2A Hair Guide: Caring for and Styling This Hair Type

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Want to know what your hair type is?

One of the many different hair types people have is 2a hair. You may know it as wavy hair with loose waves.

Those with 2a hair are actually blessed. Apart from naturally looking gorgeous, this hair type is a breeze to maintain and even easier to style. 

It’s also quite versatile; it can adapt to many different hairstyles! 

A woman with red hair and glasses taking a selfie in front of a vintage building

So if you have this hair type, consider yourself lucky.

But if you want to keep your locks healthy and maximize their potential, you need to take care of them properly. 

Want to learn more about caring for 2a hair? Let’s go!

What Is 2A Hair?

Type 2a hair is a type of wavy hair with loose waves that can be described as having a soft S shape.

2A hair tends to be flat near the scalp, but it may get a bit wavier as it grows downward. Its strands are usually fine and thin. 

On top of this, 2a wavy hair is usually low-maintenance. Despite having waves, it’s easy to straighten and style too. 

However, it does tend to be flat, but knowing how to style it properly can easily help this hair type look good. 

What Makes 2A Hair Different From Other Hair Types?

It’s easier to explain how different 2a hair is compared to others by first discussing how the other hair types are categorized. 

In the ’90s, hairstylist Andre Walker developed a hair typing system that categorized people’s hair types into four main groups.

These groups are the following:

  • Type 1 — straight hair
  • Type 2 — wavy hair
  • Type 3 — curly hair
  • Type 4 — coily hair
curl pattern chart infographic

However, this hair typing system doesn’t end there, as each type also has three subcategories. For type 2 hair, those subcategories are 2a, 2b, and 2c. 

When comparing the three, 2a hair generally has looser waves that are not very voluminous, while 2b and 2c hair generally have tighter waves with more volume.

Here are some characteristics of 2a hair that will help you spot it easily and distinguish it from other hair types: 

  • Soft waves — 2A hair has soft S-shaped waves. 
  • Fine texture — Compared to other hair types, 2a hair is relatively fine in texture. So individual strands of 2a hair are thin and delicate.
  • Reduced volume — 2A hair usually has less volume than 2b or 2c hair, but it can still have some natural body and movement, especially when compared to straight hair types like 1a hair.
  • Manageable — 2A hair is typically easy to manage. It can hold different hairstyles well, and it can easily be straightened or curled with heat-styling tools.
  • Susceptible to frizz 2A hair can easily become frizzy due to humidity. 

Dos and Don’ts of 2A Hair Care

After finding out more about the characteristics of your hair type, the next step is learning how to take care of it. 

In this case, if you’ve figured out that you have 2a hair, you now need to establish a proper 2a hair care routine that can help your hair thrive.

Your main focus should be to keep your hair healthy and prevent it from looking flat and limp. 

A woman spraying her hair with a hairspray in front of a mirror.

Luckily, we’re here to help you! Here are some dos and don’ts that you can follow to keep your hair healthy and looking great:

Dos

  • Use products that will help maintain the health and look of your wavy hair. While it has less frizz than thicker and curlier hair types like 3c hair or 4a hair, 2a hair can still frizz, so it’s best to get frizz-control products to manage the issue. 
  • Use products that hydrate your hair. Yes, your hair needs hydration, but not as much as curly hair does. Find products that are specifically formulated to give your wavy hair exactly what it needs. 
  • Find shampoos that use gentler cleaning agents instead of sulfates. Better alternatives usually use cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate as mild cleansing agents. 

    Unlike shampoos with sulfates, using these products won’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
  • Choose products with lightweight humectants. These lock moisture into your hair without weighing it down. For 2a hair, look for ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin or for lightweight oils like argan oil.
  • Avoid heavier oils like coconut oil and avocado oil. This may give your hair too much moisture and hydration, which can make it lose the proteins that are essential to preventing breakage and frizz. 
  • Air-dry your hair. You’re one of the lucky people who can easily air-dry your hair without any repercussions like frizz. Use this to your advantage to avoid damage from heat-styling tools. 
  • Reach for volumizing hair products. While your hair does have waves, it may sometimes look too flat. For this, applying volumizing products can do wonders. 

Don’ts

  • Don’t shampoo your hair daily. This gets rid of the natural oils in your hair and scalp. It’ll contribute more to your hair looking flat, and it can damage your hair over time.

    For best results, wash your hair twice a week or every three days.
  • Don’t use heat-styling tools too much. It doesn’t matter what your hair type is, heat will damage hair. So it’s best to avoid using heat-styling tools as much as possible. 

    If you absolutely need to use heat to style your hair, make sure to use a heat protectant beforehand. Choose a lower heat setting as well.
  • Don’t use products that are too heavy. Instead of giving your hair volume, these products will only weigh your hair down and make it flatter. 

    Additionally, because 2a hair is straighter at the roots, heavy oil-based products may contribute to adding excess sebum, which is why you should steer clear of them.
  • Don’t use too much product. Even if you use more lightweight oils and products on your hair, using too much will still weigh your hair down, making it look limp and flat. 

    To avoid this, start your styling sessions by using only a small amount of styling product, then add more if needed. 

Styling Tips for 2A Hai

Want to know how to style 2a hair?

Luckily, you don’t need to do much. However, you still need to put in some effort to make it look perfect. 

Here are some tips for styling 2a hair: 

  1. When going for short 2a hair, shoulder-length hair works well. This length is arguably the best 2a haircut you can get, as it easily shows off your soft waves.
  1. Use lightweight volumizing products to add more volume to your hair. Using the right amount can help your hair look less flat and limp. It also helps accentuate your gorgeous loose waves. 
  1. Make use of the versatility of 2a hair. It’s easy to style and manage. For special occasions, you can easily straighten it or make it curlier.

    Just make sure to use products that can protect your hair using styling tools and don’t do this too often. 

Best 2A Hairstyles

Because of how versatile this type of hair is, many styles work best with it. 

Here are some of our recommendations:

1. Pin Curls

a young woman with soft glam make up is wearing a formal dress while looking sideways seriously flaunting her 2a hair

While your hair lacks the S-wave definition of 2B and 2C hair, this may have several advantages. One of them is that your hair is easier to style and manipulate.

One best way to do this is by trying out pin curls. Its a style that lets you replicate the glitz and glamour of many Hollywood celebrities. 

For best results for your hair, you can curl them in a way that every hair section coils in the same direction.

The best part? This can be done heatless, so you won’t risk any harm to your hair!

2. Keeping It Natural

A smiling young with long natural wavy hair woman wearing a hat and pink sunglasses

Low-effort and easy to get, one of the best ways to show off your 2A hair is by keeping it natural. Show off your waves that can go with any style with ease. 

To enhance your natural waves, you can use a diffuser attachment to your blow dryer so that it dries out evenly and with minimal frizz.

Leave on conditioners, along with slightly twisting or defining your natural waves also help. 

3. Braids

A blonde woman wearing sunglasses with two french braid hairstyle

Because your S-waves aren’t well-defined, it may be hard to control your waves to look neat and tidy. However, did you know there’s an easy solution for this?

Braids! 

For 2A hair, braiding has several benefits.

First, if you’re having a bad hair day and your hair is becoming unruly, you can make it look neater by doing a half-up, half-down braid.

The shape of your braid across the half of the hair that’s down helps make its shape look more organized and neat.

Second, you can more defined waves without the heat by braiding them for a long time. For best results, create two French braids before you sleep and leave it on overnight.

Best Products for 2A Hair

Looking to keep your hair happy and healthy? Take care of them by using the best 2a hair products on the market today.

Here are some of them: 

John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam

We love this mousse for the gorgeous lift it can provide 2a hair.

Key Benefits: Adds volume to flat 2a hair; makes styling hair easier; keeps hair soft

Features:

  • Weightless foam for easy application
  • Safe for colored hair
  • Sleek packaging

Give your hair some much-needed volume with John Frieda’s Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam!

Arguably the best mousse for 2a hair is this one from John Frieda. It promises to provide your hair with volume and fullness. 

Despite this, the formula of this product remains lightweight. Also, while it can help hold hairstyles, it also retains the softness and bounce of your hair.

On top of that, it’s suitable for those with colored hair!

Monday Haircare Volume Shampoo + Conditioner

We recommend this shampoo and conditioner set for its volumizing properties.

Key Benefits: Cleanses the hair without leaving it too limp; boosts hair volume; nourishes hair

Features:

  • Formulated with ginger extract, coconut oil, and vitamin E for volume and hydration
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Free of SLS, parabens, and phthalates

Clean your hair the right way using Monday Haircare’s Volume Shampoo and Conditioner.

If you’re looking for the best shampoo and conditioner for type 2a hair, this set may be for you!

Monday Haircare’s set volumizes your hair while keeping your hair nourished. Of course, it also helps your hair stay clean and fresh.

Both the shampoo and conditioner also contain ginger extract, coconut oil, and vitamins to maintain the hydration levels of your hair. 

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream

This cream is a holy-grail product for wavy hair because of its anti-frizz formula.

Key Benefits: Helps keep your hairstyle in place; prevents hair from getting frizzy due to humidity; enhances waves

Features:

  • Has a nourishing formula with natural meadowfoam seed, olive, and soybean oils
  • Lightweight texture
  • Paraben-free

Need extra oomph for your next hairstyle? Try out Ouidad’s Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream!

Another one of the top hair products for 2a hair that you can use is this styling cream from Ouidad. Not only does it help retain your hairstyle for longer, but it also prevents frizzing.

On top of this, it also features natural oils from ingredients like meadowfoam seed, olive, and soybean that keep your hair nourished. 

It also has humectants that seal moisture into your strands to ensure your hair stays properly hydrated no matter what. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My 2A Hair Frizzy?

For type 2a hair, frizz usually comes from the lack of hydration and moisture in your hair. So not using hydrating products can lead to frizziness. 

Additionally, using too many heat-styling tools can damage and dry your hair, causing frizziness. 

Should I Brush My 2A Hair?

Detangling with your brush easily helps many hair types to remain healthy, including 2a hair. By brushing and detangling your hair, you’re making sure there’s less breakage that happens with your hair. 

Is 2A Hair Common?

Yes, many people have the 2a hair type. 

Effortless Waves With Your 2A Hair

While 2a hair is fairly common and easy to maintain, you need to give it some elbow grease to keep it in tip-top shape.

Luckily, this is easy; just follow a good 2a wavy hair routine and avoid styling methods that may cause your hair to frizz or become limp. 

Easy to remember, right?

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn more about your hair type, how to take care of it, and how to style it. 

Achieve your hair’s fullest potential by following all our hair care tips!

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Authors

  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

  • Jessica Hoelscher

    With thirteen years in cosmetology, Jessica Hoelscher is a seasoned stylist recognized for her modern techniques. A graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in St. Louis, her expertise has been showcased on Fox Two News and in People Magazine. Self-employed at Salon Lofts, her work has graced TV screens, styling for renowned events and Ole Miss cheerleaders.

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