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What Is Type 2 Hair and How Should You Care for It?

BY Felicia Ler

What type of hair is neither curly or straight, but somewhere in between? The answer is type 2 hair. Famed for its undulating texture that embodies loose waves and well-defined curls, type 2 hair sits in the sweet spot between pin-straight locks and gravity-defying corkscrews. That’s why many hairstylists favor the S-shape curl pattern for its relative ease in styling compared to other curl types.

Still, wavy hair types do have their bad hair days, too — think unwelcome frizz and flatness. Understanding how to take your tresses to the next level comes down to identifying the precise type 2 hair you have. In the realm of hair typing, there are four main categories to note: type 1 (straight), type 2 (wavy), type 3 (curly), and type 4 (coily). Each category is further divided into a, b, and c subcategories.

Ahead, we delve into the details of each wavy hair type: type 2a, type 2b, and type 2c. So, settle yourself in a comfy chair with your favorite drink, and get ready for some serious note-taking.

Type 2A Hair

A picture of type 2a hair in the curl dictionary would probably show you hairstyles like classic beach waves. Typically, this wave type is flat at the roots before gently curling at eye or ear level. When wet, it can pass for straight hair, which is why it transforms easily into sleek, smooth locks under the influence of a flat iron.

That said, type 2a hair often lacks volume and is the flattest type of wavy hair. It’s also easily weighed down by heavy styling products, skirting close to the terrain of flat hair.

This type 2 hair also features daintier hair strands compared to types 2b and 2c. In other words, it’s easy to comb through (yay for fewer snags!) and often doesn’t have frizz. On the flip side, type 2a hair has the most trouble holding its curl definition, which is something to keep in mind.

Type 2B Hair

Type 2b hair features curlier waves in a more defined “S” shape than type 2a hair. It generally lies flat at the crown before rippling from the midpoint to the hair ends. You can also expect more volume from this curl pattern, making it easier to style into bouncy waves and ringlets.

That said, due to its thicker hair strands and tighter curl definition, most folks with type 2b hair struggle with frizzy hair texture and flyaways. Also, it takes more effort to straighten this curl type.

Type 2C Hair

Type 2c hair is the waviest with clearly defined S-bends (and a few loose ones thrown in for good measure). If you have type 2c hair, you’re probably wishing you had a dollar every time someone mistook your mane for curly hair types like type 3a, type 3b, and type 3c.

Given how naturally curly this hair type is, some may even assume it belongs to coily hair textures like type 4a hair and type 4b hair. On closer inspection, though, you’ll soon realize your curl type doesn’t have the distinctive kinks and ringlets, putting it squarely in the type 2c hair category.

While you’re less likely to encounter flatness — these volumizing curls usually start from the hair roots — the coarser texture and deeper waves equal significantly more frizz and flyaways. Still, look on the bright side and celebrate your voluminous ‘do that’s synonymous with bounce and vitality.

Another bonus: this hair type requires minimal styling effort for achieving elegant swirls and sleek curls.

How to Care for Type 2 Hair

Type 2 hair is neither curly or straight, but somewhere in between

So far we’ve waxed poetic on the pros and cons of each type 2 hair. Now, let’s get down to business and learn how to care for your wavy hair type with the right products. Look for haircare items that are:

  • Lightweight to neutralize flatness
  • Hydrating to banish frizz
  • Volumizing to maintain curl definition

Use Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

For wavy hair types who’ve dealt with (more than) their fair share of flat hair days, it’s time to make room on your shower caddy for a shampoo and conditioner that will add volume back into your tresses. 

It’s fine and dandy relying on texturizing sprays and styling mousse to fake the appearance of fuller-looking hair. But at the end of the day, heat styling tools only burden your hair shaft with more heat damage. Not to mention, heavy styling products add unwanted buildup to create even flatter hair.

A volumizing shampoo and conditioner can help you take control of any flatness and nourish dry locks. For example, Function of Beauty’s custom shampoo and conditioner can be customized with different hair goals like “volumize” and “soothe scalp” to help revive hair, enhance volume, and cut through product residues.

Indulge in a Leave-in Conditioner

A moisturizing leave-in conditioner is another must-have product in your haircare routine for type 2 hair. It smooths, hydrates, and protects your mane, helping you put your best hair forward. Think of it as a potent duo against heat-induced hair damage and seemingly untameable flyaways.

On the hunt for a leave-in that can do all of the above? Try Function of Beauty’s custom leave-in treatment, which features a personalized blend of naturally derived ingredients including avocado oil, argan oil, and coffee extract. Use it on damp hair as a protectant before heat styling and on dry hair as a defense against frizz and flyaways. And since our leave-in is incredibly lightweight, it likely won’t weigh down your hair when applied from the mid-lengths to the hair ends.

Pro tip: Check out these 5 tips on how to use your leave-in treatment.

Dab on a Hair Serum

When tackling dryness in type 2 hair, an extra dose of hydration is always welcome — but make it lightweight. After all, you want to moisturize your hair strands for high-definition gloss without inciting flatness and an oily scalp. Try a lightweight silicone-based styling product like Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum.

Here are four reasons why customers rave about it all the time:

  • Reduces frizz 
  • Increase shine
  • Improves detangling 
  • Thermally protects hair

On top of that, this serum coats your strands, helping your hair look sleeker and more hydrated. Apply a small dollop from the mid-shaft to the hair ends, and only add more where needed to avoid leaving behind an oily residue.

Pro tip: Hop over to our in-depth guide for even more tips on how to use your hair serum.

Embrace Your Natural Curl Type

Type 2 hair can be fun to play with when the hair fibers are healthy and strong. Whether you want to perfect the “I woke up like this” tousled hair look or dress up to the nines with bombshell curls, your mane will be there for you. The trick is to pinpoint your curl pattern, as well as its pros and cons, to help you gather the right hair products that will keep it in its full glory.

That’s where Function of Beauty can help. Our haircare products are cruelty-free, 100% vegan, and free of potentially harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens. Most importantly, we understand that while your curl type belongs to type 2a, type 2b, or type 2c hair, it’s unique all its own. That’s why our entire haircare range is centered around fully customizable formulations to help you build effective haircare solutions that are made just for you and your tresses. Take our hair quiz to learn more.