How to Care for Your 3B Hair for Great Results

You’re a 3B hair type, or you think you are, and you can’t tame those curls and get them to thrive; 3B hair type is unique and has its requirements, which sets you up for good hair days. If you want to be sure of your hair type and know how to care for it properly, this article will provide all the information needed.

A hair typing chart isn’t perfect simply because you could have more than one hair type combination, especially for the 3s category; you could have all or two of them. This doesn’t mean identifying your hair type should be overlooked or considered unnecessary.

According to the hair typing system, type 1s are straight, 2s are wavy and, 3s are curly, type 4s are kinky or coily. They are divided further into subclasses A to C depending on the diameter and width of the curls, wave, or coil. 

Typically, the curl type is identified by the shape as they wind around each other. The 3B falls in the 3s category and lies between the loosest and tightest curl pattern and can be mistaken for either both, but certainly, there are differences.

What is 3B Hair and How to Identify It

3B hair type
Instagram / @lauralbarbosaz

3B types have springy ringlets with a circumference similar to that of a Sharpie marker. This hair type is prone to dryness; they all are because the hair follicle is oval-shaped, which makes it harder for natural oils to travel down the shaft. 3B hair has a significant volume and great definition but also experiences a great deal of shrinkage.

3B hair is dryness prone, as stated earlier, as thus requires moisture and more moisture! And the curly girl method works well for this hair type. You identify as 3b if the natural curl is visible in wet and dried hair. The hair’s width is the same as a pinkie finger, but it is also coarser than its 3a counterpart.

Maintenance and care tips for 3B hair

Caring for 3B Hair type
Instagram / @lanasummer

Although caring for curly hair is not easy, but knowing your hair type makes the process much simpler. Many people dispute the importance of hair type, but it is crucial.

But remember that every person’s hair is unique, even if it has a similar hair type to yours. If the product recommendation does not work out as you had hoped, remember that hair functions similarly to the skin in that it tells you what it needs; all you have to do is watch.

1. Determine your hair Porosity

Knowing your hair type and porosity will help you decide what products you need and ultimately set you on the right path in your curly hair journey.

Porosity is divided into three categories: low, normal, and high porosity. Hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture is known as porosity. The cuticle is being lifted when the hair is severely damaged because it becomes more porous. Higher porosity hair often absorbs moisture more quickly but also loses it. Low porosity hair has difficulty absorbing moisture but retains quite well, while normal porosity hair has little damage and can do both sufficiently.

The hair is vulnerable to mechanical damage from excessive brushing or combing, heat styling, chemical processing, sun exposure, and weather conditions. Don’t fret about how to identify your hair porosity; it isn’t a complicated process and can be done in the comfort of your home.

2. A Sulfate Free Shampoo 

Sulfates are harsh surfactants because they excessively remove natural oils from the hair while cleansing, which is bad for 3B hair because it is already prone to dryness. The gentler surfactants in the sulfate-free shampoo are kinder to the scalp while still providing a thorough clean.

A co-wash, also known as a cleaning conditioner, is washing that only uses conditioner and can take the place of shampoo. The application method is the same as for a shampoo; however, extra scrubbing would be necessary at the roots to remove that filth and buildup. To avoid tangling and hair damage when using shampoo, avoid vigorously rubbing the strands together and piling them on top of the hair.

3. You shouldn’t Skip Pre pooing!

Pre-pooing is preparing your hair for a wash; as was previously said, shampoos can be very stripping; thus, pre-pooing is one technique to avoid this.

Common pre-poo treatments include hot oil treatments, which entail warming a mixture of oils like coconut oil and massaging it into the hair and scalp. In addition to relaxation, massage promotes blood circulation, encouraging hair growth.

4. Detangle from tip to root.

After shampooing, a conditioner shouldn’t be skipped! Conditioners contain emollients and humectants, which function as moisturizing agents and provide slip to make detangling and prevent split ends much easier.

Doing a ‘squish to condish’ can help with definition; this process involves scooping some water into your palm and cupping the curls raked in with conditioner already and giving the strands a good squeeze produce a squelching sound, and if it doesn’t, add in more conditioner. 

Aside from defining curls, the purpose of this process is to get more water into the strands. 

A wide tooth comb Is advised for detangling, or fingers should be best; detangle in sections working your way up the shaft, starting at the tips and working your way up the roots. The hair ends are prone to tangling due to frequent exposure to damage, so detangling at the roots would only worsen the tangles.

5. Moisture is Essential!

One issue with curly hair is dryness; the 3B is not exempted. Therefore, adding hydrating treatments would be invaluable and aid in improving curl definition.

To moisturize hair and define curls, add leave-in conditioner, gel, serums, oils, or creams; for some, 3B fewer products are what the curls require; you must determine what works best for you, and you can only do that by experimenting.

Purchase items that are appropriate for your hair’s porosity; lightweight products work best on hair with low porosity because moisture absorption takes time; nobody wants to look like a wet dog all day, and use heavier weight products with oils and butter on hair types with high porosity, make sure to follow either the LOC or LCO method, which is the liquid, oil, or cream method. Or the liquid, cream, and oil methods. You could experiment with both techniques and stick to what works best for you.

Remember that water is what hydrates your curls; these products are moisturizing and lock in moisture by forming an oily film. 

6. Give your Hair a Reset

Hair care, conditioner, and styling products can weigh hair down due to product buildup, excessive oil accumulation, dirt, and mineral buildup if you live in an area with hard water. A clarifying treatment restores your hair to its natural state.

Curl improvement can be achieved by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo or using home remedies like an acid vinegar rinse. The buildup of products can make 3B hair appear limp and lifeless.

7. Overnight TLC matters.

Your bedtime routine shouldn’t consist of just falling asleep. For the type 3 hair category, it doesn’t operate that way. You would awaken to a huge ball of puffiness and tangles if you went to bed with your curls unprotected and unmanaged.

The rough surface of the cotton sheets pulls and grabs at the strands, resulting in tangling, split ends, and frizziness. The cotton sheets absorb moisture, especially with the tossing and turning. Usually, you’ll need to protect your hair if you want to keep your hairstyle and day-one curls. Two ways to do this are to wrap your hair in a silk or satin bonnet or do a pineapple with a silk or satin scarf.

The surface of a silk or satin bonnet is smooth and silky, allowing the curls to slide through with less resistance. The pineapple style is a simple way to wrap your hair in a scarf; it involves pulling your hair up in a high ponytail and fastening it with a silk or satin scrunchie. You can either wear your hair up like this to bed or drape the scarf over it and tie a knot at the top of your forehead.

6. Avoid Heat Styling

Hot styling tools, such as blow dryers or flat irons, are convenient and can make curls pop, especially with a diffuser. However, overusing hot styling tools to change your look too frequently can damage your hair in the long run.

The proteins in the hair are changed by heat, which causes form and structural disruption. Apply a heat protectant to sections of your hair to guarantee the strands are protected from heat damage. Any heating device should be used at a 15 cm distance and with the lowest heat setting.

8. Don’t skip trims.

Because split ends may impede hair development and signal damage, they should be cut off. You should be able to tell if you have split ends because they are noticeable when the hair strand breaks. Split ends make hair more prone to tangling because they are weak and get tangled easily.

Don’t let your obsession with reaching the desired length prevent you from getting frequent trims because unchecked split ends could cause breakage to move up the shaft. Getting a trim every six weeks is advised, but it is crucial to stick to the schedule. This will minimize breakage and improve your hair’s overall appearance.

9. Deep Condition Frequently

Deep conditioners work wonders at maintaining curl health and adding moisture. They work three times as well as a regular conditioner and prevent broken ends. A weekly deep conditioning treatment can make a world of difference because dryness is a major issue for the 3a type.

To apply a deep conditioner, divide your hair into four quadrants to ensure all the strands are covered, and then work the conditioner through the mid-lengths to the tips of your hair. Following that, you either don a shower cap or sit in a hooded dryer, primarily for low porosity hair. If the product’s directions call for it, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before giving it a thorough rinse.

10. Ditch your Terry towel!

Pick up a microfibre towel or an old t-shirt after washing your hair; these materials are kinder to the hair strands and less likely to cause frizz, tangles, and hair breaking.

A microfiber towel is lint-free! And may soak up a lot of water; in contrast, a terry towel creates tension on the strands because of the rough surface and the hair’s fragility while wet. Instead of rubbing your hair dry vigorously, pat it dry; it will do the trick. These clothing can be used to plop curls instead; it gives good definition and cuts back on drying time.

Best Products for 3B Hair

Products for 3B hair
Instagram / @lorealpro

3B hair has its peculiarities, but one thing is certain: using the right products for your hair type and porosity would bring the best out of the curls.

Sulfate-free Shampoos

  • Giovanni Shampoos
  • Everyday Shea Shampoos
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo


  • Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
  • Camille Rose Naturals Caramel Cowash
  • Curls Coconut Curlada Conditioner
  • Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner

Leave in conditioners

  • John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-in Conditioner
  • Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse
  • Kinky Curly Knot Today
  • The ManeChoice Green Tea & Carrot Deep Strengthening & Restorative Mask Treatment



Clarifying Shampoos

Deep Conditioners

  • Kevin Murphy Young Again Masque
  • Living Proof Restore Deep Conditioning Mask
  • L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Deep Recovery Mask
  • Made Beautiful Intense Treatment Masque
  • Mop Top Deep Conditioner


Curly hair is a journey that doesn’t end or begin with your hair type but knowing your curly hair type does put you on the right footing. Keep experimenting! Remember, the priority is healthy hair and nothing else.  

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