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1A Hair | What It Means & How to Care for It

The 1A hair type is a very common type of hair. While it tends to be fairly flat, it also gets greasier and oilier faster than other hair types. Below, we’ll show you what it is, how to care for it, and a few things to consider.

What Is 1A Hair Type?

When thinking about hair types you’re probably picturing buzz cuts, afro, or even dreads. However, these are styles, not types of hair. Commonly hair falls into four categories (a,b,c, and d), and learning about them will teach you how to treat it properly.

We’ll start with the 1A hair type.

1a hair type is the sleekest, straightest, most delicate hair type. When it comes to 1a hair, there is a particular shine that makes it stand out. The shine is because 1a hair is flat, and the natural oils travel from root to tip quicker. 

We’ll discuss the following and what exactly makes 1a hair so unique:

  1. Best Styles
  2. Complaints
  3. Care Factors
  4. Volume In A1 Hair
  5. And more

Best Hair Styles and Cuts for 1A Hair Types

Image showing the best hairstyles for 1a hair


1a hair types find it quite challenging to manage hairstyles that work for their personality. Hairstyles that add depth, volume, and dimension are complementary when it comes to flat and straight hair types.

Side Braids

Any type of braid will add ‘fake’ volume for a thicker look. Side braids complement one’s face without overdoing the ‘lazy’ look. For a sexy and mature, most volumized look, try a loose rope braid using only two strands of hair. 

Balayage or Ombre Dye

Both styles are great for adding depth and definition to your hair. A balayage or an ombre finish between dark and light colors is very flattering for people with pin-straight hair. Balayage is a gradual color transition that sweeps through your hair and blends well.

Some people prefer light to dark or a reverse ombre, in other words. On the other hand, an ombre usually consists of dark colors on the roots to crown with a gradual switch to light colors on the bottom half to tip.

Read Next: What Is Balayage and Balayage vs. Highlights


Curls add texture to your hair no matter the hair type. For 1a hair types, curls will add volume and create a detailed and natural look. Heat products and style tools will damage your hair if overused, so a more natural method is the curly girl method which gradually allows your hair to become curly over time. 

However, if you’re going to use style tools, ensure you aren’t overusing products. It’ll add more oils and grease to your already naturally oil 1a hair type.

Before adding heat, use mousse and mist products to scrunch. Next, use a blow dryer and a curler brush or a curling iron. The last step is to use your favorite hairspray to lock in the curls. 


When your hair stays at one length, it can seem dull or boring. Curly-haired people can often get away with the one-layered look; however, pin-straight hair types should accessorize with multi or long layers. Long layers add depth and volume to your hair, which can complement any style. 

Side or Curtain Bangs

1a hair types have very flat styles. To obtain the opposite effect, try curtain bangs or side-swept styles. Side bangs or parts help add layers and volume to naturally flat and thin hair. For a cute look, try a short or medium bob cut. 

High Ponytail

If you aren’t too shy to show off your ears, an elegant look for type 1a hairstyles is high ponytails. Add a girly attitude with a ‘duff puff’ in the front or a quick tease in the back for an extra high pony. 

Common Complaints With Type 1A Hair

Woman with 1a hair holding it and looking at it because it's dry

Sasha Turkina/Shutterstock

Many complaints range from tangles to dryness, frizz, and other problems with every hair type. However, specifically with hair type 1a, there are natural and quick fixes to 1a hair type complaints such as: 


Frizz and dryness resemble a precaution that your hair may need a break. Don’t fret too much, though, as dry hair will happen with simple weather or temperature change. Though other reasons for dryness:

  • Bleaching or dying hair
  • Too many products used at once or all the time
  • Heat-styling
  • Towel drying
  • Brushing too much

If you notice hair dehydration, take a hair break. Don’t pull your hair up in a ponytail or use any products for at least 24 hours. After a day, you need to hydrate your hair.

Break out the dry shampoo and leave-in conditioner. When heat styling your hair, always remember moisturizing oils and heat protectants.

Read Next: How to Use Dry Shampoo

Too Flat

Flat hair is the typical issue when it comes to type 1a hair. As hard as it is to get that extra volume straight hair people long for, some factors contribute to flat hair:

  • A buildup of product residue
  • Oily or greasy hair
  • Too many washes
  • The wrong type of moisturizing products
  • The wrong hairspray

However, when looking to add a bit of volume, there are natural and effective ways to get the extra boost. Try teasing your roots and use voluminous shampoo and conditioner. Another way to improve the thickness of your hair is by either using hair extensions or styling with a half up and half down ponytail.

Stubborn Hair

Flyaways are the main complaint that people have with type 1a hair. The leading cause of flyaway strands is, again, product buildup and “heavy” hair. Check to see if you have any breakage in your hair. This includes:

  • Split ends
  • Hair falls out mainly in the shower
  • Constant shedding
  • Static
  • Humidity

Hair damage results from dying or bleaching your hair too frequently in a small amount of time. Ensure that if you choose to change your hairstyle, you’re using safe hair products.

Use deep conditioning products, salon frizz control, hair serum, and avoid using heat stylers every day. Another excellent tip for on-the-go is using dryer sheets to decrease static.

Things to Consider and Caring for 1A Hair Types

Woman with 1a hair pointing at her scalp

Alon Za/Shutterstock

1a hair types often feel they are missing out on the oomph and personality their hair can provide. However, with pin-straight hair, styling becomes minimal and intricate. If you add too much product, your hair becomes brittle and dry.

If you don’t use enough, your hair becomes flat and dull. While it may seem like you can never win, there are a few things to consider with type 1a hair:


Moisturizers are essential for battling dry, frizzy hair days. For flat and straight hair types, try searching for voluminous products that don’t have a ton of chemicals. Coconut oil is essentially good for your skin and hair, so try searching for coconut-infused products.


Degreasers such as aloe vera products and jojoba oil are incredibly beneficial for hair health. Ensure you’re always gentle and don’t use silicone-based products as silicone is heavy and can cause the opposite appearance you’re striving for. 

Don’t Sleep with Wet Hair

Dandruff and hair breakage, along with other complications, result from sleeping with wet hair. Ensure you leave yourself plenty of time before going to sleep to let your hair dry. Try not to towel dry so much, but opt for blow-drying in a gentle air mode. 

Don’t Shampoo Your Hair Every Day

Shampooing your hair every day takes the natural oils away in your hair, resulting in dry, damaged, and fragile hair. For 1a hair types, opt to wash your hair every 3 days.

1A Hair Frequently Asked Questions

Haircare tips, do’s and don’ts, complications, and styling are just a few run-ins 1a hair types go through daily. But, how about those other questions that run through our minds?

How Do I Add Volume to My Straight Hair?

It can be challenging to have flat, thin, and pin-straight hair, which is why women with this hair type long for volumized, healthy-looking hair. A few things you can do to obtain more volumized hair is:

  • Blow-dry your hair upside down
  • Tease your roots
  • Braid your hair
  • Use volume formulated products from salons
  • Invest in a perm
  • Speak to a hair care professional
  • Go for a textured cut or dye
  • Try the curly girl method

Is 1a Hair Type Rare?

When it comes to 1a hair, you’ll mainly find this hair type on people of Asian descent. Not all Asian women and men have this hair type, as 1a is considerably rare to find. 

Does 1a Hair Fall Out Faster Than Other Types?

Due to its thin, refined nature, type 1a hair falls out or sheds faster than other hair types. However, coconut oil, aloe vera, and moisture-locking products effectively combat this quality.

Is 1a Hair Type Rare?

When it comes to 1a hair, you’ll mainly find this hair type on people of Asian descent. Not all Asian women and men have this hair type, as 1a is considerably rare to find.

Does 1a Hair Fall Out Faster Than Other Types?

Due to its thin, refined nature, type 1a hair falls out or sheds faster than other hair types. However, coconut oil, aloe vera, and moisture-locking products effectively combat this quality.

So, What is Type 1A Hair?

Type 1a hair has its many ups, while it also has many downs. On the one hand, you have very glossy, smooth, almost always frizz-free, controllable hair.

On the other hand, you have days where your type 1a hair seems dry, brittle, thin, sheds a lot, and flat no matter what you do to get an opposite result. Type 1a hair is relatively easy to care for as your natural oils already bring your hair to life, making it look happy and healthy.

However, this thin, pin-straight look won’t always be up to your standards. When caring for type 1a hair, always remember that the thin strands are more fragile than other hair types.

Avoid using heavy products or heat, as it can permanently damage your hair. Keep a healthy hair care routine and always opt for your own personal look. If you love the way you look, you’ll love the way you feel.

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