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Type 2C Hair: What It Is and How To Care for It

6 mins

Mary Jones

Natural waves are a mark of type 2 hair. Here, we explore type 2C hair and provide tips for a healthy hair care routine for this wavy hair type.

Knowing your hair type is important for hair health and establishing a good hair care routine. Type 2 hair, or wavy hair, is one of four types (straight, wavy, curly, and coily). Wavy hair types can also be broken down into unique subcategories. 

Of these subcategories, type 2C hair is the third and waviest subtype. It is also the thickest subtype, marked by wave patterns throughout, from the root to the ends.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at type 2C hair, giving you all the ins and outs of this unique hair type and providing you with important information on care and maintenance. 

Table of contents:

  • Knowing Your Hair Type
  • Hair Type & Hair Structure
  • Wavy Hair: Type 2A, Type 2B, Type 2C
  • A Closer Look at Type 2C Hair
  • What Are the Benefits of Having Type 2C Hair?
  • What Are the Challenges of Having Type 2C Hair?
  • Caring for Your Type 2C Hair

Knowing Your Hair Type

While our hair is certainly an element of expression and style, its job is to protect us from the environment — the effects of UV light, cold, etc. Aside from being a canvas for new hairstyles, it is smart to take care of our hair because it takes care of us. 

While healthy hair is important for style and protection, it helps to understand the type of hair you are managing. In short, hair type refers to the shape of a person’s hair — sometimes called the curl type or curl pattern. 

Each of the four hair types has subtypes. For example:

  • Straight hair (Type 1 hair) includes type 1A, type 1B, and type 1C hair.
  • Wavy hair (Type 2 hair) includes type 2A, type 2B, and type 2C hair.
  • Curly hair (Type 3 hair) includes type 3A, type 3B, and type 3C hair.
  • Coily hair (Type 4 hair) includes type 4A, type 4B, and type 4C hair.

Knowing your hair type is important regarding proper hair care and styling routines. For example, the maintenance and styling options will look much different for someone with a natural hair type that is straight compared to curly hair types. 

hair types, how to know my hair type, type 1 2 3 and 4 hair

Our hair type and texture are largely determined by genetics and the various DNA blueprints we inherit from our parents. Along with our hair type, phenotypes also determine other physical traits like height, eye color, and blood type. 

While genetics play the biggest role, other factors influencing hair type include chemical hair products, like hair relaxers, perms, bleaching, and coloring.

Hair Type & Hair Structure

The structure of our hair is also largely determined by our hair type. Hair growth starts at the hair roots and follicle, which rests below the scalp’s surface. Hair follicles contain natural oils or sebum produced by sebaceous glands

These glands are more active in type 1 hair, so those with straight hair tend to have more natural shine. But, excess oily hair can also give the hair a greasy look if it is not maintained properly. 

Clarifying shampoos and natural hair conditioners that are sulfate-free and free from silicones and parabens are typically recommended to support this hair type. Type 2C hair, like all hair types, is formed by hardening proteins called keratin. 

There are three layers of keratin that work together to keep hair strong:

  • The medulla is the innermost layer of keratin. This keratin layer is less common for those with finer hair textures and types (type 1 hair).
  • The cortex is the middle layer of keratin. This layer houses pigment cells responsible for giving your hair its color. 
  • The outermost layer is called the cuticle. This protective layer of keratin is composed of overlapping cells that work to protect the hair shaft. 

Wavy Hair: Type 2A, Type 2B, Type 2C

Is your hair neither straight nor curly but somewhere in between? If so, you could have type 2 or wavy hair. Wavy hair is known best for its undulating texture and loose waves that give way to some natural curl. It sits between pin-straight and corkscrew hair types. 

Many hairstylists believe type 2 hair is the styling sweet spot; the hairstyle options are seemingly endless. Aside from the wave, type 2 hair is also defined by the sought-after S shape. When it comes to drawbacks, type 2 does not escape the frizz. 

While it is not frizz-free like other types, the frizzy nature of type 2 hair can be managed easily with the right products. These styling products typically include styling creams and mousse. 

type 2c hair, wavy hair

Let’s take a quick look at these type 2 subtypes.

Type 2A

This is considered the straightest of the three subtypes. It also tends to be on the finer side. The S pattern with type 2A is slight. 

The good news is type 2A is also much easier to detangle. It responds well to volumizing products, which helps boost the S pattern look. 

Type 2B

Type 2B carries a more well-defined wave pattern. The top of the hair can still appear fairly straight, but the wave can be seen starting at the midpoint of the hair. 

Like all frizz-prone types, managing it can be a bit more challenging. It is also more prone to tangles.

A Closer Look at Type 2C Hair

Type 2C hair is the waviest of the type 2 hair types. But, it is still not considered curly or coily. But, the coveted S-shape patterns start at the hair root rather than the midpoint, like type 2B. Typically, these type 2C waves and spirals are well-defined and rather thick. 

Even so, the bends of type 2C curls are still loose and wide compared to curly hair types with much tighter ringlets. For styling, type 2C hair requires minimal effort to achieve elegant spirals and sleek curls. 

how to care for type 2 hair

What Does Type 2C Hair Look Like?

When it comes to looks, type 2 hair has good volume. Type 2C has the most volume of the three. Starting at the root, the S-shaped waves are well-defined until the end. 

Tighter type 2C hair can give the appearance of curls or springs, but they typically lack any significant bounce. Regarding hair texture, 2C hair can range from fine to coarse, but coarse strands are typically the most common. 

What Are the Benefits of Having Type 2C Hair?

There is a lot to love about type 2C hair. For one, it is as close as you can to curly hair without getting stuck in the frizz zone. Let’s look at some of the benefits of having type 2C hair.

You’ll Have Plenty of Fullness and Volume

One of the biggest benefits of having 2C hair is that these luscious locks come with plenty of volume and fullness. Unlike type 1 hair, which tends to lay extremely flat, type 2C hair boasts a body. This means more movement, vitality, and styling options. 

Type 2C Hair Responds Better to Styling Products

If you’re looking for an effortless style, type 2C hair fits the bill. When 2C hair needs a little styling, it takes much less product than straight hair types to give it body and bounce. Also, managing prominent waves is much easier than curlier hair types. 

More Styling Options with Type 2C

In addition to the ease of styling, 2C hair is like having the best of all hair style worlds. It can hold waves and curls with minimal effort or be flattened out for a straighter look. If straightening is the goal, 2C is much easier to flatten than with curlier hair. 

2C Hair is More Damage Resistant

Since it is the coarsest type 2 subtype, 2C is typically much thicker. This usually means it boasts a much stronger cuticle layer of keratin. The thicker diameter better protects it from heat and chemical damage. 

wavy hair maintenance

For example, straighter hair types are much more prone to damage from heat styling since they’re much thinner. That doesn’t mean heat protectants should be ignored. 

What Are the Challenges of Having Type 2C Hair?

As you may have guessed, there is no perfect hair type. With all its many benefits, type 2C hair still has some drawbacks. 

Let’s look at some of the common challenges of type 2C hair.

It Is More Prone to Dryness

One drawback of wavy and curly hair types is that they are more prone to dryness and breakage. While environmental factors (weather) can certainly have a role to play, dryness in these hair types is caused by the lack of moisture. 

While waves and curls can be great for style, they can make it harder for natural hair oils to lubricate the entire hair strand. This can cause oily roots and brittle ends. 

Taming the Frizz Can Be Tough

Like all wavy and curly hair types, frizz can be difficult to manage. Type 2C has the most frizz of the type 2 hair bunch. 

Humid climates can make things worse. Thankfully, there are plenty of frizz-taming products available. 

Caring for Your Type 2C Hair

To take full advantage of your type 2C hair, you must work to take special care of it. Let’s look at some of the best hair care tips to help manage this unique hair type.

Do Not Overwash

Straight hair types are much more prone to scalp build-up. Therefore, type 1 hair requires more frequent washings to avoid a greasy look. 

The same can’t be said for type 2C hair. In fact, it’s best to avoid frequent washings. Too much washing could strip the vital oils your hair needs. If keeping in moisture is an issue, there are moisture-retaining hair masks that work well with type 2C hair. 

Hair masks, like WOW’s Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Mask, can help lessen the look of frizz and tangles while helping to lock in moisture. 

WOW’s Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Mask

When You Wash, Choose the Best Products

Oily roots and dry, brittle ends can be a big problem for those with 2C hair. So, it is best to stick with hydrating and nourishing shampoos when it comes to hair care products. 

Also, leave-in conditioners, like our Hair Revitalizer Spray, contain essential oils that can help tame frizz and restore moisture to damaged split ends. 

Type 2C hair is the waviest and most voluminous subtype of wavy hair. This unique hair type has some great styling benefits, but there are a few drawbacks to consider when creating a healthy hair care routine. 

Make sure to visit WOW to check out our complete hair care collection for your type 2C hair needs.

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Mary Jones

Mary Jones believes in making well-informed choices when it comes to health, beauty, and wellness. She also draws from her own experience as a style mentor and product reviewer to provide the most helpful and relevant content for readers. Get ready to be influenced!

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