If you have a 2a hair type then this article will help learn how to care for 2a hair and what are the best products to use. It might also clear up 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…umm shall we 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)
Related: What Is 2b-Hair
Related: 2C Vs 3A Hair
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 and so on.
Therefore 2a hair types would be wavy hair which has the least, well-defined waves.
2a Hair Types
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Styling Tips For 2a Hair To 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.
FAQs About 2a Hair Types
Is my hair 2a or 2b?
It can be hard to identify whether your hair is 2a or 2b as both these hair textures can sit straight at the roots and get wavier towards the middle. However, 2a hair has lesser wave definition and has a “tousled” look to it. 2b hair on the other hand have pronounced “S” shape waves at the bottom.
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.
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.
Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!