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Type 1 Hair: What It Is and How to Care for It

BY Jana Russick

Do you have silky, straight hair? Is it smooth and flat enough to last through a rough night of sleep? If this describes your mane, you have type 1 hair and you’re probably the envy of your friends with wavy hair or coily hair

But while you’ve likely been showered with compliments on your sleek locks, there are probably days you wish you could have a head full of curls —or at least a little more volume and texture. To learn how you can enhance your tresses while still maintaining the benefits of your naturally sleek hair, it’s helpful to determine what specific type of straight hair you have. 

There are four different types of hair: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Within these categories, there are several subcategories: type 1a, type 1b, and type 1c. Let’s dive into the characteristics of each straight hair type so you can determine where you fit in.

Type 1A Hair

Type 1a hair is 100% straight. There is no hint of curl pattern or wave, it’s simply straight and flat as a pin. Another defining feature of type 1a hair is its thinness. Each strand of type 1a hair is extremely fine and therefore, easily falls out or sheds. The benefit of this particular texture is that it tends to effortlessly maintain its shine. Plus, it keeps a consistently silky texture rain or shine.

Unlike curlier locks, type 1a hair doesn’t frizz up after a dip in the pool or on a drizzly or humid day. The downside to pin-straight hair is that it can be very difficult to style any other way. Because the hair texture is so thin, it tends to lack the volume and grip required to maintain bouncy or tight curls, or mermaid-like waves. It’s also easy to weigh down type 1a hair with heavy hair products, particularly those with a sticky consistency or ingredients that can build up on top of the natural oils on your scalp. 

Type 1B Hair

Beautiful woman with type 1 hair

Though still consistently straight, type 1b hair tends to have slightly more volume and body than type 1a hair. When you inspect a strand of type 1b hair, you can see that there’s a subtle bend or wave to it, though its overall appearance is smooth and straight. 

The medium-thick texture of each strand makes it easier to hold different hairstyles and products. But because type 1b hair has a thicker texture than type 1a, products can build up and make the hair and scalp greasier. Without the proper tools and products, the brilliant straight texture of type 1b hair can be outshined by oily hair.

Type 1C Hair

Type 1c hair is characterized by its thick, coarse consistency. Though its overall appearance is straight, type 1c has a bit more waviness thanks to the thickness of each strand. Type 1c hair tends to be much more voluminous than 1a and 1b. The girth of each strand can create the appearance of an abundant, full head of luxurious hair

That said, it’s hard to control dryness and frizz if type 1c hair care is not properly maintained. Using the right type of products and the right styling strategies can make or break type 1c hair.

How to Care for Type 1 Hair

Despite the world envying your silky-straight locks, straight hair folks have problems too. Even if you’ve been blessed with the gift of never having to use a flat iron, you’ve probably struggled to get your hair to resemble the other end of the texture spectrum: curly hair. Whether you’ve tried to create elegant ringlets or beachy “S” shape wavy hair, there’s a good chance you’ve had your fair share of styling fails. So how do you go about caring for stubborn type 1 hair that insists on being flat?

Treat Your Tresses to Hair Masks

The first thing straight hair types can do to achieve a wavy, curly, or coily hair texture is to prep with products that encourage body, hold, and curl definition. A moisturizing hair mask can help with all this, plus nourish and hydrate dull-looking hair. The key to having luscious, voluminous hair is moisture.

It can give you a healthy, strong base that shines through heat damage and stiff hair sprays to give you a more natural-looking curl. For example, Function of Beauty’s custom hair masks are formulated with a blend of Japanese sake extract, argan oil, jojoba ester oil, and other naturally derived ingredients that are 100% customized to address your unique hair goals. 

After shampooing and conditioning your straight locks (it’s hard to go wrong with our custom shampoo and conditioner), coat your hair strands with the mask, ensuring an even application from the mid-hair shafts to the ends. Leave on for the recommended amount of time, then rinse. 

Apply your custom hair mask once or twice a week to help maintain soft, supple hair texture. Having a healthy, nourished base to work with can keep fine hair from looking dull or limp when curled.

Don’t Blow Dry, Do Use Serums

As someone with silky straight hair, blow dryers are rarely a necessity for you. In fact, the finer your natural hair is, the shorter time it takes to dry your hair. Instead of a blow dry (which could risk damaging your fine hair), allow your hair to naturally air dry. But before you do, try adding a lightweight serum to your damp or wet hair.

A good option: Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum. This silicone-based styling product is designed to coat the surface of the hair to help impart shine, smoothness, hydration, and protect against humidity. It coats damaged cuticles to make hair appear less frizzy while also preventing moisture loss. Plus, it protects hair from damage up to 400 degrees, which is crucial since straight hair needs extra-high temperatures in order to make curls or waves stay.

Function of Beauty’s hair serum comes in a custom blend of hair-healthy, naturally derived ingredients, including argan, jojoba, and sunflower oils, which are rich in vitamins and can accentuate hair strength by:

  • Encouraging the look of hair thickness
  • Combatting frizziness
  • Absorbing fully into hair, preventing it from looking greasy or unwashed

Keep in mind that as long as you avoid applying serum to your roots, it can give your hair the protection it needs and the shine you want without weighing it down. 

Formulating Your Type 1 Hair Routine

Here at Function of Beauty, we understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all product for any given hair type. As you’ve learned, even within the “straight hair” category there are other subcategories, including pin-straight type 1a hair, subtly wavy type 1b hair, and thicker type 1c hair. 

That’s why we encourage you to take our hair quiz so you can play an active role in building your own hair care formula that will address your specific hair needs and preferences. No matter how you customize it, you can be sure that your shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, serum, and any other product will be a one-of-a-kind creation carefully crafted with clean, effective ingredients. 

Whether you’re looking to reduce frizz and oil, volumize your strands, or rejuvenate dry hair, maintaining your straight locks can be simpler than you ever imagined.