Hair Health

3B Curly Hair Routine

In this Article

If you’re blessed with naturally curly hair, you know how great it can be when you get your styling right. You also know that some days you’re left with dry, frizzy hair instead of soft, gleaming curls.

The key to having more good curly hair days is giving your natural hair the TLC it needs. Different hair types need specific care, styling, and products to look their best. 

Think you have 3B hair? If you’re blessed with springy, marker-sized curls, this guide will walk you through the ins and outs of 3B curls so that you can cater your haircare routine to your hair’s unique needs. 

Learn how to care and style for 3B hair with the right curly hair products and tips.

What is 3B Hair?

3B is considered the middle level of curly hair, meaning it’s neither the loosest nor the tightest curl pattern. 

What Does 3B Hair Look Like?

You can identify 3b curls by several unique characteristics. If you aren’t sure which curl type you have, look closely in the mirror. If you have 3B curls, you’ll see:

  • A mixture of springy ringlets and tighter corkscrews
  • Curls that are about the diameter of a permanent marker
  • Fine to medium texture
  • Curls that begin at the root and continue to the end of your hair
  • Hair that stays curly, even right out of the shower when it’s still wet

Out of the type 3 hair curls, 3B curls are the middle rung of the ladder. They’re tighter than type 3A curls but not as tight as 3C.

Is My Hair 3C or 3B?

Because 3B hair types fall in the middle of types 3A hair and 3C hair, it can be a bit tricky to differentiate between them. Types 3B and 3C have some clear similarities, but they differ in:

  • Curl size
  • Texture
  • Care

Curls in 3C hair are tighter—think about the circumference of a pencil. Because these curls are so much tighter, the hair tends to be a little coarser. The unique features of 3C hair require slightly different care than 3B curls.

Common Hair Concerns for 3B Curls

Caring for 3B curls requires a little work, but it’s worth it to have healthy, shiny, beautiful hair. Curly hair can be prone to a few hair concerns, including:

  • Dryness
  • Breakage
  • Frizziness
  • Tangles
  • Knots

Most of these issues are simply a result of your hair’s makeup. The structure of your curls makes it difficult for your scalp’s oils to navigate from the base of your hair down to the ends. As a result, your hair can become more brittle and prone to breakage.

Frizziness is caused by several factors, including:

  • Humidity
  • Split ends
  • Heat damage
  • Towel drying

Frizzy hair can also lead to tangles and knots, which, as you probably know, can be tough to get rid of without causing further breakage and damage. 

How to Care for 3B Curls

Luckily, you can avoid this cycle of hair damage by properly caring for your curls. 

Tip #1: Moisturize!

Curly hair needs moisture. Because your scalp’s natural oils have a difficult time traveling to the ends of your strands, you have to step in and boost your hair’s moisture to keep it looking healthy and shiny. You should condition your curls with a conditioning product that:

  • Contains oils such as jojoba, grape, olive, coconut, or similar
  • Doesn’t contain sulfates
  • Is designed for curly hair

After conditioning, you may need to add more moisture with a curl definer or shine oil to help lackluster locks. Need more tips? Learn how to moisturize curly hair with Living Proof.

Tip #2: Protect Your Curls

Your curls also need protection. This can come in several forms. First, you might add a protective product before styling your hair. You can also use a deep conditioning mask at regular intervals to help keep split ends at bay. Finally, avoid using harsh products that can damage your hair. 

Tip #3: Fight Frizz

Moisturizing will help you get rid of frizz. However, there are other things you can do too. Some of our top tips to prevent frizzy curls include:

  • Avoid rubbing your curls with a towel
  • Add a protecting product on humid days
  • Use cool water to rinse your hair instead of hot water
  • Reduce the use of heat styling tools

Lastly, you should avoid touching your hair throughout the day. Keeping your hands off your hair is a tough one. We know how tempting it is to pull at those bouncy spirals. However, doing so can contribute to frizz.

How to Style 3B Curls

You can achieve ideal 3b curls every day by following the right styling steps. These haircare dos and don’ts will set you up for daily style success:

  • Do use the right shampoo – Your good hair day begins in the shower. Type 3B curls demand a mild shampoo that doesn’t contain silicones or sulfates. Instead, opt for a gentle formula designed for curly hair. This will ensure your hair gets the cleansing it needs without ingredients that will dry it out. Living Proof’s Curl Shampoo is made with a Healthy Curl Complex, a unique blend of ingredients that will deliver the definition and strength you need for your curls.
  • Don’t wash every day – You should avoid washing curly hair every day. Most people can get away with washing every other or every third day. Washing your curls every day can lead to overdrying and more damage. On the days you don’t shampoo your hair, rinse it with water and apply a little bit of conditioner to help soften and moisturize your curls.
  • Do condition – Conditioner is a must for type 3B curls. Choose products made specifically for curly hair for the best results. Living Proof’s Curl Conditioner offers the same Healthy Curl Complex as our shampoo with the addition of shea butter to help encourage curl groupings. Use a regular conditioner daily and a deep conditioner every few weeks for an extra moisture boost. 
  • Don’t rub with a towel – After your shower, don’t rub your curls dry with a towel. The friction from the towel can rough up the hair’s cuticle. As a result, you’ll end up with more frizz and hair damage.
  • Do use a wide-toothed comb – Curly hair is best tamed with a wide-toothed comb. Gently comb your hair while it’s still wet to keep it tangle-free. Brushes can create the same kind of friction as a towel, leading to damaged strands. 
  • Don’t pull at knots or tangles – When you do encounter tangles and knots in your curly hair, you must be patient. Use your wide-toothed comb to slowly and carefully detangle any rough spots. Avoid pulling or tugging your comb or your fingers through knots, as this can break your hair. 
  • Do use a protecting product – Adding a hair-protecting product to your daily routine can help keep your hair looking shiny and healthy. Hair protectors act as a barrier between your hair and any outside elements. They can make combing a breeze and can help prevent your hair from frizzing in humid conditions.
  • Don’t heat style – There might be some days that you’re tempted to straighten or blow-dry your hair. Heat styling tools can be useful when you want to achieve a specific look. However, they also cause significant harm to your hair. The more frequently you use heat styling tools on your hair, the more damage you do. Try to leave the heat tools tucked away, and be sure to give your tresses some extra TLC after using heat. If you do opt for heat syling, make sure to also use a heat protectant beforehand.

The good thing about these tips is they also work for other curly hairstyles. By following these tips, you’ll have healthy, happy curls that you’re sure to love.

Best Products for 3B Hair Type

Navigating the sheer volume of haircare products on the market is an overwhelming endeavor. However, finding the right routine for 3B curly hair is the key to bouncy, beautiful curls. We’ve made it easy for you with our top picks for your haircare routine. Here are the curly hair products you should have in your arsenal:

  • Start with shampoo – A curl shampoo will give your locks the moisture they need without damaging your hair. You should always use a mild cleansing formula to gently clean your curls. Of course, make sure to apply shampoo to completely wet hair to lather the hair product much easier.
  • Conditioner is a must – Curly hair craves moisture. A curl conditioner is formulated to moisturize and detangle your curls without leaving behind any unwanted residue.
  • Define those curls – Who doesn’t love curl definition? A post-shower curl definer can help defeat frizz and make your curls shiny, bouncy, and healthy-looking. 
  • Boost your hair’s shine – Some days, type 3B hair needs a little extra love to look its best. Adding shine oil can give you the bonus shine your hair needs.

Care for Your 3B Curls with Living Proof®

Your curly hair is beautiful. The more you know about your hair type, the more equipped you’ll be to create a curl-friendly styling routine. Protecting your curls, preventing over-drying, and using the right products are all important care steps. 

At Living Proof®, we can help with our hair products online. Our curl collection is designed for optimal curl care and appearance. We want to help you achieve strong, healthy curls so that every day is a good hair day. Take our hair quiz today to learn more about our products and how we can help.

  1. Experimental Dermatology. The Biology and Genetics of Curly Hair.
  2. PubMed. Hair Cosmetics: An Overview.

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Living Proof Review Team

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