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

6 mins

Ashley Brown

Like all hair types, type 1B requires unique hair care. Here, we take a closer look at this common straight hair subtype.

Proper hair care starts with understanding the type of hair you have. If you have straight hair with a hint of loose waves, you probably have type 1B hair.

Type 1B is a subtype of Type 1 hair. This particular type of hair is known for being more voluminous than type 1A, which is completely flat. 

In this article, we'll examine the ins and outs of type 1B hair, uncovering some of its unique qualities and some of its specific hair care instructions.

Table of contents:

  • What Are the Hair Types?
  • What Is Hair Structure?
  • Straight Hair: Type 1
  • What Is Type 1B Hair?
  • What Are the Advantages of Having Type 1B Hair?
  • What Are the Challenges of Having Type 1B Hair?
  • How Do I Care for Type 1B Hair?

What Are the Hair Types?

Understanding your specific hair type is important when setting a firm foundation for a proper hair care routine and styling routine. So, before we dive into the specifics of type 1B hair, let's take a quick look at the different hair types. 

Hair type is typically categorized into four distinct groups. Each of these hair types also has subtypes to hone in on more specific characteristics. The four hair types are straight, wavy, curly, and coily or kinky. 

  • Type 1 hair, or straight hair, includes type 1A hair, type 1B hair, and type 1C hair.
  • Type 2 hair, or wavy hair, includes type 2A hair, type 2B hair, and type 2C hair.
  • Type 3 hair, or curly hair, includes type 3A hair, type 3B hair, and type 3C hair.
  • Type 4 hair, or coily hair, includes type 4A hair, type 4B hair, and type 4C hair.

What Is Hair Structure?

People talking about hair types are actually talking more about hair structure. Hair type is actually referring to both the shape and structure of a person's hair strand or follicle. 

Some also describe hair type as a person's specific hair curl pattern. Either way, it all starts at the hair root. Roots are right below the skin's surface. They rest within a small tube-like structure called follicles.

Hair follicles also contain oil glands known as sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily substance known as sebum. An overproduction of sebum can produce oily skin, leading to oily skin and hair. But sebum also gives hair its luster and shine. 

straight hair treatment

Straight hair types are better known for their shine. But, they also have a higher chance of having oily-looking hair if they do not regularly wash to remove excess sebum. 

Let's get back to follicles for a moment. It is within the follicle where the hair magic happens. Here, cells band together to form a hardening protein called keratin, whose function is to form hair strands.

The part of the hair we see on the scalp is called the hair shaft. Depending on hair type, there are up to three layers of keratin in every hair shaft.

  • The first, innermost layer is called the medulla. This keratin layer is usually only present in thicker hair textures and types.
  • The cortex represents the middle layer of keratin. This layer houses the pigment cells, which are responsible for hair color. 
  • The outermost layer is referred to as the cuticle. This layer of keratin acts as a barrier to help protect the hair shaft. 

Straight Hair: Type 1

Type 1 hair is identified by the straightness of the hair structure. When we talk about hair texture, we're referring to the thickness and the form of each hair strand. 

Hair textures are defined in three ways: 

  • Fine hair
  • Medium hair
  • Thick (coarse) hair

A person's hair texture is important when it comes to hair care, styling, and maintenance. Regarding texture, Type 1 hair can range from very fine to medium. 

how to care for type1b hair

Type 1 hair tends to lay flat on the head and has very little volume. Also, it is typically lacking in natural curls, though some subtypes have some waves.

This hair type has three subcategories: Type 1, Type 1B, and Type 1C. Let's take a closer look at type 1B, examining its unique qualities and specific care instructions.

What Is Type 1B Hair?

Type 1B hair belongs to the "straight" hair category. It boasts a bit of volume and bounce but is mostly flat. As far as straightness goes, type 1B lies halfway between type 1A (completely straight) and type 1C, which has the most texture of the group. 

Type 1B lacks any sort of natural curl. However, it does have a splash of waves. It is also considered fine to medium as far as thickness and texture are concerned. The presence of subtle waves and bends does give it much more volume than type 1A hair. 

To sum it up, the common features of type 1B hair include:

  • Mostly straight from the root to the ends with slight, subtle bends or waves at mid-body.
  • Slightly more volume than type 1A hair.
  • Like all type 1 hair, it can be described as shiny and sleek. 
  • Fine to medium texture with some coarse fibers. 

Let's take a quick look at the other straight hair subtypes before we move on to some of the benefits and drawbacks of type 1B hair.

Type 1A

Type 1A is the straightest of them all, straight as a pin, some might say. It has no natural curls or waves and scant volume. It is also thinner than other subtypes and is also the least common.

Type 1C

This third subcategory of type 1 hair is still mostly straight but has the most volume, body, and bend. It is also the most coarse of the three and is more prone to frizz.

What Are the Advantages of Having Type 1B Hair?

While it may not have the full body or bounce of other hair types, type 1B hair does have many benefits. 

Let's take some time to highlight some of the most surprising benefits and advantages of having type 1B hair. Hopefully, it will help you appreciate it a bit more.

Type 1B Is Low Maintenance

Like all straight hair types, the ease of style maintenance is a huge plus for those with type 1B hair. Also, you can forget hair straightening treatments; you won't need them. Since it is naturally straight and sleek, elegant hairstyles are easy to create.  

type 1b hair

Type 1B Hair Doesn't Get Frizzy

Since type 1B hair is mostly straight, it lacks the twists and turns that tend to cause frizzy hair days. Plus, the higher content of natural hair oils helps keep it tame and smooth. Natural oils can make their way down the scalp easily, moisturizing the strands along the way.

What Are the Challenges of Having Type 1B Hair?

While it has some great advantages, type 1B hair also comes with some challenges. The lack of volume will always be the biggest drawback with straight hair types. 

Other hair types, like type 2 hair and type 3 hair, will always hold the upper hand in the volume department. Here are some more challenges facing those with type 1B hair.

Type 1B Can Appear Greasy

Natural hair oils can help moisturize your hair and scalp, but they can also make your hair appear oily. When it comes to straight hair, it's simply a matter of gravity as oil makes its way down to the end of the strands. Frequent washing is required. 

Type 1B Can Be Fragile

While it is certainly not as fragile as type 1A hair, type 1B is still on the finer side. It tends to be less dense, making dry ends more prone to damage and breakage.

damaged hair

How Do I Care for Type 1B Hair?

Just like any hair type, keeping your type 1B hair healthy starts with implementing a hair care routine that's unique to its characteristics. As discussed above, type 1B hair is fairly low maintenance regarding styling. 

However, there are a few things to be aware of when it comes to proper care. Let's look at some best hair care routine tips for type 1B hair.

Regular Washing Is a Must for Type 1B Hair

Straight hair types like type 1B are known for their glow and shine. But this shine can quickly become a greasy mess without a regular hair-washing routine and schedule. 

Washing every two to three days will help reduce excess hair oils. Choose a clarifying shampoo free of sulfates and parabens — WOW's Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo fits the bill.

Using Conditioners Wisely

Deep conditioning is a great way to moisturize both the hair and scalp. But for those with type 1B hair, it's best to avoid conditioners on the scalp. 

Adding excess moisture to the scalp could make issues of greasiness worse. Instead, the focus should be on hydrating the hair strand ends, which are often prone to dryness. 

Using a leave-in conditioner works well, or you can try WOW's Coconut Milk Hair Mask for a dose of deep hydration on those brittle ends. 

Coconut Milk Hair Mask

Take It Easy on the Chemicals and Heat

Protecting your hair is important no matter what type you have. However, the thin nature of straight hair types like type 1B hair makes it even more prone to damage.

It's best to limit potentially damaging styling products and chemical treatments. Also, there is really no need to use heat styling with type 1B since it is already straight.

If you use heat, use it in moderation to keep dry hair strands from damage and breakage. Avoid the blow dryer too. It's best to let wet hair air dry.

Taking Care of Your Type 1B Hair

Type 1B hair doesn't need much when it comes to styling. For example, a simple care routine like regular brushing can help stimulate new hair growth, remove tangles, and distribute natural hair oils. 

Regular trims can also help remove dead ends. According to stylists, hairstyles that work best for type 1B hair include pixie cuts, shoulder-length cuts with layering, and curtain bangs. These make the hair appear fuller. 

When it comes to hair products, the best products to choose are those that will help your flatter hair gain more volume, like volumizing creams or WOW's Coconut & Avocado Natural Hair Conditioner

Type 1B hair is a subtype of straight hair known for having slight bends and lots of shine. Like all hair types, it benefits from having a unique care routine. 

Make sure to visit WOW to check out our complete hair care collection to fit your hair needs.

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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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