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Type 2a Hair: How to Maintain Your Unique Waves

BY Jana Russick

In a perfect world, type 2a hair is always beachy and bodacious. It flows in the wind and has the perfect ratio of wavy-to-straight texture. It’s got an optimal dose of lift that makes hair look bouncy, not frizzy or fluffy. It’s also not too flat nor overly voluminous. Essentially, it’s beauty queen hair that needs barely any hair product to look effortlessly fabulous. 

But none of us live in a dreamland where perfect hair is an everyday reality, and type 2a hair isn’t always effortlessly flawless. Sometimes it leans more towards straight, volume-free locks while other times it needs a scrunch of gel or a curling iron to achieve even-looking waviness. Nonetheless, you can certainly make your type 2a hair texture work to your advantage. All it takes is the right products and a few tricks to achieve the look and feel you want.

What Is Type 2a Hair?

First, let’s establish what it means to have type 2a hair. It just one hair type within the hair typing system. In this system, there are four hair types: type 1 straight hair, type 2 wavy hair, type 3 curly hair, and type 4 coily hair. And within the type 2 hair category, there are three different wavy hair patterns. 

Here’s the breakdown of wavy hair types:

  • Type 2a Hair: Low-density waves with a loose S-shape pattern, smoother feel, and generally thinner strands.
  • Type 2b Hair: Well-defined and moderately dense waves with a healthy dose of volume and medium-thick strands.
  • Type 2c Hair: Extremely defined, tight waves with a close resemblance to the ringlets of curly hair. Fairly thick hair texture with lots of volume. 

Once you’ve determined which type of 2a waves you have, it’ll be easier to address some of the challenges you might encounter with these looser natural waves.

The Challenges of Type 2a Hair

While we don’t like to focus on the negative, we have to admit that sometimes type 2a hair can be temperamental. Here are some issues you might have with your wavy locks. Don’t worry, though we’ll offer some easy ways to improve your haircare routine as well. 

Not Straight Enough, Not Wavy Enough

Type 2a hair tends to lie flat at the roots and starts to form waves at eye-level. This gradual change in texture can make hair look inconsistent. The shape of these strands don’t take on the slight curl pattern of 2c hair types nor do they have the definite wave texture of a 2b hair type

In fact, many people with 2a waves see their hair as mostly straight with a slightly curly texture. It’s kind of like your hair is neither here nor there, requiring products like mousse or gel stylers to give it a more defined wavy texture.

Pro Tip: Learn how to get the beachy S waves of your dreams in just a few simple steps

Easily Weighed Down and Damaged

Type 2a hair is usually less dense than other wavy or curly hair types. This fine hair texture is what prevents it from forming well-defined waves. It’s also what causes it to get easily damaged or weighed down by products. When you try too hard to shape your natural hair with sticky styling products, blow-dryer diffusers, or curling irons, you may experience product buildup. Excessively brushing your wavy hair to make it look straight can also lead to breakage and split ends. 

Pro Tip: Learn all about product buildup and what you can do about it

Flat Roots Can Prevent Volume

As we’ve mentioned, one of the defining features of 2a hair is flatness at the roots. This is what makes the waves of a type 2a less defined. It’s also why 2a hair has the least amount of volume among other wavy hair or curl types. The lack of volume at the crown of the hair can further accentuate the inconsistent look of type 2a hair. To look its best, your hair needs a boost of volume that can match the amount of body the rest of your hair has

Pro Tip: Take a look at our guide to having more good wavy hair days

Type 2a Hair: Hair Care 101

Now that you’re aware of your wavy hair challenges, here are some tips for creating a haircare routine specially catered to your loose, S-shaped waves.

Use a Lightweight Serum to Smooth Out Hair

To get the smooth texture you desire for your 2a waves, you need to find a way to define and accentuate them while avoiding product buildup. This can be achieved using a lightweight hair serum. Hair serums help impart shine, smoothness, and hydration without looking overly oily or sticky. Coating your hair cuticles with just a dime-size amount can help the texture of your waves appear more uniform. 

Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum is a sulfate-free, silicone-based styling product designed to delicately coat the surface of your wavy hair. This lightweight, frizz-fighting concoction features a mix of naturally derived and synthetic ingredients including argan oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil. It has also been proven to improve detangling by 75%, thermally protect damage up to 400 degrees, and increase shine 26 times more than untreated hair. 

Evenly apply the product from the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair for a shiny, polished look. 

Choose the Right Hair Length

We’re not here to tell you what hairstyles and cuts to do with your wavy locks because well, you do you. But we do want to share tips for getting the most out of your wavy texture. One of the most effective ways of doing this is choosing a hair length that’ll accentuate your waves and allow them to shine in their own right. 

Those who opt for a one-length cut may find it brings out the most of their waves and helps minimize the look of frizzy locks. Since roots and ends tend to differ in degrees of waviness, 2a hair types often struggle to achieve a uniform look. Haircuts with lots of layers can further accentuate this uneven texture. Having a blunt, one-length haircut can help you regain the uniformity you want and shift focus to your loose wavy texture.

Use Products to Enhance Curls and Volumize at the Roots

A great way to achieve more voluminous and well-defined locks is to choose products specifically designed for your hair type. There is no one-product-suits-all-hair-types solution. That’s why Function of Beauty’s custom shampoo and conditioners allow you to personalize the products to address your particular hair goals. 

The custom conditioner and shampoo can include ingredients like chia seeds and linseed extract, which may help enhance your waves and highlight the look of your natural curls. Sweet almond extract and quinoa can help rejuvenate fine, undefined waves with noticeable volume that doesn’t cause gunky buildup

Get the Most Out of Your 2a Hair

We’re all for sporting your natural type 2a waves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little help to keep your mane looking its best. Type 2a hair can be prone to flatness at the roots, uneven texture, and product buildup, so consider using the haircare tips mentioned in this guide to enhance your waves and add volume to your locks. 

Even better, Function of Beauty has developed a customized system for building your perfect haircare routine. Take this quiz to build your hair profile and we’ll pair you with uniquely formulated products to help you achieve your wavy hair goals.