3C Hair Types

Type 3C hair is all about corkscrew curls.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

No two girls' curls are alike. In fact, you might not even know how to describe yours. One good way to identify their type is referencing a hair classification chart. If you do, you'll find that 3C is just another name for corkscrew curls. 3C hair can be full and fabulous, but it requires some special care to keep the frizzies away.

The Origin of Subtype 3C

From the staunchly straight Type 1 to tightly textured Type 4, famed hairstylist Andre Walker is credited with giving an official label and description to all types of hair via the hair type classification system. This system, outlined in Walker's book "Andre Talks Hair," includes information on subtypes within each group. Subtype 3C, however, did not appear in the book; it was created by readers who felt that it should have been included. Haircare website NaturallyCurly.com claims its members were the original proponents of the 3C subtype.

The Look of 3C

Curls labeled 3C often are called "corkscrew" curls. These ringlets are rather resilient; hair of this type can seem straight when it's wet, but quickly bounces back into curls when it's dry. It also touts tons of body and is the tightest of the Type 3 category coils. (However, like most curly hair types, there are always a few strands of a different sort mixed in with the predominant texture.)

Taking Care of 3C Hair

TLC is key in preventing 3C breakage, as it tends to be quite fragile despite its relative resilience. Deep-condition it at least once each month for 15 minutes to one hour per session; this will give the product time to completely penetrate the hair shaft. To detangle wet hair, use a wide-toothed comb and use lots of conditioner – this provides maximum protection against breakage.

Styling 3C Hair

Type 3C hair can have style to spare, thanks to a wide variety of hair butters, oils and styling creams formulated for coily coifs. Experiment with different types of products and formulas to find out what works best for you; even two 3C curly girls may find they have different styling needs. Use your fingers to style your dry hair, never a comb or brush; your tendrils may be somewhat tough, but they still need a tender touch.

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