3A Hair Type: How To Style And Take Care Of Your Hair

Written by Anjali Sayee

Do you remember the curls sported by Zendaya in the 2017 teens choice awards? Those gorgeous wobbly spiral curls are known as 3A hair type. There are different curly hair types, ranging from 3A to 4C hair types. Keep on reading if you want to know more about 3A curls, what type of curly hair you have, and ways to style it.

What Is 3A Type Hair?


Your hair type is defined by the tilt of the follicle bulbs. If the bulbs are not tilted, you have straight hair. If they are slightly tilted, you have wavy hair. Curly hair has tilted bulbs. Curly hair ranges from 3A to 4C, with each hair type becoming tighter and smaller.


3A type hair is the first curly hair type. It is characterized by loose, well-defined, and spring-like curls. 3A hair is famously said to have the thickness of side-walk chalk. It is shiny and has a natural bounce. It looks amazing when naturally worn down.

However, the primary issue with 3A hair (like all curl hair types) is frizz. It also may feel dry at times. However, taking care of it the right way can boost your hair health.

How To Take Care Of 3A Type Hair?

  1. Comb regularly. Curly hair is prone to an oily scalp and dry locks. Regularly combing and brushing your hair can help spread the sebum from the roots to the tips.
  2. Oil your hair at least once a week. This ensures your dry strands get the needed nourishment.
  3. Avoid chemicals. Chemical straighteners and relaxers penetrate the hair strands and change their structure, causing hair to stretch, lose shape, and become damaged.
  4. Use the right products, as they help repair that damage. Look for products that cater to the needs of your specific hair type. Find shampoos and conditioners specific to your curly hair. Use serums, creams, and oils that reduce frizz and dryness and enhance curl-definition.
  5. Use conditioners and leave-in products as they moisturize hair.
  6. Curly hair can more easily accumulate build-up and dirt. That said, remember not to over-shampoo your curly tresses. Use co-washes or cleansing conditioners once or twice a week. Wash your hair with regular shampoo in between co-washes.
  7. Use a silk or satin pillowcase while sleeping. It reduces frizz and enhances the curl structure.
  8. Allow your hair to fall naturally once or twice a week. Tight hairstyles pull on your hair roots and lead to hair breakage and loss.
  9. Use edge control creams while styling. You may also use coconut cream to smoothen hair.
  10. Protect your hair from the sun and heat. Photo- and heat-damage can ruin hair structure. Use protectants, SPF products, and caps or scarves to protect your tresses.
  11. Be gentle while towel-drying your hair. Pat or scrunch dry your hair. Though time-consuming, it can prevent hair breakage or hair loss.

In the following section, we have listed certain tips that can help you style your 3A type hair.

How To Style 3A Type Hair?

  1. Avoid using harsh brushes. They may open your curls out and make your hair frizzy. You can instead wash your hair, spritz on some curl definer, and scrunch your hair for more definition.
  2. Avoid tight hairstyles like tight ponytails, braids, and buns that pull at the roots. These hairstyles also loosen your curl structure.
  3. Use a hairspray to keep your hair in place and prevent fly aways.
  4. Keep a curl-refresher spray handy. You might need it at any time! It builds curl-definition and makes your hair look fresh.
  5. Loose hairstyles, like a loose crown braid half-ponytail, might enhance your hair type while adding some style.
  6. Spritz on some curl definer after washing your hair at night. Wrap your hair in a thin cotton shirt. This will enhance your curl structure and leave your hair frizz-free.

Products For 3A Type Hair

  1. Curl Definer: Curl definers enhance curl structure. Spray through your hair and scrunch it.
  2. Anti-Frizz Products: These will protect your hair from frizz even in humid conditions. They also prevent flyaways and static.
  3. Leave-In Products: Natural and leave-in products work best for curly hair as they keep it moisturized.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar: You can either pair apple cider vinegar with water or add it to your shampoo. This mixture will remove all product residue, sweat, build-up, and dirt from your scalp and hair.
  5. Refreshers: Refresher sprays or mists add a little moisture to your curls and keep them from getting dry or frizzy.
  6. Curl-Type Shampoos And Conditioners: These will cater to all your curly hair needs without stripping your hair dry.

Using these products as directed will help boost the health of your 3A type hair. Before we close, let us quickly understand the types of curly hair and how they differ.

Differences Between 3A, 3B, And 3C Hair Types


These three types of curly hair differ in their shape.

3A: These are loose curls with a well-defined S-shaped pattern.

3B: These are voluminous curls that are a little smaller and tightly wound. They are as thick as a marker pen.

3C: These are corkscrew or ringlet curls that are as thick as a pencil.


While the different curly hair types can sometimes look alike, the 3A curls stand apart. They look beautiful naturally styled. Follow the care tips and style ideas mentioned above, and you will be surprised by the way your hair looks. You will notice your curls becoming more defined and healthier.


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