2C Hair Type: What It Is & How To Maintain It

Your handy guide to know how to take care of this wavy textured hair type.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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This prevents your hair from becoming frizzy. Type 2C hair is all about “waviness.” This hair type has tousled waves at the roots that get wavier at the bottom. So, does this hair type need a different hair care routine? Yes. Your wavy textured hair needs more TLC to combat frizz and other issues. Scroll down to learn the best ways to care for your 2C hair, style it, and the best brushes to use. Keep reading to know more!

What Is 2C Type Hair?

The shape of your hair is determined by the way the hair follicles grow. Wavy hair – i.e., type 2 hair – is formed when the hair folliclei  The shaft of the epidermis through which hair grows is known as the follicle. It is found in the skin’s dermal layer. is slightly tilted. 2C type hair is extremely wavy but not coily. The S-shape bends in the hair start off at the roots. These waves are defined and thick. The bends are looser and wider than the tighter structure of curly hair.

But, how do you figure out what type of hair you have? Find out in the next section.

How To Identify Your Hair Type

To identify your hair type, start by observing its natural state when it is clean and free of products. There are four main hair types: straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3), and kinky/coily (type 4). Straight hair appears sleek and lacks noticeable waves or curls. Wavy hair has gentle S-shaped waves, while curly hair forms distinct curls or spirals. Kinky/coily hair has tight, densely packed coils that follow a zigzag pattern.

Additionally, consider your hair’s thickness, which can be fine, medium, or coarse. Hair porosity, indicating how well it absorbs moisture, is also an essential factor, which can be low, normal, or high. Analyzing these characteristics will help you accurately determine your unique hair type.

To figure out whether 2C hair is considered curly, scroll down to the next section.

Is 2C Hair Curly?

Woman with 2C hair
Image: Shutterstock

2C Hair is mainly wavy. This hair has S-shaped bends that form at the roots and are more open and loose when compared to curly hair. The waves of 2C hair are not gentle or lightly tousled. The waves are often called 2C curly hair, despite their wavy nature. Women who have 2C hair have similar hair problems to those with curly hair, like frizz, static, tangles, and difficulty in maintaining definition.

protip_icon Trivia
Lorde, Beyoncé, and Zendaya are some famous personalities who have 2C hair.

Read on to know how you can improve your hair texture, feel, and appearance by giving it the right care.

How To Care For 2C Type Hair

  • Krysta Biancone, a hair stylist, says, “Using a leave-in conditioner when you get out of the shower helps lock in moisture and makes your 2C hair less frizzy. Additionally, deep conditioning treatments can help keep your hair hydrated and reduce frizziness. Lastly, using a good quality anti-frizz serum on damp hair before styling can also help reduce frizziness.”
  • Use products that cater to your wavy hair needs. While wavy hair might not have heavy frizz like curly hair, it does require some frizz control. Another factor to consider is that wavy hair requires more hydration than straight hair but lesser than curly hair. So, it is important to use products made for wavy hair issues. Wavy hair requires some essential hair products like volumizers, curl enhancers, and hair masks.
  • A common problem with 2C hair is frizz. Invest in hair products that help with controlling frizz and flyaways.
Woman using anti frizz product on 2C hair
Image: Shutterstock
  • Oil your hair once a week or two with oils that improve your hair texture. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, and Argan oil are some popular oils used for wavy hair. But, remember – using oils too often can make your hair look weighed down and flat. The best option is to oil your hair before shampooing it so it does not leave your hair greasy or stripped dry by the shampoo.
  • Using heat styling tools regularly can damage your hair. If you have wavy hair, you can leave it unstyled as it has a natural bounce and body.
  • Opt for light hair products like foams, mousses, and serums instead of oil- or cream-based products that can weigh down wavy tresses.
  • Get regular trims as wavy hair is prone to split ends.
  • Avoid straightening your hair too often as you can lose the gorgeous wavy bends in your hair over time.
Woman avoiding hair straightening
Image: Shutterstock
  • Use a heat protectant whenever you do use styling tools.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm (not hot) water before and after shampooing. This opens the hair cuticlei  The outermost layer of the hair shaft is known as the cuticle. Dead cells are responsible for the formation of cuticles. and gets rid of all the product residue and dirt.
  • When using a conditioner, rinse your hair with warm water before applying the conditioner. This ensures maximum penetration of the conditioner into your hair. Use cold water to wash off the conditioner as it closes the hair cuticles and maintains the moisture in your hair.

Alessya Farrugia, a YouTuber, recounts her hair’s transformation over the years and how she came up with her recent hair care routine to care for her wavy locks. She uses hair oils made with organic ingredients to nourish and maintain her voluminous, defined waves. She says, “In order for your curls to be at their best, you need the perfect balance between protein and moisture in your hair (i).”

Jasmine Briones, another YouTuber, believes that less frequent shampooing retains more moisture. She recommends using a diffuser and explains her technique. She says, “You’re going to take the diffuser and kind of cup your hair into it (ii).” She advises using a leave-in conditioner, homemade or store-bought, for added moisture.

Woman conditioning 2C hair
Image: Shutterstock

Here are some tips to help you style and manage your 2C hair!

How To Style And Manage 2C Hair

Woman applying detangling serum to 2C hair
Image: Shutterstock
  1. 2C hair can be difficult to manage as it is prone to tangles and knots. Use some detangling serums and foams to improve hair manageability.
  2. The concentrated hot air from the blow dryer can cause serious heat damage. So, use a diffuser when blow-drying your hair as it spreads the hot air evenly instead of concentrating it on one spot.
  3. Since 2C hair has more open waves, you can use rollers paired with a curl-defining product to enhance its texture.
  4. Instead of rubbing your hair dry with a terryclothi  Also known as a terry towel, a terrycloth is a fabric woven using several protruding loops of thread. towel, pat it dry or scrunch it with a soft cotton or microfiber towel. This prevents breakage, frizz, and tangles.
  1. 2C hair is more curly than straight. It is also more prone to damage by dryness and chemicals from hair products. So, opt for natural and leave-in products that don’t contain concentrated chemicals.
  2. If you wash your hair before sleeping, wrap it in a satin scarf or thin cotton T-shirt. This prevents your hair from becoming frizzy.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Layered and textured haircuts are ideal for 2C type hair as they allow the wavy hair to move about freely. You may opt for short bob, shag, pixie, and inverted lob.

With the right brush, you can prevent unnecessary hair loss and breakage to 2C type hair. Find out more in the next section!

Brushes For 2C Hair Types

The right brush can also build volume, define hair shape, enhance hair texture, prevent fly a ways, and reduce frizz. Here are the best hair brushes for 2C hair:

  • For removing tangles or knots, you will need a detangling brush. A detangling brush can also help air-dry your hair faster.
  • Opt for a vented ceramici  Ceramic is a hard, brittle, or heat-resistant material made of clay hardened at a high temperature. brush or a round brush to increase hair volume and define your waves. A round brush is especially helpful when using a blow dryer as it helps distribute the hot air evenly.
  • You can use a wide-toothed comb to just comb your hair. It does not flatten out your natural waves and helps remove tangles. Another plus point is that it does not cause frizz.
  • A boar-bristle paddle brush is a must-have if your hair is on the curlier side. These brushes help enhance your curls, making them look more defined rather than tousled.

Infographic: Best Ways To Manage 2C Hair

While it might look simple to many, determining your hair type can be tricky. If you are wondering whether you have wavy or curly hair, it is likely you have 2C type hair. This hair type has a natural wavy flow at the roots and gets denser at the ends. So, are you looking for some inspiration on how to style and manage your hair? Check out the infographic below.

best ways to manage 2c hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

2C hair type is characterized by wavy hair at the roots that become curly as it goes down. While curly hair and 2c hair are different, they share similar problems such as frizziness, tangling, and difficulty in hair maintenance. To make sure your hair looks gorgeous, invest in the right hair products and get regular trims to avoid split ends. Since 2C hair can be difficult to manage, use detangling serums, leave-in products, and ceramic brushes to reduce frizz and give your tresses a smooth and radiant look.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do 2C waves look like?

According to Krysta Biancone, “2C waves are typically defined as being between 2A and 2B. They have a more defined, loopy wave hair pattern that is generally a bit more voluminous than 2A or 2B. You can tell if your hair is 2B or 2C by looking at the wave pattern and feeling the texture.”
She adds, “If you’re not sure what type of waves you have, try running your fingers through your hair to feel for the texture and size of the waves. If they’re larger and more defined, it’s likely you have 2C waves.”

Is my hair 2C or 3A?

You must check the curl shape to identify your hair type. 2C hair has S-shaped waves that run through the length of the strands, and 3A hair is curly, with loose spirals running from the roots to the ends.

Can 2C hair have ringlets?

2C hair is a mix of S-shaped waves and ringlets.

Is Shea Moisture good for 2C hair?

Yes. Shea Moisture is a CG-approvedi  Stands for Curly Girl–approved. CG-approved products are free of drying alcohols, sulfate, waxes, silicones, and artificial oils. brand offering high-quality products for all hair types, including type 2 hair.

Key Takeaways

  • 2C hair type is defined by extremely wavy hair and requires additional TLC to maintain its strength, shine, and natural moisture.
  • Natural oils and products that help detangle the hair and tame frizz are essential in a 2C hair care routine.
  • Choosing the right brush for different purposes and avoiding heated hair styling can help preserve the health and shine of 2C hair.
2C Type Hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn about the hair routine for 2C waves using these simple tips and tricks in the video below for keeping your curls looking healthy and bouncy!


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    i. WAVY/CURLY HAIR ROUTINE | how to wash, style, and refresh 2C curls | tips & tricks


    ii. Wavy/Curly Hair Routine (2B/2C Curls)


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Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee member of CDSI (Cosmetic dermatologist Society of India). She is highly skilled in non-surgical facial skin rejuvenation and face lift by the use of injection treatments and lasers.

Read full bio of Dr. Shruti Chavan