type 3b curly haie

3B Curly Hair: How To Take Care Of It (+The Best Products)

If you see tight, bouncy, and voluminous curls with some frizz, there is a high chance that you have type 3B hair. Maintaining beautiful and healthy curls is a full-time job that we don’t get paid for. However, a good hair day boosts our self-esteem tremendously. 

For that reason, SubjectCurls prepared an in-depth guide about 3B curly hair types. What is it, what does it look like, and how to take care of 3B hair?

Learn everything you need to know about 3B curly hair with our hairstylist Trisha Chapman.

Note: If you click on any link & decide to buy it, I may earn a small commission.

What is 3B curly hair?

This is probably one of the most loved curl types as it has lots of volume and fluffiness. 3B curls are voluminous and defined. The 3B hair type is medium-tight, with S-shaped curls, therefore might be dry and frizzy.

Type 3B is easily manageable as you don’t need much product to define your bouncy curls. People with this curl type can use heavier products as they won’t flatten their hair throughout the day.

If you are not 100% sure if have type 3B, compare these curly hair types:

  • Type 3A curls: well-defined curls with an S-shaped pattern. Curls like this can be easily weighed down and can even appear flat;
  • Type 3B curls: voluminous, medium-tight ringlets that hold the shape perfectly. It also has a coarser hair texture than 3A.
  • Type 3C curls: extremely voluminous and tight spiral curls.
curl types
Look at this hair typing system

You can also have something in between. For example, tight curls on the back of your head and somewhat looser curls near the face. Don’t you worry, it is a common thing.

The curly girl method is perfect for 3B hair type as it emphasizes the importance of proper moisture.

What does 3b hair look like?

Type 3B hair is springy, tight, and coarse. Curls of this type can range from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. It is said that the circumference of these curls is the size of a Sharpie. In other words, this hair type is a mix between 3A and 3C hair types. 

Celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Ciara, Tinashe, and Julianna Margulies have a 3B hair type.

alicia keys type 3b curly hair
Alicia Keys has a 3B curl pattern

How to cut 3B curly hair?

Definition and layers are the two most important things when we are talking about cutting 3B curly hair. The 3B hair type has a very wide silhouette; therefore, graduation and layering are needed.

It is best to cut curls and coils dry to see the exact results. When curly hair is wet, it is hard to see the shape. Gently tug the strand and cut it as much as you prefer. 

In this video, national educator Mahogany Plautz shows how to cut type 3B curly hair:

How to get 3B curly hair?

To emphasize your beautiful ringlets, it is best to use products that are specially created for curly hair. These products help to combat frizz and add moisture to your hair. If you have something between 3A and 3B hair types, there is a high chance that with the proper routine, your hair can become perfect and voluminous 3B curls.

It is very important to avoid any heat damage to maintain or get your 3B curl pattern back. Opt for diffusing on low heat or air dry your hair instead. Always use a microfibre towel as it doesn’t retain moisture from your hair as the regular towel does.

3B hair always needs extra moisture because the shape of the strands prevents natural scalp oils from penetrating your hair shaft evenly. Add deep conditioner into your routine, and don’t forget to use hair conditioner every time you wash your hair. Leave-in conditioner is also a must for such hair.

Styling is also an essential part. You can experiment with heavier products that have shea butter or various oils in them. They can help you to combat frizz easily. However, heavier products can cause a build-up, so you must clarify your hair from time to time.

How to take care of 3B curly hair? 4 actionable tips

If you’ve got this hair texture, moisturize your hair during each wash, start hair oiling, include deep conditioning into your routine, and do not fear experimenting with styling products to achieve the most fantastic result. Keep in mind that you should also minimize heat styling and let your curls air dry if possible. Here are the main tips:

#1 Deep condition your hair often

I bet that you hear it not for the first time. Deep conditioning is the thing you should know about if you have curly hair. Do it once a week or at least two times a month. This additional step in your hair care routine keeps your curls juicy, healthy, and properly hydrated. It also helps prevent breakage or damage.

If you have never heard of such a thing but want to try deep conditioning, use your regular conditioner instead. After shampooing your hair, apply deep conditioner (or your regular conditioner) on medium wet hair evenly and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse your hair and continue as usual. 

#2 Try co-washing

Co-washing is a perfect gun in the CGM community. Your regular shampoo might dry your hair out, and washing your hair with hydrating conditioner adds extra moisture and doesn’t strip out your natural hair oils. 

You can use the co-wash method between washes. It is not better or worse than washing your hair with regular shampoo, but it can be a perfect alternative to harsh shampoos. However, if you are a part of the CGM community, you already know that it is best to avoid silicones, sulfates, and drying alcohols in hair products.

#3 Know your hair porosity

This step is super important. You can buy the best conditioners, masks, and shampoos, and you will get no results if you are not picking them based on your hair porosity. Low porosity means that your hair repels water, requiring more moisturizing ingredients (such as glycerin and aloe vera). Low porosity hair also doesn’t like heavy products.

Meanwhile, high porosity hair absorbs moisture easily, but it also loses it very quickly. Such hair type requires extra hydration and moisture. High porosity hair tends to frizz easily, especially when it is humid outside. It also LOVES heavier ingredients, such as shea butter or coconut oil.  3B hair type is usually high porosity.

#4 Apply hair products in the correct order

Experiment as much as you want if you have the 3B hair! However, there is one rule: start with the lightweight and finish with the heavier products.

Start with applying leave-in conditioner when your hair is damp. Then, apply a lightweight mousse (if you use one) and a curl cream for an amazing curl definition. Finish with hair gel as it helps to achieve frizz-free look. Heat protectant is a must if you are blow drying or straightening your hair.

Tip: styling creams are also an excellent option for a 3B curl pattern.

How to style 3B curly hair?

There are endless possibilities for hair styling if you have type 3B curly hair. Wear it down and loose, try a bun, braid your hair, or wear loose ponytail. You can also use claw clips (they are very popular now!) or even a scarf to emphasize the beauty and volume of your natural hair.

Curly bangs look amazing on people with the 3B curls so if you think that it is time for a new haircut, try it!

Here are a few ideas:

how to style 3b curly hair type

Best products for 3B curly hair (CG-approved)

Looking for something that will help your curls pop? Try these products! They are also suitable for those who are following the curly girl method (CGM).

Curlsmith Core Strength Shampoo
  • A protein-rich, gentle shampoo formulated for regular washes
  • Contains hemp seed oil for moisturized & strong hair
  • Gentle, color-safe, and sulfate-free formula removes the buildup
  • Helps to maintain a healthy moisture-protein balance
  • Doesn't have a strong smell, but if you are sensitive to fragrances, it is best to look for other options
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
  • Great for any curl type, especially 3A-3C hair
  • If you are looking for your personal holy grail, try this product
  • It will leave your hair moisturized yet squeaky clean.
  • Encourages curls formation and gives much-wanted volume.
  • No sulfates, parabens, or phtalathes
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
Ecoslay Banana Cream Deep Conditioner
  • Use it as a deep conditioner or a leave-in
  • Thick and creamy, Ecoslay Banana Cream will leave your hair moisturized and detangled
  • Gives you the feeling of silky hair
  • Don't need much product to see the results
  • Sustainable packaging is a huge plus
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner
  • Smooth the cuticles and get rid of knots with this detangling leave-in conditioner
  • Tames frizzy and knotty hair while providing a definition
  • Very moisturizing, so could be used as your regular conditioner as well
  • Perfect for high porosity hair
  • Free from protein & glycerin
  • Cruelty-free
Ecoco Eco Style Gel
  • Moisturizing olive oil gives the lightweight style and shine
  • All-day soft and bouncy hair guaranteed
  • A light scent so suitable for those who are sensitive to strong smells
  • Combats frizz without leaving build-up
  • Paraben-free, sulfate-free and non-toxic
  • Great price
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
Har Vokse Hair Rejuvenating System
  • No side effects as it is a 100% natural supplement
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents hair loss and hair thinning
  • Helps to combat after covid hair loss
  • Prevents further hair loss if you already experiencing it
  • Strengthens and nourishes existing hair from the inside
  • Not suitable for vegans as it contains collagen



Each curl pattern is amazing and should be praised. With the right products and a few hacks (such as deep conditioning your hair from time to time), you can have gorgeous, breathtaking hair. Try not to heat-style your hair, avoid sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohols to achieve the best results. Curly girl method can also be beneficial for 3B hair type.

Get the hair you deserve!

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