All About 3B Natural Hair

From understanding the texture to hair care and styling tips - know how to make the best of your gorgeous 3B curls.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Watts, MBBS, DDVL, MAHRS, MAAHRS, MSHTS Dr. John Watts Dr. John WattsMBBS, DDVL, MAHRS, MAAHRS, MSHTS facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years

Did you know that hair curls tend to have a specific pattern? If your hair follows a ‘S’ pattern and appears like spring ringlets, you have 3B hair.

This hair type is a crossover between waves and corkscrew curls. The curls have a medium-coarse texture that craves moisture and requires the right hair care to add definition. Like any other natural hair type, 3B textured hair is prone to frizz and might get tangled easily.

If you want to amp up your 3B curly hair game, you need to follow a suitable hair care routine. Check out our article to explore various ways of maintaining your 3B hair type.

Differentiating Between Different Type 3 Curl Patterns

Type 3 curls are super defined and form perfect ringlets. They are what you may think of when you picture traditionally curly hair, and they have ample volume right from the roots to the tips. They are further categorized as follows:

  • Type 3A: Big, loose, well-defined, and spring-like curls that have a loopy, S-shaped pattern.
  • Type 3B: A mix of well-defined, medium-sized springs and corkscrew curls that are a little more tightly wound than 3A curls.
  • Type 3C: Well-defined, tight corkscrew curls that are even more tightly packed than 3B curls.

Check out the next section to learn what 3b hair looks like and everything you need to understand about it.

What You Need To Understand About 3B Natural Hair

Springy ringlets with plenty of volumes – that’s 3B natural hair. The follicles of 3B hair are oval and flat, which is why the hair tends to form these typical shapes of curls. The circumference of this hair type is the size of a large marker. The curls range from bouncy spirals to tight corkscrew. This hair type tends to get dry and frizzy and needs plenty of moisture to stay hydrated.

Scroll down to know how to take care of your 3B hair pattern to achieve the desired look and definition.

Ways To Care For 3B Hair

Natural Hair Regimen

This natural hair care regimen for 3B curly hair will help your hair appear its best.

1. Shampoo

When it comes to shampooing 3B curly hair, once a week is enough. It is best to opt for a moisturizing shampoo to prevent dryness and keep your locks hydrated with each wash. Cleansing your hair frequently can strip the natural oils and lead to frizz and dullness. However, you can rinse your hair with a co-wash in between shampoo days.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Wet your hair thoroughly before applying shampoo to the scalp. Then, gently scrub the scalp to remove trapped dirt, grease, and product buildup before washing it off. Do not rub or scrub down the length of your hair with shampoo.

2. Oiling

Use lightweight oils to seal the natural moisture without weighing your curls down. Apply oil to wet hair to reduce frizz and retain the shape of your curls. This will also help make them shiny, soft, and silky.

3. Deep Conditioning

Add a deep conditioner to your natural hair care routine. Use a rich, creamy conditioner once or twice a week. It helps detangle the knots, define your curls, and make your hair more manageable. Deep conditioning helps prevent frizz and adds volume to your hair.

4. Detangle With Your Fingers

Detangling your hair when it is dry or greasy might cause friction, leading to hair loss. Use your fingers instead of a wide-toothed comb or hair brush to detangle your curls. Get rid of all knots and tangles only after shampooing. This practice will go a long way to protect your hair from shedding and frizz.

5. Layer It Right

People with low porosity 3B hair types struggle to retain moisture in their hair. Since humectants can absorb water from the atmosphere, it is better to apply gel products first and layer them with a cream-based product or mousse. This method will help seal the moisture and keep your hair nourished for long. Apply these products on wet hair for the best results.

Your 3B curls can be treated with the LOC method. Here’s how you can benefit from it.

LOC Method

The liquid, oil, and cream (LOC) method helps retain your hair’s moisture for extended periods. It also helps improve the overall look and feel of your curly hair. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to carry out the process.

1. Prep Your Hair

Ensure that your hair is clean and free of sweat and grease. Pick a sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo to give your hair a thorough cleanse.

2. Apply Leave-In Conditioner

Apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner to your hair, which can get absorbed quickly. It helps add shine and slip to your hair. You can also use a water-based conditioning hairspray to provide the initial layer of moisture to your locks. Divide your hair into sections, wet them, and apply the leave-in conditioner evenly through your curls.

3. Use Oil On Your Strands

Opt for coconut or olive oils to hydrate your strands and prevent moisture from escaping. A few drops are enough to saturate your hair and provide an instant boost of shine and nourishment. Detangle the knots with fingers before applying oil to each section of your hair, from root to tip. Do not go overboard, as excessive oil might weigh your hair down.

4. Hair Cream

Hair cream helps seal the moisture in your hair provided by conditioners and oils in the previous steps. It imparts long-lasting hydration and shine to your hair. Apply a generous amount of cream to your curls and style them the way you desire.

Read on to take a look at the best hairstyles you can achieve on 3B curly hair and elevate your hair styling game.

Best 3B Hairstyles To Try

  • Bangs: Curly bangs look incredibly chic and are extremely low-maintenance. Have them long enough to keep space for shrinkage.  The key is to cut bangs according to your face shape and hair length. Curly bangs can also help cover wide foreheads.
  • Pixie: A short pixie cut looks glam and fun. It helps soften the shape of your face and makes your eyes defined. Trim your locks every 3-4 weeks to achieve this hairstyle, and create a tousled look. Do not forget to apply setting creams and gel hairsprays while styling a pixie cut to keep your hair frizz-free. just let loose your hair and enjoy its bounce. to just let your hair loose and enjoy its bounce.
  • Air-Dried: This is your best bet to keep your curls healthy, protect them from damage, and prevent dryness and spilt ends. Flaunt your air-dried curls to the world with confidence –  just let loose your hair and enjoy its bounce. However, use a microfiber cloth, paper towel, or cotton t-shirt to blot and scrunch your curls.
  • Side Part: Part your hair while it is wet for maximum holding power. Finger comb your curls with a leave-in conditioner and apply a curl cream from roots to the tips. Once your hair is dry, apply serum to provide definition to your curls and make them appear voluminous.
  • Twist And Weave: From a simple finger twist to rope twist and French twist braids, you can choose any of them. Make sure the twist is not too tight, or it may pull your hair and cause breakage. You need 3-4 hair extensions, loads of hair creams, and twisting products to pull off a curly weave look.

Here are a few things that cannot be left out if you want to know how to care for 3B curly hair.

Additional Tips On 3B Natural Hair

  • Do not use a harsh towel or boar bristle brush, which generates friction and leads to breakage. Instead, you can dry your hair with a cotton T-shirt.
  • Always pick the right hair products specially formulated for curly hair. Avoid using too many products as they may feel greasy and weigh your hair down.
  • Apply coconut or jojoba oils every alternate day. Follow this hair routine to keep your curly hair healthy, strong, and frizz-free.
  • Do not shampoo your hair more than once a week. You can use a co-wash mid-week if your hair feels dirty and flat.
  • Avoid sulfates, parabens, silicones, and SLS in your hair care products. These ingredients strip the natural oils of your hair, making it dry and prone to breakage.
  • Detangle your curls with your fingers after the shower. A wide-toothed comb can damage the curl shape and pull your hair.

Eden Worku, a YouTube blogger, shared her 3B hair routine and explained why she uses cold water for hair rinsing in her vlog. She states, “When I rinse it out of my hair, I make sure that the water is actually set to pretty cold. I love rinsing my hair to cold water because I find that my curls end up looking a lot shinier and silkier (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
While co-washing your hair, take care to apply the conditioner only to the length of your hair and not your scalp.

In A Nutshell

3b hair is a mix between tight curls and loose waves. The most crucial factor to consider for this hair type is its need for enough hydration. Adding the right moisturizing products to your hair care routine will provide effective results. Follow the hair maintenance tips shared above, and your 3b curly hair will not be a hassle to manage.

Infographic: 6 Simple Tips For Maintaining 3B Hair

3B hair is coarse and more prone to frizz than other hair types. However, the right products and a little care and attention can make it strong, soft, shiny, and healthy. Check out this infographic for simple tips on how to maintain 3b hair.

6 simple tips for maintaining 3b hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the hair care routine similar for 3A and 3C types of curls?

Yes. The hair care regime mentioned above is a convenient option for people with 3A and 3C curls.

Can 3b hair get braids?

Yes, but braiding your 3b curls might be challenging. It is recommended not to add further rings to your curly hair. Instead, go for an air-dried look, pixie cut, or hair puffs.

Which ingredients should I avoid in my hair care products?

Avoid parabens, sulfates, silicones, and SLS in your hair care products. These ingredients make your hair dry and strip its natural oils.

Is it okay to use hair cleansers instead of shampoo for my 3b hair?

Yes. Hair cleansers are gentler than shampoos which makes them more ideal for curly hair.

Why is my 3B hair so dry?

Individuals with 3B hair tend to have mid to high porosity which makes it easy for this hair to absorb water, oils, and other substances. Since this type of hair is particularly porous, it might not be able to keep that moisture as effectively as other hair types which can cause it to become dry and frizzy.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair types such as 3b are more prone to dryness, frizz, and getting tangled easily.
  • Regular oiling, using a moisturizing shampoo, deep conditioning, or applying hair cream are some of the ways to nourish 3b hair.
  • The hairstyles that look best on springy ringlets are bangs, side-parting, air-dried hair, and twisted hair.
  • You can use a wide-tooth comb or detangle your hair using your fingers to reduce breakage and get rid of knots.
3b hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover the ultimate curly hair routine for 3b/3c hair types. From washing techniques to taming bangs, watch this video for invaluable tips for stunning, bouncy curls.

Personal Experience: Source

Dr. John Watts


Dr. John Watts is a trichologist, dermatologist, and cosmetologist. He is also the founder, director, and chief hair transplant surgeon at Trichos Hair Transplant Institute & Research Center, Hyderabad, India, and has dedicated his practice solely to the treatment of hair loss since 2008. He has expertise in hair restoration for over 15 years, including 10 years in advanced full bio

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