1C Hair Guide: Tips and Tricks To Style and Care for This Hair Type

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Straight hair is the most common hair type out there.

It’s also one of the most versatile hair types considering you can rock it in so many ways. 

Want to curl it into ringlets? Or use a flat iron to make it look sleek?

You can do all these with straight hair!

Of course, if left on its own after a wash, you’ll probably notice that your straight hair isn’t actually all that straight. 

It may even look a bit wavy to your eyes. And if you’ve ever observed this, chances are you have 1c hair. 

So what exactly does that mean for you? We’re here to help you out!

a woman wearing a denim blue pants and a mustard longsleeves top is smiling at the camera while laying on a bed with her laptop

In this article, we will be taking a close look at this hair type. 

We’ll be shedding some light on what makes 1c hair different from other hair types, how to do proper type 1c hair care, and what gorgeous styles you can try if you’re blessed with this hair type!  

What Are The Different Hair Types?

First of all, you may find it odd that hair types are classified using a number and a letter — just like type 1c hair.

Why not just call straight or curly hair as is? 

Well, that’s because hair types of people are not just limited to straight and curly. 

According to the Andre Walker Hair Typing System that was developed in the ’90s by hairstylist Andre Walker, which is still commonly used today, there are actually four basic hair types:

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

Based on the table above, if you have type 1 hair, you have a straight mane. This hair type is the straightest of the four. 

Then you have the other hair types. 

Type 2 hair is wavy hair, which is characterized by very loose S-shaped waves. Type 3 hair is curly hair with smaller, tighter curls or ringlets.

And type 4 is coily hair with hair strands that appear like kinky, coarse, densely packed coils.  

Of course, not all hair under one specific hair type is the same! 

Eventually, this system was further enhanced, with each hair type having subcategories of its own: A, B, and C. This is where the letter in the name of the hair type comes in. 

These subcategories refer to the hair strands’ thickness.

Type A subtypes have the thinnest strands, C subtypes have the thickest and coarsest ones, and B subtypes have strands that fall in the middle.

So if you have straight hair with thicker, coarser hair strands, there’s a big chance you have 1c hair.  

curl pattern hair type infographic

What Is the 1C Hair Type?

As mentioned above, type 1c hair has the coarsest and thickest strands among the subtypes of type 1 hair. 

Thanks to this, it tends to have more body than the other subtypes of type 1 hair.  

1C hair is also known for having some bends or curves toward the mid-shaft and the ends of its strands, which gives it a bit of waviness. 

Additionally, this hair type also has low to medium porosity, which refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. 

This means 1c hair may be a bit moisture-resistant, and it may have a difficult time absorbing water or other hydrating treatments applied to it. 

However, 1c hair retains moisture much longer, meaning once it gets wet or absorbs hair products, it may take longer to dry completely.

What Makes 1C Hair Different From Other Hair Types?

1C hair is unique, and it differs from other hair types — even the other subtypes of type 1 hair — in many ways! 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between 1c hair and the other type 1 subtypes:

1A Hair vs. 1C Hair

Type 1a hair is characterized by pin-straight locks that look both very shiny and very thin.

It’s also the hair type that’s devoid of any waves or curls from root to tip, making it among the rarest hair types

The drawback of having this hair type is that it may look flat and thin if not cared for well. 

Also, because its strands are so thin, it is difficult for this hair type to hold curls, even when curling irons are used on it. 

1C hair, on the other hand, is dense with thick strands and distinguishable bends. It typically has more natural volume, and it can also hold curls better than 1a hair. 

1B Hair vs. 1C Hair

Type 1b hair is characterized by medium to thick or coarse strands. It has more volume than 1a hair. 

Its strands may also display a bit of a curve; they may show some bends mid-shaft or halfway down from the roots. 

1B hair can also hold curls, provided some curling products are used to prevent the curls from loosening or falling out.    

Compared to 1b hair, the waves of 1c hair are more noticeable. 1C hair is also coarser than 1b hair, which is why it tends to frizz more.  

What Are Some Problems With 1C Hair?

When managed well, 1c hair looks amazing. Its straight strands that have added body and subtle waves make it look naturally chic, relaxed, and carefree. 

Of course, just like any hair type, there are certain issues that people with 1c hair type may encounter. 

The most common of these are frizziness and a combination of oiliness and dryness. 

Type 1C Hair May Become Frizzy and Poofy

Compared to those with 1a and 1b hair, those with 1c hair may encounter a unique problem: their hair actually tends to be frizzy. 

This is because 1c hair is often resistant to moisture due to the fact that it has low to medium porosity.  

And when the hair doesn’t get enough moisture, the strands will try to remedy the problem by absorbing moisture from the air. 

This causes the hair to swell, creating a frizzy, poofy look with flyaways — which creates an unkempt, messy appearance!  

Frizziness and poofiness will become more of an issue if you keep your 1c hair under-moisturized. Instead of gorgeous volume, your hair will become a fluffy mess, and no one wants that!

Adopting a good 1c hair routine to combat this issue is definitely something you’ll want to do.

Type 1C Hair May Become Both Oily and Dry

The advantage of type 1 hair over other hair types is that the natural oils from the sebaceous glands in the scalp produce can travel down the hair shaft rather easily. 

This is due to the straightness of the strands, which allows the oils to cover each strand from root to tip. 

However, with the waves and bends that 1c hair has, the oils from the scalp may have a bit of difficulty reaching the ends of the hair strands. 

The result is that the roots of your hair retain the oil and feel too oily or greasy at times (especially if you go a day or two without washing), while the rest of your hair feels very dry.   

You may think you can use any type of shampoo to eliminate your scalp’s greasiness.

However, this may lead to your sebaceous glands overproducing more oil to compensate for the loss, making your roots even greasier. 

Plus, shampoos with harsh chemicals can strip away the moisture that the ends of your hair have, further drying them out.  

a woman wearing white longsleeves top while smiling at the camera sideways and her hair in one side

What Are Some 1C Hair Care Tips and Tricks?

Of course, not everything is doom and gloom when you have 1c hair. 

With its natural volume and body and thick, durable strands, it can be the epitome of gorgeousness and strength! 

Here are some suggestions on how to properly care for this hair type:

1. Don’t Overwash Your 1C Hair

We understand the temptation to wash your hair every time you feel it’s getting too greasy for your liking. 

However, you may want to limit washing to about two to four times a week, which is enough to clean the roots and prevent oiliness while keeping the ends from becoming too dry.

Also, focus on washing the scalp instead of rubbing the ends to avoid drying them out. 

Quick Tip

Make sure you use only your fingertips — not your nails — when washing your scalp to avoid scratching it.

2. Use Only the Best Products for 1C Hair

While there are many hair products on the market that you can try, it’s best to choose specific hair products that will address the exact issues you have with your 1c hair.

Here are some tips for choosing the right products for your locks:

Shampoo

Since you wouldn’t want your 1c hair to look dry and dull, the best shampoo for type 1c hair is free of harmful, drying chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and certain alcohols.  

You may want to try the Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration and Hibiscus Water Shampoo, which is a great sulfate-free option for cleansing and hydrating your 1c hair.

Dry Shampoo

You can also use dry shampoo in between wash days to refresh your scalp and get rid of dirt and grease without having to wash your hair!

Looking for high-quality dry shampoo?

Check out the KERASTASE Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo, which is fantastic for absorbing the excess oils from your scalp. 

Another excellent dry shampoo for 1c hair is the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo.

Conditioner

Don’t skip out on conditioner, even if you feel that your scalp is too greasy! 

It’s recommended to use conditioner after every wash, but a good tip to prevent that dreaded oily feeling on your roots is to focus on using your conditioner only on the drier parts of your hair, such as its ends. 

This will ensure your hair is properly hydrated and make problems like frizz and flyaways a thing of the past!

The SheaMoisture Conditioner Intensive Hydration for Dry, Damaged Hair can help you keep your 1c hair hydrated and moisturized. It can also detangle your hair, helping you work through knots and tangles with ease. 

To add and lock in much-needed moisture, you can also opt to apply a leave-in conditioner to the ends of your hair. 

For this purpose, you can try the Marc Anthony Leave-In Conditioner Spray & Detangler, which can target frizz, reduce split ends, and prevent breakage.

3. Love Your 1C Hair

More than just using the right shampoo and conditioner, you can also try the following tips to keep your 1c hair looking more gorgeous than ever:

  • Get regular trims, especially once you’ve noticed that the ends of your hair have become too damaged or your flyaways are getting out of hand. 

    This will help prevent an unkempt appearance and keep your hair looking sleek and flawless.
  • Use silk or satin pillowcases to reduce your chances of getting knots and tangles while you sleep. 

    Cotton pillowcases may generate too much friction that causes your hair to get tangled up. By contrast, silk and satin pillowcases make it easier for your hair to slide smoothly across the surface, preventing knots from forming. 
  • Try not to sleep on wet hair to keep your hair from getting frizzy the next day. 

    This is because your hair is more fragile when it’s wet, so the friction it may experience from coming into contact with your pillows may damage it, leading to breakage and frizz!
  • Dry your 1c hair properly. Avoid using a regular cotton towel to dry your hair, as this may create too much friction against your locks and make them look frizzy. 

    Instead, use a microfiber towel to help dry your hair faster and prevent excess friction. 

    And when you air-dry or blow-dry your hair, keep an anti-frizz serum on hand for a quick fix to ensure your hair is perfectly smooth and neat once it dries completely. 
a portrait of a woman with full glam make up and hair in a ponytail while some are hanging loosely on her shoulders

What Are the Best Haircuts and Hairstyles for 1C Hair?

Wondering which haircuts and hairstyles look good on you? We have some suggestions!

  • Shag cut — Adding choppy layers and wispy bangs to your 1c hair adds even more volume to your hair. 

    It’s also one of the best haircuts for 1c hair out there, as its chopped-up layers help emphasize and enhance the natural texture of this hair type.
  • Undercut — This bold and edgy haircut for short 1c hair leaves the hair longer on the top while the hair on the sides and back are shaved off. 

    This cut accentuates your hair’s natural volume with the longer top, while the shaved parts leave you feeling and looking fresh and cool.
  • Subtle layers — Not bold enough to get a shag cut? Opt for more subtle layers instead, which easily add texture, movement, and volume to your hair without a dramatic transformation. 

    This is a great option for those with long 1c hair! 
  • Ponytails or pigtails — These are easy-to-do hairstyles that can accentuate the subtle waviness of your 1c hair and keep it tidy at the same time!
  • Casual, soft waves — Embracing your 1c hair by just letting it fall past your shoulders will give you a slightly tousled, effortlessly carefree look. 

    You can also give the slight bends of your strands more definition with lightweight styling products. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can 1C Hair Hold Curls?

Thick, coarse hair strands tend to hold hairstyles well, which is why 1c hair is capable of holding curls easily. 

1C Hair vs. 2A Hair: Which One Do I Have?

Oftentimes, the slightly wavy look of 1c hair closely resembles that of 2a hair

Thus, it may be a bit confusing to discern which one of the two hair types you have. 

But if you compare the two hair types or examine pictures of type 1c hair and type 2a hair up close, you’ll find that they do look different from each other!

1C hair is actually mostly straight at the roots, but it has some bends and curves mainly toward the ends of the hair. It’s also thicker and coarser.  

2A hair, meanwhile, has distinctly S-shaped waves that give it a naturally beachy look. It’s also usually finer and flatter than 1c hair.  

So if you’re trying to determine whether you have 1c hair or 2a hair, wet your hair, then air-dry it. 

If you notice that you have thick strands that only bend toward the ends, you likely have 1c hair. But if you have finer strands with more distinguishable waves with an S shape, then you may have 2a hair.    

Get the Best Out of Your 1C Hair

Not all hair types are created equal, and this is true for straight hair too! 

Knowing your exact hair type, especially if you have 1c hair, will allow you to care for it properly. 

Using the right products and rocking the best haircuts for this hair type will help take advantage of its greatest traits and give you flawless, gorgeous 1c hair that you can confidently flaunt anytime, anywhere!

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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.

  • Jessica Hoelscher

    With thirteen years in cosmetology, Jessica Hoelscher is a seasoned stylist recognized for her modern techniques. A graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in St. Louis, her expertise has been showcased on Fox Two News and in People Magazine. Self-employed at Salon Lofts, her work has graced TV screens, styling for renowned events and Ole Miss cheerleaders.