Figuring out if you have 2a or 2b hair can be a little tricky, but luckily caring for these two hair types is very similar. That being said, it is worthwhile to understand whether you have 2a or 2b hair so you can make the most of your waves and maximize your dreamy, wavy potential.
What is the difference between 2a and 2b hair?
2a is characterized by its tousled appearance, with hair that doesn’t form defined S-wave curves but nevertheless has a clear bend and often some volume.
2b has more defined S-waves, but unlike 2c hair, 2b hair is straight coming out of the roots and becomes wavy at the start of the lengths of the hair.
2a and 2b Haircare
Caring for 2a and 2b hair is very similar, which is good news for those of us whose hair can look 2a or 2b depending on the day. How you care for your hair can also help determine whether your hair is more tousled or has more defined waves. A good haircare routine for 2a and 2b hair looks like this:
1. Wash 2-3 times a week with a regular shampoo to stop frizz
A regular shampoo will have enough moisture to avoid stripping your hair without weighing your hair down.
2. Use a hair mask once a week to keep waves soft and defined
Add some moisture to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to keep them soft and keep frizz away.
3. Use a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair to detangle
Waves can sometimes need some help detangling, especially if you want really defined waves that can be detangled with your fingers instead of a detangling brush. A leave-in conditioner that is water-based can help with tangles without adding too much moisture.
4. Use a curl mousse if you want super defined waves
If you want to maximize your waves, curl mousses can work for wavies too! Look for one that is lightweight and use a small amount to give your waves some hold.
Can you get curls with 2a or 2b hair?
You’re unlikely to get natural curls with 2a or 2b hair, but using products to moisturize and add hold to your hair can give you defined waves that last.
Best Products for 2a and 2b Hair
Best Shampoo and Conditioner: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner set is one of my favorites for a good lather that doesn’t strip my hair or add too much moisture.
Best Hair Mask: Ouai Hair Mask for Fine and Medium Hair
Ouai makes a great hair mask made just for those with fine and medium hair—perfect for those with 2a or 2b hair.
Best Leave-In Conditioner: Ceremonia Guava Rescue Spray
Ceremonia’s line of haircare products rooted in Latin heritage is all about enhancing your natural hair texture and their rescue spray is amazing for keeping waves lightly moisturized and also protects against heat damage.
Best Wave Mousse: DevaCurl Frizz-Fighting Volumizing Foam
This mousse from DevaCurl is great for controlling frizz if you are trying to give your waves long-lasting hold and definition.
Best Wave Spray: Ceremonia Guava Beach Waves
This wave spray from Ceremonia is my favorite for enhancing tousled waves on 2a hair.
Best Smoothing Cream: Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Anti-Frizz Priming Cream
2a and 2b hair can suffer from frizz so it’s great to have a good lightweight smoothing cream on hand. I like this one from Not Your Mother’s which helps tamp down flyaways and give a little extra polish to wavy hair.
2a vs 2b Hair Conclusion
2a and 2b hair is easy to care for and fun to style. It’s versatile and tends to have lots of volume when well cared for. With a good routine, your waves can look soft and gorgeous!