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Hair Education | 02/11/2022

Hair Types: 3A, 3B, 3C

Genetics may predetermine your hair’s texture, but the products you use can help tame any mane, including curly hair types 3A, 3B, 3C. While it may not come with an official manual, your curly hair does come with hair care tips, and tricks passed down from one generation of curly-haired women to the next.

It’s vital to know your hair type to create the healthiest natural style and care routine.

What is Type 3 Hair? 

You can identify your hair type by its follicles, curl pattern, and thickness. The more oval the hair follicles are, the wavier the locks will be. The more rounded the follicles are, the straighter the hair strands will be. Wet hair is more telling than dry hair when distinguishing your curl pattern. 

There are four hair types, and each has its subset of classes (a,b,c):

  • Type 1: Straight
  • Type 2: Wavy
  • Type 3: Curly
  • Type 4: Coily

Type 3 hair can range from light to tight curls. And it has different texture combinations that differentiate it from hair Type 2s. 

A common challenge among hair Type 3s is keeping your locks hydrated and moisturized. The twist and turns of the hair strands make it challenging for your scalp’s natural oils to make their way from the root to the end.

Differences in Hair Types 3A, 3B, 3C

If you have Type 3 curls, you likely have a more springy definition (resembling an “S” shape) with more height and volume at your roots. There are three sub-hair types 3A, 3B, 3C, which have varying texture combinations and care requirements. 

Characteristics of Hair Type 3A 

If you have big, loose curls that spiral and resemble thick sidewalk chalk, you likely have hair Type 3A. 

These curly Qs are shiny, well-defined, and are easiest to manage in moist conditions. But there’s a big chance that frizz is a part of your daily hair battle when your hair is subject to dry conditions. 

Characteristics of Hair Type 3B 

If your curls have a bit of spring with Sharpie marker-sized ringlets, you likely have hair Type 3B. These corkscrew curls have a coarse, dense texture and are simply voluminous. But they can shrink because they are so well-defined and tight.

Characteristics of Hair Type 3C 

Hair Type 3C has a more tightly coiled curl, about a pencil or straw’s circumference. It’s subject to the most shrinkage. This hair type is full of curls, texture, and volume. But it’s often accompanied by frizz. You can learn to easily manage your curly hair with the right products and care routine. 

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How to Care for Hair Types 3A, 3B, 3C

There is more to a healthy hair care routine than wash, condition, rinse, and repeat. Everyone’s hair is unique and evolves. 

Once you identify your hair type, you can develop and implement your locks' best hair care routine. Below are a few suggestions for hair Types 3A, 3B, and 3C. 

3A Hair Care Tips

Incorporate a frizz control moisturizer into your hair care routine because hair Type 3A can get frizzy when it lacks moisture. But try to avoid bogging down your sumptuous curls by using lighter oil- or water-based products. Steer clear of heavy alternatives such as shea butter or alcohol ingredients. 

Get more definition in your curls by twirling small sections of them around your finger while your locks are still damp. 

3B Hair Care Tips

Though humidity may bring plenty of moisture to the air, it can also give curls more frizz rather than definition. 

Hair Type 3B is typically more dense and dry than 3A. Regular moisture and maintenance are essential to keeping these curly locks happy, healthy, and in excellent condition to wear longer natural hairstyles. It all boils down to your hair product ingredients. Avoid products that contain parabens and sulfates.

For less frizz and more definition, use a hydrating styling product that is anti-humectant, like styling milk. 

3C Hair Care Tips

With the proper moisturization and leave-in conditioners, you could be saying bye-bye to frizzy locks. 

Sulfate-free shampoo is best for nearly every hair type. We highly recommend it for hair Type 3C. You may even want to adopt a co-washing routine with these luscious locks to keep them properly hydrated and healthy. 

Avoid heating tools and stretch and enhance these curly Qs with a Flexi-rod set, twist-out, or Bantu-knot out to style this hair type safely.  

Why You Should Avoid Damaging Sulfates

The foundation of any healthy hair care routine is the products you use. Sulfates have their place and are a sudsy cleaning agent. But they can be bad news for hair care.

These chemical agents strip your hair clean, including its natural oils and hydration. They cause dryness, breakage, and scalp irritation. The most common sulfates you will see on shampoo bottles are:

  • Ammonia Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

For curly hair to thrive, bounce, and shine, it needs moisture. So sulfates are bad news for your hair care routine. 

Become a Vida Babe

Are you looking for the right sulfate-free shampoo? You have come to the right place! Vida Bars creator, Ana, is a curly girl herself. Her mission to find products free of harsh chemicals while positively impacting the world led her to create an option that empowers her to love herself and the planet. You, too, can become a Vida Babe and shop our sulfate and harsh chemical-free solutions to keep your locks healthy and happy.

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