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3A Hair: What It is and How to Care (2024)

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what is 3a hairImagine having hair that effortlessly bounces and springs with every step, creating a captivating aura around you.

It’s time to learn the secrets of caring for your unique curls and embracing their natural beauty. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly 3A hair is and provide you with expert tips on how to nurture it properly.

Get ready to unleash the power of your gorgeous curls!

Key Takeaways

  • 3A hair is characterized by wide, loose ringlets that are well-defined and springy.
  • It is often confused with 2C hair but has larger and looser curls with a more defined ringlet shape.
  • 3A hair is typically finer than 2C hair and has a fine to medium texture with lots of body and movement.
  • Care for 3A hair involves avoiding chemical exposure, deep conditioning regularly, avoiding overwashing, and using silk pillowcases or bonnets for protection.

What is 3A Hair?

What is 3A Hair
If you have 3A hair, your curls are defined by their wide, loose ringlets.

The texture of 3A hair is characterized by well-defined and springy curls with a loopy, S shaped pattern. Each curl has a circumference that’s about the size of a piece of sidewalk chalk. This hair type typically has fine to medium texture and lots of body and movement.

When it comes to caring for 3A hair, it’s important to focus on hydration and moisture since this type tends to be prone to dryness and frizz. Look for moisturizing shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for curly hair like SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo or DevaCurl One Condition Original Daily Cream Conditioner.

To style your 3A curls, consider using setting lotion or curl enhancing mousse like Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel or Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel.

For cutting techniques suitable for 3A hair types consult with professional stylists who specialize in curly cuts as they can create layers throughout the haircut that add volume without sacrificing shape.

Differentiating Between Type 3A and Other Hair Types

Differentiating Between Type 3A and Other Hair Types
To differentiate between Type 3A hair and other hair types, you can observe the distinct characteristics of each curl pattern.

  1. 3A Hair vs 2C Hair:
    • The curls in Type 2C hair are more wavy than they’re curly.
    • They often have an S-shape rather than a completely formed ringlet.
  2. 3A Hair vs 3B Hair:
    • The curls in Type 3B hair are tighter and more spiraled compared to the large, loose ringlets of Type A.
    • While both types have springy curls, the shape and tightness differ.

Understanding these differences will allow you to identify your specific curl type accurately. This knowledge is essential for choosing appropriate products and styling techniques that cater specifically to your unique texture needs.

How to Care for Type 3A Hair

How to Care for Type 3A Hair
To properly care for your type 3A hair, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

First, avoid chemical exposure as it can damage and frizz your curls.

Second, make sure to deep condition regularly to hydrate and repair any damage.

Third, be mindful of over washing which can strip the natural oils from your hair causing dryness and frizz.

Lastly, consider sleeping with a silk pillowcase to reduce friction and minimize frizz while you sleep.

Avoid Chemical Exposure

Protect your Type 3A hair by avoiding chemical exposure.

Chemical treatments such as hair dye and perming can damage your curls and make them more prone to frizz.

Instead, opt for sulfate-free shampoos that gently cleanse without stripping the natural oils from your hair.

Limit the use of silicone-based products that can weigh down your curls and make them look greasy.

Use a gentle detangling brush to prevent breakage, air dry your hair whenever possible, and incorporate co-washing into your hair care routine for added hydration.

Deep Condition Regularly

To properly care for your Type 3A hair, it’s important to deep condition regularly.

Deep conditioning helps to hydrate and repair damaged hair, reduce frizz, and boost shine.

To deep condition your Type 3A hair effectively, apply a generous amount of conditioner to damp hair after shampooing.

Leave it on for at least 15-30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool water.

Avoid Over Washing

When caring for your Type 3A hair, it’s important to avoid over washing as this can strip the natural oils and lead to dryness and frizz.

  • Limit washing frequency
  • Use a gentle shampoo
  • Focus on conditioning
  • Incorporate deep conditioning treatments regularly
  • Utilize co-washing methods or dry shampoos when needed

Sleep With Silk

To properly care for your Type 3A hair, it’s important to:

  • Sleep with a silk pillowcase or use a silk bonnet.

Silk pillowcases help reduce frizz and keep your hair healthy by preventing friction while you sleep.

  • Silk bonnets are another great option for protecting your hair at night, as they provide an extra layer of defense against friction and help preserve the shape of your curls.

The Best Products for Type 3A Hair

When it comes to caring for your type 3A hair, finding the right products is key.

The best products for type 3A hair include:

  • A curl leave-in conditioner
  • Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse
  • Coconut cowash cleansing conditioner
  • Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Refresher Spray
  • Mielle Organics Curl Defining Gel
  • Goddess Curls Botanical Gel

These products will help moisturize and define your curls while reducing frizz and promoting healthy hair growth.

Curl Leave-in Conditioner

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You should try using a curl leave-in conditioner specifically designed for Type 3A hair to enhance and nourish your curls.

These conditioners are formulated to provide weightless moisture, detangle the hair, prevent breakage, repair damage, promote shine, reduce frizz, and define your curl pattern.

They often contain ingredients like sunflower seed extract that nourish the curls and glycerin that binds moisture to the hair for added softness.

However, some users may find these conditioners to be runny or not thick enough for their liking. Additionally, they may not be as effective for those with very curly hair and could contain silicone.

  • Weightlessly moisturizes
  • Detangles and prevents breakage
  • Repairs damage
  • May be runny or too thin
  • May not work well on very curly hair
  • Could contain silicone

Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse

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You’ll love the Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse for your Type 3A hair. This lightweight and non-greasy mousse formula is specifically designed to enhance curl definition and promote healthy hair growth.

It dries quickly, providing a soft and pliable hold while reducing frizz. The best part? It’s free from parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, and mineral oil. With this curl enhancing mousse, you can achieve perfect curls without any compromise.

  • Enhances curl definition
  • Provides a soft and pliable hold
  • Reduces frizz
  • Some users find it expensive
  • May cause itching when used with other products
  • May turn platinum blond hair green

Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

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One of the best products for Type 3A hair is the Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner. This deep conditioning and nourishing product is specifically designed to remove sebum, residue, and product buildup from curly hair while promoting healthy growth.

It provides safe and natural cleansing without stripping the hair of its natural oils. The Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner deeply nourishes the hair, leaving it soft, manageable, and hydrated.

  • Effectively removes sebum, residue,and product buildup
  • Promotes healthy growth
  • Safe and natural cleansing
  • Some users may find the container difficult to use.
  • Slightly pricy for some users

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Refresher

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To refresh and redefine your Type 3A curls, Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Refresher is a lightweight mist that moisturizes and revives without weighing down your hair. This curl refresher locks in moisture to control frizz, while also softening and detangling your hair.

It can be used on dry, styled hair to reactivate curls or layered over or under other Carol’s Daughter products for enhanced results. The scent of agave and sweet almond adds a delightful fragrance to this product.

  • Lightweight mist that doesn’t weigh down the hair
  • Locks in moisture to control frizz
  • Softens and detangles the hair
  • May not be suitable for less curly types of hair
  • Some users reported that it left their hair feeling dingy
  • May not be as effective in humid weather conditions

Mielle Organics Curl Defining Gel

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Get defined and bouncy curls with Mielle Organics Curl Defining Gel, the perfect product for Type 3A hair. This styling gel is formulated with natural ingredients like honey, ginger, aloe extract, and babassu oil to nourish your hair without causing build-up or damage.

It encourages healthier and stronger hair while providing hold and definition to your curls. The gel has a pleasant aloe scent and comes in a 13 fluid ounce bottle. However, some users have reported that it leaves a strong ginger smell and may not provide as much hold as desired.

  • Formulated with natural ingredients
  • Nourishes hair without causing build-up or damage
  • Encourages healthier and stronger hair
  • Some users reported that it leaves a strong ginger smell
  • May not provide as much hold as desired for some users

Goddess Curls Botanical Gel

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You’ll love the Goddess Curls Botanical Gel for your Type 3A hair – it’s one of the best products out there!

This moisturizing and firm hold gel is perfect for individuals with curly hair, especially in humid climates. It protects against frizz and provides a great hold that lasts all day long. The infusion of Plumeria Alba Flower Extract and Aloe leaf juice helps to keep your curls hydrated and defined.

Plus, it’s a convenient product to use before traveling to maintain your desired hairstyle.

  • Moisturizing formula
  • Firm hold that withstands humidity
  • Infused with natural ingredients like Plumeria Alba Flower Extract
  • Some users found it made their hair feel brittle or itchy
  • May not provide enough hold for certain hair types
  • Has been reported to leave a residue-like feeling in some cases

Rucker Roots Styling Mousse

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You’ll love the Rucker Roots Styling Mousse for your Type 3A hair, as it provides lightweight hold and enhances your curls effortlessly.

This mousse is formulated with ginger clay and other natural ingredients to increase elasticity in your hair and stimulate keratin production. It’s perfect for both wet or dry styles, defining waves and setting curls while keeping your hair hydrated and bouncy.

The mousse has received positive reviews from customers who’ve found it to be light yet long-lasting, with a pleasant scent.

  • Provides lightweight hold
  • Enhances curl definition
  • Keeps hair hydrated
  • May not provide enough hold for some users
  • Scent may not be appealing to everyone
  • Could contain silicone

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Type 3A hair be straightened or is it naturally curly?

Yes, Type 3A hair can be straightened, but it’s naturally curly.

Keep in mind that frequent heat styling can cause damage and weaken the curls over time. It’s important to use heat protectant products and minimize excessive heat exposure for healthy hair.

How often should I deep condition my Type 3A hair?

For Type 3A hair, deep conditioning once a week or every two weeks can help restore moisture and nourish your curls.

Is it necessary to use a diffuser when drying Type 3A hair?

Using a diffuser when drying Type 3A hair can be a game-changer. It helps to enhance your beautiful, bouncy curls while minimizing frizz. The diffused airflow allows for gentle drying, giving you that effortless and natural look you desire.

Can Type 3A hair benefit from using a satin pillowcase?

A satin pillowcase can benefit Type 3A hair by reducing friction and minimizing frizz.

Its smooth surface allows the curls to glide, preventing tangles and preserving the curl pattern overnight.

When it comes to Type 3A hair, there are certain hairstyles and cuts that may not be recommended.

  • Avoid heavy layering or excessive thinning, as this can disrupt the natural curl pattern and lead to frizz.


To truly embrace the beauty of your 3A hair, it’s important to understand its unique characteristics and provide it with the proper care it needs.

By avoiding chemical exposure, deep conditioning regularly, and protecting your hair while you sleep, you can nurture your curls and enhance their natural bounce and vitality.

Additionally, using the right products specifically designed for 3A hair can make all the difference.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.