Hair - Hair Type

Type 2 Hair: How to Care and Style Wavy Hair

Learn everything about type 2 hair: the types, how to maintain it, and how to choose the best products.

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Type 2 Hair

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Type 2 hair is a category that many people want to know more about. It’s different from straight or curly hair. This hair type has its own unique set of characteristics.

Type 2 hair falls under three subcategories: 2a, 2b, and 2c. Each has a distinct “S” shaped curl pattern.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Type 2 hair. You’ll learn about its features, common issues, and how to care for it.

What Is Type 2 Hair?

What Is Type 2 Hair

Type 2 hair is classified as wavy, sitting between straight (Type 1) and curly (Type 3) hair types. It has a defined S shape and includes three subcategories: 2A, 2B, and 2C. Each of these subcategories differs in the level of waviness, helping to classify your hair type further.

Here is how type 2 hair compares to other hair types:

TypeTextureCurl Pattern
Type 1 HairStraightFlat
Type 2 HairWavyDefined S shape
Type 3 HairCurlyTighter curl
Type 4 HairKinky/CoilyZigzag/Spring

Type 2 Hair Subcategories

When it comes to styling and caring for your Type 2 hair, understanding which subcategory you fall under can make a big difference. Here are the three type 2 hair subcategories:

  • Type 2A hair: Fine and thin with a loose S pattern, manageable.
  • Type 2B hair: Medium-textured with a more pronounced S shape and some frizz.
  • Type 2C hair: Coarse and thick with a well-defined S shape, prone to frizz.

Type 2A Hair

Type 2A Hair

Type 2A hair is fine and thin with a loose “S” pattern. Since it’s generally easy to manage, you can style it without much trouble.

To keep your 2A hair looking its best, use lightweight products that don’t weigh down your waves.

Type 2B Hair

Type 2B Hair

Type 2B hair has a more defined “S” shape. It’s of medium thickness and can be prone to frizz. This makes it harder to manage.

To keep your 2B hair under control, use products that combat frizz and help maintain your hair’s natural wave.

Type 2C Hair

Type 2C Hair

Type 2C hair is the thickest and coarsest of the Type 2 hair subcategories. It’s often referred to as wavy-whirly because of its pronounced “S” shape. This hair type can be a bit more challenging to manage due to its thickness and possible frizz.

To keep your 2C hair looking great, use hydrating and detangling products that help maintain its natural texture.

Brief Comparison

Type 2A hair is the easiest to manage, with minimal frizz and a loose curl pattern. Type 2B has a more defined curl pattern and is prone to frizz. Type 2C is the most challenging to style, with higher frizz potential and a strong S shape curl pattern.

Each type benefits from specific products and styling recommendations. Here is a table that makes it more comprehensive:

FeatureType 2a HairType 2b HairType 2c Hair
TextureFine, thinMedium textureCoarse
Curl PatternSlight “S” shape, mostly straightMore defined “S” shapeDefined “S” shape with some spirals
VolumeLow volumeModerate volumeHigher volume
Frizz PotentialLowModerateHigh
Moisture RetentionModerateModerateLow to moderate
ShineNaturally shinyLess shine, more matte finishMatte
Ease of StylingEasy to styleModerate ease of stylingMore challenging to style
Common IssuesLimpness, lack of volumeFrizz, inconsistent curl patternFrizz, dryness, and difficult to manage
Ideal ProductsLight mousses, sea salt sprayAnti-frizz serums, light hold gelStrong hold gel, curl cream, leave-in conditioner
Styling RecommendationsAir dry, scrunching, light diffusingDiffusing, scrunching, ploppingDiffusing, plopping, finger coiling
Maintenance LevelLowMediumHigh
Recommended Haircut StylesLong layers, minimal layeringLayered cuts, medium-length stylesShort to medium cuts with layering

Type 2 Hair Characteristics

When it comes to the characteristics of type 2 hair, there are three important aspects to consider:

  1. Texture and thickness
  2. Curl pattern
  3. Porosity

1. Texture and Thickness

There are different levels of thickness for type 2 hair, ranging from fine to medium thickness.

  • Fine hair type 2 hair is often thin and is more manageable.
  • Medium-thickness type 2 hair has more volume and can hold styles for longer periods.
  • Coarse type 2 hair is thicker and more resilient, but it can also be harder to style.

2. Curl Pattern

Type 2 hair has a curl pattern characterized by soft and flowing waves. The waves form an ‘S’ shape, and this classification has three sub-categories:

  • Type 2A: This type has loose waves, and it’s generally easy to manage due to its fine and thin texture.
  • Type 2B: This one has a more defined ‘S’ shape and has a medium thickness in texture.
  • Type 2C: The most defined among the three, with the strongest wave pattern and a thicker, coarser texture.

Type 2C hair can often be mistaken for curly hair.

As you move from type 2A to 2C, the hair transitions from light waves to more defined and textured curls. Keep in mind that type 2 hair is different from type 3 (curly) or type 4 (coily) hair.

3. Hair Porosity

Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. Type 2 hair has a natural texture that falls between low porosity and medium porosity. This means it can absorb some moisture but might also keep its shape with ease in certain conditions.

Type 2 Hair: Styling and Maintenance

Type 2 Hair Styling and Maintenance

For type 2 hair, your main goal is to enhance your natural waves and keep them defined. Here’s how you can achieve that:

  1. Use lightweight products: Opt for lightweight styling products, such as mousse or leave-in conditioners. This helps maintain your wavy texture without weighing it down.
  2. Apply products to damp hair: After washing your hair, squeeze out excess water. Apply your styling products while your hair is still damp. This helps lock in the shape of your waves.
  3. Diffuse with care: If you choose to use a diffuser, use a low heat setting to avoid damaging your hair. Scrunch your hair into the diffuser attachment rather than moving the diffuser around to reduce frizz.
  4. Hands off: To keep your waves defined, avoid touching your hair while it dries, which can cause frizz.

Dealing with Frizz and Dryness

Type 2 hair can be prone to frizz and dryness, especially in humid conditions. Here are some tips to keep your hair looking smooth and hydrated:

  • Keep your hair moisturized
  • Seal in moisture
  • Choose the right styling products
  • Use a microfiber towel or T-shirt
  • Avoid heat styling

Keep Your Hair Moisturized

Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioning products to maintain your hair’s natural oils. Incorporate a weekly deep conditioning treatment to improve hydration.

Seal in Moisture

Apply a light hair oil, such as argan or coconut oil, to the ends of your hair to seal in moisture and prevent split ends.

Choose the Right Styling Products

Look for anti-frizz serums or sprays designed to combat humidity and incorporate them into your styling routine.

Use a Microfiber Towel or T-shirt

After washing your hair, scrunch your hair with a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt to absorb excess water. Regular towels can cause frizz and damage your hair.

Avoid Heat Styling

Limit the use of heat styling tools, such as flat irons and curling wands, as they can strip away your hair’s natural oils and lead to dryness.

Type 2 Hair Care and Products

To maintain and enhance your type 2 wavy hair, you need to choose the right shampoo and conditioner.

For type 2a hair, which has a slight wave, use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping your hair of natural oils. For type 2b and 2c hair, which have more defined waves and curls, use a conditioning shampoo or co-washing with a conditioner.

A good conditioner is important to reduce frizz and define your waves. Look for a conditioner that has slip. This makes it easier to detangle while providing moisture to your hair.

  • Type 2A: Lightweight, moisturizing conditioner
  • Type 2B: Protein-rich conditioner
  • Type 2C: Super slip detangling conditioner

Remember to include clarifying shampoo in your hair care routine at least once a month to avoid product buildup.

Oils, Creams, and Leave-in Conditioners

Here are some products for each type of type 2 hair:

  • Type 2A: A lightweight leave-in conditioner can help maintain moisture without weighing your hair down.
  • Type 2B: A curl cream or styling cream can help give definition to your waves while reducing frizz.
  • Type 2C: Apply a leave-in conditioner after washing to lock in moisture, followed by a curl cream or styling cream for defined and bouncy waves.

Challenges and Solutions for Type 2 Hair

Type 2 hair, or wavy hair, comes with its unique challenges, such as frizz, buildup, and damage.

How To Manage Buildup

Wavy hair is more prone to buildup from products and natural oiliness. Follow these tips to keep your hair clean and free of buildup

  • Use a clarifying shampoo occasionally to remove excess product residue, oil, and dirt.
  • Avoid silicone-based products as they can weigh down your hair and cause buildup.
  • Incorporate dry shampoo into your routine to manage oiliness between washes.

As the weather can impact the oiliness of your hair, adjust your hair care routine accordingly. Wash your hair more often in humid weather or use lighter styling products.

How To Prevent and Repair Hair Damage

Wavy hair is susceptible to damage from various factors such as heat styling, chemical treatments, and poor hair care habits. To prevent and repair hair damage, follow these strategies:

  • Limit heat styling: Excessive use of hot tools can strip your hair’s natural protein, causing it to become dry and brittle. Stick to minimal heat styling, and always use a heat protectant spray.
  • Deep-condition your hair on a regular basis to replenish moisture and maintain the protein balance in your hair.
  • Trim your hair on a regular basis to avoid split ends and maintain the health of your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is type 2 hair good or bad?

Type 2 hair isn’t good or bad. It’s a hair type with its own unique characteristics and challenges. Like any other hair type, proper care and maintenance can help you make the most of your type 2 hair. It’s all about embracing your natural texture and finding the right products and techniques for your specific hair needs.

How can I determine if I have 2A, 2B, or 2C hair?

Type 2 hair is generally wavy, ranging from loose waves to more defined curls. To determine if you have 2A, 2B, or 2C hair, observe your hair’s natural shape when it’s dry and free of styling products.

2A hair features loose, subtle waves with little definition. 2B hair has more noticeable waves in an ‘S’ shape pattern and some defined curls. 2C hair is the waviest among the three, with well-defined curls and a more pronounced ‘S’ pattern.

Is type 2 hair thin or thick?

The thickness of type 2 hair is independent of its curl pattern, which means it can vary. Type 2 hair can be fine, medium, or coarse in thickness. Type 2 hair is less dry compared to other hair types, as the looser curls allow for natural oils from the scalp to travel down the hair shaft with ease. To determine your hair’s thickness, examine a single hair strand. Thin hair will feel noticeable, medium hair will be easy to feel, and coarse hair will feel thick and sturdy.