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Type 2A Hair: How Do I Take Care Of My Waves?

Tips for keeping your 2A waves in tip-top shape
17 Nov 2022
While wavy hair and curly hair have many similarities, wavy hair folks have some concerns of their own that curly gals don’t have to worry about. And if your hair type is 2A, your concerns are even more unique. Curly girls have natural definition and curl pattern, but type 2A curls do not. Coily hair has natural volume, 2A curls, well, don’t. But with a few tips and tricks, you can have gorgeous, defined and healthy 2A curls in no time. Some hair care tips are the same, but there are others that are specifically for this loose curl type.

To learn more about 2A curls, what they are, what they look like and the best 2A hair routine, keep reading below.

How do you know if you have 2A hair?

If you have wavy hair, your curls (or waves) are identified as type 2. Type 2A hair is the loosest of all wavy hair. Type 2A waves are loose and lax S-shaped waves and can sometimes be hard to determine if not styled properly. At the root, this curly type may be straight, but the shaft and/or ends of the hair have a slight bend that creates the wave. But it is important to note that type 2A waves are essentially straight hair with a few loose S-shaped waves.

While this type of curly hair tends to be thin and fine, that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. It can be coarse and thick, too. If your waves are clearly visible and bountiful, you’ve likely got 2B or 2C waves.

What are some tips for keeping 2A hair healthy?

Since 2A curls are relatively simple in nature, most of the tips for caring for the delicate hair type land in the styling category. Add these tips to your wavy hair routine to take your curls from lackluster to glorious in just a few simple steps.

Avoid over-shampooing

Since 2A curls tend to be finer in texture, gentle cleansing is essential. Hair, especially curly hair, needs natural oils. The more you shampoo your curls, the less natural oils your hair will hold onto. If you can, avoid shampooing daily. Try shampooing every other day, with a water rinse in between if your waves need a boost. Our favorite shampoo for 2A curls is the Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo. It makes hair softer, shinier and more manageable.

Skip heavy styling products

Wavy hair products, in general, shouldn’t be heavy. They tend to weigh wavy hair down and make it appear limp and, well, greasy. Instead, the best 2A hair products are lightweight products that are water-based like leave-in conditioners, foams and ultra-light styling creams.

Applying hold products is always a good idea

Since 2A waves aren’t exactly the most defined, reaching for products that offer hold will give you more definition. Try Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother, which controls edges, flyaways and hold hair in place.

Don’t skip routine trims

With all hair types, trims are essential. But curlier and coarser hair types may be able to hide frayed ends a little bit easier, type 2A hair needs healthy ends to look healthy. Since most of the texture is in the hair shaft and on the ends, maintaining proper trims will give you your best hair yet.

Detangle often

Detangling is not exciting, but boy oh boy is it important. All wavy and curly hair needs to be detangled prior to styling to help showcase its natural texture. Plus, a lack of detangling can result in knots and tangles that may cause damage to the hair later on. For best results, apply a detangling aid like the Black Vanilla 4-in-1 Combing Creme. Not only will it melt tangles away, it serves as a lightweight styling cream, too.

Steer clear of hot tools as much as possible

If texture is what you’re going for, skip the hot tools unless it's necessary. Heat damage can cause your barely-there waves to be pretty much unnoticeable and cause excess frizz. If you can, style your hair naturally and use hot tools sparingly.

Still not sure if your hair type is 2A? Take our curl quiz to find out. And if you’re looking for a product that’s great for every curl type, try our best-selling Healthy Hair Butter.

Products for 2A Hair and Wavy Hair


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