1B Hair: The Basics of Styling and Caring for This Hair Type

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Gorgeous straight hair is the stuff of legends. It’s a versatile type of hair that people everywhere seem to covet — and rightfully so. 

So if you’ve got it, consider yourself very lucky! 

But did you know that straight hair is not all that it seems?

For one, yours will definitely fall under a specific hair category without you even being aware of it.

A young woman with long hair and a smile on her face.

Your hair might even be categorized as type 1b hair! 

So what does that mean exactly? Well, we’re here to give you the answer!

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what 1b straight hair is and what makes it different from other hair types. 

We’ll also provide some useful hair care tips and tricks for 1b hair and offer suggestions for hairstyles that you can rock with this hair type, regardless of your hair’s length!

What Is the Hair Type Chart?

Have you ever wondered why people have different hair types? Or what’s up with using a number and a letter to describe your hair type?

Actually, you can thank the most popular hair typing system — the Andre Walker Hair Typing System or the Hair Type Chart — for the way we refer to different hair types today. 

It was popularized in the ’90s by Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s former hairstylist. 

According to his hair typing system, there are four basic hair types, which are as follows:

Type 1Straight
Type 2Wavy
Type 3Curly
Type 4Coily

These four hair types were eventually further categorized into three subtypes: A, B, and C. 

These letters refer to the thickness (often referred to as texture) of each hair type’s strands, with A having the thinnest strands, C having the thickest, and B having medium strands. 

curl pattern hair type infographic

What Is the 1B Hair Type?

With this system in mind, we can see that type 1 hair refers to straight hair, and the 1b hair type is a subtype of it. 

So 1b hair is a straight hair type that has some volume. Its strands may show some curves or bends from the mid-shaft to the ends. 

1B hair is also capable of holding curls. So those with 1b hair who want to curl their hair for a change can do so, but they’ll still need to use some styling products to hold their curls in place. 

The texture of 1b hair can also be medium to thick or coarse. However, being a B subtype, individuals with 1b hair may notice some finer or coarser strands in their hair. 

Unsure if you fall under this category? Check your strands! 

Is your hair texture medium to thick? Can you detect some bending or curving toward the end of your strands, meaning they’re not completely or perfectly straight? 

If you answered yes to both these questions, then you have 1b hair.

What Makes 1B Hair Different From Other Hair Types?

Wondering about the differences between 1b hair vs. the other type 1 hair subtypes?

Well, let’s take a quick look at the other subtypes to find out how they differ. 

First, there’s the 1a hair type, which is exceptionally straight, thin, shiny, and silky to the touch. It has fine strands that may lie flat against the scalp.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult for this hair type to hold curls.

At the other end of the type 1 spectrum is the 1c hair type, which is straight hair with slight bends and arcs that curve inward toward the chin.

Its hair strands are medium to coarse, and it has the most body among the straight hair types.

The difference between 1b and other type 1 subtypes is that 1b hair has an easier time holding curls than 1a hair. It also has some subtle bends or curves, whereas 1a hair is straight from root to tip.

Compared to 1c hair, on the other hand, 1b hair has less body.  

What Are the Common Struggles of Those With 1B Hair?

At its best, your 1b hair will look gorgeously shiny and voluminous when it’s healthy! 

But without proper care and attention, it’s easy for any hair type to look like an unholy mess — and 1b hair is no exception.

Here are some of the issues that individuals with this hair type may face, especially if their hair isn’t properly cared for:

Your 1B Hair May Become Too Greasy or Oily

The biggest problem of people with this hair type is actually greasiness and oiliness, particularly at the roots. 

Natural oils produced by the scalp should be able to travel down the hair shaft freely to keep your hair well-moisturized.

However, remember that 1b hair has slight curves and bends, which may make it difficult for the oils from your scalp to move downward. 

As a result, oil can build up on the roots, making them look greasy, limp, and lifeless. 

Your 1B Hair May Become Dry at The Ends

Because natural oils from your scalp tend to pool at the roots instead of freely traveling down the hair shaft, they’re often unable to moisturize the ends of your strands, leaving them very dry. 

Washing your hair too often may exacerbate this problem, further stripping your strands of whatever natural hydrating oils they have left. This practice will make your hair even drier!   

You May Encounter Some Styling Difficulties

1B hair is beautiful, but it may look unkempt if it’s not styled properly.

This is because it has some slight bends, which means you may have to use flat irons to make it perfectly sleek and pin-straight.  

You may also want to switch up your look every so often by curling your hair. However, you may encounter some issues with this. 

While your 1b hair may hold a curly or wavy shape better than 1a, you will definitely need to follow a customized styling routine to enjoy a long-lasting hairstyle without drying out your locks.

First, remember to always use a leave-in conditioner before curling your hair, then use a styling product like mousse or gel to keep your curls intact and prevent them from losing their definition.

Leave-in conditioners penetrate your strands to provide moisture and prevent dry ends, which is especially important if your 1b hair has been highlighted or lifted in any way.

Secondly, you can’t use heavy gels or apply too much product to your hair, as this will weigh it down and give it a limp appearance. 

So it’s crucial to find the right products for your hair type to style your 1b hair properly, which can be a bit of a challenge at times. 

a young asian woman wearing a tan colored pants and a brown shirt is seating on her knees with a relaxed smile

1B Hair Care: Tips and Tricks

You may wonder how best to care for your 1b hair with all these issues.

After all, you’ll want to continue enjoying healthy, vibrant-looking hair without dealing with too much grease or dryness!

Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you care for this hair type:

1. Limit Washing Your Hair

All hair types, including 1b hair, will benefit from limiting wash days to every two to five days.

This will ensure your hair won’t get stripped of its natural oils, especially the ends of your hair, which are prone to dryness. 

Additionally, avoiding overwashing your hair can prevent excess greasiness. 

This is because shampoo can dry out your hair, which encourages your scalp to produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness.

So if you wash your hair too often, then your scalp will take it to mean that more oil needs to be produced. 

On the other hand, if you limit washing your hair, your scalp won’t overproduce oil in response, and you can avoid having greasy-looking tresses. 

But if doing so makes you feel like your scalp gets too oily or greasy in between wash days, you can use dry shampoo to refresh your hair while reducing the dirt and grease that may accumulate between washes. 

2. Use Type 1B Hair Products 

To help your 1b hair always look its best, you’ll need to look for and use hair products that are specifically made for this hair type.

Shampoo

The best shampoo for type 1b hair is both lightweight and formulated specifically for oily hair. 

This is what you need to take care of your scalp’s oil production while also ensuring that your hair will be cleansed well. 

A great example of this type of shampoo is the Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Sulfate-Free Shampoo, which can clean and clarify the scalp while adding high shine and volume to your hair. 

Looking for dry shampoos to use in between washes?

You can try the Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness 3 Count Hair Treatment for Oily Hair, which can leave your hair feeling refreshed and reduce oiliness without the need for a wash. 

Using clarifying shampoos, such as the OUAI Detox Shampoo, after every three or four washes will also help get rid of any product buildup in your hair. This is a great way to keep it clean and healthy. 

Quick Tip

If you have color-treated 1b hair, use clarifying shampoos with caution, as they can strip color from your locks.

Conditioner

Yes, conditioning your hair is still a vital step to keep your hair looking gorgeous.

However, if you have a problem with oily roots, apply the conditioner only to the drier parts of your hair and avoid the scalp.

This will ensure they get properly moisturized and hydrated while leaving your roots product-free. 

You can try the OGX Hair Conditioner, as it penetrates your hair shaft to soften and hydrate it while protecting it from damage at the same time!

Styling Products

The styling products you choose for 1b hair should always be lightweight to ensure they won’t weigh your straight strands down and make them look lifeless. 

Among the best ones on the market is the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème, a product that helps tame unruly hair on bad hair days and keeps your strands stunningly sleek. 

When curling your hair, you can try the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, which provides a lightweight but lasting hold that can help lock your curls into place and keep them defined longer. 

3. Protect Your Hair From Damage

Every bit of effort helps to keep your 1b hair beautifully shiny and healthy. 

Here are other tricks you can try:

  • Use a detangling brush to remove tangles. If you get tangles or knots in your hair, you should get a detangling brush to get rid of them, as this type of brush won’t pull or tug on your hair and cause breakage as a result. 
  • Apply a heat protectant to your hair before heat styling. Do you love heat-styling regularly? You may try using a heat protectant to minimize the damage done to your hair. 
  • Take measures to protect your hair against sun exposure. Find yourself under the sun more often than you’d like? 

    Don’t forget to wear a hat if possible to protect your hair from harmful UV rays that can cause dryness, roughness, and brittleness.
  • Look for hydrating products besides conditioner. Do you feel as though your 1b hair still feels too dry even when you reduce the frequency of washing? 

    Consider incorporating some lightweight oils, serums, or even a leave-in conditioner to soften and hydrate the ends of your hair without making it look greasy or flat. 

    Just don’t forget to use a clarifying shampoo occasionally to get rid of any product buildup, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Use silk pillowcases or wraps. Cotton pillowcases often absorb moisture from your hair as you sleep, making the ends of your hair drier. 

    To avoid this, you can use silk pillowcases or put your hair up in a silk wrap.   
portrait of a long blonde hair with layers in a white background

Best Hairstyles for 1B Hair

1B hair is amazing and pretty low-maintenance. If well cared for, you can wear your hair au naturale regardless of your hair length — and you’ll look gorgeous while doing so!

Of course, 1b hair also looks amazing when you rock it via different cuts and styles. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

Short 1B Hair

  • Short layered cuts. A chin- or shoulder-length haircut with a bit of layering at the edges is probably one of the best 1b haircuts, as it can show off your locks’ natural texture and volume.
  • Pixie cut. Dare to cut your 1b hair super short? Then a pixie cut — where the hair is longer up top while the sides and back are super-short — may be a great look on you! 

    The pixie cut has a textured appearance that can make your hair look more voluminous and keep it from becoming too flat. Plus, it’s flattering on most face shapes, and it takes no time to style too!
  • Bangs. Face-framing or even side-swept bangs can elevate any short 1b haircut. They can give your haircut more texture and make it appear fuller.   

Long 1B Hair

  • Half-up, half-down hairstyle. A half-up and half-down hairstyle is uncomplicated, and it looks sleek and chic. 

    To achieve it, simply secure the top section of your hair with a hair tie and let the bottom section flow down your back flawlessly.
  • Beachy waves. With the aid of your curling iron, you can transform your slight waves into bigger ones for a casual, carefree look.
  • Loose curls. Prefer curls to waves? Then the curling iron is your friend when transforming the straight locks of your 1b hair into curly tresses!
  • Long layers. Getting long layers can give your hair more movement and texture.

    Just make sure not to go for too many layers, which can make your hair appear unkempt. Neat and simple layers are the way to go.  
  • Side part. A simple way to give your hair a little more life and volume is to part it at the side, which will help make it appear more voluminous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 1B Hair Common?

Yes, many people consider 1b hair to be a common hair type. 

Is 1B Hair Weak?

1B hair may be quite fragile as it has strands that may be on the finer side. 

However, this can be managed with the right hair care practices, such as protecting it from sun exposure that may make it more brittle and keeping it properly nourished and moisturized to help it maintain its integrity.  

Achieve Beautifully Straight 1B Hair 

1B hair is definitely amazing. Easy to manage and pretty low-maintenance, this hair type is gorgeous to wear, either short or long. 

Of course, you’ll need to exert effort to keep it smooth, healthy, and voluminous! 

And with the tips and tricks we provided, along with the examples of hairstyles and haircuts you can try out for yourself, you’ll find that you’ll be able to rock your 1b hair better than ever before.

If you know how to care for your 1b hair, then you’re a step closer to flaunting the lush, glossy straight hair of your dreams! 

Want To Find Out More About Different Hair Types?

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Authors

  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

  • Anna Mastenbrook

    Amanda Mastenbrook is an accomplished beauty professional and salon owner with a decade of experience in the industry. Educated at NDSU and licensed from Josef's School of Hair Design, she's a master of color and balayage. Amanda founded The Chair in 2015 after launching a successful mobile spray tanning service. Known for her award-winning avant-garde styling and expertise in toning, she continues to redefine beauty standards and client satisfaction through her work.

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