3a curls by nature are very unique and very specific. It can be hard finding the right products because we’re a little more curly than wavy and a little less curly than coily. Today I am sharing The Best Curly Hair Products For 3a curls after spending years testing different products.
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I created this simple “Curly Girl Cheat Sheet” just for you. It breaks down the basic steps of how to care for and style your curls. I’ve also included my favorite curly girl products to help you get started.
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While all curls around the world have a very specific beauty about them, 3a’s are one of my favorites. I guess I’m slightly partial since I have 3a curls myself. But early on in my curl journey, I couldn’t help but feel like all the content a read about curly hair was either for wavy or kinky.
My curls fall in a sort of middle ground which made it hard to find the right products and techniques that work.
Today I want to share a few tried and true curly girl products that have worked wonderfully on my 3a curls. I hope this helps you peel back some of the layers and makes product choice a little easier for you.
Important note: I want you to keep in mind that even within the curl type 3a, curls can still be very different.
Meaning that what works for my curls may not work for yours.
This post is meant as a guide to help you make an informed decision. You will still need to test and experiment to see what works best for you.
And as far as testing and experimenting go…..
…..be sure to track your entire curly journey start to finish. Being able to look back and see the progress you’ve made is so rewarding.
You can check out my full custom curl tracking system here.
The Best Curly Hair Products For 3a Curls
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This is always my first recommendation because this product is packed full of amazing ingredients, is ethically sourced, and is affordable. Many drugstores carry it so it’s very accessible.
I started with this line and saw great results using it. It seemed to have a good protein, moisture balance, and didn’t weigh my curls down.
I highly recommend Shea Moisture for anyone just getting started and experimenting with their curls.
Not Your Mothers
This is another one that you can find at most drugstores. I liked that this brand has clean ingredients and is affordable but I did find that it wasn’t as moisturizing as I needed. So if you feel like your curls need that extra moisture to go with something a bit heavier.
I would recommend not your mother’s brand to a 3a curl that is leaning more toward a wavy than a curly if that makes sense.
I was eager to try LUS because it’s such a simple system. The collection contains three products in total.
I consider LUS to be a middle-range product as far as cost goes.
It’s not something I would use exclusively because I did find it to be a bit drying on my 3a curls, however, I like to keep it on hand for vacations or any time I won’t want to do multiple steps in my curly routine.
Jessicurl (glycerin free)
I was torn on whether I should include this product within this post or not. Jessicurl is a great product if you have a glycerin sensitivity. Read more about glycerin here.
My hair, for example, is glycerin sensitive depending on the weather. During that time, I switch to Jerssicurl. But this would never be an exclusive product for me.
I would recommend but ONLY if you have a glycerin sensitivity.
I consider bounce curl a higher end products but it is so worth the investment.
I love bounce curl because is lightweight and texture but still does a great job adding moisture. Their product clump and define are definitely on my holy grail list.
For the curly girl who has already been experimenting and ready to up her girl game, I would recommend bounce curl for sure. I will probably always keep at least one of their products on hand.
Another high-end product, curl smith is something I would recommend to a seasoned curly girl. Their product line runs more toward the curly end of the 3a spectrum and can be too heavy if not used properly.
Their products can be a little tricky to use because there are a lot of them and they are labeled with none traditional names.
Example: Their gel is called “in shower style fixer” so it can be a little confusing. Be sure to read the labels and user instruction before you apply.
I also found the in shower style fixer to be a very heavy hold. A little bit goes a long way.
Still, this product line will have a place in my routine for the long haul for sure!
Bouncleme is the only product listed here that I have not used yet. It is next on my list and I cannot wait to try it out.
Still, I felt I should include it because I have followed several 3a curlies that have seen great results using this product.
I will do an update on this post once I’ve tried and tested it. You can join my email list to get the full scoop here.
3a curls are unique by nature and very different than any other curls. They require just the right amount of moisture, protein, and hold to fully thrive.
Though it can be challenging to find the perfect balance for your specific curls, it’s important to remember that failed wash days are normal.
I recommend starting with affordable drugstore products to test and experiment with your curls, and once you fully understand what your curls need to thrive, branch out into a higher-end product.
And if you need a little guidance along the way, click here and get your FREE curly girl cheat sheet and tons of other curly resources.
Now check out My 3a Hair Routine