Affiliate links on our site may earn us commissions. Learn More.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. Visit our Privacy Policy.


Discover The Best Wellness Tips In Your Inbox

Subscribe to Health Reporter’s newsletter and get our health experts’ highlights and the latest news about healthy living.
The newsletters are spam-free and sent from our health experts and professionals.

Thank You!

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter!
Home arrow Beauty arrow Hair arrow Type 2 Hair (Wavy): Tips on How to Take Care of and Style It

Type 2 Hair (Wavy): Tips on How to Take Care of and Style It

Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: August 4, 2023
7 min read 855 Views 0 Comments
clock 7 eye 855 comments 0

Wavy hair (type 2 hair) can be challenging to take care of and style. But with the right tips and techniques, you can manage your waves and achieve beautiful, healthy hair without fuss. Learn how to maintain your natural waves here.

type 2 hair

People with wavy hair types may experience the daily struggle of maintaining their waves or flattening stubborn baby hairs. The volume and natural texture can make the hair difficult to style, but there are ways to overcome this challenge. 

There are other hair types, such as straight hair, that require minimal effort. While this does sound favorable, it still has its disadvantages. You may find that with wavy hair, it doesn’t get greasy as often. Learning more about your specific hair type can help you build the perfect cleansing and styling routine. 

Do you want to protect your loose waves? Discover tips and hairstyles for maintaining type 2 hair, with definitions for each wavy hair subcategory. 

What Is Type 2 Hair? 

Type 2 hair is wavy hair that has a more curly pattern compared to straight hair. These natural waves have well-defined S-bends that shape the face and give the roots more volume and depth. People with this wavy hair type usually have very loose curls and minimal greasy roots.

Type 2 – Wavy hair
Health Reporter edit

Below are the different types of wavy hair strands:

#1 Type 2a 

People with type 2a hair have the loosest waves in this category. The roots of this type of hair are completely straight, but the ends may have a slight curl. People describe 2a as having loose S-shaped waves, which can be more pronounced when you use volumizing products or a hair mousse.

#2 Type 2b 

Type 2b refers to fuller waves that run the length of the hair shaft. It is the perfect in-between between straight and curly hair types. If you have type 2b hair, you may struggle with extra breakage due to increased knots or lack of definition and baby hair around your roots and forehead.

#3 Type 2c

With this hair type, you have the waviest curls that naturally fall around your face. Most 2c people have thicker strands, especially around the roots. However, the thickness and defined S-shaped waves can make it difficult to straighten the hair or blow dry it after washing. 

Type 2 Hair Comparison Table 

There are many factors that contribute to your hair type, including genetics, diet, and haircare routine. Research also suggests that curved hair follicles produce more wavy hair, which gives the appearance of gentle waves. You can determine your exact hair type by comparing the characteristics of each subgroup. 

Here is a comparison between the subcategories in type 2: 

GradeTextureCurl patternOiliness
2ASoft hair that doesn’t hold onto pronounced waves Most people have flat hair on their roots due to the lack of textureThe loosest wave type Very relaxed S-shape curls that fall around the shouldersThese low-density waves make for easy styling People with this hair type may notice more oils on their roots, but not as much compared to straight hair
2BThick hair that feels more coarse compared to 2A Well-defined, moderately dense wave pattern More volume and texture, which gives the hair body and bounce The thicker hair strands hide most of the oils that come through on the scalp 
2CDry texture due to the tangles and knots from the waves 2C usually refers to thicker hair in both the roots and ends The most defined curls give the hair a voluminous textureThese waves can get messier if you don’t use moisturizing or conditioning productsDue to root volume, not much oil can penetrate the hair and make greasy roots appearThick hair tends to hold onto more dirt and cause product build-up 

How to Take Care of Type 2 Hair? 

Using the right products for type 2 hair is very important. You need to protect and maintain your waves to prevent dryness and breakage. 

Below are some tips for caring for type 2 hair:

#1 Use hair oil for type 2 

Oils containing grapeseed, jojoba, or sweet almond are best for type 2 hair, but you can also choose coconut oil. A study found that coconut oil can replenish damaged hair and promote a healthy scalp. 

There are other oils, such as argan and rosemary, that moisturize and strengthen your hair shaft. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids hydrate each hair strand to limit split ends and stubborn flyaways around your hairline. 

You can use hair oil by applying some to your roots and ends. Leave it on for 1–2 hours before washing it out with a nourishing shampoo. 

#2 Apply a lightweight mousse to your roots

A light mousse can add definition to your roots, especially for those with type 2a hair. This product coats your hair with synthetic resins and encourages it to take on a certain shape. All you need to do is gently massage the mousse into your roots before blow-drying on a cool setting.

#3 Treat your waves with a nourishing hair mask

Nourishing hair masks are great for people with dry hair or tangled waves. You should find a mask that contains shea butter, tea tree oil, or avocado extract. 

Research suggests that avocado boosts hair cell function, which prevents breakage, hair loss, and scalp inflammation. People with type 2c hair should focus on hair masks because they usually have coarse hair textures. 

A great way to ensure proper hydration is to deep condition your hair at least once a week or every other week.

#4 Don’t brush damp hair 

Your hair is at its weakest when damp, meaning you shouldn’t brush it. This can increase the risk of breakage, especially with type 2 hair. In some cases, you may pull the hair away from the root and cause damage to the follicle. It is best to brush your hair with your fingers in the shower.

#5 Use leave-in conditioners 

A leave-in conditioner provides extra moisture for type 2 hair. You can use this conditioner without rinsing it out or worrying about a sticky residue. This means people with type 2 hair can better manage flyaways and messy roots. You should apply the conditioner all over your hair, focusing on the ends.

#6 Avoid towel drying your hair 

Everyone, regardless of hair type, should avoid towel drying. This is because ordinary towels are rough, which means they cause friction. Your hair can easily snap or fray when exposed to the towel after washing. People with type 2 hair may also experience further damage and breakage if they try this method of drying their hair. 

Take your old cotton t-shirt and gently wrap your hair in it or use a microfiber towel to keep your hair healthy.

#7 Hydrate your waves with a serum 

To maintain your curl pattern, use a nourishing serum. Choose ones that contain peppermint, lavender, tea tree extract, or even onion oil. This ingredient fuels your hair with sulfur and collagen, which are two key components that bond keratin molecules in every hair strand.

What Hairstyles Are Perfect for Type 2 Hair? 

There are a few hairstyles you can try if you have the wavy hair type. You should go for a long or medium-length cut to maintain thickness. Layers could thin out your hair textures and reduce the overall volume. 

As for styles, let your natural waves shape your face and rest on your shoulders. Some people find that this hair type is too thick for upswept hairstyles. However, for those with type 2a hair, consider pulling your hair back into a low ponytail or braid. You can even cut off half of your hair with a claw clip. 

If you are trying to grow back your hair, consider protective hairstyles, such as cornrows, as braids help to prevent external damage to your hair.

For more guidance on your hair length and cut, talk to a professional hair stylist. They can determine which style works best for your hair density and texture.


How to determine what grade of type 2 hair I have?

You can wet your hair and let it dry naturally to determine your curl pattern. Loose waves that don’t have much volume or texture mean you have type 2a hair, while medium-dense waves are 2b, and big, bouncy curls are 2c.

What is the best oil for type 2 hair?

The best oil for type 2 hair is grapeseed, jojoba, or almond. These oils are light and won’t weigh down your curls or cause split ends.

Do I have wavy or curly hair?

Curly hair types have tight ringlets that are thicker than type 2. You have wavy hair if the waves are more S-shaped than curly. One way to determine your curl type is to pull out a single strand of hair and examine it closely.

A Word From an MD

Some people mistake type 2 hair for coily textures, but if you look closely, you’ll see that wavy hair doesn’t have the same tight curls. You can identify this hair type by looking at your natural waves without any product in them.

There are many ways to maintain a loose, tousled texture. Adding oils, serums, and masks to your routine is a great start. But other healthy lifestyle changes can transform dull curls into luscious waves.

For example, aim to eat nutrient-dense foods containing vitamin D, zinc, biotin, and iron. These nutrients are essential for faster hair growth and thickness.

You can also avoid heat styling tools when retaining moisture in your dry hair. Too much heat weakens each hair strand, which exposes them to more breakage. Instead, leave your hair in braids overnight.


Following a proper haircare routine can help maintain and strengthen your waves. People with type 2 hair should use more nourishing hair masks to prevent dryness. Hair oils, mousse, and moisturizing serums will also add curl definition, increase volume at the roots, and add shine to curlier waves.

Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD, is a medical advisor for the Health Reporter, the head of the anti-aging department, and a regenerative medicine specialist in several medical institutions with years of experience in aesthetic medicine and cosmetology.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Was this article helpful?
Thank you! We received Your feedback
Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: August 4, 2023
7 min read 855 Views 0 Comments

Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment!
We will review it as soon as possible.
Your Name
Missing required field
Your Comment
Missing required field