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

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what is 3a hairImagine having effortlessly beautiful, bouncy curls that turn heads wherever you go. That’s exactly what 3A hair can give you. But to make the most of your gorgeous curls, you need to know how to properly care for them.

In this article, we will explore what exactly 3A hair is and provide expert tips on how to keep it healthy and vibrant.

Key Takeaways

  • Defined ringlets with an S-shaped pattern.
  • Curls similar in size to sidewalk chalk.
  • Prone to frizz and dryness.
  • Deep conditioning and gentle cleansing are crucial for maintaining hydration and nourishment.

What is 3A Hair?

What is 3A Hair
If you have 3A hair, you’ll be excited to learn more about this curly hair type and how to care for it.

Type 3A hair is characterized by well-defined ringlets with a loopy, S-shaped pattern. The circumference of the curls is similar in size to a piece of sidewalk chalk. This hair type has a fine to medium texture and provides lots of body and movement.

To care for your 3A hair properly, make sure to boost moisture levels by using products specifically designed for curly or textured hair like Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Shampoo and Conditioner as well as the Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-In Conditioner.

Additionally, choose styling aids that enhance your curls such as Natural Twist & Set Setting Lotion or Natural Curl Enhancing Mousse.

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 need to look for distinct characteristics in the curl pattern.

Type 3A hair is characterized by its larger, looser curls with a diameter ranging from 1 inch to 1/2 inch.

These curls are well-defined and often form defined ringlets.

Unlike Type 2C hair which doesn’t have completely formed ringlets, Type 3A has a more defined shape.

Additionally, the strands of Type 3A hair tend to be S-shaped in appearance.

In terms of texture, this type of hair falls within the fine to medium range.

Type: Hair Porosity

Sub-type: Curl Diameter (Size)


  • Defined ringlets
  • Curl diameter ranges from around one inch up until half an inch.
  • Strand shape appears as ‘S’ shaped.


-Fine or Medium texture.

Hair concerns that may arise include frizziness and dryness due to its natural tendency towards these issues.

In order take care properly for your type three A curly locks it’s important moisturize regularly -boosting moisture levels using products like Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Shampoo along with Conditioner.

You can also apply some leave-in conditioner while styling such as Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-In Conditioner.

When looking at differentiating between various types of curly hairstyles there are many factors involved including but not limited too :curl tightness ,strand width etc.

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:

  • Avoid chemical exposure as it can cause damage and dryness.
  • Deep condition regularly to hydrate and nourish your curls.
  • Be mindful of over washing which can strip the natural oils from your hair and result in dryness and frizz.
  • Sleeping with silk or satin pillowcases can help reduce friction on your hair while you sleep and prevent frizz.

Avoid Chemical Exposure

To care for your Type 3A hair, avoid exposing it to harmful chemicals.

Chemical treatments like hair dye and bleach can damage your hair and make it more prone to dryness and frizz.

Instead, opt for chemical-free styling options such as curl defining products that enhance the natural beauty of your curls without causing harm.

Incorporate frizz-fighting techniques into your nighttime hair care routine, such as using silk pillowcases to reduce friction and prevent breakage.

Embrace the curly girl method by co-washing with gentle cleansers that won’t strip away moisture from your coily locks.

Deep Condition

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

Deep conditioning helps to hydrate and nourish your curls, preventing dryness and frizz.

It’s recommended to use a deep conditioner specifically formulated for curly hair types.

Apply the conditioner generously from root to tip, focusing on the ends of your hair where dryness tends to occur.

Leave it on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Incorporating hydration techniques like deep conditioning into your regular routine will help keep your Type 3A curls healthy and vibrant.

Avoid Over Washing

To properly care for your Type 3A hair, it’s important to avoid over washing.

Over-washing can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and frizz.

Instead, focus on proper hydration by using moisturizing products and deep conditioning regularly.

Invest in silk pillowcases to prevent friction and minimize frizz while you sleep.

Embrace chemical-free care by choosing products that are free from harmful chemicals like sulfates and parabens.

Lastly, establish a nighttime routine that includes protecting your hair with a satin bonnet or scarf before bed for optimal results.

Sleep With Silk

For optimal care of your Type 3A hair, sleep with a silk pillowcase or use a silk scarf to protect your curls and minimize frizz.

Silk is gentle on the hair and reduces friction, preventing breakage and damage while you sleep.

Incorporating silk into your nighttime routine creates a sleep environment that promotes healthy hair by reducing frizz and preserving moisture.

Invest in silk pillowcases for long-lasting results in frizz prevention and overall hair protection.

The Best Products for Type 3A Hair

If you have Type 3A hair, there are several products that can help enhance and care for your curls.

  • Consider trying a curl leave-in conditioner to moisturize and detangle your hair.
  • Try a curl enhancing mousse to define and reduce frizz.
  • Another option is a cleansing conditioner specifically designed for curly hair, which can gently cleanse while providing hydration.

Other recommended products include:

  • Refreshing sprays
  • Styling gels
  • Botanical gels
  • Styling mousses

All of these products are formulated to cater to the needs of Type 3A curls.

Curl Leave-in Conditioner

VERB Curl Leave-In Conditioner, 6View On Amazon
You’ll love the Curl Leave-in Conditioner for Type 3A hair, as it:

  • Weightlessly moisturizes
  • Detangles, and prevents breakage
  • Promotes hydrated and bouncy curls

This product contains sunflower seed extract to provide manageability and protect against color fading. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harmful sulfates, parabens, gluten or mineral oil. However some users may find it runny or not thick enough for their liking. Additionally,it may not be effective for very curly hair,and can contain silicone which might be a concern to some users.

  • Weightlessly moisturizes
  • Detangles hair effectively
  • Prevents breakage
  • Promotes hydrated and bouncy curls
  • -May be runny

-May not work well on very curly hair types.

-Might contain silicones

Curl Enhancing Mousse

Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse,View On Amazon
You’ll love the Curl Enhancing Mousse, a must-have product for Type 3A hair that enhances your natural curls and reduces frizz.

This lightweight and non-greasy formula provides a soft and pliable hold while keeping your curls defined and bouncy. The mousse dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about it weighing down your hair or leaving any residue behind.

Plus, it’s free from parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, and mineral oil – making it a moisturizing option for your locks.

  • Lightweight formula
  • Soft and pliable hold
  • Reduces frizz
  • Some users found it to be pricey
  • May not work as effectively on very curly hair

Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

As I Am Coconut CowashView On Amazon
To care for your Type 3A hair, one highly recommended product is the Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner. This product deeply nourishes and cleanses your hair, removing sebum, residue, and product buildup while promoting healthy growth.

The Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner is safe and natural with no harmful sulfates or parabens. It provides conditioning benefits to keep your curls hydrated and frizz-free. However, some users have found the container difficult to use.

  • Deeply nourishes hair
  • Removes sebum, residue,and build-up
  • Promotes healthy growth
  • Container may be difficult to use

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Refresh

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk CurlView On Amazon
For Type 3A hair, one of the best products to consider is Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Refresh. This silicone-free spray is specifically designed for wavy, curly, and coily hair. It features a refreshing scent of Agave and Sweet Almond and contains nourishing ingredients like Agave Nectar, Cocoa Butter, and Shea Butter.

The Hair Milk Refresh deeply moisturizes your curls while improving softness and preventing frizz. Simply spray evenly on dry, styled hair to reactivate your curls and use your fingers to reshape them back into place.

  • Silicone-free formula
  • Nourishes with natural ingredients like Agave Nectar
  • Improves curl definition without weighing down the hair
  • Some users report it may not provide as much help with frizz control as desired
  • Can leave a dingy or sticky feeling on some users’ hair

Mielle Organics Curl Defining Gel

Mielle Organics Honey & GingerView On Amazon
If you have Type 3A hair, the Mielle Organics Curl Defining Gel is a must-have product for enhancing and defining your beautiful curls. This styling gel is specifically designed to nourish and strengthen your hair without the use of damaging chemicals.

It contains ingredients like honey, ginger, aloe extract, and babassu oil that encourage healthier and stronger hair. The gel also helps to reduce frizz and promote shine, giving you well-defined curls with lots of body.

  • Nourishes and strengthens hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Promotes shine
  • Some users may find it has a strong ginger smell
  • May not provide enough hold for some users

Goddess Curls Botanical Gelle

Goddess CURLS Botancial GelleView On Amazon
You’ll love the Goddess Curls Botanical Gelle for Type 3A hair – it’s a must-have styling product that provides a firm hold while moisturizing your curls. This gel is infused with Plumeria Alba Flower Extract and Aloe leaf juice, making it perfect for those with curly hair living in humid climates as it helps protect against frizz.

It also works well as a pre-travel product to keep your curls looking their best. The Goddess Curls Botanical Gelle comes in an 8 fl oz bottle and has a refreshing scent of Aloe.

  • Provides a firm hold.
  • Moisturizes the hair.
  • Protects against frizz.
  • Some users have reported that it made their hair feel brittle and itchy.
  • Some users felt that this gel didn’t provide enough hold for their specific curl type or hairstyle preference

Rucker Roots Styling Mousse

Rucker Roots Texture Styling Mousse|View On Amazon
To enhance and define your Type 3A curls, the Rucker Roots Styling Mousse is an excellent choice. This mousse is specially formulated to provide your hair with the hydration it needs while keeping it bouncy and full of life.

The lightweight formula allows for easy application without weighing down your curls. It helps to reduce frizz and adds definition, giving you those beautiful ringlets that you desire.

  • Hydrates and nourishes Type 3A hair
  • Lightweight formula doesn’t weigh down curls
  • Reduces frizz and adds definition
  • Some users may find the scent overpowering
  • May not hold as well in high humidity conditions
  • Pricey compared to other styling mousses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Type 3A hair be straightened or styled with heat?

Yes, Type 3A hair can be straightened or styled with heat.

However, it’s important to use heat protectant products and avoid excessive heat to prevent damage.

It’s recommended to consult a professional stylist for best results.

How often should I wash my Type 3A hair?

To maintain the health and integrity of your Type 3A hair, it’s recommended to wash it every 2-3 days. This frequency allows for thorough cleansing without stripping away essential oils that keep your curls hydrated and defined.

Are there any specific haircuts or hairstyles that work best for Type 3A hair?

For Type 3A hair, shorter hairstyles like round-shaped cuts, bobs (short and long), and multiple layers work best as they define the curls and reduce frizz.

Experiment with these styles to find what suits you best.

Can Type 3A hair be colored or chemically treated?

Yes, Type 3A hair can be colored or chemically treated. However, it’s important to consider the potential damage and dryness that these treatments can cause.

It’s best to consult with a professional stylist for advice on maintaining healthy hair during chemical processes.

How can I combat frizz and dryness in my Type 3A hair?

To combat frizz and dryness in your Type 3A hair, focus on nourishing and hydrating it.

  • Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
  • Avoid heat styling tools.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner or styling cream.
  • Protect your tresses from the elements.


To sum it up, 3A hair is a beautiful curl pattern that can give you effortlessly bouncy curls.

Caring for this hair type involves:

  • Avoiding chemical exposure
  • Deep conditioning
  • Avoiding over-washing
  • Sleeping with silk

When it comes to products, using:

  • Curl-enhancing mousse
  • Leave-in conditioners
  • Cleansing conditioners specifically designed for 3A hair

So embrace your unique curl pattern and give your 3A hair the love and care it deserves!

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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.