Your Complete Guide to Caring for 1C Hair

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You know you have straight hair, but do you know what type of straight hair you have? There’s 1A, 1B, and 1C. Though all straight, they differ slightly in how they should be cared for and which products they require. We’re focusing specifically on hair type 1C in this guide. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the hair type, including what it is, how to tell if you have it, how to care for it, and the best products and hairstyles. Scroll below for your guide to 1C hair!

Redhead with type 1C hair
(via Unsplash)

What Is 1C Hair?

This hair type, much like 1A and 1B, tends to be straight. What sets it apart is that it tends to have a little bit of wave underneath. It’s not incredibly wavy, just a bit. If it were wavier, it would likely be 2A hair. Just like type 1B hair, this hair type also boasts more volume and can hold a curl. So then how does it differ from 1B? 2A? The difference between 1B and 1C is that 1B doesn’t have any sort of wave to its pattern. It’s completely straight. The difference between this hair type and 2A is that the waves of 2A tend to be more prominent. The 1C hair type has hidden waves. Think that perfectly tousled look we all strive for.

The texture of 1C hair tends to be a bit coarse. Strands, though straight, are not as fine as the other straight hair types. In fact, they’re fairly thick. While this makes it a little difficult to manage, it’s not the worst problem to have. Plus, there are a number of products you can use for your hair type. We’ll get into that in just a bit.

Type 1C Haircare Tips

Caring for this hair type can be a little bit tricky, as it’s somewhat high-maintenance. Following these tips will ensure you have the best strands around and keep frizz at bay.

1. Don’t go to bed with wet strands.

Going to bed with wet hair isn’t a good look for anyone, but especially for this hair type. As you’re more prone to frizz than other hair types, sleeping on wet strands will only exacerbate frizziness. It’s best you let your hair air dry before going to bed. If that’s not possible, you can absolutely use a blow dryer. This brings us to our next hair tip.

2. Blow dry on cool settings.

Use cool settings on your blow dryer and all other heat styling tools for that matter. It’s critical you use a cool heat setting when you blow dry to not cause excess damage. Your hair is already likely to be incredibly coarse, dry, and frizzy. Using higher heat settings will make it worse.

3. Do a weekly hair mask.

To protect your strands from becoming unruly, clear out time in your schedule for a weekly hair mask. Whether your hair is chemically treated, colored, or excessively dry, you’ll want to find a mask that caters to these needs. A good deep conditioning mask can really solve most of these issues, if not all of them. Once you start using a weekly mask, you’ll notice a difference in your strands right away.

4. Avoid products that contain sulfates.

It’s very likely you already avoid sulfates like the plague, but we want to remind you why. Sulfates are a bit too harsh for your hair type. Though they do a great job cleaning your hair, they tend to dehydrate your strands with their stripping power. This, as you likely guessed, creates dryness and frizz. Given you already deal with those hair issues more than you’d like, it’s best to steer clear of any hair products that contain sulfates.

5. Use a microfiber towel.

We’ve all dried our locks with the same terry cloth towel we use to dry our bodies after a shower. It happens. But, that terry cloth towel isn’t doing much for your 1C hair. It creates more friction and breakage, which leads to frizz and dryness. And hair that doesn’t look as good as it could. To solve this problem, we suggest investing in a microfiber towel. They’re a softer fabric that’s designed to dry your hair faster and with less damage. Say goodbye to breakage once and for all.

How to Style Your Hair Type

You know how to best care for your 1C hair, now it’s time to learn how to style it. We’ve talked a lot about how this hair type is prone to dryness and frizziness. And we know that’s not very fun to hear. The good news is, there are a number of haircare products you can use and tips you can follow (*cough* see above *cough*) to combat these issues. One of the best parts about your hair type is that when it dries naturally, it tends to have this beautiful tousled look. Think Sienna Miller and Rachel Bilson. You don’t have to do much to really style your strands, so long as you’re caring for it the way it needs to be cared for. Beachy waves and more textured styles are easy to pull off with your hair type.

When using heat styling tools, you’ll want to use lower heat settings so you don’t do more damage to your strands. And always use a heat protectant beforehand. We mentioned this above, but be sure to blow dry on cool settings. Heat will create frizz and you don’t need that. Oils and serums are also the perfect products for your 1C hair, as they’ll tame frizz to leave any hairstyle you try looking flawless. Many even protect against humidity and UV rays, so not even Mother Nature can mess with your blowout or updo.

The Best Hairstyles for 1C Hair

There are a number of styles that look great on this hair type. However, there is only a handful that is the best of the best. The ones below are our absolute favorites to accentuate the positives of this hair type and eliminate the negatives.

1. Soft Waves

Because your hair already has some waves, soft waves are a great way to accentuate them. Sienna Miller pulls them off so well and is the go-to inspiration for this style. She even has type 1C hair, which makes it easier to know how the style will look on you.

The IMDb Studio At Acura Festival Village On Location At The 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 1 PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 24: Sienna Miller of 'Wander Darkly' attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 1 on January 24, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
(via Getty)

2. Half-Up Half-Down

Rachel Bilson (also someone with 1C hair) makes the half-up half-down style look so chic. This is a great one for your hair type because it can help pull away any frizzy or dry strands and really accentuates your natural wave pattern. Grab a claw clip, some hair serum, and you’ve got all you need to create this look on your own locks.

Disney/ABC International Upfronts BURBANK, CA - MAY 20: Actress Rachel Bilson attends the Disney/ABC International Upfronts at the Walt Disney Studio Lot on May 20, 2018 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
(via Getty)

3. Long Hair

Length looks great on your hair type, so let your tresses grow as long as Rapunzel’s strands. Your hair tends to be incredibly resilient, so it’ll want to grow anyway. Best to let it do what it wants, though don’t forget to get regular trims. Seek lengthy 1C hairstyle inspo from Lucy Liu.

PaleyFest New York 2016 -
(via Getty)

4. Voluminous Ponytail

Your hair type tends to have a bit of body and volume already, so accentuating this with a voluminous ponytail just makes sense. Take Jamie Chung’s ponytail for example. It’s bouncy, bright, and full of body. Plus, combing your hair back means you can hide flyaways and frizz a little bit easier. Or, you can even embrace them with this look. The choice is yours.

Kate Spade - Presentation - September 2017 - New York Fashion Week NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Jamie Chung attends Kate Spade Presentation during New York Fashion Week on September 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
(via Getty)

5. The Wet Look

The wet look isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly the best hairstyle for 1C hair types. Coating your hair in serum will prevent frizziness from taking over your look and it’s a fun, elevated hairstyle not everyone has the luxury of being able to pull off. Shay Mitchell looks stunning in her take on this trend. We’d definitely use this hairstyle as a jumping-off point.

US-MUSIC-MTV-VIDEO-AWARDS Canadian actress Shay Mitchell attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
(via Getty)

The Best 1C Hair Products

We mentioned that caring for your hair type can require a bit of work. Thankfully, these 1C hair products are here to help. They’ll ensure your strands are flawless, moisturized, and more. Are you ready to shop?

Hey, mane muse! We wanted to give you a heads up that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that Mane Addicts will collect a small share of the sale from any purchase you make from the products we recommend.

Hair masks are a must for your hair type. We know we’ve mentioned that several times now, but we’re really trying to hammer that point home. The Function of Beauty Custom Hair Mask is one of the best, as you can customize it for your strands. Even though you have straight hair, it may be more oily or dry. Creating a mask that’s specific to your hair’s biggest concerns will ensure you get the most out of it.

Function of Beauty Custom Hair Mask 1C hair products
(via Function of Beauty)

Specifically formulated for dry, damaged, and frizzy hair, this ultra-lightweight serum will get rid of frizz in an instant. Use this before heat styling your 1C hair to keep your hairdos looking fresh all day and all night. You can even use some when the humidity is out of control, as it will protect your strands from the weather too.

Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum 1C hair products
(via Kiehl’s)

As far as 1C hair products go, this one is a game-changer for your strands. Using the right shampoo is so important. It tends to be one of the products you use the most, so it needs to be the right one for your hair type. Consider this shampoo your first line of defense against frizz. Formulated without sulfates, parabens, silicones, and the like, it will care for your hair the way it needs to be cared for.

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo
(via Living Proof)

Unruly and frizzy hair is no match for the Moroccanoil Smoothing Conditioner. Their patented AminoRenew system works to restore depleted amino acids and gently nourish the strands to leave them softer, shinier, and more manageable inside and out. This isn’t just a surface-level product that will make your 1C hair look good for the time being. It works to deeply penetrate the hair shafts to keep your strands healthy with each use.

Moroccanoil Smoothing Conditioner 1C hair products
(via Moroccanoil)

Natural boar bristles add shine and luster back into dull, dry hair. You can use it on wet and dry hair, which is always nice. Not to mention, this brush boasts 45% less breakage and 55% less effort. Brushing your strands has never been easier!

Wet Brush Pro Shine Enhancer Brush
(via Ulta)