blonde girls with wavy 2C hair

All You Need To Know About 2C Hair and How To Care for It

The ultimate wavy hair guide. 

Anyone with wavy or curly hair, including those with the 2C hair type, will understand the significance of customizing their hair care routine to suit their unique hair type. This ensures that their natural texture looks great and also remains healthy over time.

2C hair falls between the wavy and curly spectrum, both hair types known for their tendency towards dryness and frizz. To ensure that your 2C hair looks its best, selecting appropriate products and adhering to the correct care routine are essential steps.

Below, we’re sharing our complete guide to the 2C hair type: what makes it unique, the best products for 2C hair, the haircuts to try and all the styling tips you need.

What is 2C hair?

There are 4 types of hair: straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3) and coily (type 4). Type 2C is the waviest pattern under the wavy type, characterised by a tight S-shape but not quite a fully-formed curl.

This kind of hair is prone to frizziness because it gets less moisture from the scalp’s natural oils. A hydrating hair regimen is the key to keeping your waves healthy.

stylish woman with wavy ginger hair wearing hot pink dress and bucket hat with yellow purse
Credit: Shutterstock

How to Care for 2C Hair

The 2C hair type is prone to frizz, so hydrating shampoos, conditioners and lightweight oils can be beneficial. These products do the job of adding moisture, while still being light enough to keep from weighing down your strands. Keep scrolling to find a few of our favorite tried-and-true options.

The Best Products for 2C Hair

1. Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner

Washing and conditioning your 2C hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner is extremely beneficial to this hair type. We love using TRESemmé Flawless Curls Shampoo and Conditioner. This set adds moisture and shine to your strands without feeling too heavy, which makes this a perfect cleansing system for anyone with the 2C hair type. Plus, these products tame frizz, detangle and leave your waves soft and defined.

2. Anti-frizz Serum

Suave Simply Styled Anti-frizz Smoothing Serum is one of our must-haves for anyone with coarser hair. This product locks in moisture and provides frizz protection, so you can style your hair with ease.

All you have to do is apply the hair shine serum on dry or damp hair, working your way through your strands, avoiding the roots. Afterwards, you can style it as desired.

3. Leave-in Conditioner

If you’re looking for a product that can give your hair moisture throughout the day, Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner is the one. This conditioner will leave your strands shiny, nourished and tangle-free, while protecting them from styling damage.

4. Styling Cream

When you need a little help with styling, we love Suave Air Dry Cream Heat Free Styler. This cream gives bounce and definition to your natural texture without needing any heat. Plus, it tames frizz for a perfect mane all day long!

How To Style 2C Hair

There is a reason why people look at 2C hair as the ideal wavy hair type. The best way to style it is to keep things natural, embracing your texture and pattern. To enhance your waves you can use different styling creams, from more lightweight options to heavier stylers, depending on how coarse your hair is.

Here are some styling tips to achieve dream waves:

  • Apply your styling products while your hair is wet. Whether you apply them in the shower or after using a water spray to dampen your hair, wetness will help the products glide easily through your hair strands and also keep your wave shape more intact as it dries. 
  • Let your hair air-dry or use a diffuser to dry it.
  • Once your hair is dry and your styling spray is in, use your hands or a microfiber towel to scrunch your hair and break up any strands that clumped together while drying.
  • Use a styling cream or hair mousse (on that offers some hold and can keep your waves defined and frizz-free.
  • If your waves need a little more help, use a strong hold spray like TRESemmé Flawless Curls Hair Spray on dry hair.
  • Protect your waves by sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase.

Looking for more inspiration to experiment with your 2C hair? Keep reading for the best hairstyles and haircut ideas for wavy strands.

Haircuts for 2C Hair

Wavy hair looks great with layered haircuts that amplify volume, while removing excess weight. Pairing bangs with wavy hair is always a fail-safe option. Whether you like your hair long or short, the the options are endless.

Discover more 2C hairstyle inspo below.

Long Layers

smiling young woman with long curly black hair styled with a red bandana
Credits: Shutterstock.

Super long, mermaid hair is stunning as it is, but you can accentuate your waves by adding lots of layers.

We love this curly hair in a bandana hairstyle. It only takes a bandana or a scarf to add a pop of color and really highlight your natural wave pattern.

Face Framing Layers

Woman with wavy face-framing curls on thick hair.
Add face-framing waves to your look. Credits: All Things Hair.

Layered haircuts are the winners when it comes to creating extra volume and putting the spotlight on your natural curl pattern. Adding a few face framing pieces will enhance your facial features.

Go Short

concave layers blonde bob
Who said wavy hair can’t be short?

Long lengths aren’t for you? No problem! 2C hair looks as fabulous on choppy or layered bobs. These styles are also a great way to avoid frizziness and dullness.

Wavy Bangs

girl with curly shag haircut
Curly hair was made for this cut. Photo Credit: @erikast.pierre

Want to switch up your look? Bangs are the obvious go-to. And they look particularly good on wavy and curly hair.

2C Hair for Men

If you’re a man with wavy hair, to determine if it’s the 2C type you should be able to see a curly pattern starting at 0.5 inches in length.

When it comes to hair care, moisture is key. Invest in anti-frizz styling products to keep your hair smooth and shiny. Not sure what products to pick? We’ve done the heavy-lifting for you. Below, we share our edit of the perfect products for men with 2C hair.

2C hair men
Photo Credits: Shutterstock.

2C Hair Care for Men

Since 2C curls tend to be drier, you should wash your hair less often, ideally 2-3 times a week. Choosing the right moisturizing shampoo and conditioner combo is essential. If you like a compact solution, we love Suave Men 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner with Shea Butter & Coconut Oil, designed for curly and wavy hair. Its formula contains shea butter, coconut oil and hemp seed oil for long-lasting hydration and shine.

To avoid washing too often you can also try a leave-in conditioner like Suave Men Leave-In Conditioner With Shea Butter & Coconut Oil. This product is perfect to deeply moisturize wavy, curly and textured hair.

For styling, a lightweight pomade like SheaMoisture Men Argan Oil & Shea Butter Waves Pomade will be your BFF to enhance your natural texture and keep a long-lasting hold. And if your curls tend to look a bit flat, try AXE Texturising Cream to increase shape and volume while still keeping a natural look.

Type 2C Hairstyles for Men

The best style for your 2C hair is to embrace its natural pattern and texture. So, we recommend longer styles that emphasize your natural texture.

However, if you prefer more cropped cuts, some of the best short male curly hairstyles include the Caesar haircut, a short all-round cut with a short fringe, and the curly pompadour, that adds volume to the top of your head.

Read: 28 Trendy Short Curly Haircuts For Men in 2024

Now that you’re equipped with a comprehensive understanding of 2C hair for both men and women, it’s time to flaunt your beautiful waves to the world!


Cover image credit: Lucia Sabatelli/Action Press/Shutterstock

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