Type 3 Hair; Anatomy, Care and Styles

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Everything you want to know about Type 3 hair

Type 3 hair also known as kinky or curly hair generally has a combination of different textures, however, they usually have more of an S-shaped curl pattern with a lot of lift at the roots. Since the cuticle doesn’t typically lay flat, type 3 hair lacks the shine that type 1 and 2 has, and needs a lot more moisture.

Type 3A hair is a looser curl, with some shine and a lot of bounce and body. Without enough hydration, This curl type tends to experience issues with frizz and lack of curl definition, which are all things that can be managed with the help of curl-enhancing creams which are ideal for this hair type.


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Type 3B hair ranges from bouncy voluminous ringlets to tighter spiral-shaped corkscrew curls. It has a lot more volume and typically denser curls. Because of this, type 3B is more prone to becoming coarse and dry. Using a hair oil can help nourish this hair type and make it more manageable.


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Type 3C hair is a much tighter spiral curl, verging on type 4 curls. It is generally denser and prone to frizz and has the most shrinkage making the hair strands appear a lot shorter than they actually are. Following a co-wash routine (using a conditioner only) will leave your hair feeling smooth, soft, nourished and prepped for styling.


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Caring for Type 3 hair

Because type 3 hair tends to be more prone to dryness, frizz and breakage, moisture is the number one factor you will want to consider when caring for this hair type. The LOC method and deep conditioning will be your best friends.

LOC stands for Liquid, Oil and Cream, and is the order in which you should apply your products so that your hair can absorb the moisture best. Using this method on your type 3 hair will reduce damage, increase elasticity and keep your hair moisturised and shiny. An example of how to use this method would be:

Apply a liquid to your hair such as water, aloe or a silicone and sulphate free leave-in conditioner, ensuring the first ingredient is water.

Next apply your oil such as shea butter, argan oil or olive oil. This is best done by sectioning your hair into 6 sections and applying to each section at a time, combing through to ensure it is evenly distributed. Start at the ends which are the most prone to dryness and use less on the roots.

Finish with cream to seal in the moisture. Styling creams and smoothies will help define your curls and prevent them from dropping through the day and prevent tangles.

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Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning is the most efficient way to provide your hair exactly what it needs to have defined curls and promote maximum health. Deep conditioning once a week with either a homemade remedy or from a tub will give your hair the moisture and proteins it needs to recover from heat or chemical styling and general day to day environmental factors. Working with your lifestyle is a major factor in picking a deep conditioning schedule, so try to pick a day where you have no other responsibilities or commitments and can dedicate the time to deep conditioning. How long you deep condition for is also important. Some choose to let the product sit on their hair for an hour or so, others will do this overnight, it all comes down to personal preference.


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Whichever method you choose, it’s important to remember not to shampoo after your conditioner and this will just undo all the hard work you’ve put in. However, it’s best to condition your hair with a water-based conditioner that rinses out for the detangling process. This adds a little more moisture to the hair and helps your hair retain the nutrients from your deep conditioner.

Styling type 3 hair



Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.