Home Choosing the Best Products for 3A, 3B, or 3C Curly Hair

Choosing the Best Products for 3A, 3B, or 3C Curly Hair

3a curly hair 3b curly hair 3c curly hair

Curls run in the family, but they sure love their variety!

Being an African-American queen, my mini-me and I share a certain kind of hair camaraderie.

My eldest, Mya, graces us with a harmonious blend of 3A curly hair and 3B curly hair.

As for me, after much indecisiveness thanks to postpartum, my curls have settled on a mixture of both 3B curly hair as well as 3C curly hair.

However, Mya’s mixed hair care requires different types of curly hair products and extra special attention.

Here are the best curly hair products for 3a, 3b, and 3c.

3a curly hair 3b curly hair 3c curly hair

1. Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids

One of my first YouTube videos teaching parents to care for mixed hair was actually a review of Shea Moisture’s Mango & Carrot Kids Shampoo.

Nearly eight years later, it remains one of my go-to products, particularly during the newborn/baby phase.

Right now, I am using it for my 11-month-old son, Noah who has Type 1 Hair, but I’ve used it for Mya (3a curly hair, 3b curly hair) and Mariah (Type 4 hair).

It’s a sweet-smelling shampoo and conditioner that is gentle enough for kids and will be great no matter the curl pattern.

2. Shea Moisture Kids Extra Moisturizing Detangler

Shea Moisture could retire solely based on this detangler alone (in my opinion).

It does the job with only a few spritzes, for my daughter’s type 3 hair.

Curly hair doesn’t get the appreciation that it deserves, thanks to the media, but when you have the right products, taking care of type 3 hair is easier than you think.

This detangler has made such a difference when I use this versus when I don’t.

Trust me, it’s better when using a detangler, but I couldn’t imagine having one that didn’t also nourish.

3. Aunt Jackie’s Girls Knot Havin’ It! Leave-In Ultimate Detangling Moisturizer

If you’re reading this, it probably comes as no surprise that Knot Havin’ It! made the list of the best type 3 hair products.

I’ve heard glowing reviews on Instagram and YouTube about Aunt Jackie’s, and believe the hype.

You’ll notice I reference a few more of her products for each curly hair type because they deliver far beyond what they claim.

Knot Havin’ It! in particular, is unique in that it’s a detangler, but in moisturizer form so it glides like a leave-in conditioner.

Need I say more?

4. Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils Knot On My Watch

Continuing in Aunt Jackie’s saga, Knot on My Watch is another product fave that definitely lived up to the curl hype.

Honestly, it works similarly to the Knot Havin’ It, so I (personally) do not use the products together, but rather interchangeably.

Some argue that Knot On My Watch is more moisturizing than the Knot Havin’ It, but (to me) they both get the job done.

5. Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel

Admittedly, I have a love/hate relationship with curling gels.

I am slightly heavy-handed and used way more of these gels than I should have during my first uses.

And I regretted every bit of it…literally.

You know how you accidentally write with a permanent marker on a whiteboard, go to erase it, but it slightly smears and then permanently stains the entire board?

Using a curling gel improperly is like that.

You will literally have to dab all of it out, or little clumps will form or you’ll have to just wash it all out.

I have done this with both of my girls, Mya (who has type 3 hair) and Mariah (who has type 4 hair).

Now, that I have tried and tested the wrong method of application, we’ve both learned from my mistakes.

And now that we know, a little truly goes a long way.

With the proper application, this Flaxseed Curling Gel is phenomenal on the hair, especially for drier hair.

6. Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Curl Refreshing Spray

Mielle’s Pomegranate & Honey Curl Refreshing Spray was a staple of mine whenever we traveled.

When we flew to visit my parents, my mom always had this in the guest bathroom.

I honestly used this product on a whim since I couldn’t bring anything with us on the plane.

There are several products that I love for her type 4 hair, but this is one of the top three favorite products that I can’t keep enough of.

So, a minus is that it goes fast in our home because my daughter’s hair literally just eats this up.

But, it’s worth every purchase.

7. Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Conditioner

Each time we flew to visit my parents, my mom always had a few Mielle products in the guest bathroom.

I honestly used the Curl Refresh spray and the Detangling Conditioner every single time we visited.

There are several products that I love for Mya’s type 3 hair, but this is one of the top three favorite products that I can’t keep enough of.

8. Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Leave-In Conditioner

Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer will always be one of my top three product favorites.

I’ve used their Tea Tree and Mint products for over 10 years, and it’s one of the few products that hasn’t changed.

Paul Mitchell knocked it out of the park with this fresh, minty clean but not overly powerful scent of a product that WORKS WONDERS.

9. OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

I could talk about OGX’s Tea Tree Mint Shampoo for months.

This was a shampoo that I purchased when I could only find the shampoo in my area, and I have been using it (personally) since before my oldest was born.

I use it (every so often) for my oldest who also has type 3 hair because it works well for both of us.

But, this is definitely a shampoo that I am sure to never run out of because the smell alone (if you haven’t guessed my theme of tea tree and mint already) is literally to die for.

10. Moroccanoil All In One Leave in Conditioner

As you’ll see next, Moroccanoil is an amazing brand to have on hand (see what I did there?).

Their products are salon quality, so you know you’re honestly getting a quality product for a higher sticker price.

However, it is honestly worth it in your collection of type 3 hair products.

If you’re able to use it with the Moroccanoil Treatment, you’ll see the benefit of it sooner rather than later compared to some drugstore brands.

11. Moroccanoil Treatment

No matter your hair type, Moroccanoil Treatment like this one is a staple for curly kids.

It may be pricey, but it is worth every penny.

This Moroccanoil Treatment is like a supercharged oil that adds nourishment and shine to the dullest of hair.

This isn’t a product that I use daily, but definitely as needed (particularly due to price), but also because it has a lasting effect on hair.

12. Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade

Carol’s Daughter is another brand that I was largely introduced to when we flew in to visit my parents.

The Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade was a product that my mom purchased and stashed away, and I was grateful that she did.

It works like grease, but it isn’t greasy like grease (if that makes sense).

It’s very moisturizing and a little goes a long way. This pomade works extremely well for type 3 and type 4 curls.

13. DevaCurl SuperCream Rich Coconut-Infused Definer

DevaCurl received a huge backlash and hate years ago, but [today] their products regained the same love the products show curls.

Admittedly, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon until two years ago, but I was amazed when I first used this supercream.

Coconut is an underestimated ingredient in most curly hair products, but it does wonders for nourishing curls.

As long as coconut oil isn’t used in excess, it really revives mixed hair with a renewed bounce in the curls.

For my oldest daughter, Mya’s hair, it helps to distinguish her type 3 hair into little individual curls.

Pro tip: a little goes a long way, and trust me, your wallet will thank you.

14. Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight

Carol’s Daughter has always been a staple product on wash days in our home.

This Wash Day Delight is an amazing product with ingredients that you can understand which makes it safe for your hair and your child’s.

Now, I’ll admit, the first time, I went a little overboard with the nozzle and used more product than I needed.

Fair warning, this product comes out like water, but that does not mean it won’t lather and cleanse your child’s hair.

Mistakenly, I spent 30 minutes washing out this cleanser, because I thought it was water when it was actually the real deal.

Despite my initial mishap, I’ve been using Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight for the past three years.

If you’re able to score the package deal along with the Jelly Cream Conditioner, go ahead and buy the set.

You’ll thank me later.

15. Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil

Carol’s Daughter makes their products for girls with curls in mind (thank God!).

The Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil is an amazing addition to your type 3 hair products if your little one has damaged, frizzy, or even excessive shrinkage.

This is a product I grab maybe once a week and let it seep into the pores overnight, but it is safe to use daily.

16. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Treatment

Shea Moisture’s Honey and Yogurt Hydrate + Repair combo is one of the few products that blew me away instantly while using.

Honestly speaking, I purchased this for myself to try but instead used it on my daughter’s hair for a wash day.

I kid you not, I was so impressed that I washed my hair immediately after!

I’m not ashamed to say that I actually used the conditioner as a leave-in on myself and my hair felt just as soft as if I walked out of a hair salon in Heaven.

Too much? It’s true.

To date, I repurchased the Hydrate and Repair combo, because it works like crazy, but also for the scent (my girls love it!).

17. Curlsmith – Double Cream Deep Quencher 

If you’re struggling to moisturize your little one’s type 3 curls, Curlsmith’s Double Cream Deep Quencer may be a good product to try.

It’s formulated to combat lackluster curls without weighing them down.

Apply after washing, and leave it on for up to 30 minutes for a deep conditioning treatment.

If I’m using this on my girls, I will usually apply the Double Cream and then let it sit in two or four plaits as they play and (honestly) rinse out an hour later).

But, do what works best for your child’s curls and your schedule to maximize the Cream’s use and the health of your child’s curls.

18. Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Masque

This is another product that I have a love/hate relationship with…because it is CONSTANTLY sold out in my local area.

I only ever have luck in finding this Repair Masque at TJ Maxx, because it is incredibly hard to find in stores where I live.

But, if you’re able to score this, you may want to purchase a backup.

Macadamia Oil is extremely good for type 3 curls, and it works better in my daughter’s hair than my own, actually.

The way it bounces back my daughter’s curls and shines just after being rinsed is incredibly insane.

19. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste

Here’s another edge control that needs no introduction.

Curls Blueberry Bliss is such a sweet-smelling edge control that is slightly thick, yet lays down your child’s hairline without suffocating their hairline.

Now, when I say, a little goes a long way, Curls Control Paste honestly has lasted me at least four months.

20. Style Factor Edge Booster Strong Hold Water-Based Pomade

I love to keep a few Style Factor Edge Boosters in the house because it’s a product that frequents several rooms in the house, as I follow my kids around to touch up their edges.

My girls love the variety of scents and the colorful tubs that the edge booster comes in, which is a great way to get your kids involved in their curly hair journey (especially if they aren’t keen just yet).

21. Eco Style Gel – Argan Oil

If you’re going to have oil at all, Argan Oil is one of the best ones out there for curly hair.

Honestly, if you are just starting out, especially if your child is young…water and argan oil will do wonders until you figure out which type 3 hair products to start using.

22. ampro Protein Styling Gel

I’ve mentioned that gels are a last and final resort for special hair days, not daily.

Gels do not provide nourishment to the hair…well, except ones like this by ampro.

Pro tip: use sparingly and only when needed.

I only use this Protein Styling Gel, on a case-by-case basis, when Mya’s hair needs a little extra attention.

If it seems like your child’s hair is breaking more than usual when brushing, you may want to amp up the protein (temporarily).

But, if you don’t have the time to commit to a protein treatment on a wash day, there are other ways to implement it.

I’ve found that ampro has helped and their treatments to avoid ever having mechanical damage or a protein shortage in her type 3 hair.

23. Pacifica Beauty, Indian Coconut Nectar Hair Perfume

I have to confess: this is a product that is so unnecessary, I need it in my life.

Yes, I needed it. But, my girls LOVE it!

When Mya, my oldest was playing soccer at daycare, she had a smelly scalp.

But during the week, I didn’t have time to do a full wash day and wished there was a perfume for her hair since dry shampoos weren’t working and instead left white residue making everything worse.

I had no idea that Pacifica existed until [now] four years later.

After learning more about mixed hair care, I came across this product randomly on YouTube and bought two to test on myself.

But, my girls are just as obsessed, so I use this hair perfume as a last step before heading out the door (whether to church or the grocery store).

Warning: it does have alcohol in it, so I don’t spritz it directly on [anyone’s] hair, but rather mist it above and let it fall.

These were our favorite curly hair products for 3a, 3b, and 3c.

If you found this helpful for narrowing down the best type 3 hair products for your kids, make sure to check out the mixed hair category on my blog.

I have dabbled in too many to count hair products for my three kids, all with different curl patterns and hair types.

If you also have kids with opposite hair types, click here to read more and join us over on Instagram to catch us in real-time as we live out our daily Do You Even Mom moments.

[This post has affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.]


Amelia August 13, 2022 - 7:05 pm

Nice roundup though I have to admit some of these brands are news to me.

victoriavadenking August 13, 2022 - 10:18 pm

The world of curly hair is all trial and error, but the fun of it is trying new things though!

Arianna August 16, 2022 - 7:23 am

Everything Morrocanoil is gold for us! I just discovered their dry shampoo before a family event and it’s now a staple, so, so good!

victoriavadenking August 16, 2022 - 6:07 pm

It is, and surprisingly still underrated, for some reason!

Kylie August 17, 2022 - 10:59 am

True, I’ve also found mixed hair to be a bit tougher to care for. The frizz was a big issue for us until I started doing some research and looked for products that fought it. She has a shoulder length bob now and she plans to let it grow so some extra care is definitely needed.

victoriavadenking August 19, 2022 - 9:03 am

Honestly, I think that’s why people struggle in caring for mixed hair. Each of my kids have three different hair types (1, 3, and 4), and one isn’t harder than another.

Andrea August 18, 2022 - 6:07 pm

Checking the reviews for some of these I feel like I need 1k a month just for our hair #curlyhairdontcare

victoriavadenking August 19, 2022 - 9:04 am

Girl yes, that trial and error can be costly at first. I need a dedicated section for our hair products because they are all over the house right now lol.

Eva August 19, 2022 - 8:59 am

I struggle finding a gel that doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy. Any recs?

victoriavadenking August 19, 2022 - 9:05 am

What is your hair type? It will also depend on what products you are using before applying the gel that may leave it crunchy, too.

Scarlett August 21, 2022 - 6:21 am

No kiddo yet but I’m discovering a lot of hot products for myself. I’ve always struggled with straw-like hair despite not using any heat.

victoriavadenking August 24, 2022 - 11:38 pm

Oh no, that doesn’t sound right. You should look into a protein treatment and do a porosity test. Good luck!

Genesis August 22, 2022 - 10:56 am

I’ve bought the Curlsmith cream quencher from ultra age ago, it’s insanely good!

victoriavadenking August 24, 2022 - 11:38 pm

I know right?! Glad it’s working out for you!

Ariana August 23, 2022 - 2:03 am

I love the Shea Moisture treatment, can’t remember how many times I’ve bought it! In fact, I love all the products from this brand, they just work for all of us despite my fiance having extremely curly hair and me being somewhat in the wavy league.

victoriavadenking August 24, 2022 - 11:01 pm

They work so well, especially when you don’t know where to start.

Eva August 23, 2022 - 1:14 pm

The problem is my girl has zero patience for this, she barely lets me wash her hair. She gets this from her dada, I loved being pampered by my mom. Do you have a quick fix I can use after shampoo and conditioner to lock in all that moisture?

victoriavadenking August 24, 2022 - 10:52 pm

You should definitely check out my post to help with her patience: https://doyouevenmom.com/mixed-race-curly-hair/. My middle child Mariah also refused hair washing and HATED it. She is SO much better now, and looks forward to her “spa treatment.”

Gina P. August 24, 2022 - 10:20 am

Is the OGX shampoo tear-free? We have the hardest time when we have to bathe him…

victoriavadenking August 24, 2022 - 10:49 pm

No, it’s not tear-free. I def wouldn’t use this unless your kiddo is a little older, or they can be laying flat for hair washing. Not in the bathtub.

Madeline August 25, 2022 - 7:02 am

Mixed hair care products tend to be a miss if you can’t properly diagnose what hair type you have. I really wanted my daughter to have coils so I kinda ‘forced’ it with gels and spray but nature got me in my place haha. Wavy for her, curly for her sister.

victoriavadenking September 7, 2022 - 11:14 pm

It is honestly a mystery and serious trial and error. My three kids all have completely different hair types, so I understand. My son has straight hair, my middle child has coily (type 4) hair, and my oldest has spiral curls (type 3).

Brooke August 27, 2022 - 8:28 am

I can’t begin to say just how much this series has helped my family! We’ve changed our routines quite a lot lately trying out some of the products you’ve recommended and we finally seem to have found the right one for each of us. Cantu was a nice discovery for me, I know they’re insanely praised but as a caucasian with straight blonde hair all of my life I never heard of it.

victoriavadenking September 7, 2022 - 11:13 pm

Ahhh thank you so much! This took me a while to compose, so I’m so glad it was helpful for your family!!

Caroline August 30, 2022 - 11:18 am

YES! The Mielle curl refresher makes or breaks my hair; I forgot it at home when we went to Hawaii and not once did I see my reflection without swearing it will never happen again.

victoriavadenking September 7, 2022 - 11:12 pm

YES omg it’s so amazing for that! Glad it worked so well for you, too.

Stella August 31, 2022 - 1:26 pm

So many good products here, Victoria. Ended up opening way too many tabs out of curiosity but the reviews made me bookmark a lot of them. I kinda feel my hair is drier lately so I’m on the hunt for a treatment + spray combo.

victoriavadenking September 7, 2022 - 11:12 pm

LOL I am the worst window online shopper because my save for later cart on amazon is embarrassingly long because I do the SAME thing! Hopefully, you’re able to tab out of yours to find what works 🙂

Lucy September 4, 2022 - 7:10 pm

Thinking of buying your first recommendation for my niece. She’s a mixed child with gorgeous hair, let’s hope she likes it!

victoriavadenking September 7, 2022 - 11:11 pm

OMG please let me know if it works out for you!

Bailey September 8, 2022 - 6:54 am

After falling through a rabbit hole and raking a lot of hours at haircare videos I went for the big brands: Shea Moisture, Aunt Jackie’s and Cantu. They all work, my daughter is more and more pleased with her hair now.


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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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