Hair - Hair Type - Straight

Type 1 Hair (1a, 1b, 1c): Straight Hair Care & Style Guide

Your full guide to type 1 straight hair. Learn how to care for it, avoid common issues, and style it to perfection.

Written by Amber Belanger
Type 1 Hair

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The “type 1” hair type is straight hair.

The typing system, with types 1, 2, 3, and 4, was created by André Walker. It uses numbers and letters to differentiate between hair types, making it easy to figure out your hair type.

While it’s not the only hair type system, it’s widely used.

If you have straight hair, you’ll fit into the type 1 category. Here’s what that says about you, your hair, and how you need to care for it.

Other typing systems include the L.O.I.S system and L’oreal’s hair classification system).

What Is Type 1 Hair?

What Is Type 1 Hair

Type 1 hair is the straightest hair type. It lies flat on your scalp, has no natural curl, and displays a smooth texture. This hair type is further divided into three categories: 1a, 1b, and 1c.

Type 1a is the finest with a silky texture. Type 1b has medium texture, more body, and may have a slight wave. Type 1c is coarsest and thick.

Each type varies in thickness, but all possess that signature straightness.

Do I Have Type 1 Hair?

You have type 1 hair if your hair is straight. That is, the hair strands have no or close to no natural wave, curl, or coiling. Type 1 hair types come in different textures, so there are differences between 1a, 1b, and 1c.

Difference Between Type 1a, 1b, and 1c

Difference Between Type 1a, 1b, and 1c

All type 1 hair is straight, but slight differences set them apart:

TextureVery fine, smoothMedium, slight wave or bendCoarse, few subtle waves
VolumeLow, tends to fall flat easilyMedium, easier to styleHigh, natural volume
OilinessHigh, prone to oilinessModerate, less prone to oiliness than 1aLow, despite being coarse
StylingStruggles to hold curls or intricate stylesHolds curls better than 1a, more versatile for stylingHolds styles well due to thickness, can achieve fuller hairstyles

Type 1a: Fine and Straight

Type 1a hair is the finest and straightest of the three subtypes. It’s smooth but can appear lifeless due to its lack of natural texture.

Since your hair is so fine, it tends to be oil-prone and can fall flat. For styling, be mindful that it may struggle to hold curls or intricate styles.

Learn more: What Is Type 1A Hair & How to Care for It

Type 1b: Medium and Straight

Your 1b hair is a bit thicker and has more texture than 1a hair. It’s still straight, but has a bit more body and volume, making it easier to style.

You might notice a slight wave or bend in your hair, which allows it to hold curls better than type 1a.

This means you can try out many hairstyles. You don’t have to worry about your hair getting too oily.

Type 1c: Coarse and Straight

Type 1c hair is the coarsest among the type 1 hair sub-types. It’s still straight but has a thicker and heavier texture. This results in natural volume and a tougher appearance.

You might spot some subtle waves here and there in the underneath layers. This adds some dimension, allowing you to achieve fuller hairstyles.

Despite being coarse, remember to keep your hair moisturized and well-nourished.

Common Type 1 Hair Issues

Type 1 hair issues are connected to the often fine and straight texture. This introduces issues such as dry hair, frizz, oiliness, greasiness, and lack of shine.

Here’s how to work around that.

Dry Hair & Frizz

Even though type 1 hair is straight and smooth, it still gets dry and frizzy.

Frizz occurs when dryness and hair damage make the hair’s outer layer lift. It also makes it look uneven and messy.

To fight frizz, keep your hair moisturized. Use a lightweight, leave-in conditioner to keep your hair soft and free of frizz. You should also always handle your hair gently, using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle it.

Oily Hair

Type 1 hair can often look oily, especially at the roots.

This is because your scalp produces natural oils that tend to weigh down straight hair.

One way to address this issue is to avoid over-washing your hair, as this can strip away natural oils and lead to increased oil production. Instead, use a gentle shampoo every other day and consider applying dry shampoo on non-wash days.

Greasy Hair

Similar to oiliness, greasiness is often a problem for type 1 hair.

To prevent greasiness, use lightweight hair products, like a light gel or mousse, that won’t weigh your hair down. Additionally, avoid applying conditioner directly to your roots. Focus on applying it to the ends, ensuring the roots remain free of excess product.


If you want to keep up the shine of your type 1 hair, keep it moisturized.

Use a gentle shampoo that doesn’t have sulfates. After washing, apply a light conditioner. If you style your hair with heat tools, don’t forget to use a heat protectant.

Once a week or every two weeks, treat your hair with a deep conditioning mask. This helps maintain moisture levels and keep your hair looking its best.

How to Care for Type 1 Hair

How to Care for Type 1 Hair

Hair care for Type 1 hair revolves around gentle methods and light-weight products:

  1. Shampoo regularly
  2. Gentle washing
  3. Add moisture
  4. Use the right brush
  5. Detangle and brush knots
  6. Be careful with heat

Shampoo Regularly

One of the most essential aspects of taking care of Type 1 hair is shampooing regularly.

Since Type 1 hair tends to become oily fast, washing your hair every two to three days can help remove excess oil. It’ll also keep your scalp clean and refreshed.

Gentle Washing

When washing, be gentle. Handle your hair with care, and use a shampoo that’s designed for sensitive hair and skin.

You should use a shampoo without sulfates that match your hair type. This helps keep your natural oils in balance. It also stops your hair from getting too dry or too oily.

Add Moisture

While Type 1 hair is inclined to get oily, it still requires adequate moisture to maintain its health and shine.

Use a light conditioner for your hair. It keeps your hair soft but not heavy. When you use it, apply the conditioner to your hair. Not your scalp. Start from the middle of your hair and go to the end.

This way, your hair gets the moisture it needs without making your scalp too oily.

Use the Right Brush

A wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft, flexible bristles is best for Type 1 hair. These prevent unnecessary stress on your hair.

Always remember to brush gently and avoid pulling on any knots or tangles.

Detangle Knots

To properly maintain Type 1 hair, ensure you brush your hair at least once every day. Not only that, but you also need to detangle.

If you detangle your knots instead of brushing them out, you will pull less on your hair. This lowers the stress levels you exert your hair to, making for healthier roots.

Begin brushing at the ends and gradually work your way toward the roots, addressing any knots you encounter with care.

Be Careful With Heat

When caring for Type 1 hair, it’s essential to be cautious with heat styling. Excessive heat causes damage to your hair, making it more prone to breakage and split ends.

If you must use heat-styling tools, always apply a heat protectant and keep the temperature as low as possible.

Best Type 1 Hair Products

For type 1 hair, low-weight and gentle products are best. Look for products without harsh chemicals, sulfates, or other unwanted ingredients:

  • Gentle shampoos
  • Leave-in conditioners and serums
  • Lightweight conditioner
  • Oils and hair masks
  • Salt spray
  • Heat protection spray

Gentle Shampoos

For type 1 hair, go for a gentle shampoo that won’t cause buildup or strip your hair of its natural oils. Look for sulfate-free shampoos, as they are milder and will keep your hair clean without causing damage.

The Hairlust Split Fix Shampoo is a great example. With a gentle formula, it cleanses the hair and fixes split ends, without unnecessary ingredients.

Leave-in Conditioners and Serums

A good leave-in conditioner or serum can help keep your hair smooth and frizz-free.

Hairlust Split Fix Leave-In Conditioner is a great option for type 1 hair, as it’s a mist spray that leaves your hair soft and tangle-free.

When it comes to serums, avoid those containing oils and silicones, as they can weigh down your hair.

Lightweight Conditioner

Type 1 hair benefits from a lightweight conditioner that adds moisture without being too heavy. Hairlust Moisture Hero Conditioner is an excellent choice. It provides hydration without weighing your hair down.

Oils and Hair Masks

Type 1 hair may not need as much moisture as others. But, a deep condition now and then is good to keep it healthy.

Choose lightweight oils like jojoba or argan oil, as they won’t weigh down your hair. For hair masks, opt for protein-rich treatments to provide strength and elasticity. Check out the Hairlust Protein Mask for this.

Salt Spray

If you’re looking for a bit of added texture and volume, a salt spray can work wonders for type 1 hair.

This product gives your hair a more tousled and beachy look, without causing damage or weighing it down.

Heat Protection Spray

When using heat styling tools on type 1 hair, always apply a heat protection spray beforehand. This will help minimize the risk of damage and keep your hair healthy. Hairlust Heat Protect Spray is a good option to consider.

How to Style Type 1 Hair

How to Style Type 1 Hair

Styling Type 1 hair is all about what you like. As Type 1 is straight, most people either keep it in a tight hair-do (like a tight bun or ponytail) or add volume when keeping it loose.

Maintain Straightness

Type 1 hair stays naturally straight without much effort. To keep your hair looking silky and smooth, avoid touching it too much throughout the day. Regularly brush your hair to distribute natural oils and help prevent tangles at the ends.

Add Volume and Body

To add volume and body to your straight hair, try the following tips:

  • Use volumizing shampoo and conditioner, which can help create the appearance of fuller hair.
  • Apply a light mousse or hair spray before blow-drying your hair. The heat will activate the product, giving your hair more lift.
  • Make sure to blow-dry your hair while lifting the roots to instantly add volume.
  • Experiment with different hairstyles such as waves, curls, or braids, to give your hair a temporary change in texture.

Curls Are Tough

Type 1 hair is not for curls. 1a is the least able to curl, while 1c has more luck staying curly or wavy throughout the day.

But, the best way to style your hair is to embrace straightness. Experiment with hair-dos, or use the volume tips above.

Protect from Heat Damage

Straight hair is often styled with heat tools like flat irons and hair dryers. If this is you, make sure to protect it:

Use a heat protectant spray: Before styling your hair, apply a heat protectant spray on damp hair. This product helps reduce damage caused by high temperatures.

You should also get regular trims, every six to eight weeks. Heat causes split ends, so you need to keep these in check.

If you’re not sure how to style your Type 1 hair, here are some suggestions:

Hairstyles for Fine Hair

If you have fine type 1 hair, try a straight bob or a long layered cut. These hairstyles work well with your hair’s natural texture, making it easier to maintain. Remember that shorter cuts can provide a fuller appearance, while long layers can add volume and movement:

  1. Straight Bob: A straight bob frames your face. It works best for round, oval, and heart-shaped faces.
  2. Long Layered Cut: Long layers add dimension and movement. This hairstyle looks great on any face shape.

Hairstyles for Medium Hair

For medium type 1 hair, consider styles like the classic lob or angled bob. Both of these styles suit most face shapes, and they are adaptable to your hair’s thickness and individual needs:

  1. Classic Lob: This mid-length cut adds versatility and is easy to style. Great for any face shape.
  2. Angled Bob: With shorter layers at the back and longer layers at the front, this style frames your face. It is flattering for square and round face shapes.

Hairstyles for Coarse Hair

If you have coarse type 1 hair, look for styles that help enhance your hair’s natural straightness and provide some structure. A long straight cut or an inverted bob can be suitable options for coarse hair:

  1. Long Straight Cut: A simple long cut showcases the sleekness of your hair. It’s flattering for most face shapes, but striking on oval and long shapes.
  2. Inverted Bob: This dramatic cut features longer layers at the front and shorter at the back. It is an eye-catching choice for round and square faces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which products work best for Type 1 hair?

For Type 1 hair, it’s essential to use lightweight and gentle products. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are free from sulfates and parabens. Stick to a regular washing schedule, and avoid heavy oils or creams that can weigh down your hair.

What’s the difference between 1A, 1B, and 1C hair?

Type 1 hair is straight, but there are three subtypes: 1A hair is straight and smooth, with no visible wave. 1B hair is mostly straight, with a slight wave and some volume. 1C hair has a more pronounced wave, while still maintaining its straightness.

What is a good Type 1 hair routine?

A good Type 1 hair routine involves keeping your hair and scalp clean by washing it two or three times a week. Use a gentle shampoo and make sure to apply a conditioner suitable for your hair type. Avoid heat styling when possible, and use a wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft bristles to detangle.

What shampoo should I use for Type 1 hair?

Choose a shampoo specifically designed for straight hair. Look for one that is sulfate and paraben-free, as these can be harsh on your hair and scalp. A mild, lightweight shampoo will help maintain your hair’s natural shine and smoothness.

How can I promote hair growth in Type 1 hair?

To promote hair growth, follow a healthy diet and take care of your scalp. Get regular trims to prevent split ends and breakage. Be gentle when brushing and styling, avoid using high heat, and protect your hair from the sun. Maintain a consistent hair care routine, ensuring you’re using the right products for your hair type.

Photo of author

Amber Belanger

Amber is not just a beauty enthusiast. She has spent countless hours doing the nails of her friends, researching the newest studies on personal care, as well as tried and tested numerous hair products. She prides herself on her factuality and luscious hair.