How To Care For 3A Hair (Ultimate Guide)

The hair typing system, originally created by the famous stylist Andre Walker, divides hair types into four categories, each with its own subcategories.

Today we are talking about hair type 3, which can be identified by its S-curls.


How To Care For 3A Hair

How To Take Care of Type 3a Hair?

Type 3 hair can range from loose curls to tight corkscrews and is usually divided into three categories: 3A, 3B and 3C.

Regardless of which spectrum your curls are on, you’ve probably encountered some degree of curl and (possibly) frustration.

You’ve also probably struggled with dryness.

This is because your type of curly hair makes it difficult for your scalp’s natural oils to move through the hair shaft.

But don’t worry, friend! If you’re looking for type 3 hair care tips, we’ve got you covered.


What is type 3 hair?

Type 3 hair is a unique type of curly hair that can have loose waves or tightly curled corkscrews. These lush, bouncy curls need more moisture to keep curls crisp and well-groomed.

Once you understand all of these factors related to your natural locks, you will find it easier to take care of them.


You should know the three subtypes of type 3 hair:

Type 3A Hair.

Type 3A hair is usually compared to sidewalk chalk in circumference (about an inch).

You’ll know you have this hair type if your curls are loose, bouncy and curled from root to tip. This curl pattern is usually clearly defined with or without product.

3A curls are thick and shiny, but they may lack volume.

If you struggle with frizzy hair, you may find it helpful to add a shampoo and conditioner to your routine to increase volume.

To avoid flat, weighted hair, use a lightweight, water-based moisturizer daily.


Type 3B Hair.

If you have Type 3B hair, your curls are medium-sized, like your index finger or a regular felt tip. The curls can range from bouncy curls to bouncy corkscrews.

Type 3B hair is usually coarser than 3A hair.

Because of the denser curls, you may have more dryness than people with type 3A hair.

You may notice that your hair lengthens when wet but becomes somewhat shorter (drying) as it dries.

This is perfectly fine, but if it’s not the look you’re going for, there are solutions.

Once your hair is thoroughly cleaned and moisturized, use stretch creams or protective styles (such as braids or bantu knots) to keep the length down.


Type 3C Hair.

Unlike 3A and 3B hair, Type 3C is not included in the original Andre Walker hair typing guide.

It was added by the folks to their modified hair type system to account for the gaps between types 3B and 4A.

If you have this hair type, your curls have the circumference of a pencil or chopstick. It is also tightly packed for light volume.

3C hair, often called curly hair, will be drier and more brittle than its 3A/B counterparts.

To combat this, it’s important to use a deep conditioner weekly.

This ensures that the moisture penetrates to the deepest layer of your strands, strengthening them from the inside out.

Also, simple styles of manipulation (e.g., wash and groom, buns, etc.) will help you avoid breakage and frizzy hair.

You will experience the sharpest reduction of all your type 3 friends.

As with 3B, if you want to show off your length, it helps to stretch your hair with a special product or styling method.


Type 3 hair care tips – 3A to 3C


1. Clean your curls.

Ah, the famous wash day. Sometimes it can be a struggle and a half! However, while it may be tempting to skip it, don’t do it.

It’s very important to clean your hair properly.

This will allow you to remove product residue from your hair and scalp.

A healthy scalp is the best environment for hair growth.

Also, a day of washing is your opportunity to detangle your hair.

Unraveling while wet is the best way to avoid unnecessary damage.

Try to wash your hair once a week (or when there are oily deposits and buildup).

Since Type 3 hair is prone to dryness, you can use a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are a group of chemical detergents used to clean hair.

They can remove natural oils from the hair cuticle, resulting in dry (possibly damaged) curls.


Hot tip: Instead of drying your hair with a towel, which can pinch your curls and cause breakage, use a soft cotton t-shirt.


2. Condition the cuticle.

After cleansing your hair, you need to replace the moisture as soon as possible.

Always add conditioner to your shampoo. You should also do deep conditioning on a regular basis.

The frequency will depend on how much moisture your hair type needs.

If your hair generally retains moisture well, do deep conditioning a couple of times a month.

If you are struggling with chronic dryness, do it once a week.

It’s usually recommended that you apply a deep conditioner with heat for 15-30 minutes.

You can do this in the shower (wrap your hair in a shower cap to retain heat).

You can also sit under a hooded dryer. The conditioner forms a barrier on the surface of your hair and the deep conditioner penetrates the inner layers.

You don’t have to use both on the same day. Choose one, depending on the needs of your hair.


Hot Tip: Use this time to thoroughly detangle your hair. Conditioners provide a “slip,” which makes it easy to detangle your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers.


3. Moisturize the mane.

Applying an indelible conditioner to your hair daily will help keep your curls smooth throughout the week. Use as needed.

Your hair type, texture and porosity affect which moisturizer you choose.

As mentioned, people with type 3A curls are best served by lightweight, water-based creams.

If you have Type 3B / C hair, try moisturizing milk, mousses and curl custards.

Also, never underestimate the power of water. Spraying your hair with water daily is a great way to keep it moisturized.

Some people add a light oil (like avocado, jojoba, argan, etc.) to lock in moisture.

You can try this technique to see if you like it or if it causes too much build-up.


Hot Tip 1: Porosity refers to how easily hair absorbs and retains moisture. It can be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. It’s important to determine your porosity to help you choose the right product.


Hot Tip 2: Cover your hair with a satin scarf or use a satin pillowcase while you sleep. Cotton pillowcases will absorb all your blood-earned fluid. Satin also reduces friction on your hair, reducing nighttime breakage.

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