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The Optimal Care Guide for Type 2C Hair

September 9, 2022

 by

Verna Meachum

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Last Updated on September 10, 2022 by Verna Meachum

You may have heard the term “type 2c hair” being thrown around, but few know its meaning and how to identify and care for this particular hair type.

This post will cover what to expect from type 2c hair and how to tell it apart from other types. If you’re not sure what kind of hair you have, then read on.

Understanding your curl type can serve as an excellent blueprint for figuring out your hair care routine. Although all hair types require some form of maintenance, not all hair care routines are equal. You should adjust your routine to target the specific needs of your own locks.

If you already know your hair type, you can skip ahead to the product section and learn about the proper hair care routine for type 2c hair.

What Types of Hair Are There?

There are four basic categories of human hair: straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3), and coily (type 4) hair.

Each hair type is further divided into sub-categories based on the diameter of the wave, curl, or coil.

Discovering your hair type is the first step to understanding how best to take care of it. There are several ways you can learn about your hair type.

Understanding your hair type will also help you choose the best products for damage control and maintenance.

What determines hair type?

Hair type and texture are passed down through genetics, according to research. Some people are born with a certain type of hair, while others may experience changes in their hair type or texture due to hormones, diet, or other factors.

For example, women who are pregnant may notice that their hair becomes thicker and shinier. This is due to an increase in pregnancy hormones, which can change the structure of the hair shaft.

Other factors that can affect hair type include:

  • age
  • medications
  • environment
  • health conditions
  • products used on the hair
  • chemicals
  • damage to the hair shaft, etc.

Is it possible to change your hair type?

The answer, quite simply, is yes and no. Due to genetics, you cannot change the texture of your hair – if you have fine hair, it will always be fine.

However, there are ways to change the appearance of your hair type. Some effects last a long time (i.e. perm), while others are only temporary.

An example of a temporary hair type change would be using a curling iron or rollers to create the illusion of waves or curls.

So, while you may not be able to change your hair type, you can definitely change the way it looks.

What Is Type 2C Hair?

You may think you have straight hair, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice your hair develops a natural wave after showering, or in humid conditions.

This wave is type 2c hair.

The curl hair type is determined by the shape and texture of each follicle. A hair typing system or chart is generally used to assess a curl pattern.

Although looking at a chart can be a point of reference, curls have more to them than just shape. If you want to get a better understanding, discovering other characteristics is key.

Here are a few curl characteristics to look for:

  • Type 2C hair is mostly voluminous with thick and well-defined “S” waves, and the waviest of all type 2 hair.
  • Has a spring factor of approximately 2 to 4 inches when stretched
  • It is prone to frizz, and the ends may be dry
  • Has a wave-curl pattern that fall vertically
  • Ranges from fine to thick

To get a better idea of what type 2c hair looks like, take a look at the following type 2c hair photos.

Photo of Type 2C Hair
Photo credit: Pinterest
Photo of what Type 2C Hair looks like
Photo credit: Pinterest
Image of what type 2c hair
Photo credit: Pinterest

What Is the Difference Between 2B Hair and 2C Hair?

When it comes to type 2 hair, there are three sub-categories: type 2A, type 2B, and type 2C. They can all have different densities, textures, and porosities.

Type 2A is wavy hair with a fine/thin texture. It has a soft S formation throughout the hair. It is also flatter at the scalp.

Type 2B is wavy hair with a medium texture. It can be resistant to styling as well as frizzy.

Type 2C is the curliest of type 2 hair with a fairly coarse frizzy texture. You will likely see waves beginning at the roots.

What Sets 2C Hair Apart from 3A Curls?

Photo of what 2c hair typically looks like.
Type 2c Hair. Photo credit: @powedomi
Photo of what 3a hair type typically looks like
Type 3a hair. Photo credit: @hennalice_

While 2C hair and 3A may seem similar at first glance, you can look at the pattern of the curls to distinguish between the two types.

Type 2C hair has a defined S-shaped pattern. The curls are well-defined, but they’re not as tightly wound as type 3A curls.

Type 3A is characterized by the tighter curls forming ringlets that hang down loosely. They are loopy, springy curls. The diameter usually range from 1 inch to 1/2 inch.

How to Care for Type 2C Hair

Wavy and curly hair are often more fragile than straight hair due to the shape of the hair fibers. They have a tendency for dryness due to the natural oils not being able to travel down the hair shaft as easily. This type of hair is also more prone to frizz, tangles, and breakage.

While this hair type naturally looks more full and voluminous, owing to that luscious curl pattern, it tends to be more on the dry side.

With less moisture in the hair, each strand becomes prone to frizz. One way to overcome this naturally is to wash your hair every few days.

Your aim is to lock in as many of the natural oils as possible. Applying shampoo to your hair daily can strip your hair of these oils.

By sticking to a less-frequent washing schedule, your hair will stay moisturized, and it will keep frizz at bay.

It is advised to apply styling products before using heat (i.e. blow drying) on your hair to help lock in the moisture.

If you have type 2C hair, follow these quick styling and care tips:

Frizz

Frizz is just a part of life when you have type 2C hair. But, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it! You will need to focus on moisture using products that won’t weigh your waves down.

Curl Cut

Haircuts aren’t a one size fits all thing, and type 2C hair is no exception! Your waves will look best when it’s cut or trimmed and styled with your wave pattern and bends in mind.

In order to have flattering waves, you’ll need a cut that is optimized for your wavy pattern, texture, and shape. Adding layers to your hair will give it form and structure, as well as additional volume and fullness.

Don’t use too much heat on your hair

Heat styling tools like blow dryers (on high setting) and flat irons can cause damage to your hair. They can make your hair feel smooth, but they actually pull the cuticles apart, causing breakage and frizz. Instead, use a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer or invest in a heat protector spray.

Wash your hair with warm water

Hot water has a tendency to dry out 2C hair, so you’re going to want to use warm or cool water instead. It will also release the oil build up on your scalp and open your pores.

Oil your hair (or ends) as needed

Hair oils are excellent for softening and lubricating your hair, and keeping your hair follicles healthy. It also helps to keep your strands moisturized throughout the day. Add in some essential oils for additional benefits.

Try a pre poo or hot oil treatment for extra TLC. This is a type of treatment you do before shampooing your hair. It helps to protect your strands from the harshness of shampoos and also adds moisture to your hair.

Sleep on a satin pillowcase

The material you lay your locks on at night has a significant impact on friction and breakage. Your hair will thank you for making the switch to a satin pillowcase!

Satin is much smoother than cotton, so it causes less friction and breakage. It also helps to keep your hairstyle in tact and prevents frizz.

You can opt for a satin scarf or bonnet if you don’t want to invest in a pillowcase, which also helps to prevent your hair from rubbing against your clothes and causing frizz.

How to Style and Manage 2C Hair

Type 2C hair can sometimes be a challenge to maintain. If you’re looking for something easy to factor into your regimen, the natural look might just be perfect for you.

You don’t want to spend hours styling your hair every day, possibly subjecting it to damage. But you also don’t want to be stuck without styling options for your curls. So let’s find out how you can do it.

Start With A Deep Conditioner

Your type 2C hair needs moisture, especially if you’ve been washing it daily. Give your strands some much-needed TLC once a week by using a deep conditioning treatment (or as needed).

We recommend Oribe’s Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque. This product works well on both fine and coarse hair types.

Check out my blog, Deep Conditioner For Curly Hair Showdown: Which One Is Right For You? to learn more about finding the best deep conditioner for your hair type.

Styling Your Curls

Making sure you style your curls correctly is important. The less time you spend on them, the better they will look, so find products that will help you achieve this.

For a quick and easy styling option, try the following:

Wash and go: As the name suggests, this is the simplest way to style your type 2C hair. All you need to do is wash and condition your hair as usual.

To achieve the best results, first apply your styling products to wet hair, then scrunch from the bottom up to remove the excess water. Then diffuse on medium or low setting until your hair is about 80% dry.

Add Texture and Structure

To really enhance your waves into something more uniform, consider adding products, like mousses and gels, to give them texture and structure.

This will also help to keep your hair in place throughout the day, without making it feel crunchy or heavy.

The Best Type 2C Curly Hair Products

Wavy hair types benefit from being well-conditioned. This includes both dry wavy hair and wet curly hair.

A great moisturizing conditioner keeps frizz under control while locking moisture into the strands. This helps to keep your hair healthy. You can add a leave-in conditioner to your hair routine, or you can opt for a deep-conditioning treatment once every few weeks.

When choosing a shampoo, look out for sulfate-free formulas. Sulfates are often used to help cleanse the hair, but they strip away natural oils and cause build up.

Finally, look for styling products formulated specifically for wavy hair, such as mousses, gels, and creams. These will help to add definition and hold to your waves.

Type 2 Hair Product Suggestions

ShampooOribe Hair Alchemy Resilience Shampoo and Conditioner, Curlsmith Exfoliating Shampoo or Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Curl Care Shampoo

ConditionerBriogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Curl Defining Conditioner,

MopTop Daily Conditioner

Clarifying ShampooSuave Daily Clarifying Shampoo or Kinky Curly Come Clean

Co Wash: Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Co-Wash or As I Am Coconut Co Wash

Leave in ConditionerBriogeo Curl Charisma, BRIOGEO Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner or Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner

Curl Cream: Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer, Innersense Organic Beauty – Natural Quiet Calm Curl Control, Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

GelBioSilk Rock Hard, Jessicurl Sprialicious, dippity-do Girls With Curls Gelée, Giovanni L.A. Hold Styling Gel, MopTop Curly Hair Custard Gel 

Foam/MousseInnersense Organic Beauty – Natural I Create Lift Volumizing Foam, Pantene Pro-V Curl Mousse to Tame Frizz, Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Curl Activating Mousse, Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse

Deep ConditionerAs I Am Hydration Elation, Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, type 2C hair has its benefits and drawbacks. Sure, curls are all fun and games, that is, until the unwanted frizz hits.

The best care for type 2C hair lies in tailoring your hair care routine and product list. Many women swear by the Redken’s Frizz Dismiss 2C line to tame their curls and maintain overall hair health. Another recommendation is the Curlsmith brand.

It is reasonably priced and gives great results.

And finally, check out this video on how to pamper your type 2C curls!

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troubleshooting
Curl care

 We treat our blog with a curious, open-minded, and customer-focused attitude. We ask lots of questions about everything.

We think that people should take what information they need and leave what they don't. We suggest things we enjoy and believe are worth your attention.

Above all, we value your trust above anything else. We're so glad you’re here!

Hi,I'm Verna

product reviews
Textures

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