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5 ways that asian hair is different from caucasian hair

In a world where every hair care product claims to be made for your individual hair type, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there really are true scientific differences between hair types.

For example, a study recently published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (57, 327-338 July 2006) discovered that there are at least 5 basic differences between Asian and Caucasian hair.

1) Number of Cuticle Layers

Cuticles are the protective “shingles” that guard the inner protein structure of your hair. Typical human hair has 5 to 10 layers of cuticles. Asian hair has more (closer to 10) than Caucasian (which has closer to 5). Asian cuticles are also wider, thicker and more densely packed.

2) Flatness of Cuticles

On Asian hair, the cuticles are laid down with at a steeper angle. Caucasian hair has flatter cuticles.

3) Distance Between Cuticles

The interval, or distance, between cuticle cells is narrower in Asian hair than in Caucasian hair.

4) How Hair Breaks

As Asian hair is stretched or pulled, the cuticles tend to break off in large pieces that keep their original shape. On the other hand, the cuticles of Caucasian hair tend to break into smaller fragments and fall off. In this sense, Caucasian cuticles are more fragile.

5) Why Hair Breaks

The cuticles of Asian hair tends to fall off because the adhesive that holds the cuticle cells together fails. In Caucasian hair, the adhesive holds better but the cuticle cell itself starts to break first.

What does this all mean?

For the first time, scientists have proven that Asian hair has a more solid structure than Caucasian hair. This may account for the beautiful long, shiny look that so many Asian women are known for. The Beauty Brains think it also suggests that Asians may need different hair care products than Caucasians.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Bryan May 16, 2015, 4:26 am

    Rubbish. Asian hair still sucks. Most of the time you can see into the scalp as the hair density is so thin, and they just stick out like a porcupine if you keep it short…

    • sarah September 1, 2015, 7:18 pm

      You should talk about your own hair it is not fair if you judge Asian people with there hair.

      • Hugh September 30, 2015, 7:19 pm

        I’m an Asian male, and i totally agree with Bryan. I have to constantly shave the sides of my hair every 2 weeks and let the top grow out so that when i style my hair, it would look more like side part and less like Kim Jong Un hair style. You guys were talking about female Asian hair, not male. Have you guys seen any female that have hairstyle that is shorter than 3 inches before? Exactly! they look just like a porcupine. When it’s short, it grow straight out instead of stick to the scalp.

      • Jailer November 13, 2015, 5:33 pm


  • Shanelle June 17, 2015, 3:32 am

    How can you say that! I am Asian and i can assure you that my hair does not ‘suck’ and may as well be nicer that yours.

  • Maysi September 1, 2015, 7:07 pm

    @Bryan maybe it’s because you don’t know that much about ‘Asian hair’ Asian girls have smooth, straight, silky hair ‘Asian Hair’ are far more different and better than any other race.
    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

  • Sarah September 1, 2015, 7:07 pm

    hey Bryan you don’t know anything about Asian hair its because maybe you don’t have that kind silky hair aye.

  • Pilgrim September 14, 2015, 3:57 pm

    yep. hair on hair extensions are korean.

    i have one parent asian, one parent caucasian.
    asian parent has hair on head as thick as beard hair.

    i have both kinds all mixed on my head. i have somewhat curly hair.
    no one else in my extended families have curly hair.

  • Kirsten October 14, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Yes, Asian women have beautiful hair. Out of caucasian women, I’ve noticed Russians and Scandinavians have that same type of hair. I’m mostly caucasian, but I do have smooth, straight, elbow length hair. I just treat it well, which means keeping the ends trimmed, using expensive conditioners and no heat styling. Diet comes in to play too. I eat lots of fish and take a good food based vitamin daily, so your hair is also a reflection of your health.

  • Erreeanna October 15, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Today at gym I saw from behind a 60-something woman on cardio machine with this thick mass of grey mop on her head, but it was cut perfectly. The strands were somewhat in ringlets, but it was dense, like one of those trees you see that are just a big puff of green above the trunk. She got off machine and I was flabbergasted: She was Asian–looked pure Asian (Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, etc.), so I’m wondering, where on earth did she get that mop of hair? It looked too natural in front to be a wig. Maybe it was a weave? Maybe she was three-quarters Asian and one-quarter white (one parent is half white)? Maybe the half white parent passed down the thick ringlet gene?

    • anon October 17, 2015, 10:46 pm

      although it is less common, asians can have curly hair. i am asian and although my hair is not curly with thick ringlets like the woman you described, my hair is pretty wavyish-curly.

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