2C Curly Hair: What Is It and How To Take Care of It?
If you want to have amazing hair, you first have to know how to care for it. This is even more important if we are talking about curls. To better understand the science behind your hair pattern, let’s talk about the types and textures. Don’t go anywhere, we are going to talk about 2c curly hair in just a sec!
If you have straight hair, that means that you get under the type 1 category. If you ever noticed a wave here and there, you have type 2 hair. If you are *obviously* curly, that means you get under the type 3 category, and if you have kinky hair, congratulations! You are type 4.
But wait, this is not the end!
There are also three letters: A, B, and C and they define the texture of the hair. A has no texture or a little bit of texture, B is medium textured, and C is the most textured of the three.
If you have wave here and there, are struggling with constant frizz, and need a few products for your curls to hold up, you probably have type 2c hair. Our expert Trisha Chapman explains it further in this article.
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What is 2c hair?
If your hair is voluminous, coarse, and has small or medium-sized waves but you can’t see spirals or springs on your head, you have type 2c hair. This hair type might even be straight in some areas.
Type 2c curls are prone to frizz, so you look wild in the humid weather. But wait, there are many benefits of this hair type, too! You probably don’t need to wash your hair often as it doesn’t tend to be oily, your waves look voluminous, and many people around are telling you, “I wish I had hair like yours.”
While it is a huge pleasure to hear it, you might often struggle with dryness or that poofy-fluffy look. It is overall hard to tame type 2c hair, but with the right products, there is nothing to worry about.
How do I know if I have type 2c or 3a hair?
Take a very close look at one of your hair strands. Do you see an s-shape pattern, or can you swear that it is a spiral or even a ringlet? Then, take a look at your roots. Does the pattern start there?
If you have an s-shaped pattern, your hair is easily weighed down, and you can see tangles here and there, you have type 2c hair.
Ringlets, spirals, difficulty to detangle, constant frizz, and full-body look? You have type 3a hair.
How to care for 2c hair? 5 tips to make your waves pop
As with any other hair type, there are a few rules that you have to follow to emphasize the true beauty of your waves. Just think about your hair as a pattern: you will not wash your favorite blouse with harsh chemicals, right? Do the same for your precious waves.
Take a look at the few tips on how to care for type 2c hair. Here they are:
#1 Don’t wash your hair every day
Yes, it is a fact that if you have type 2c hair, you might be struggling with a greasy scalp but dry hair ends. It is very common in the world of curly-headed people, and this happens because your wavy hair pattern prevents natural oils from the scalp from reaching the thirsty ends of your hair.
It might be tempting to have *perfect* waves every single day but believe me when I say that frequent washing won’t help you to have the hair of your dreams. Even if you are using the most gentle shampoo in the world.
Overwashing type 2c hair might lead to breakage and constant dryness where even the oil masks won’t help you anymore.
However, if you are leading a very active lifestyle or just need to wash your hair daily, choose hair products without drying alcohols, silicones, and sulfates. This is the main rule. The right products will keep your hair in good condition.
#2 Try co-washing
Co-washing, in simple words, is washing your hair with a conditioner instead of shampoo. There are now hundreds of special co-washing products (they are called cleansing conditioners) in the market but if you are not that kind of person, just use your regular conditioner.
+ Leaves hair soft and frizz-free
+ Suitable for kids
+ Works well for high porosity hair
- Might weigh down thin or fine hair
- High concentration of oils and shea butter so it won’t work if you have straight or wavy hair
- The scent might be too intense
- Watery consistency
This method helps to maintain moisture in your hair strands, enhance your natural hair pattern and might help to tame your wavy hair. What is the best co-wash? Well, look at the label on the back of the product. It shouldn’t contain drying alcohols, silicones, waxes, or other ingredients that are drying your hair instead of moisturizing it.
#3 Treat yourself and buy a silk pillowcase
Silk (or satin!) pillowcases are great if you want to preserve your waves during the night. Silk is also proven to help to retain moisture and can help to reduce frizz in your waves. Tie your hair in a pineapple (no, not the fruit) and sleep tight as silk or satin magic takes good care of your hair.
If this isn’t your cup of tea, try a silk or satin bonnet. I have one and I love it. It is really comfortable to sleep with it.
#4 Use the right products
Type 2c waves can be easily weighed down if the wrong products are used. Use a gentle cleanser, opt for cleansing conditioner from time to time and always use a leave-in conditioner as it helps to retain moisture in your hair.
Then, to emphasize the pattern of your waves, use a light hold styler. I prefer water-based hair gel or a hair mousse.
Avoid hair creams or products that have heavyweight oils in them (such as black castor oil, avocado oil, and olive oil). Lightweight products should be your No. 1 choice.
#5 Use oil treatments when you can
As this type is prone to tangling and knots, it is recommended to use oil masks bi-weekly (or weekly, if you have time). Oils, such as argan, jojoba, or grapeseed, won’t weigh down your hair and will seal the moisture in your waves. They are easily absorbed but don’t use them too frequently as it might cause buildup.
Wash the oil mask with a gentle shampoo. Repeat the process two times if needed.
How to style 2c hair?
As I said before, it is best to use lightweight products. So, water-based gel, mousse, leave-in conditioner without heavyweight oils, and so on.
You might to remove the buildup from time to time, so clarify your hair once a month. How to see that you need it? Well, if your hair becomes very flat, it is time to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and bring your waves back to life.
You have a naturally beautiful pattern so try not to straighten your hair frequently as it damages natural hair a lot. You can use the best heat protectants, but if you are straightening your hair often, you are not doing the favor for your pattern.
To emphasize the beauty of your waves, you can use a diffuser when drying your hair. Do it on low or medium heat. At first, only blow the air but don’t touch the diffuser to your hair. After some time, start cupping your waves to the diffuser. Be gentle and scrunch your hair with an old T-shirt or microfiber towel. Use a drop of oil to seal the moisture and make your hair shine.
Note: it is very important not to touch your hair while it’s dry, as it creates frizz
When cutting your hair, it is a good idea to ask for layers as it gives maximum volume and dimension. This also lets your hair spring more. People with type 2c hair also look great with curly bangs.
Best products for 2c hair
What are the best products for those with type 2c waves? Well, it’s totally up to you as you know your hair best. However, I have a few recommendations if you are new here.
Best shampoo for 2c hair
#1 Flora & Curl Rose Water & Honey Cream shampoo is very hydrating and easily absorbed. This product also removes dirt, softens, and conditions your waves. It is cruelty-free.
- This cream shampoo is easily absorbed and very hydrating
- Moisturize, detangle and reduce breakage of one's curls
- Removes dirt & build-up without striping natural oils
- Adds shine, softens, and conditions your curls
- Has an amazing rose smell
- Does not make foam therefore, you have to use more product
#2 Jessicurl Gentle Wash Shampoo might be another great option for those with waves. It is protein-free (protein tends to weigh hair down) and is super lightweight. The consistency is creamy and there are a few scents to choose from. Vegan & cruelty-free product.
#3 Curlsmith Shine Shampoo is for those who have fragrance sensitivity. Very foamy yet gentle for one’s waves. Higher price point. Vegan & cruelty-free.
#4 Giovanni Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Shampoo is for the times when you feel the need to clarify your hair. Do not use it frequently as it might make your hair dry and prone to breakage.
Best leave-in conditioner for 2c hair
#1 Curlsmith Weightless Air Dry Cream is an excellent choice if your hair is easily weighed down. It is moisturizing, nourishing, and boosts the overall condition of your hair. Vegan & cruelty-free.
- This lightweight formula works perfectly for waves and curls
- Castor oil stimulates, babassu oil boosts the health of your hair, hyaluronic acid ensures proper moisture, and shea butter nourishes your waves
- Suitable for fine and normal hair
- Doesn't contain protein
- Not the best option for coils as this leave-in might not be moisturizing enough
- Vegan & cruelty-free
#2 Eva NYC Bounce Back Curl Reviving Mist is for you if you are not a huge fan of getting your hands dirty. Aloe vera juice and cactus flower extract give your waves proper hydration and enhance the natural pattern without leaving your waves stripped. Vegan & cruelty-free.
Best heat protectants for 2c hair
#1 AVEDA Brilliant Damage Control protects your hair not only from heat but also from UV rays. It also has a slight hold and helps to control the frizz more effectively. Has an intense smell.
#2 Briogeo Farewell Frizz Heat Protectant Creme smooths and hydrates hair. Great for color-treated hair. Suitable for any texture. Cruelty-free.
Best hair dryer for 2c hair
#1 SHRATE Ionic Hair Dryer will be a perfect wavy hair friend. It comes with a diffuser already, and this attachment does wonders for curly hair types. Quick drying time. Ionic technology helps to lock in moisture and gives a smooth finish. Affordable and lightweight.
#2 BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer you will be amazed at what this hair dryer can do. This tool will tame the frizz and leave your hair smooth and shiny.
It’s more a technicality, as 2c hair might have a strong S-shaped pattern and even form a spring or spiral here and there. However, 2c hair is considered to be wavy, not curly.
Yes, 2C hair can be very frizzy and knotty. If you are unsure if you have 2B or 2C hair but can see a lot of frizz on top of your head, you probably have 2C waves.
It is important not to overwash your waves. As a general recommendation, it is best to wash your hair 2-3 times a week.
Each hair type has its benefits and downsides, but if you were born with type 2c curls, you probably have voluminous waves that lots of people are dreaming of having. Treat them carefully and you will see the positive results in no time.