Type 3B Hair: What It Is & How To Care For It

There is something utterly stunning about a head full of beautiful, bouncy, healthy curls. In fact, most people do have to fight the urge to spring one back, and it’s nice to be able to see different hairstyles than the standard straightened ones that you see all over celebrities and all over social media. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never touch anybody’s hair without their permission, but you can admire curly hair from a distance.

Image source: Pexels

While wearing your hair oh naturale has never been the coolest thing to do, we know that it takes a lot of work to master and maintain it when you have curly hair. All over TikTok, especially over the pandemic, there are a lot of instructional videos on how to look after your hair. And if your hair has a slight kink or wave, then there’s every chance that it’s curly. There is a difference, however, between 3B curly hair and wavy hair. No two heads of hair are alike, but curls generally fall into a lot of different curl types. In fact, there are nine different curl types that range from type 2A, which is fine curls with slightly S shaped waves, to type 4C, which is tightly coiled, densely packed, thousands upon thousands of curls. Somewhere in between those two and four C lies type 3B. These are tight, springy curls that have amazing volume and frizz. If that sounds familiar to you, keep on reading because we’re going to talk about what it is, how to care for it, and how to style it. 

What Is Type 3B Hair?

According to the hair typing system, which actually does exist and has a very long and complex history, 3B curls are known for their tight and springy nature. They’re the kind of curls that really wind around your finger, and they have a circumference similar to that of a Sharpie. So they’re not completely tiny curls and they’re not big fat curls, but they are big enough. We all know that the hair typing system is not a perfect measurement because naturally curly hair often has more than one type of pattern. Hair texture can also create a variety of patterns as a result of different weights.

Somebody with type 3B curly hair could very well have a mix of all types of hair curl patterns. That being said, we’re going to agree that 3B curls, for the purpose of this article, are those with medium fries and a medium texture. They also have loose, too loosely corkscrewed curl patterns. If you’ve noticed that your hair is quite springy and it ranges from loose ringlets to tight corkscrews, you probably fall into the 3B hair type. Hair like this is voluminous and it’s often very dense. If you are the type who has coarse hair. It can be more difficult to style and manage. Its natural state, 3B hair is beautiful. However, when you use the wrong styling method, it can appear very frizzy and dried out.

If you don’t take care of your 3B hair type properly, you won’t have those bouncy and well defined curls that you’re aiming for. It’s important that you use the right products and the right styling techniques to make sure that your Type 3B hair is standing out for all of the right reasons and feeling healthy and lush to you.

Image source: Pexels

How Should You Care For Type 3B Hair?

If there’s one thing that all curly girls are going to be in agreement on, it’s that there are so many good ways that you can care for type 3B hair. You should be layering your products to make sure that you’ve retained moisture and build that moisture into the hair. Where possible, you want to avoid too much heat, which means that you need to step away from the straighteners. You should also choose products that are lightweight and leave in so that you don’t have to weigh your hair down with heavy conditioners. You should always have any kind of curly hair, but especially for type 3B, create and follow a plan for daily care and protection.

Above everything else, it’s so important that you are choosing products that are protective. That’s the key to maintaining your Type 3B hair curls. Focusing on building and retaining up that moisture with the layering of the products through the scalp.Means that you need to focus on the layering aspect.A pre shampoo oil treatment before every shampoo is a must and all deep masks should be used on the dry dirty hair prior to cleansing it. It’s going to take a couple of hours to get through when you do your hair, so you need to make sure that you set aside the dedicated time every week to look after your scalp. Layering a rich shampoo and conditioner can help to define your curls without too much frizz. One of the other tips that you should consider is looking for products that contain hyaluronic acid, fatty acids, and oils. This will all work together to hydrate your hair from root to tip. With your 3B curls, you want to avoid any colour, heat and chemical treatments as much as possible because we’re not looking to damage or dry out your hair.

The more hydrated and the more moisturized your scalp and your hair is, the longer your curl pattern will be retained. You can go to a salon every week to have your hair done if this is what you want to do, but some kind of leave on hydrator is actually crucial for avoiding the dryness and the frizz. Using curl specific products like cream or milks, you can make sure that you layer in something lightweight.

If you do have a coarser texture of hair, you should make sure that you’re using curl creams post shower so that that can leave in after that. Look for products that have those lightweight textures to avoid weighing those curls down and losing any of the curly definition that you’re trying to obtain. 

Image source: Pexels

Styling 3B hair

One thing that all curly girls know is that type 3B hair can be pretty deceiving when it’s wet. If you’re going to cut your hair, you should always make sure that you’re doing it in a salon and your hair is dry. This way you’ll be able to have clear curl patterns during the cutting, you’ll see the textures that need to be worked with and the proportions will be equal. The good news is that type 3B curls are pretty versatile. You can go as long or as short as you’d like, and longer lengths can have a lot of body added in. If you’re going to go with longer lengths for your Type 3B hair, then make sure that you’re creating long layers. This will add movement and body to your hair and it will make you feel really beautiful.If you choose to go shorter, then cuts around the collarbone and above means adding lots more layers for that timeless shape. Don’t forget that curls are very sophisticated and that’s exactly what you want to achieve when it comes to cutting your hair. You should also make sure that you’re going to a hair salon that is friendly to those with curly hair types and they know what they’re doing.

When it comes to drying your hair, air drying is the best way to keep your 3B curls looking great. Of course, it’s only going to look good if they are properly hydrated. Use the plopping method to style your hair post shower and try to minimize how much heat that you use. Let’s take a look at some of the styling ways that will make your 3B curls look fantastic.

  • Diffuser styling. Your hair dryer is likely to have a diffuser attachment. It dries the hair while it’s scrunched close up to your scalp, which means that curls come out very springy and very tight. When you choose to dry your hair this way, you’ll be able to have that long term coal separation as well as hold.
  • Plopping method. This is a popular method, and it’s probably the one that you saw on TikTok. After washing and towel drying your hair, you’ll add in a smoothing cream before grabbing a large cotton tee shirt and wrapping your head in the T-shirt. There are plenty of tutorials for plopping your hair, and you’ll be able to follow along. Wearing it on your head overnight will help to protect your curls while you’re in bed, and then you can use a diffuser the next day.
  • The shingling method. This takes the most time out of any of the methods, but it has a stunning result for curly head women. You wash and condition your hair and use a leaving conditioner and then an oil sealant. Next you’ll section the hair and spirit every section with water until it’s dripping but not drenched. Finger comb that curl cream into every section and then pull out each call between your finger and thumb. When you do this, you’ll be able to gain that definition. 

Make your curls spring up now you know how to manage them!


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Tracy Kiss

Social influencer, Bodybuilder, Mother, Vegan
London, UK

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