Healthy Curls

Type 3: Curly Hair

Type 3 hair has a lot of body; it is easily styled in its natural state or straightened with a blow-dryer. Curls are well-defined and springy. It isn’t coarse, like many believe, but soft and very fine—there’s just a lot of it.  Combinations of Type 3a and 3b curls are common.

There are three Type 3 subtypes

3A (Curly Twirly): Curls are naturally big, loose and usually very shiny. Circumference: sidewalk-chalk size. Celebrity examples include AnnaLynne McCord, Debra Messing and Shakira.

3B (Curly Spirally): Medium amount of curl, from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. Circumference: Sharpie size. Celebrity examples include Julianna Margulies, Keri Russell, Bernadette Peters, and Melina Kanakaredes.


3a’s: Use gels and creams that offer light moisture and curl definition

3b’s: Use gels and styling creams with extra moisture and serious frizz control

Use duckbill clips on the crown of your head to lift top curls

Let hair air dry or use a diffuser

Once your curls are dry, rub a little pomade into the palm of your hands and smooth over your hair gently

Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls

Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillow case

Recommended Products:

  • Morocaanoil Treatment
  • Mixed Chicks Product Line

3C (Curly Coily): hair has tight curls in corkscrews. Circumference: Pencil or straw. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Getting this type of hair to blow dry straight is more challenging than for 3a or 3b, but it usually can be done. The very tight curls are usually fine in texture. Celebrity examples include Cree Summer, Tracee Ellis Ross and Rachel True.


Use styling creams, butters and oils for type 3c hair.

This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care because it can be fragile.

Detangle hair with a lot of conditioner in your hair and use a comb or detangling brush.

Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls.

Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wrap hair in a satin cap like the Stay on Satin sold at Hair It Is.

Recommended Products:

  • Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk
  • Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner
  • Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme
  • Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding


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