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3A Curly Hair Type: Tips for Styling & Taking Care of Your Hair

3A hair seems to have a mind of its own. Some days the graceful, even curls dance beautifully, and other times the humidity or temperature or some other meteorological mystery makes them frizz out of control. In this guide, we’ll walk through the basics and lay out the best strategies to highlight 3A curly hair’s fantastic properties. 


What is 3A Hair Type?

3A Hair Type

The 3A hair type has loose, lightweight curls. 3A curly hair spirals evenly throughout its length, giving it a distinctly springy feel. 

Those blessed with 3A curls have a distinct thickness to their hair and a coarse texture. 3A hair takes up moisture and nourishment reasonably readily, but it does require a little extra attention to get the most out of it.


The Good

3A Hair

The 3A hair type has significant perks. The thickness gives those locks a lot of body, which allows the right style to really shine. The loose curls give it extra bounce, making 3A curls particularly lively with the right kind of treatment. 

3A can achieve beautiful textures. The density makes the curls clump nicely, giving the rings more definition and the hair an overall richer, healthier appearance. 

3A curly hair also needs less frequent washing since overdoing it will dry it out and make it prone to frizzing.


The Bad

Frizzy 3A Hair

Curls leave hair prone to dryness, and 3A curly hair is no exception. Moisture has a harder time making its way through the twists and turns, and dry hair can break or frizz exceptionally quickly. Combined with the 3A hair type density, this tendency requires some careful taming to keep it looking its best.



3A Hairstyle

Capitalizing on 3A curly hair means recognizing its unique strengths and weaknesses. With a few tips, you can get an incredible style. 

Even It Out

Making 3A hair come alive starts in the shower. With the excess moisture wrung out, a curl-defining cream will help even out the curls and give a consistent shape to each beautiful ringlet.


Lock-In the Moisture

With the curls evened out, the hair needs to stay hydrated to minimize frizz. An oil treatment or curl-defining mousse gently raked through the hair will seal the moisture into the hair, allowing the curls to last longer.


Work the Curls

While locking in the moisture, wrapping any limp curls around a finger will bring a little extra shape and bounce to the hair—a simple twist with the treatment still activating further evens out the rings and locks together the fibers.


Push It

So long as the hair still has some moisture, scrunching it against the scalp will allow it to bounce back without frizzing. This adds a final touch of shape to the whole mane. This also makes a great spot to incorporate a little oil for additional sheen.


Drying Off

Plopping provides one of the best ways to dry 3A hair without drying it out. To plop, snugly wrap a towel or t-shirt against the scalp with all the hair tucked inside. This helps the hair dry into shape. Finish it off with a low-diffusion blow drying or just let it air dry, and you’ll have an amazing set of curls.



The loose curls of the 3A hair type make it easier to straighten than the tighter ringlets of other curly hairstyles. A lower temperature and fewer passes will suffice to get 3A curls straight.


Taking Care of 3A Hair

3A Hair Care

Caring for 3A curly hair requires a gentle touch with an emphasis on moisture.


Curls have a disadvantage over straight hair in terms of nutrient transport. Natural oils have a harder time sliding down the twists and turns that make 3A hair so unique. Drinking lots of water will help keep the body’s natural hydration levels up, but other measures may also help.

First and foremost, remember that 3A hair can get dried out by overwashing. It only needs washing a couple of times a week but does require a deep conditioning treatment two or three times per month.


Brush Gently

3A hair does not always respond well to brushing. It can wreck curl definition or cause frizzing. A detangling brush on wet hair can help with a gentle touch, though.



Tangled curls become damaged, and damaged hair doesn’t do a great style any justice. Keeping the hair lubricated with a moisturizing conditioner and gently working out tangles will give the hair a healthier look.


Let It Flow

3A curls stay healthiest when they can shine to their fullest. Pulling them back into a ponytail, while undoubtedly necessary at times, pulls the curls away from the scalp and causes hair to lose volume and thickness.


3A hair type truly has magnificent potential. While typifying hair can lead you in the right direction, everyone’s a little bit different. These guidelines will help you capitalize on those captivating curls and keep them bouncy no matter what the weather throws at them.


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