Your Complete Natural Hair Care Guide for 3B Hair Type

No curl left behind!

Hey, curlfriend! Need help with caring for your 3B curly hair type? We’re here to make it just a bit easier to care for you—especially if you haven’t already learned about the essential products your hair type needs. It’s time to finally have a routine that you can count on from week to week without fail.

We’ve all been in a position where we try something new on our hair, and it doesn’t come out the way we expected. Finding the perfect routine for you does involve a bit of trial and error; however, if you stick to the basics, you’ll have fewer issues when it comes to taking care of your curly hair on your own.

How To Care for 3B Hair at Home

Read on as we dive into what type of curl is considered a 3B hair type and, most importantly, how you can care for it at home:

Woman with shoulder-length 3B natural hair

3B hair types often consist of a cross between medium-sized corkscrew curls and waves. Like any other natural hair type, it craves moisture most of the time. 3B hair types may not need as much moisture as type 4 hair, as the natural sebum from your scalp has just a little less of an issue traveling down your loose curl pattern. However, you can still give it a helping hand with a hair care routine that focuses on maintaining moisture in your hair.

Hair Care & Styling Routine for 3B Hair

Remember that when your hair is properly moisturized or hydrated, your curls will behave better. Another thing to keep in mind: Sometimes, the fewer products, the better. Too many products in your hair can make your curls feel heavy and lifeless.  Rule of thumb: Stick with the necessities. If you’re in need of a deep treatment after cleansing your hair, you can try a deep conditioner of your choice. This can be an effective D.I.Y. concoction, or you can use a product like SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque.

There are a few safe techniques that you can use to achieve your best curly hair day. If you’re in need of a new and effective method, the shingling method is your new best friend. With this method, no strand is left behind. Use a cream like Suave Professionals Curl Defining Cream to help achieve frizz-free and defined curls.

Hairstyle Maintenance for 3B Curly Hair

Pull your hair up into a high pineapple ponytail at night. Opt for sleeping on a silk pillowcase to help retain moisture overnight. If you feel that your hair needs a little moisture at night, you can refresh your hair with a leave-in conditioner like Love Beauty and Planet Smooth And Serene Argan Oil & Lavender Leave-In Smoothie Cream, and seal it in with a lightweight oil like coconut oil.

3B Hair Style Inspo

Need some inspiration for your curly 3b hairstyle? Check out these looks to get ideas for your next style.

1. Pixie

3b hair type pixie
3B hair looks fab in shorter cuts, like a pixie style.

Give your curls a sophisticated style–we’re obsessed with the pixie cut! This hairstyle is a cute way to rock a teenie weenie afro while giving your hair the fresh start it needs and deserves. Also, if you’re looking for a simple way to maintain your hair, then this hairstyle is a beautiful way to do so!

2. Highlights on 3b Hair Type

Woman with golden highlights with 3B curls

Add some more color and dimension to your style; try ombré, highlights, or balayage to change things up. The beauty of highlights on curls is the dimensional look that it helps give your hair and the way it helps to emphasize the gorgeous texture of your curls.

3. Hair Flip

3b hair type hair flip
Go for an intense side part/hair flip look.

Your curls add a lot of volume and height to your style; achieve even more by rocking a hair flip or deep side part. A side part looks gorgeous when worn in a low ponytail or bun as well! Regardless of how you choose to style the side part, it’s a gorgeous, sleek, and timeless look!

4. Hair Puff

3b hair type puff
Go for a cute puff updo style!

Looking for a simple updo that packs a punch? Create a puff hairstyle. The puff is a naturalistas go-to favorite look and is the perfect versatile look for all of life’s different occasions; whether it be a day at the office or a night out, this is a gorgeous way to showcase your curls.

5. Air-Dried

3b hair type air dry
Let your curls air-dry into their beautiful shape!

Embrace your natural 3B hair type texture by rocking an air-dried style. A ‘wash-and-go’ without all the extra product! This is a cute hairstyle for naturalistas on the go. However, try not to get in the habit of doing this too often without styling and moisturizing your hair, giving it the love it deserves!

6. 3b Hair Afro


Wear your curls proudly with a fro. Photo by Wilfried Vowoto

What better way to embrace your curls than allowing them to sit in the way it naturally grows and forms onto your mane? A 3b afro is the cutest way to showcase your girls without the excessive styling and extra use of products.

7. Sleek Back Ponytail

sleek ponytail curls
Sleek your hair for your formal occasions. Photo by Jamaal Cooks

Looking for a way to dress up your 3b curls? We love this slicked-back look with laid edges! We recommend achieving this look with a safe yet firm-holding gel such as SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Defining Styling Gel.

8. Bangs

curly bangs
What’s better than straight bangs? Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz

Curly bangs don’t care? The only thing better than straight bangs is curly bangs! Wear your curly bangs in a fro with bangs. Not only bangs are a great addition to frame your face. However, they are a great way to frame your fro as well.

9. Headband Style

curly headband
Need an easy do? Rock a headband. Photo by Jabari Timothy

Looking for a low-effort way to style your 3b curls? Try this super trendy elastic hairband trend paired with cutely laid edges. The elastic hairband trend can be incorporated into various looks on your 3b curls, making it versatile and much better to wear.

10. Middle Part Style

Photo by Jabari Timothy
Elevate your look with a middle part.

When all else goes left, a middle part will never go out of style. Part your hair in the middle to achieve a look of symmetry with your gorgeous curls. Help give your curls a boost of energy in their appearance with products such as TRESemmé One Step Styler Curls Crème-Gel.

Thinking about trying out these inspiration styles? Be sure to snap a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS! Also, for more natural hair inspiration, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below.

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