2C Hair Guide: Care and Style Tips for This Hair Type

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It’s easier to categorize hair types nowadays, and you might be curious about yours. 

Do you have tight waves? Then you may have 2c hair. 

a beautiful young woman posing at the camera while smiling widely with her 2c hair

Having 2c hair means you get to enjoy gorgeous natural waves. In fact, one of the best ways to style this hair type is to let it do its thing.

But while it’s easy to style, it might be tough to maintain. Nevertheless, your efforts in doing so can be worth it. 

To keep your hair in tip-top shape, we recommend learning more about what it is and how to take care of it properly.

Ready to find out more about this hair type?

Read on to discover everything you need to know about 2c hair!

What Is Type 2C Hair?

Type 2c hair is a type of wavy hair that has very well-defined waves. It’s often confused with curly hair since it’s characterized by tight S-shaped waves. 

This hair type has waves starting from root to tip. 

It needs a bit more maintenance compared to other wavy hair types. The strands are coarser, thicker, and more prone to frizz and tangling.

curl pattern chart infographic

What Makes 2C Hair Different From Other Hair Types?

We must first understand the other hair types before differentiating 2c hair from them.

So how are hair types categorized anyway? 

In the ’90s, a stylist named Andre Walker created a system that grouped the types of hair people may have.

These are the following:

  • Type 1 — straight hair
  • Type 2 — wavy hair
  • Type 3 — curly hair
  • Type 4 — coily hair

Each of the four types has three different subcategories: A, B, and C. 

For instance, one of the many different hair types is type 2 hair or wavy hair. And under this category are three different subtypes: 2a, 2b, and 2c. 

The 2c hair type is easy to single out among the three wavy hair subtypes because it has the most well-defined S-shaped waves from the root to the tip. The other two types have looser waves. 

Additionally, 2c hair is often confused with 3a hair, the first subcategory of type 4 or curly hair. 

However, there’s a striking difference between 2c hair and curly hair.

2C hair still belongs to the wavy hair category, so the hair forms an S-shaped wave with the hair looking bent. 

Meanwhile, 3a hair belongs to the curly hair category, and its shape is more of a coil than a bend. 

How To Identify 2C Hair

To identify 2c hair, you can look for the following characteristics:

  • Defined waves — To reiterate, the waves of 2c hair have a distinct and prominent S shape. A good way to identify whether you have 2c hair is to see if the wave pattern of your hair starts near the roots and not mid-shaft.
  • Coarse texture — In general, 2c hair has a coarse texture. This means each strand has a thicker diameter than the strands of those with fine or medium hair texture.
  • Thick volume — 2C hair usually has a thick appearance due to its wide, coarse waves; lack of volume is not an issue for it.
  • Increased tendency for frizz — Because of its coarse texture, oils from the scalp may have a harder time fully coating and moisturizing the thick strands of 2c hair.

    So it may easily become dry and frizzy, especially if you don’t maintain it properly.
  • Medium elasticity Elasticity refers to the hair’s ability to stretch and return to its original length and shape. 2C hair is described as having medium elasticity. 

2C Hair Care: Dos and Don’ts

The first way to keep your gorgeous mane in tip-top shape is to know what type it is.

Now if you’ve already established that you have 2c hair, you need to maintain a routine that will enhance its strengths and improve its weaknesses.

Unlike other subtypes of type 2 hair, 2c needs more maintenance — not just any maintenance but proper maintenance.

Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help!

Here’s how to take care of 2c hair: 

Dos

  1. Keep your hair moisturized. Because wavy 2c hair tends to be coarse in texture, it’s also prone to dryness.

    To combat this, keep it moisturized using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. You can also use leave-in conditioners after every shower to maintain your hair’s optimal moisture levels and avoid frizz throughout the day.
  1. Detangle with a wide-toothed comb. When you want to detangle your hair, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, as the latter can pull too much on your hair and cause damage, breakage, and even frizz. 
  1. Maintain a regular deep-conditioning schedule. If you have type 2c hair, your hair will thank you if you have a regular schedule for deep conditioning.

    For best results, use a deep conditioner once a week or twice a month. You can also schedule regular deep conditioning treatments at the salon.
  1. Remember that a diffuser is your best friend. When blow-drying your hair, you should use a diffuser attachment. The diffuser helps distribute the air from your blow-dryer evenly, helping reduce the occurrence of frizz.
  1. Try to reduce friction. Using cotton pillowcases or scrunchies may create too much friction against your hair, causing breakage and frizziness. As such, try to use pillowcases and hair ties made with satin or silk.
a woman wearing stripes longsleeves with 2c hair wearing eyeglasses is smiling in a green background

Don’ts

  1. Don’t use heat-styling tools too frequently. As we all know, excessive heat can easily cause damage, dryness, and frizz to your hair, so it’s best to avoid using heat-styling tools regularly. 

    If you really need to use them, make sure to apply wavy hair- or curly hair-friendly heat protectants beforehand to defend your locks against heat damage. 

    Use a low heat setting on your tools as well.
  1. Don’t overwash your hair. Washing your hair too frequently will remove the natural oils that your hair needs. This easily leads to dryness.

    For type 2c hair, wash your hair only around one to two times weekly. 
  1. Don’t dry your hair with a towel. Drying your hair by rubbing it with a towel can create friction, which causes your hair to break or make it frizzy. 

    Instead, you can dry it using a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment. 

    Alternatively, you can gently squeeze out the water in your hair using a microfiber towel or a soft cotton T-shirt. 
  1. Don’t ignore the ends of your hair. Try to get regular trims every six to eight weeks. This will help prevent split ends and encourage healthy 2c hair growth. 
  1. Avoid heavy products. While your hair type has natural volume, greasy and heavy styling products can still weigh it down. So try to find lightweight, water-based products instead. 

How To Style 2C Hair 

Styling Tips for 2C Hair

Styling 2c hair mainly involves enhancing your tight and natural S-shaped waves. 

And you’re lucky; doing this doesn’t take much work. Your hair doesn’t need too much styling to keep it pretty — you can just let them out naturally.

To give them more definition and control frizz, you can use styling creams to emphasize the beautiful shape of your waves. 

Just apply your chosen cream to your hair after drying it and scrunch your waves upward toward the roots to define your waves, and you’ll be good to go! 

You can also straighten your hair, but note that this requires more effort. It can also damage your hair.

So it might be best to go to professionals if you need your hair straightened. Make sure not to straighten it frequently as well.  

Best 2C Hairstyles To Try

How can you style your hair to look the best? Here are some of the top hairstyles you can get for 2c hair.

  1. Do a side part. When you want to let your hair down or put it up into different styles, style it with a deep side part. This hairstyle can emphasize the volume of your hair and even add some dimension to it.
  1. Get a shoulder-length cut. People with 2c hair can greatly benefit from a shoulder-length cut. While your hair is easy to style, keeping it frizz-free throughout the day requires more effort.

    As such, shorter haircuts may be beneficial for you because they help keep your hair tame and save time with styling product touch-ups.
  1. Add layers. If you want to wear your hair long, get a 2c haircut with strategically placed layers that will help thin out sections of your hair a bit to make it more manageable. 

Best Hair Products for 2C Hair

Want to complete your product lineup for your 2c hair care routine? Here are some of the best 2c hair products that you can get:

1.
Marc Anthony Coconut Beach Waves

We highly recommend this styling cream for 2c hair to give you smooth beach waves.  

Key Benefits: Helps enhance the volume of wavy hair; controls frizz; makes styling easy 

Features:

  • Contains coconut oil for better hairstyling control 
  • Versatile formula that can be air-dried or dried with a diffuser
  • Paraben- and phthalate-free 

Want effortlessly gorgeous hair? Try Marc Anthony’s Coconut Beach Waves Texture Cream!

Looking for a styling cream that you can use for your type 2c hair? This one from Marc Anthony is worth getting.

It mainly features coconut oil that helps make your hair more manageable and voluminous at the same time. It moisturizes your waves to minimize the frizz that dryness can cause.

This 2c product also has a non-irritating formula, so you can easily add it to your daily styling routine.

2.
DAE Hair Monsoon Moisture Milk Hydrating Shampoo

This shampoo is a must-have product because it keeps your hair’s moisture levels balanced. 

Key Benefits: Effectively cleanses hair; nourishes and adds moisture to dry hair; helps smooth out rough hair

Features:

  • Contains meadowfoam seed oil that strengthens and moisturizes brittle hair
  • Formulated with cactus flower extract that minimizes breakage 
  • Vegan and sulfate-free

Keep your hair clean and soft using DAE’s Moisture Milk Hydrating Shampoo!

When taking care of 2c hair, hydration is your top priority. As such, the best shampoo for 2c hair that you can use is this one from DAE.

This formula gently but effectively cleans impurities from your hair without stripping it of natural oils.

On top of that, the meadowfoam seed oil helps add moisture to it. 

It also features other botanical extracts like cactus flower and moringa leaf that help nourish your hair and prevent roughness. 

3.
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray

We love this leave-in conditioner for its lightweight formula and anti-frizz power. 

Key Benefits: Helps boost your hair’s hydration; protects your hair from humidity; adds shine to your waves; minimizes frizz

Features:

  • Formulated with argan oil, coconut oil, and rosehip oil for ultimate moisturization and frizz control
  • Has a lightweight formula
  • Suitable for people with relaxed and color-treated hair

Need your hair to look shiny and smooth? Try out Briogeo’s Farewell Friz Rosarco Milk Leave-in Conditioning Spray.

If you have dry 2c hair, your best bet for controlling frizz and bringing back the shine and smoothness of your hair is using the Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner. 

This leave-in conditioning spray has a lightweight formula made up of argan, rosehip, and coconut oils that help tame even the worst frizz. 

Additionally, this spray also helps keep your hair soft and shiny. It’s also safe for relaxed or color-treated hair. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Type 2C Hair Rare?

Yes, among the subcategories of wavy hair, 2c is the rarest.

It’s also quite rare in general, although it’s more common than 1a hair, which is considered the rarest hair type in the world.

If you have 2c hair, you’re quite lucky to have a unique hair type. But that also means your hair requires special care. 

So make sure to maintain a good routine that follows the steps for hair care laid out above to keep your waves looking and feeling the best they can. 

How Do Your Properly Wash 2C Hair?

The first thing you need to remember when washing 2c hair is that you shouldn’t overdo it. Washing too frequently can overstrip your hair, leaving it dry.

Additionally, when you wash your hair, avoid using hot water and opt for warm or cool instead.

Hot water can wash away all the moisture in your hair, drying it out and making it prone to frizz.  

How Do I Differentiate 2B vs. 2C Hair?

Both 2c and 2b hair are wavy hair types with defined S-shaped waves, although 2c’s waves are tighter. 

However, if you’re having trouble distinguishing one from the other, you can look at the hair near the roots. 2c hair grows wavy from the roots to the ends. 

Meanwhile, 2b hair usually has straight, flat hair near the roots, which only becomes wavy as it grows downward. 

a portrait of a beautiful white woman looking seriously with her 2c hair

2C Hair: Flaunt Your Beautiful, Tight Waves

When it comes to being easy to style, 2c hair is unrivaled. But this privilege doesn’t let you go off easily since your effort needs to be put into maintenance.

With the right routine, your hair can stay soft, healthy, and shiny, helping you achieve some of the most stunning hairstyles that you can get. 

Hopefully, our article has helped you get to know more about your hair and the proper ways to maintain it.

So if you want to keep your hair looking fabulous, follow our hair care tips above!

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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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