3C Natural Hair Care Guide
With great curls comes great responsibility. Wavy, curly, coily, kinky and locked. All hair types need and deserve a proper care regimen that lets them bounce and shine in full glory. While general rules may apply to all types of curly hair, 3c natural hair care sits at an interesting and versatile edge of patterns and textures.
3c Natural hair is mostly benefited from lighter weight styling products, top quality oils and little manipulation. We’re here to help you take total advantage of this hair type and achieve long-lasting, moisturized and healthy curls.
1How Do I Know My Hair Type?
- There are several methods to assess curl pattern. To start out your evaluation wash and air dry your hair without using any product: no leave-ins, oils or creams. Don’t comb it or brush it out as the goal is to let your curls emerge with zero intervention.
- When your hair is mostly dried out, take a careful look. And don’t panic. Most people don’t have a single hair type going on, hair curl pattern may vary front to back or side to side. Look for the most prevalent pattern. Then it go ahead and do the pencil test.
- Try to fit a regular pencil inside one of your curls: how does it fit? A 3c type curl should fit right around it. Success? Welcome to 3c natural hair care 101!
2General 3c Natural Hair Features!
- So, what defines 3c type curls? Heads with mostly 3c natural hair will have to attend to two main issues: Frizziness and brittle hair ends. As curl pattern gets tighter, natural occurring oils or emollients from the scalp have a harder time reaching the ends. In time, this dryness paired with friction due to styling, combing, etc., could start to take a toll or your curls definition and losing length to breakage.
- On the upside, 3c hair types journey back to moisture and shine isn’t as steep as others in the curly world. Factoring in tips and tricks to deal with your hair’s porosity (or ability to absorb moisture) you can get your hair in full glory in as little as six weeks.
3A Simple 3c Natural Hair Care Regimen
The most effective routine to take care of 3c natural hair is the one you’ll stick to. There’s no harm in learning the ins and outs of the chemical, biological and physical aspects of hair care, HOWEVER, a good hair care regimen is one that will take into account your goals and your time and money budget.
There are four basic steps to your hair care regime:
- Cleansing: Use a sulfate free shampoo or a co-washing conditioner to wash away product. The main goal of cleansing is taking care of your scalp, by removing with massage any dried product that might be blocking your hair follicles.
- Conditioning: This is the core of the hair care regimen. Condition as generously as you can. A good half hour every week to let deep conditioners work its magic can do wonders for your curls.
- Detangling: Don’t rinse out just yet! After letting your conditioner work, go ahead to section and detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide tooth comb.
Style: Rinse and condition again, this time with a leave-in product and sealing with an oil. Gels of creams are the finishing touch of this step.
- Drying: Use an old t-shirt to scrunch out excess product. You can then air dry or proceed to braiding, twisting or any protective style of your choice.
4Tips For 3c Natural Hair Care
- Breaking up with sulfates and silicones for good. Sulfates are one of the main ingredients in shampoos and some conditioners. They’re safe to use, but cause a lot of dryness as they strip every bit of oil for your hair. They’re also the only ingredient capable of dissolving silicons, which is why you need to get rid of those as well to kill product build up.
Looking for lighter weight styling products: 3c hair styling is all about balancing definition and volume. Lightweight creams and moisturizers will let you have definition while also letting your hair fluff and thrive.
- Reducing heat use for styling to the bare minimum: Heat straightening and styling can put your curl pattern in serious risk. Heat damage is not easy to come back from so look for styling options that let you use as little heat as possible.
- Having two or three staple low manipulation hairstyles: Whenever you’re about to head into a busy week, month or season, or if your daily schedule won’t allow you to pay that much attention to your hair, devote some time to master two or three low manipulation hairstyles such as buns, goddess braids or Bantu knots. Keeping your hair out of harm’s way from friction is fundamental care, so when the time comes to wear it out your tresses are ready to show their full glory.
- Befriending silk/satin scarfs: Cotton pillowcases can do the most by tangling and drying your hair out. Replace them with a satin fabric case or wear a fabric scarf over your head for sleeping.
5The Best Shampoos For 3c Natural Hair
Your cleansing approach should be super gentle on your hair, and, give than 3c natural hair tends to be thin do your shampoo or co-washing with as less friction as possible. Here are our shampoo recommendations for 3c natural hair.
6SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo.
This shampoo has the perfect consistency that lets you know your hair is taken care of. A great scent and superb selection of ingredients make it a top choice for those looking to restore hair damage from color, heat or chemical processing.
7As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
The gentlest selection of this top is the acclaimed coconut Cowash by As I Am. This lather less option is, in fact, a conditioner with mild cleansing properties. A great choice for women that work-out or have high physical activity jobs and need to wash more than every 5 days.
8L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Sulfate-Free Keratin Caring Shampoo.
L’Oreal delivers this sulfate-free option with a very attractive price tag. Sulfate free and frizz taming, this product is initially formulated for relaxed or chemically processed hair but is just as good an option for thin haired 3cs!
9The Best Moisturizers For 3c Natural Hair
Looking for the best moisturizers to keep your hair healthy? Here’s a carefully thought top 3 to pamper your hair to the best emollients in the market without breaking the bank:
10GIOVANNI- Eco Chic Smooth As Silk Conditioner
Giovanni’s products have an extensive list of natural ingredients, this moisturizer is one of our favorites for its lightweight feel that provides great slip for detangling. This conditioner is also gentle enough to use as a co-wash without weighing down thin hair.
11Camille Rose Algae Deep Conditioner
Rich and instant acting, Camille Rose Algae Deep Conditioner is a great option for deep conditioning weekly. The scent is not overpowering and has a minty touch to it. It rinses easily while leaving hair moisturized and bouncy.
12Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
This leave-in conditioner will have an instant love affair with your curls. Lightweight and moisturizing will give an instant boost to your curl definition. As with any other leave-in, the more product you add up, the less volume you’ll be able to create, so test it out to find your sweet spot.
13How To Grow 3c Natural Hair – 3c Natural Hair Growth Tips
- Hair care and conditioning are fundamental for growing 3c natural hair. Less to no heat, using natural oils as sealants and reducing manipulation sit on top. Hair growth can’t actually be sped up, as actual hair production is more related to your hormonal balance. What we perceive as growth is actually length retention, that is, doing the less possible damage and maximal effort to preserve hair ends to avoid breakage, split ends and shedding.
- On top of this, there’s a couple of routines that can create an improved environment for your scalp: increased blood flow, proper oil balance, and moisture will play an important part in encouraging hair growth. Here are a few tips:
- Massage: An Indian tradition for many years, oil massage is a traditional hair care routine that increases blood flow to your scalp and exfoliates your follicles from debris and buildup with generous amounts of oil. An oil massage can be a great pre-poo step and can be done with the traditional Amla oil or Jamaican Black Castor Oil to take advantage of its hair strengthening properties. Cover your roots with oil to produce minimal tension when massaging, working gently through your head until you get a tingly feeling.
- Do more protein: You can include a protein deep conditioner to your hair care routine once or twice a month. Protein will improve your hair structure, including your ends, which is great for length retention. A protein deep conditioner is usually applied for no more than 20 minutes and should be followed by a daily conditioner or a heavier leave-in conditioner for optimal results.