what is 2a hair type

2a Hair Type: Hairstylist-Approved Routines, Styling Tips, And Best Products!

Learn how to care for 2a hair type and what are the best products to use. Also find if you have 1b hair, 2a hair or 2b hair as these can be similar. 

If you thought you had straight hair then think again! 

Your hair type isn’t as simple to be classified as just straight or wavy or curly. There are different levels of “straightness” and “curliness”. So then you might have something called 2a hair.

If your hair is 2a type, you might need a different approach to washing it and styling it. You also need to be using suitable hair products.

Find out more how you to take care of this hair texture and what it entails below.

What is 2a hair?

2A hair is a hair type characterized by a slight, loose S-shaped wave pattern. It’s typically fine and thin with a gentle, tousled texture. This hair type is the least curly in the wavy hair category and can easily be straightened or curled. It tends to be more manageable than tighter curls or waves, with minimal frizz.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Andre Walker Hair Typing System classifies hair into four categories: Type 1 for straight, Type 2 for wavy, Type 3 for curly, and Type 4 for coily or kinky hair.
  • Within each type, further classifications of “a”, “b”, or “c” are made based on varying levels of hair texture.
  • 2a hair is characterized by a slight, loose S-shaped wave pattern, typically fine and thin with a gentle, tousled texture.
  • Unlike 2b or 2c hair, 2a hair starts out straight at the roots and gains some texture around the forehead or eye level.
  • Care for 2a hair involves using sulfate-free shampoo, lightweight conditioners, air drying, and incorporating lightweight oils for moisture without weighing down the hair.
  • 2a hair differs from 1c hair in that it has a slight “S” shape bend from the midway section onwards, while 1c hair lacks this shape and is more prone to frizz.
  • Styling tips for 2a hair include using root volumizer spray, lightweight oils for moisture, hair mist for added moisture, and occasional clarifying with apple cider vinegar rinse.

How Do I Know My Hair Type – Do I Really Have 2a Hair?

As I explained above there are different say levels to straightness or curliness of hair.

And this is where the Andre Walker Hair Typing System comes into picture. This coding system for hair textures classifies hair as follows:

  • Type 1 – Straight hair 
  • Type 2 – Wavy hair
  • Type 3 – Curly hair
  • Type 4 – Coily, kinky hair (Natural hair textures)

But this isn’t all, under each type we classify hair further as “a”, “b”, or “c” depending on the varying levels of hair texture. 

So the straightest, “poker” straight hair would be classified as 1a, straight hair with a slight wave to it would be 1b hair and so on.

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Therefore 2a hair types would be wavy hair which has the least, well-defined waves.

2a Hair Types Explained

what is 2a hair

2a hair is wavy hair that starts out straight at the roots and gains some texture around the forehead or eye level. 

What distinguishes 2a hair from other hair types is that the “waves” texture do not start from the roots and do not have a well-defined texture unlike 2b hair that surely has “s” shape waves or 2c hair type which starts curling at the roots. 

Our hair’s shape is determined by the anatomy of our hair follicles. Perfectly rounded hair follicles give rise to straight hair. But as the hair follicle stretches, the strand’s come out slightly textures. 

So 2a hair has hair follicles that are slightly oval in shape while a very narrow, oval shape follicle will produce curly or coily hair types. 

How To Care For 2a Hair Type

A lot of people tend to think of 2a hair as basically straight with a little texture to it. 2a hair can either give you the best of both worlds as you can style your hair straight or wavy with it.

Or it can frustrate you by neither being wavy nor straight and making it difficult to style. 

Whatever the case, you need to first learn how to keep 2a hair healthy. And here is how I go about caring and styling my 2a waves. Check it out! 

what shampoo is good for 2a hair

Shampoo It Well, But No Sulfates Allowed

Unlike curly haired folks who have adopted the “no-poo” movement of using conditioners only or co-wash on their hair, 2a hair needs that shampoo.

Remember your hair isn’t wavy at the roots and it’s very slightly wavy at the ends too. 

So all the natural oils or grease from the scalp can get very easily distributed throughout the hair. Always pick a shampoo that cleanses well, but doesn’t strip hair’s moisture.

It should be a given to use a sulfate-free shampoo, but also think about using a thickening shampoo. 

I say this because 2a hair tends to be very fine and thin out of all the hair types (except perhaps the type 1 hair). So you’ll need that extra volume! 

I use the Avalon Organics Therapy Thickening Shampoo as it contains biotin and collagen that add volume to hair fibers and lift my flat roots, adding bounce to hair. And of course, it’s sulfate-free. 

Condition It But Lightly

Yes, conditioner is still a must for 2a hair, but be careful about how much conditioner you use and what kind of product it is. 

See 2a hair needs to be moisturized at the middle and ends to help it form the wave pattern better. But it’s also very fine and thin so a heavy, rich conditioner will simply weigh it down. 

So use a silicone-free product for 2a hair as they won’t cause buildup or heaviness and try limiting the product you use.

A dime-sized amount of conditioner is sufficient for 2a hair as the finer hair textures will get overloaded by anything more. 

how to dry 2a hair

Air Drying Is Best

You can actually wash-and-go with 2a hair as long as you have conditioned it well. But to remove the excess water from hair, always use a microfiber cloth or old towel.

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If you want more wave definition you can always add some curl-enhancing, leave-in conditioner and scrunch the ends of your wet hair to form waves.

But be careful as too much of these heavy creams can have the opposite effect and ruin your hair’s volume. 

Oh and I often get asked if we can plop 2a hair? And the answer is… well technically you can. But I don’t think it will have much effect unless you’re leaving the towel on overnight. 

So I suggest simplifying things and just air drying your 2a waves. 

best products for 2a hair

Lightweight Oils Are Your Best Friend

The conundrum with wavy hair types is that they require adequate moisturization to form wave patterns but too much of this moisture can leave the hair lank and weighed down.

So if you want to use a leave-in conditioner, oil, serum or any other hair product on wavy hair, I’d suggest choosing a hydrating, lightweight one compared to richer, creamier conditioner. 

If you want to go natural, jojoba oil and argan oil are great lightweight oils that you can add to 2a hair. These will soften your tresses, lock in moisture and add shine as well.

But apart from these, I often use the OUAI Leave In Conditioner as it’s a multipurpose product that works as conditioner, frizz-control and heat protectant. 

I also like that it is water-based hence perfect for wavy, fine hair and that it contains Sodium Hyaluronate that further adds moisture to hair without making it greasy. 


what is the difference between 2a and 2b hair

1c Vs 2a Hair: What’s The Difference

Type 1 hair is straight and Type 2 hair is wavy. So the major difference between 2a hair and 1c hair is that 2a hair has a “S” shape bend to it from the midway section onwards.

However, 1c hair lacks any such shape and often appears to be wavy as it’s more prone to frizz.

This is because 1c hair is coarser and thicker than 2a hair and can change shape due to change in humidity in the atmosphere. 

Also, 1c hair looks straight when you wash it or when it’s wet. 

If you really want to know what your hair type and texture looks like you should check it out when it’s fully saturated with water.

2a hair when wet will show the wavy, “S” shape strands at the end. 

how to care for 2a hair

Styling Tips For 2a Hair – Get Those Gorgeous Waves!

I had to go through a lot of trial and error with my 2a hair to find out a perfect hair care and styling routine. 

So here I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite hacks to see how to style your wavy 2a hair with maximum volume and absolutely no frizz. 

  • A good trick I learned is to use a root volumizer spray for my 2a hair as the hair near the scalp tends to lie flat and straight. This will give it a bit of bounce. 
  • I use a lightweight oil on wet hair. After coming out of the shower I often warm 3-4 drops of jojoba oil or grapeseed oil on the palms of my hands and scrunch the ends of my hair with it. This locks in moisture, doesn’t make hair greasy, and adds wave definition when my hair dries. 
  • I’ve recently discovered the benefits of a hair mist! This product keeps adding moisture to your tresses so that the ends of your hair do not get frizzy and since most mists are water-based they do not weigh down your fine hair. 
  • Once a week I clarify my hair using an apple cider vinegar rinse. I’ve found that it really adds bounce to my 2a hair and removes any product buildup as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you brush 2A hair?

Yes of course, you can brush 2a hair. These wavy hair types are less prone to frizz than either 1a hair as they are finer or 2b hair as they are not as wavy. But just be careful to detangle your hair using a wide toothed comb first as 2a hair can be prone to getting tangled at the ends. Also use a few drops of hair oil or any other detangling product to make brushing easier. This I’ve found also reduces frizz. 

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

Final Thoughts On 2a Hair Type

Having a 2a hair type can either be a blessing or a curse depending on your perspective. Sometimes it appears wavy and other times it appears straight. 

Also since it’s flat at the roots and wavy at the middle, you can actually believe that it’s both these hair types at once.

So you need to be careful about choosing your hair care products for 2a hair type.

A shampoo that cleanses well is a must as you don’t want the accumulated grease at your roots to make your hair flatter. 

And since your hair strands tend to be thinner and finer than either 1c or 2b hair types, you need to select products that are not heavy or rich but who can also add moisture to hair at the same time. 

Also Read:

What Is 2b-Hair

2C Vs 3A Hair

4a Hair Type Guide

Is My Straight Hair Wavy

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