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Type 1A Hair: What It Is and How To Care for It

6 mins

Ashley Brown

Type 1A is one of the rarest hair types. Here, we’ll explore this hair type and offer some of the best care for keeping it happy and healthy.

Every hair has different features, but if we put it plainly, each one can be classified into one of the four most common hair types. The four main hair types are straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Each of them also has its own subtypes. 

Type 1A is one of those subtypes. This pin-straight hair is known for its gloss, seemingly effortless maintenance, and easy style options. 

In this article, we’ll look at type 1A in greater depth, examining some of its qualities and common hair care instructions specific to it. 

Table of contents:

  • What Types of Hair Structure Are There?
  • Type 1 Hair: Straight
  • What Is Type 1A hair?
  • What Are the Challenges of Having Type 1A Hair?
  • What Are the Benefits of Having Type 1A Hair?
  • How Do I Care for Type 1A Hair?

What Types of Hair Structure Are There?

Hair type starts with hair structure. Specifically, it all starts at the hair root. It rests right below the skin inside a small tube in the skin called the follicle. Each follicle is attached to sebaceous glands — i.e., oil glands.

These glands are responsible for giving hair its shine. However, an overproduction of sebum can contribute to greasy, oily-looking hair. Nonetheless, cells band together at the follicle to form keratin, the protein that forms hairs.

The part of the hair we see is called the hair shaft. Here, there are typically three layers of keratin: medulla, cortex, and cuticle. 

  • The medulla is the innermost layer of keratin. It is usually only present in thicker hair types (so it is not normally found in type 1A hair). 
  • The middle layer of keratin is known as the cortex. This layer contains pigment cells, which are responsible for hair color. 
  • The cuticle represents the outermost layer of the hair shaft. It plays a protective role and is composed of overlapping cells that act as a barrier.

In general, hair type refers to the shape of a person’s hair or, more specifically, the shape and structure of their hair follicles. Many also define hair type as your hair’s curl pattern. 

type 1a hair challenges, how to care for type 1 hair

Hair type is categorized into four groups, with each of the four hair types also having subcategories or subtypes. For example, type 1 hair is broken down into type 1A, type 1B, and type 1C. 

Other hair types include:

  • Type 2 Hair (wavy hair), including type 2A hair, type 2B hair, and type 2C hair.
  • Type 3 Hair (curly hair), including type 3A hair, type 3B hair, and type 3C hair.
  • Type 4 Hair (coily hair), including type 4A hair, type 4B hair, and type 4C hair.

It is important to understand your particular hair type in order to care for it properly. You could say a healthy understanding of hair type leads to healthy hair. 

With that said, let’s dive in and take a closer look at type 1A hair. 

Type 1 Hair: Straight

Maybe you’ve been told you have type 1 hair, but without elaboration, it certainly wouldn’t make much sense. In short, type 1 hair is simply considered straight. 

When it comes to type 1 hair, there is no discernable, natural curl. For people with type 1 hair, their hair simply lays flat on their heads and carries very little volume.

straight hair, type 1 hair

Type 1 hair is also broken down into three subcategories, with type 1A being the first and rarest of the three. This is the subtype we will look at in greater detail. 

What Is Type 1A hair?

If type 1 hair is defined as straight, then type 1A could be considered super straight — 100% straight. It doesn’t have even the slightest hint of curl or wave. 

In addition to being naturally fine, type 1A hair is also without much volume. It is completely pin-straight from the hair root to the tip. 

Type 1A Hair Texture

When we speak of hair texture, we’re referring to both the form and thickness of each hair strand. Hair textures are typically defined in three ways: 

  • Fine
  • Medium
  • Thick (coarse)

The texture of the hair is pretty important when it comes to how easy or difficult hair care and maintenance will be. For example, thicker hair boosts much more when it comes to volume than thin hair, which can help with styling and overall hold. 

Type 1A hair is known to be extremely fine. It is considered the most fragile hair texture. This is because fine hair typically only boosts two hair layers (cortex and cuticle) instead of three. Some drawbacks for type 1A and fine hair include:

  • Unable to hold style very well
  • More fragile and prone to breakage more easily
  • A thin appearance since it lacks volume
  • Doesn’t play well with heavy styling products
    hair care products, what hair care products to avoid

On the other hand, medium and thick hair textures tend to be more resistant to damage. Also, their hair is much more tolerant to styling and styling products. 

What Are the Challenges of Having Type 1A Hair?

Each hair type comes with its own set of drawbacks. While type 2 hair and type 3 hair may have the upper hand regarding volume and style options, they also have to put up with a lot of hair maintenance. 

Here are some of the common challenges facing this straight hair type.

Type 1A Hair Lacks Volume

As mentioned, type 1A hair is lacking in the hair volume department. Volume refers to how much body your hair has, how full it appears, and how much lift at the root it has. Unfortunately, type 1A is as flat as it comes — no body, no wave. 

Type 1A Hair Is More Fragile

Type 1A hair is the most fragile type. This is caused by the fine nature of hair. Type 1A is typically less dense too, which makes losing strands to breakage a road to hair thinning. 

Type 1A Tends to Be Oily

Natural hair oils are good for coating your scalp and keeping it moist and healthy — not to mention the shine. But, there can be too much of a good thing. Too much oil tends to leave a greasy look on the hair, and type 1A is more prone to it than other hair types. 

What Are the Benefits of Having Type 1A Hair?

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. Type 1A hair comes with many advantages as well. For example, those with type 1A will never have to think about frizz. No frizzy hair days is great news. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits of type 1A hair. 

Type 1A Requires No Straightening

One of the biggest benefits of type 1A hair is the ease of style maintenance. It is permanently straight; no need for chemicals or hair straightening treatments. Gently comb through to wrangle any pesky flyaways, and you’re done!

Type 1A Is Less Prone to Dryness 

As mentioned before, the oils produced by sebaceous glands serve an important role. They help hydrate the scalp and hair strands, from root to tip. This can help keep your hair by preventing it from drying out — so your hair will never be brittle.

type 1 hair

Type 1A Looks Smooth and Silky

Of all the types, type 1 hairs can look the most lustrous. Type 1A is no exception. Since type 1A is so straight, it allows hair oils to lubricate most of the hair strands, leaving a silky, smooth shine.

How Do I Care for Type 1A Hair?

Like any hair type, type 1A hair benefits from having a unique hair care routine. Thankfully, the good news is type 1A hair is pretty low on the maintenance scale. A few simple care routine tips will make it silky and smooth. 

Wash Your Type 1A Hair Regularly

As stated above, those with type 1 hair tend to have to battle natural oils and greasiness more often than other types. So, maintaining a regular wash routine and schedule is crucial. Also, let wet hair air dry.

Washing your hair every two to three days is typically enough to help cut down on sebum build-up. Try adding a clarifying shampoo to your wash routine to combat your overly oily hair. We recommend WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo for the best results. 

Make Sure You Trim Your Type 1A Hair Regularly

Part of any good hair care routine, but this is especially important for type 1A hair. This involves adding volume and fullness to the hair, something type 1A naturally lacks. 

Regular trims can eliminate dead, brittle ends that tend to thin out the hair over time and restore some life to those limp strands. The longer you wait to get a trim, the heavier the hair becomes, which means it is often less voluminous. 

Brush Regularly and Handle With Care

Brushing your hair daily is a good way to help stimulate your scalp to encourage new hair growth. Not to mention the fact that regular brushing can help distribute natural hair oils through the whole hair shaft. But make sure to avoid brushing with stiff bristles; these can contribute to breakage.

Handling type 1A hair with care is very important since it tends to be the most fragile hair type. Keep this in mind when trying to work out pesky knots and tangles. Using a detangling brush with rounded bristles works well. 

Also, avoid heating the hair. The heat from a blow dryer or styling can contribute to brittleness and promote breakage of the strands. Type 1A hair doesn’t often need heat styling tools.

Choose the Right Hair Products

One of the biggest mistakes those with type 1A make is overdoing it on styling products and hairspray. The flat, fine hair that comes with type 1A hair doesn’t need much when it comes to styling products, and many can be quite damaging. 

Instead, invest in hair care products that can help give life to your hair. These include products that help to add volume, like WOW’s Coconut Milk Hair Mask or a volumizing, leave-in conditioner. WOW’s Coconut & Avocado Natural Hair Conditioner was made to fit the bill. 

coconut and avocado hair conditioner

Aside from their volumizing effects to help hair appear fuller, avocado and coconut oils can help reinforce thin, weak strands. Not to mention the vitamins A, B, and E that help retain moisture.

Type 1A hair is considered the rarest of all and comes with many benefits and some drawbacks. It also requires a unique care routine. For that, WOW has you covered and has the right hair care products you need for your type 1A hair.

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Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown is a beauty blogger specializing in natural hair and skin care. She has reviewed many beauty products as a blogger and a guest writer for other blogs in her domain. Ashley loves to stay updated with the latest trends in the world of beauty and fashion. Her honest reviews and opinions are loved by readers and brands alike.

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