Type 2 Hair: Everything You Need to Know with Our Handy Guide

Are you struggling to care for your type 2 hair? See our ultimate guide for all the need-to-know details, plus some handy tips & tricks.  

As you may already know, we all fall into different hair type categories. And although each of these hair types should be celebrated for their individuality, one hair type is often dubbed the most desirable of them all: wavy hair (AKA type 2 hair).

However, many ladies are unaware of their hair type, and we don’t just mean oily, dry, fine or thick. So just like our natural hair textures guide, we are here to set the record straight and give you all the need-to-know facts on type 2 hair, in our guide, below.

type 2 hair infographic
Type 2 hair decoded.

Type 2 hair develops its structure from the shape of the cortex and is often divided into 3 categories: 2A, 2B and 2C. Classified as hair that is ‘naturally wavy’, type 2 hair forms an ‘S’ shape in the hair, with the stronger the ‘S’ shape, the more curly the hair is.

So why is it important to know your hair type? Well, have you tried a multitude of hair products, styles and treatments, yet are left feeling disappointed as they didn’t work for your hair? Knowing how to classify your strands is a great way to help you select the right products and build a hair care regime that your locks will benefit from most.

So now you know the basics of what type 2 hair is, we’re going to reveal a few pros and cons with this unique hair type.

Pros: Year-round Beach Waves and Versatility

You know those natural, beachy waves that many women try to achieve through sea salt sprays and clever styling hacks? They are all yours au naturel, meaning you have an on-trend style all year round!

Not one for beachy waves? Then you’ll also be pleased to know that type 2 hair has great versatility, enabling you to go between straight and curly styles with minimal effort. After all, who doesn’t like to have a variety of options when it comes to hair?

Cons: Identity Crisis and Frizzy, Flat Hair

While it can be amazing going between straight and curly styles, ladies with type 2 hair can often struggle to know which category they fall in. Is it straight? Is it curly? We share your pain.

Type 2 hair can also tend to fall flat and/or frizz more easily than straight styles. This means that, while looking for products that will care for your curls, you might find you need frizz-fighting and volumising products also  it can be a balancing act.

Arizona Muse golden blonde hair in chin length bob
Arizona Muse wears her type 2a hair in a fabulous bob. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2A Hair: Wavy Swavy

Type 2A hair has a loose ‘S’ shaped pattern, with the hair often being quite fine. Due to this, type 2A hair can feel weighed down when too much product is applied. In addition, type 2A hair usually lacks definition or volume for this reason.

This type of hair is already pretty easy to manage, but when teamed with the right haircut can give the appearance of fuller and thicker strands.

How to Style Type 2A Hair

Just like Sofia Richie and Arizona Muse, who both have type 2A hair, shoulder-length styles will give your tresses the added oomph it needs.

We suggest trying out the celeb-fave long bob (AKA the lob), which works wonders for stars like Emilia Clarke and Chrissy Teigen, who are also proud owners of lob-cut type 2A hair. Or if you want to take things even shorter, do like Arizona Muse (above) and opt for a chic chin-grazing bob to show off your tresses.

Top Product Picks for Type 2A Hair

Start by switching your current wash and care system to one formulated especially for fine tresses in mind. We love the TIGI S-Factor Stunning Volume Shampoo and Conditioner for adding sky-high volume to thin hair.

Then when it comes to styling your type 2A hair, opt for the TRESemmé Runway Collection Max The Volume Root Lift & Texture Foam. Use this nifty product on towel-dried hair and gently tease it with your fingers while blow-drying.

Vanessa Hudgens very long brown wavy hair in half-up style
All hail the queen of boho that is Vanessa Hudgens. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2B Hair: Wavy Curvy

With a more prominent ‘S’ shape, type 2B hair resembles loose beach-like waves with curls that don’t bounce up. Waves are more clearly defined and while that might sound most pleasing, type 2B hair can often frizz.

How to Style Type 2B hair

Type 2 hair looks great in longer styles (think Rapunzel-length tresses, if you dare) and with that desirable beach waves look, you can effortlessly channel Vanessa Hudgens vibes.

You can also turn to Charli XCX for inspiration, as the singer often rocks her type 2 hair in an array of fab styles  oh, and let’s not forget Kim Kardashian‘s lengthy tousled tresses.

Top Product Picks for Type 2B Hair

If frizzy hair is getting you down, treat yourself to the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Deep Treatment Masque. Infused with keratin, this mask helps to smooth your locks, leaving them frizz and tangle-free!

Then, to make your post-treated hair appear even smoother and silkier, we love the TONI&GUY High Shine Serum Dropswhich you can use after styling to help smooth down any unwanted frizz.

Slama Hayek medium length dark brown curly wavy hair
Salma Hayek rocking her natural type 2c locks. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2C Hair: Wavy Whirly 

Wavy hair with a very distinct ‘S’ shaped pattern, type 2C hair is borderline curly with strands of hair forming loose spiral curls. Type 2C hair is thicker, coarser and more resilient to styling, yet can be the frizziest of all type 2 hair.

How to Style Type 2C Hair

Take inspiration from Taylor Swift circa 2006 and Salma Hayek, and wear your type 2C hair in a medium to long style. As type 2C hair can feel heavy due to the thickness, we suggest styling it in a side or off-centre parting and pinning back if needed.

Alternatively, on the rare occasion that Jennifer Lopez and Rita Ora don’t straighten their tresses, they like to wear their naturally curly tresses in a short shag haircut.

Top Product Picks for Type 2C Hair

For curly-haired ladies struggling with coarse strands, we suggest trying the TRESemmé Cleanse & Replenish Deep Conditioning Shampoo and Remoisture ConditionerNot only will this clarifying shampoo gently cleanse your hair, but the conditioner will help to give your curly locks a major hydration boost – jackpot!

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