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What is Type 2B Hair and the Best Ways to Care for It

Tame your waves with these 2B hair styling tips.

Ready to ride some waves? If your hair is wavy but not exactly curly, you’re likely to have 2B hair. This hair type is the middle ground of type 2 hair (i.e. wavy hair) and it’s the definition of #hairgoals.

However, with the good comes the bad, and the bad can get pretty tough. Caring for 2B hair isn’t always easy. The minute the weather changes just the slightest, your hair becomes a lot more susceptible to frizziness. And the battle with tangles and dryness can get really, really rough. If you want to know all the best tips to style and care for your wavy strands, we have just the right guide for you.

What is 2B hair?

First of all, if you are new to hair types, allow us to give you a quick overview. There are four main hair textures: straight, wavy, curly and coily. Each type is subdivided into three categories depending on the strength of the wave shape.

In the realm of type 2 hair, 2B is in the middle, and it’s characterized by a wavy pattern that starts loosely at the roots and gets progressively stronger. Your strands should be easy to straighten with the right products, but can be prone to frizziness, especially in humid weather.

More About Type 2 Hair

young woman with chocolate brown wavy 2B hair
Photo credit: Shutterstock.

As aforementioned, type 2 is subdivided into 2A, 2B and 2C hair. 2A hair has a loose subtle wave and the hair tends to be finer. On the other hand, 2C hair is closer to curly, and can sometimes have a ringlet appearance. If you’re unsure whether you have type 2B vs 2C hair, the latter has a more defined ‘S’ shaped pattern that starts after one inch of length.

It’s also very common to have different wave types throughout your tresses as we all have different textures in our manes.

The Best Products for 2B Hair

Once you have a good hair care routine down, you can say goodbye to bad hair days and frizziness. All you need is the right set of products that suit your hair type.

1. Best Anti-frizz Shampoo for 2B Hair

beautiful blonder model with wavy 2B hair
Photo credit: Nata Sha.

First thing’s first: battling the frizz. Your hair is on the lower spectrum of the curl chart, where frizz can get pretty unruly. Just about anything, from the weather to the way you wash your hair, can impact the frizziness and texture of your strands, so give them the TLC they deserve!

To fight off frizz, you need to start in the shower. You’re going to want to change your shampoo and conditioner regimen to something geared towards battling frizz. One of our favorite shampoo-conditioner duos for keeping locks frizz-free is Suave Professionals Lavender + Almond Oil Frizz Calming Shampoo and Conditioner. Their formula uses lavender and almond extracts to calm frizziness and replenish moisture.

2. Best Leave-in Conditioner for 2B Hair

For the days you’re not washing your hair, a leave-in conditioner is a great option to keep your hair moisturized and easy to style. We love Nexxus Curl Define Daily Leave-In Moisturizer, formulated with a ProteinFusion blend enriched with silk protein and marula oil, it replenishes and locks in moisture while keeping frizz at bay.

3. Best Styler for 2B Hair

2B hair tends to have high porosity, which simply means that your mane can easily absorb liquids, but loses them just as easily. So, it struggles to retain moisture. A quick way to tell if your hair has high porosity is by seeing how long it takes to dry — the less time it takes, the higher the porosity.

For this reason, you should choose lightweight styling products that don’t leave your hair crunchy but still help keep it hydrated. We love Suave Simply Styled Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum to start, as it keeps your tresses moisturized and frizz-free for up to 24 hours. Once your styling is complete, finish it off with Nexxus Maxximum Finishing Mist. This hair spray provides a soft hold while preserving the natural movement of your waves.

Photo Credit: Look Studio/Shutterstock.Now that you know the best products for your wavy hair type, it’s time to look at some hair care tips:

  1. Wash your hair regularly (but not too often): To avoid creating too much frizz and tangles, it’s recommended to wash your 2B hair two to three times a week. Go for gentle, sulfate-free products that won’t dry your hair out. If you feel the need to wash more often, try co-washing every other day to moisturize your locks without stripping them of moisture.
  2. Get the tangles out: As we mentioned, tangles can be a problem for your hair type. Fight the temptation to brush your hair when wet, as it’s more prone to breakage. Gently untangle wet strands with a wide-tooth comb instead, or apply leave-in conditioner and brush your hair only when it’s dry.
  3. Use a satin pillowcase: Get your beauty sleep on a satin pillowcase, which is known to help against frizz.
  4. Don’t add products to your roots: Avoid creating too much buildup in your roots, as it will weigh your waves down instead of enhancing them. Apply a small amount from one inch of length onwards for best results.

How To Style 2B Hair: The Best Haircuts & Hairstyles for Wavy Hair

Here are some of our favorite styles for your dreamy waves.

1. Beach Waves

beauty glossary beach waves
B is for beach waves.

We’re starting with beach waves, the perfect hairstyle to make the most of your natural texture. When styling your hair, apply a dollop of styling mousse like Dove Curls Defining Mousse throughout your strands and let your wave pattern work its magic.

2. Long Layers

Woman with long wavy hair and bangs with highlights
Photo by Photoeventshd/Shutterstock

All hairstylists agree that layered haircuts (both long and short) are the best to enhance your 2B hair type because they add volume and enhance your waves. You may also like to know that your hair type is one of the ideal candidates for some of TikTok’s most popular cuts — think ghost layers and concave layers.

3. Layered Bob Cut

beautiful young woman with short wavy hair in the sun
Photo Credit: Vasyl Nagernyak/Shutterstock.

Short hair? No problem! Actually, some hairstylists argue that the optimal length for 2B hair is between the jaw and the shoulder. Style your waves with a layered bob cut to enhance your natural shape and create a lot of volume and bounce.

4. Curtain Bangs

feathered bangs curtain bangs
These curtain bangs blend beautifully into long layers.

Looking for a grown-up fringe style to try? Then curtain bangs may be for you. This flowy fringe goes super well with wavy hair and you can let it grow quickly if you get tired of the look.

5. Accessorize It

Model with wavy 2B light brown hair with golden hair clip detail
Don’t want to style it? Accessorize it! Photo Credit: Red Umbrella and Donkey/Shutterstock.
No need for a crazy hairstyle when you have beautiful locks. Even a simple accessory like this hair clip will show off your natural texture and add a stylish touch to the look.

These are just some of the many hairstyles and haircuts for your 2B hair! If you need more inspiration, you can find more gorgeous styles in our complete guide for wavy hair.

2B Hair Men

stylish young man with short wavy hair.

Photo Credit: Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock.Men can have 2B hair too! The characteristics are the same: a more defined ‘S’ shape and coarse texture, that makes it a bit harder to style and more prone to frizziness. Keep reading for some tips and tricks to style your wavy mane.

Wavy Hair Care for Men

  • Moisturize: The key to perfect waves is moisturizing! Choosing the right hydrating shampoo and more importantly, conditioner, will make the difference. We love an all-in-1 solution like Suave Men 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner with Shea Butter & Coconut Oil.
  • Detangle in the shower: Detangling your strands when wet will protect them from breakage. If you want to remove tangles when your hair is dry, opt for a wide-tooth comb instead.
  • Style gently: Lightweight products are your styling BFFs when it comes to wavy hair. Try a pomade like SheaMoisture Men Argan Oil & Shea Butter Waves Pomade and work it through your strands with your fingers. This styling au naturel will make the most of your natural texture.

Is your hair curlier than wavy? Read next: Men’s Curly Hair: The Ultimate Guide for Show-stopping Curls

Best Men’s Hairstyles for 2B Wavy Hair

Wavy hair has a beautiful natural texture by default, so it’s perfect for short looks like a quiff fade or messy hairstyles that are effective and low-effort.

If you have longer strands, look at medium-length hairstyles like half-updos or a man bun. Pro tip: avoid keeping your hair pulled too tight by pulling the elastic band in the opposite direction of the tension. Finally, if you like your hair extra long, we recommend leaving it free and applying minimal styling products to keep your waves in shape.

There you have it, your ultimate guide guide to 2B hair for women and men. Now go and embrace your wavy texture to the fullest!


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