Curly hair comes in a variety of forms, hues, and sizes, so it’s critical to adjust your routine and styling to your curl pattern. Understanding curl patterns might be difficult at first, but after you’ve worked it out, developing and sticking to the regimen that works best for your curls can make all the difference.
So, what precisely distinguishes type 3A hair curls? To discover out, we went to the experts: stylist Nubia Rzo and trichologist Kerry Yates.
GET TO KNOW THE EXPERT
- Nubia Rzo is a hair stylist, professional educator, salon owner, and Rzo Hair Care product formulator.
- Kerry Yates is the creator of Colour Collective and a trichologist.
What Is Hair Type 3A?
Understanding your curl type might be challenging at times. “Did you know that not every follicle is made equal, and each follicle operates independently, meaning that on one head you may have several distinct curl types ranging from type 2 to type 3 curls?” Yates explains. Having said that, the professionals offer some suggestions for determining your curl type as 3A.
As shown in the chart above, 3A curls feature a definite ringlet. The curl itself is larger and looser than traditional ringlet curls. “Imagine a corkscrew, and when I say loose curls, envision of that ringlet being big enough to effortlessly wrap around a tiny banana or a thick highlighter pen,” explains Yates. “The diameter ranges from 1″ to 1/2″.” And, to put it another way, “these are bouncy loopy curls,” explains Rzo.
Differentiating Type 3A Hair from Other Hair Types
Differentiating between curl patterns can be tough as the curls become tighter, but there are certain essential points to help clear up any residual doubts.
“There are four fundamental curl texture types ranging from 1 to 4,” Yates explains. “Kind 2 hair is wavy with no noticeable curl, whereas types 3 and 4 plus further categories identify the curl type and form. You have class 3 curls if your curls are definite ringlets in the shape of a slinky or corkscrew. If your curls have more of a ‘z’ pattern, you have class 4 curls.”
Returning to the curl pattern chart, the distinction between 3A and its nearby pattern 2C is clear. Type 2C lacks a fully formed ringlet, but type 3A has, making it a more direct difference.
The distinction between 3A and 3B, on the other hand, can be a little more challenging because both are definite ringlets with varying curl tightness.
“3B curls are more spirally ringlets,” Rzo says, “while 3A hair is commonly made up of’s’ shaped strands.”
How Do You Take Care of Type 3A Hair?
“Curly hair is more delicate, and the tighter the curl, the drier the strand,” Yates points out right away. “Type 3A curls may require additional assistance depending on hair structure (fine, medium, or coarse) and hair health.” So, how can you find the ideal routine for showing your hair love but causing it no harm? The experts offer some suggestions.
Prevent Chemical Exposure
“Heavily highlighted curls will be dry and prone to breakage,” explains Yates. “Exposed to strong chemicals can have a detrimental affect on curl form, causing certain ringlets to be more wave-like and even frizzy.”
Chemical treatments, according to studies, cause a reduction in the lipid content of the cell surface in hair and alter it from a hydrophobic to a more hydrophilic condition, which means hair is no longer bound in moisture and may typically lead to what Yates described as dry hair with higher breakage.
Deep conditioners, according to experts, might be crucial in repairing damaged hair. “Because 3A is exactly in the middle, it is recommended to provide it some additional attention, but not too much,” Rzo explains.
“Deep conditioning should be part of your hair care routine, especially if your texture is tighter than a 3. The drier the hair, the tighter the curl. This occurs because the more textured the hair is, the more difficult it is for it to retain moisture.”
Silicone Products Should Be Limited
“Select products with little silicone consumption,” advises Yates. “Silicones can improve shine and flexibility in the short term, but in the long run, they might aggravate hair issues and [compromise] overall health.”
A silicone accumulation in hair can cause breakage, dehydration, and make your hair weaker overall over time. Instead, search for products that contain emollients like plant-based oils.
“In addition, for curls with varying ringlet forms, use styling products containing natural resins that claim weightless style,” Yates adds. “The goal is to achieve a bouncy curl that will fall into a wave after style.”
“Because the type 3A curl is inherently bouncy, you don’t need much product to style,” Rzo explains.
Avoid excessive washing.
“Too much washing of your hair dries it out,” Rzo explains. “It is recommended that you just wash your hair once a week. This allows the natural oils produced by your scalp to penetrate your hair, making it stronger and healthier overall.” It should be noted that this only relates to 3A hair; other hair types may require different wash frequencies.
Silk for Sleeping
“Hair should always be secured with a silk pillowcase, hat, or scarf when sleeping to prevent tangles,” Rzo advises.
What Are the Best Haircuts and Styles for Type 3A Hair?
In terms of haircut, experts believe that while 3A hair may be worn at any length, shorter is frequently preferred. “Long hair may be heavy, which can take the ringlet characteristic out of the hair,” Yates explains.
“To get ideal ringlets, keep your hair length to no more than two to three inches below the shoulder (when straight) or at your shoulder (when curly).”
Rzo observes that styling 3A as a round-shaped cut frequently complements the curls. “This is a very popular cut for 3A hair since it is a cut for any curly hair type and caters to 3A hair, especially if they want volume,” she explains.
“Whether you keep your hair up or down, short or long, there are countless ways to dress this exact hair type.”
“You’ll also want to create numerous layers throughout the hair; otherwise, the ultimate product would seem like you’re wearing a bell on your head,” Yates says. “Short and long bobs work well with this curl type.”
When it comes to drying and styling hair after the cut, 3A curls require a little additional attention. “It’s necessary to be especially careful with type 3A hair while drying it after it’s been styled,” Rzo explains.
“Because this hair type is prone to frizzing, being gentle to the touch will help prevent this. Make sure you always use a microfiber towel to pat your hair dry. Using a standard towel causes friction and frizz in the hair, as well as damage. When diffusing, use a low heat and a high pressure. Using low heat prevents heat damage to the curls, which can loosen them. This is more common with type 3A and looser hair.”