Health & Beauty

3a Hair Vs 3c Hair: A Comprehensive Guide

Hair is One of the most significant features of our look. We frequently encounter this characteristic, which has the power to enhance or detract from our overall appearance.

Systems for classifying hair are used to characterize the traits of various hair types. The diameter and porosity of different hair types are described. Your hair's health and style ability is determined by these two elements.

This article will provide you with an overview of these groups and a discussion of why understanding them is essential if you want to have healthy hair.

What is Type 3 Hair? 


Type 3 hair has a different "s" pattern and is curly in structure. They are spiral curls as well, with textures varying from loose, springy loops too tight, to springy ones that resemble corkscrews. Each hair filament has a curl because of the oval shape of the hair follicles. The texture of type 3 hair is also thick, coarse, or medium, with more volume at the length and base.

Type 3 hair is more frizzy and prone to breakage than type 1 and type 2 hair because its cuticles don't lie flat and aren't as shiny. The good news is that by following a specific hair care regimen, you can quickly resolve these problems. Since not every person with type 3 hair has the same pattern of curls, there might be a few minor variations in your hair care regimen. The three major hair type classifications—3a, 3b, and 3c—are used to categorize these curl patterns.

The possible shrinkage and frizz in your hair are primarily determined by these categories. Additionally, it greatly contributes to your ability to comprehend your hair's requirements.

Type 3a Hair


Type 3a hair has a slight wave pattern with tighter coils that are denser than Type 3b. This hair type is best suited for those with finer natural textures who want to add volume and length to their hair without heat styling.

Type 3b Hair


The medium-sized curls in type 3b hair are looser than those in type 3c. African Americans tend to have most of this type of curl, which is readily recognized by its distinctive S-shaped pattern. If you have Type 3b hair, your curls will look fantastic whether you wear them down naturally or use heat-styling products like flat irons or curling irons.

Type 3c Hair


Type 3c hair is defined by its extremely tight curls that are very similar to corkscrews. This hair type has the most versatility in terms of styling options because the coils can be easily manipulated into different shapes — think big waves or small ringlets depending on how the hair is worn.

Differences between Hair Type 3a and 3c

Moisture retention

The first thing you should know about these two types is that they are very different when it comes to moisture retention. This is because type 3a curls tend to be finer than type 3c curls, making them more prone to damage from heat-styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners. Therefore, they require more moisture than type 3c curls do because they are more fragile and vulnerable to breakage if not properly cared for.


Type 3a curls tend to form loose waves or spirals with lots of bends at the ends, whereas type 3c curls are tighter with fewer bends at the ends. This difference can make it harder for type 3c curls to tolerate heat styling (which requires lots of bends), so they're more likely than type 3as to get frizzy when exposed to heat sources like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons.

Texture Differences

The texture of your hair can range from fine to coarse, with varying degrees in between. Fine hair is smooth, straight, and silky without much volume or definition. Coarse strands tend to be thick and wiry with lots of visible texture and volume. Type 3a tends toward fine or medium-sized curls that are more uniform in size than type 3c curls (more on this later).

Curl Pattern Difference

The curl pattern in 3a hair is looser than in 3c hair. The curl pattern in 3c hair is tighter, more defined, and more uniform.

Styling Differences

It's easier to style 3a curls because they have more bounce and less shrinkage than 3c curls. This makes it easier to create volume at the roots without having to rely on layers or cutting your length off.


Ultimately, hair typing helps determine what products you should use. There are plenty of styles for both 3c and 3a hair! However, if you are truly looking for wash-and-go styles, stick with a texture that is more than one step away from your own (3c on 3a, 3b on 3b, etc.) But if you like a little more curl definition, stick with textures one step away from your own. Either way, find a product that works for your hair and creates looks that suit your lifestyle. Have fun with it!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can use a gel or mousse to add definition and control to your curls. Also, use a diffuser with your blow dryer instead of brushing or combing your curls while wet.

No, it's not true at all! Everyone is different, and we should be proud of our natural state regardless of what others think or say about it.

Beth Norris

Beth Norris has years of experience working with top cosmetic and skincare brands for years  which reflects in her blogs which are packed with beauty and skincare tips. She has amassed a big following over the years, who wait for her content anxiously.