What is 1a Hair: The Science Behind the Strand

Haircare can be both frustrating and rewarding, depending on what you know about your own hair type and caring for it. If you have the 1a hair type, your tresses have unique needs that require care in order to look their best.

Explore what traits make up 1a hair, how best to care for it, and how to resolve common issues you might encounter along the way. 

1a Hair Type 

Those with 1a hair have lots of advantages. For one thing, this hair type is rare, so you can relish in the fact that what you have is special. The 1a hair type is straight, soft, and grows quickly. It is naturally shiny and easily absorbs moisture because your hair has open cuticles.

However, this can also mean hair loses moisture easily or, due to its ability to absorb product quickly, absorbs product to the point that it weighs hair down. 

Caring for 1a Hair Type 

Washing 1a hair can be a bit of a balancing act. While you don’t want to overwash hair, which can make your scalp produce more oils, you also don’t want to go too long between washes. It’s recommended that those with 1a hair shampoo every 2-3 days for best results.

When washing hair, aim for cooler water rather than hot water so that moisture is locked in and cuticles are closed rather than open, as open cuticles can introduce humidity to hair and cause it to be frizzy.

Be sure hair is dry before bed, as sleeping on wet hair can cause frizz or cowlicks which can complicate your daytime styling routine.

As for conditioning, use conditioner on the ends of your hair but not the scalp, and be sure to use a leave-in formula once in a while.  

Caring for Lack of Volume with 1a Hair 

A common problem those who have 1a hair may experience is that hair is not naturally voluminous. Adding product to hair to help can take the pain out of having what might be considered limp locks. You can do this using volumizing shampoos, but also in your styling routine.

To add volume while styling, add mousse near your roots, flip hair upside down, and use a blow dryer to activate the mousse. For added definition, use a brush while blow drying and your tresses will be instantly voluminous.  

Caring for Oiliness with 1a Hair 

Having 1a hair means contending with an oily scalp which can throw off your whole look. To keep hair looking great and healthy, frequent washing compared to those with different hair types helps, but also be sure to condition first, then shampoo second every so often to give hair extra moisture.

Dry shampoo can also be a great product to use when you tend to have an oily scalp. Use it between washes and any time you need freshening up. Avoid products that might weigh hair down and produce more oil.  

Caring for Style-Resistant Locks with 1a Hair 

Unfortunately for those with the 1a hair type, changing up your look can be difficult. Hair naturally wants to stay straight, so using products to add in volume and curls is a must. Use texturizing spray or mousse to add curl and volume. Heat styling tools like curling irons can help as well, but be sure to use a heat protectant spray first so you avoid drying out hair or causing heat damage.  

Take Our Hair Quiz 

1a hair can be fun and easy to take care of, but only if you have the right tools and products.

Want some inspiration? Take the HairCode quiz to learn more about your hair type.  

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