best blending with your growing hair.
Every hair system has “zones,” or various pre-determined areas, used to convey certain instructions for density and color to the factory. For example, you may need a different density on the top than on the sides, so your system blends well with your growing hair but provides the coverage you need on top. For your reference, typical zones are illustrated here and mentioned below but sizes and shapes can vary widely.
Zones: Usually just consist of the front and sometimes temples
Partial and three-quarter cap systems
Zones: Front, top, crown, sides, back and sometimes temples
For a partial system, placement of the front, sides, and back start at the outer edge and about an inch or so deep. The top starts right behind the front zone and goes to about the middle of the top of your head. The crown starts right behind the top and goes to where the back starts, about an inch from the back edge of the system.
A three-quarter system has a deeper area for the sides and back, but the front, top, and crown placement remain the same as mentioned above.
Zones: Front, top, crown, sides, back, temples, nape and sideburns
A full cap system has a deeper dimension for the sides and back, but placement of the front, top, and crown remain the same. Full caps can also be ventilated with zones, such as temples, sideburns, and nape.
If you’re blending your hair system into your growing hair, we may recommend different densities for certain zones of your hair system.
For example, if you’re a young woman with diffused hair loss and long hair, wear a partial system and need to blend it with your own growing hair on the sides and back, it may be best to match your thinning density on the sides and back, but provide a slightly heavier density on the top and crown. This will allow more realistic blending, but provide more density on the top, where you want less scalp to show, because of your age. It will also reduce any bulk where the hair system meets your growing hair, providing a more natural look if you wear your hair pulled up.
In contrast, an older man with male pattern baldness who still retains a medium growing hair density on the sides will want to match that, but perhaps have a light or medium light density in the crown, to look realistic and natural for his age. We take all these things into consideration, but balance that against making the density too complicated for the factory to easily replicate between orders.
Wave and curl
Tight wave and curl can affect the appearance of density tremendously (slight wave and bend processed into the hair makes less of an issue).
The tighter the wave or curl, the greater effect it has on the appearance of density, making the hair appear much thicker than it is, because the curl creates a natural volume lacking in straighter hair. For this reason, we need to compensate by lowering density in very wavy or curly hair systems.
For example, a hair system with straight hair and medium density will look dramatically different than a system of the same density that has a tight curl. The tighter the curl is, the thicker and more voluminous the hair will appear. If the density is too high, a curly hair system can be bulky and hard to manage. Conversely, with straight hair, or hair with a light wave, a lower density could result in hair appearing limp, stringy, or thin.
Something commonly overlooked in relation to the appearance of density is the color of your hair and skin. High contrast between skin and hair color can make densities appear thinner (such as dark color hair against light skin tones and light hair against dark skin tones). The reverse is also true: light hair blends in with light skin tones and dark hair blends with dark skin tones, making hair density appear thicker.
Transitioning to a natural density
To transition into wearing hair for the first time, or to transition between different types of hair solutions, density must be carefully considered so your transition isn’t obvious or stressful.
If you’re switching from a traditional wig or heavy integrated system to a bonded hair system, the heavy density of your previous solution needs to be considered when designing your hair system. Hair systems are typically less dense than traditional wigs and some integration systems. Those products are designed with a lot of hair to cover the base and/or weft construction. For this reason, we may suggest you start with a density that is heavier than a typical person of your age, with the intention of decreasing it in small increments over the first year (in your first three or four hair systems), until you reach a natural density. This will make your transition into a natural-looking hair system from a bulkier option less obvious, and will also create far less emotional stress for you than making a huge decrease in density overnight.
If you don’t currently wear hair, or use another hair solution such as topical fibers, masking lotions, or wigs, and intend to start wearing a bonding hair system, the opposite approach may apply to you. If you have extremely thin hair, an average density for a person of your age may feel too thick and heavy, because you are used to seeing yourself with very thin hair. For this reason, you may want to start with a density lighter than suggested for your age, and incrementally increase it over the first year. This also helps make your transition far less noticeable to the public, if that is a concern for you.
When transitioning from very thin or unnaturally thick hair, it can take some time to get used to a natural-looking head of hair. We want you to look and feel your best and be set up for a comfortable transition. It’s common to want fast, big change, and that’s all right if you are emotionally prepared for it. If you would like to keep your hair-wearing private, or are concerned about the emotional shock that comes with a major change to your appearance, we recommend you discuss your concerns with your hair replacement consultant so you have the most comfortable transition with the least amount of emotional stress.