NHP is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Hair Looks Thin When Wet? Learn Why...

Your hair looks thin when wet? Why?

To answer it simply - when your hair is wet, it's matted down. This means it is less voluminous, and the strands end up clumping together. This is a direct result of the moisture making the individual follicles heavier, with the water effectively binding them together.

That’s the quick answer, if you want more detail see more info HERE. Generally, thin hair looks thinner on people with naturally straight hair, but if your hair starts to look thinner while also showing more shedding than usually, there’s a cause for concern.

Let’s get more in-depth so that you can be sure if your hair is OK or if you’re on the verge of losing your hair.

My Hair Looks Thin When Wet? Why?Learn Why Your Hair Looks Thin When Wet...TODAY.

My Hair Looks Thin When Wet? Why?

When hair is wet, the strands clump together and the moisture weighs down the hair. This makes it flatter and more compact. Without the usual volume, you can get a good idea of how far your hair loss has really gone. This makes the scalp look more visible.

Gel, wax, and other hair products that cause hair strands to stick together might also cause this problem. Hair separates and looks thicker and fuller as it dries, providing greater coverage for the scalp.

Wet hair appears to have less volume than dry hair because water adds weight to the hair, regardless of whether or not you have a condition that causes hair loss. This is why your hair looks thin when wet but fuller when dry.

But the hair looking thin and wet can also be an indication of hair loss. Even so, if you’re noticing both thinned hair and lower hair density suggests that you’re suffering from some sort of hair loss issues and may need to have your scalp medically reviewed.

This hair thinning & drop in hair density may be a situation known as invisible hair loss. We give you more details about that right here.

faqs hair looks thin when wet

I Can See My Scalp When Hair Is Wet? Is This Normal?

ANSWER: Yes, it is very normal to see your scalp when straight and wavy hair is wet because the hair strands tend to stick together when wet. This alone is not a symptom of baldness. Wet hair strands tend to get together for people with these hair types. Usually common for people with type 1A to 3A hair.

If Hair Looks Thin When Wet Is It “Invisible Baldness”?

ANSWER: Yes, it’s possible that invisible baldness (i.e. invisible hair loss) is the reason why your hair looks thin when wet, yet, it’s not the only reason for the thinned look.

Invisible hair loss is a term used to state the fact that the affected person is losing hair in great numbers & may be on the way to baldness; yet the sufferer may not be aware about it as typical signs of baldness are not visible, there is no receding hairline nor a bald patch.

Sometimes though, the thinning can be seen more easily when hair is wet.

[RELATED ARTICLE: How to make hair grow faster...]

Does Everyone’s Hair Look Thin When Wet?

ANSWER: Actually, no! Not everyone’s hair looks thin when wet. People with thick, very curly or kinky hair strands don’t usually notice that hair looks thin when wet.In fact, people with natural type 4 hair density may feel that their hair looks thicker and more dense when wet because of shrinkage.

As mentioned above, the reason people with naturally straighter or slightly wavy hair notice that their hair looks thin when wet is because that type of hair forms several partings against the scalp when weighed down by water, making it easier to view the scalp & it looks like thin hair.

When you apply hair treatments like gel, waxes, heavy oils or other liquids, you’ll also notice that your hair looks thinner.

Why Do I Look Bald When My Hair Is Wet?

The thinning of your hair and the decrease of hair density to the point of looking BALD is more threatening than when hair simply looks thinner when wet.

If you look bald when hair is wet that suggests that you’re experiencing hair loss. The most likely cause of hair thinning and loss is androgenetic alopecia, which affects the vertex, the top region of the scalp that extends from the crown to the hairline and the temples.

Androgenetic alopecia is a major cause of Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

So, yes, if you’re seeing bald parts in your head while your hair is wet, then it can be a cause of Male Pattern Baldness & Female Pattern Hair.

These conditions generally happen due to heredity and are common, unfortunately.

A wide range of clinically established, MHRA-licensed, and FDA-approved hair loss therapies and hair growth support products can help treat this balding condition to varying degrees.

[RELATED ARTICLE: Black hair thinning at crown...]

Hair Looks Thin When Wet - Should You Treat It?

Should you buy strand thickening treatments or medicated shampoos when hair looks thin when wet? Generally, it is normal to see thin looking hair when straight strands are wet because water weight makes hair clump & it looks like your hair is thin.

But, if you are not truly experiencing hair loss along with it, then you don’t need to treat it or use any special hair growth products.

Hair Looks Thin Under Light - Is This Bad?

ANSWER: If your hair looks thin under light, it’s important to know that lighting conditions can affect the appearance of your hairline without there being a problem with hair loss or actual thinning.

Hair may appear thinner in bright downlighting (fluorescent light is particularly bad for making hair look thin, even when it's perfectly fine and of normal thickness).

Why My Hair Looks Thin After Shower?

hair-looks-thin-when-wet Why My Hair Looks Thin After Shower?

ANSWER: When hair is wet after a shower, strands look a lot thinner because the hair clumps together, making a lot of different parts. This makes the scalp look more visible.

Whether or not you have a condition that makes your hair fall out, shower water makes your hair look thinner than it is if you have natural straight to slightly wavy hair types (1A-3A). This is true even if you don’t have any hair loss.

However, if you are experiencing excess shedding or obvious hair loss, it can be a sign of male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss. In this case, you need to consult a hair specialist, such as a trichologist.

[RELATED: Can Hair Loss Due to Hormonal Imbalance Be Reversed?]

What Are The Reasons For Hair Thinning?

If you’re not only seeing that your hair looks thin when wet, but excess shedding, split ends and obvious hair loss happening; there could be various problematic causes of hair thinning.

Thinning hair is essentially weakening, making it more prone to hair breakage and other external damage sources. 

And it gets progressively worse over time. 

In fact, every time your hair restarts its hair growth cycle, it has the potential to come back a little weaker, thinner and more vulnerable to damage. So, let’s identify some of the main hair loss culprits that cause thinning to show:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia – It is the most prevalent cause of female pattern baldness, with thinning hair all over the scalp. This type of hair loss is hereditary, as the name implies, and can be passed on from mother to daughter.
  • Alopecia Areata – Hair loss on the scalp and other body parts, including the eyebrows and eyelashes. An autoimmune skin condition is to blame for this hair thinning condition.
  • Stress – This type of hair loss occurs when you’re under a lot of stress, and it’s called Telogen Effluvium. Excess stress can cause a lack of length retention, resulting in your brush, bathroom floor, and pillowcase being littered with lost hair.

  • Traction Alopecia – If your hair is regularly tugged, twisted, or aggressively styled, you’ll notice a thinning or receding hairline. This has cause edges and hairline growth problem.

Missed Something? Jump Back Up The “Hair Looks Thin When Wet” Tutorial! Go Back To:

Follow Author of Hair Looks Thin When Wet Article...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

Get TYPE 4 hair tips delivered to your inbox every week!

Plus, the NHP Black Hair Growth Guide FREE.