Moisturizing Type 3 Curls

Moisturizing Type 3 Curls

Frizz is the enemy of type 3 curls. When your hair is frizzy it can lack shine and appear dry. But before we jump into what affects moisture, lets identify what are type 3 curls. Type 3 curls can vary from defined s-shaped curls to springy ringlets or very defined voluminous curls. Check out the full article Understanding your curl typefor more details.

Hair typing helps you identify your curl pattern and allows you to understand how to care for your hair and maintain manageability. Although hair typing is important, your hair porosity plays a much more valuable role as it is primarily associated with moisture. Your hair porosity determines how porous your strands are and helps identify the types of products that will absorb best.

Although natural oils from your scalp travels easier from roots to ends, you are also no stranger to dryness.  This is where hair porosity comes in. Low porosity hair is defined as cuticles that lay flat or almost closed along your hair strands. Moisture has a hard time penetrating this hair type but when moisture is absorbed it does not easily escape. Low porosity hair requires lots of water based products and water based creams that can easily enter the flat cuticles for moisture.

High porosity type 3 curls on the other hand has the challenge of cuticles that are always wide open. This means moisture doesn’t have a challenge entering but easily escapes. This hair type also needs water based products to provide moisture but it needs thicker buttery products to seal moisture in. Your butter based products act as a barrier sealing moisture that has been absorbed and prevents it from escaping. It’s crucial to seal your hair with and oil or butter after moisturizing when you have high porosity type 3 curls. How do you determine your hair porosity? Easy. Check out our must read article to determine your hair porosity. 

So you’ve identified your porosity and you are now ready to moisturize. Moisturizing type 3 hair and all curls in general is layering your products in a sequence. On wash days moisturizing starts in the shower. Every step after has its own individual role in your moisturizing routine. As mentioned under how to wash type 3 hair above; your shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioner are the first 3 crucial steps to start the moisturizing process.

These steps are followed by your moisturizing product application. Unfortunately their isn’t a one step miracle moisturizer that moisturizes , styles, seals, and defines in one easy step. Furthermore type 3 curls require several steps for the best results. Keep in mind that your moisturizing routine should include water, a water based leave in conditioner, a water based styling cream or a styling butter, oil and possibly a defining gel or jelly. These are at least four products. But don’t be discouraged. It’s easy to identify exactly what products you’re using  when you know your hair porosity.

A type 3 low porosity routine should include water, a leave in conditioner, styling cream, oil and a jelly. Let’s break it down further. Water is the first step to any moisture routine. Water penetrates your hair shaft and allows easy distribution of your other products. To start, divide your hair into sections using one section at time and saturating with water. Follow with a water based leave in conditioner to further absorb into your hair. Low porosity hair needs water based products because the consistency is easier to penetrate the flat cuticles.

After applying your leave in continue with a creamy styling product seal with an oil. Adding a jelly for more definition is optional. Jellies are more suitable for low porosity curls because of its light and watery consistency. After one section is completed, repeat the sequence in your remaining hair sections. You can alter your routine to include oil immediately after your leave in conditioner, then your styling cream instead including your oil after the cream.  The sequence of products outlined here is referred to as the LOC (Liquid, Oil, Cream) and LCO (Liquid, Cream, Oil) methods. These are the primary moisturizing methods used for applying your products to achieve lasting moisture. For more details on these methods and to understand their importance visit our LOC vs LCO article. 

For type 3 high porosity ladies the sequence is very similar. Difference is a butter based styling product is used vs a creamy styling product. This is because your wide open cuticles require a slightly heavier styling product to seal in the moisture absorbed from water and the leave in conditioner. The use of a gel or jelly in this case would be determined by how fine your hair is.

Although high porosity hair prefers thicker products, a heavy gel may weigh your curls down leaving your hair hard, sticky or crunchy if your hair is fine. In summary,a high porosity type 3 moisture routine should look something like this. Divide hair into sections, apply water to hydrate, then apply a water based leave in conditioner for added moisture. Follow with a butter based styling product, then an oil and lastly a gel or a jelly. Experiment with the oil at the end of your method or in the middle of your method to determine which sequence works best for you and what helps you achieve the most moisture. 

We mentioned the importance of deep conditioning but we’d like to reinforce it. Curls need consistent hydration and regular deep conditioning provides a weekly dose of hydration, repair and moisture. This is not a step that we can overlook or skip. Deep conditioning should be done weekly or on every wash day.

Apply your deep conditioner after shampooing  and conditioning and cover your hair with a cap for 30 minutes to an hour. For low porosity curls use a heat cap or hooded dryer. Heat allows your cuticle to open for better product penetration. Rinse your deep conditioner thoroughly with cool water. Cool water closes your cuticle and seals moisture in. This step is beneficial to both low and high porosity curls but particularly useful for high porosity hair to help close their open cuticle and retain moisture.  

Lastly type 3 curls and all curl types need to be protected. When your hair is moisturized you want to keep it that way for a long as possible. Protect your hair at night with a satin scarf, bonnet or pillowcase to ensure that your moisture is not absorbed by cotton fabric . It’s also a good practice to style your hair in hairstyles that can be refreshed easily without much manipulation or over styling. Over styling leads to tangles and frizz, which lead to dryness and breakage.