3A Hair: How to Find Your Curl Pattern and the Best Products for Your Hair Type

A simple guide for caring for your curl type. 

What is 3A hair? 3A hair typically consists of loose spiral curls that often have a lightweight feel—especially for those with a much drier hair texture. Unlike 3B or 3C curls, which have progressively tighter ringlets, 3A hair is defined, springy, and has a potential for a lot of body and shine.

Making sure your hair is moisturized at all times is a universal hair care rule for all curly hair types because your strands are naturally drier. But there are some other things that women with 3A hair have to also consider.

Below, we break down what you should be doing when you wash and style this fabulous hair type at home. Read on:

3a hair long hair
Take proper care of your 3a curls with these key tips.

When it comes to caring for 3A hair types, making sure your hair is moisturized is key. But, there are some women with 3A curls for whom a lack of moisture is rarely an issue! Rather, it’s about a lack of volume. There’s nothing more annoying than having limp and lifeless curls. If this sounds like you, you can definitely incorporate a shampoo and conditioner into your hair care routine that will help boost volume.

Products We Love for 3A Hair

One great option is TRESemmé Pro Pure Curl Define Shampoo and Conditioner, which is specifically created for curly hair types. This gentle cleansing duo prevents frizz and provides a smooth finish for hydrated curls. Plus, the Pro Pure range is completely free of nasty, unnatural ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and silicone.

On the flip side, if you’re opposed to using shampoo, a leave-in conditioner may be up your alley. Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner is formulated for dry hair types. It removes impurities while locking in moisture and smoothness for enhanced curl.

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t have any sulfates, parabens, dyes, or silicones, you’ll want to use this on your 3A hair. When using this product, smooth it onto your hair while it’s wet from root to tip, leave it on for the rest of the day, it’s that easy. This leave-in conditioner leaves your hair feeling soft, and your curls defined.

3a hair curls
Put these styling tips to use for the best curls of your life. Photo Credit: Craig Alexander

Styling Your Hair for a Curly Look

There’s nothing like freshly styled curls without the unintentional frizz and tangles. When it comes to styling your curls, there are a few techniques that you can incorporate into your routine to achieve your best curls ever. One of our favorites is the plopping technique. Another technique is to use the diffuser attachment on your blowdryer to dry your hair while minimizing frizz.

If you’re styling freshly washed hair, opt for using a detangling leave-in conditioner like Suave Cream Detangler Spray. Spray the product onto your hair while it’s wet and detangle from ends to root using your fingers, a detangling brush, or a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your curls.

Air-Drying 3A Curly Hair

3a hair
Go for an air-dry style every once in a while to protect your curls from heat damage. Photo credit: Craig Alexander

For days when you want to lay off the blow dryer, diffused, straightener, curler, and every other hot tool under the sun, there’s air drying. Giving your curls time away from heat is super important for their health and definition. Just because you’re going for an air-dry style doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad hair day.

Use some Suave Air Dry Cream Heat Free Styler to achieve a frizz-free style that will enhance your 3a curls. To add some extra definition in your curls with this product, twist individual sections after applying the cream to damp hair.

Straightening 3A Curly Hair

3a hair straightening hair
Don’t overdo it with the straightener-yo don’t want to damage your curls! Photo credit: Craig Alexander

If you plan to straighten your curly hair from time to time, there’s something you should know: as your curl pattern is a bit looser, it doesn’t require the number of passes with a flat iron as one would assume. Opt for one pass only with your flat iron if you can and go easy on the heat settings. Test out one section of hair to see how it reacts to the heat setting first. Once you’ve found your sweet spot, stick with that.

To protect your curls, use a heat protectant, like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. Using this product before blow-drying your hair helps guard it against the damaging effects of heat-styling tools. You want to be sure you’re protecting your hair as much as possible to avoid dry and damaged hair.

Use these products and styling tips specifically for type 3A hair to get the most out of your curls. 3A hair depends on moisture and lots of TLC, so make sure you maintain a proper curly hair care routine.

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