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Caring for 2B Hair: Everything You Should Know

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If you have wavy hair that’s mainly straight at the roots and becomes wavier further down toward the ends, you probably have 2B hair. 

This wavy hair type is easy to care for, so with hardly any effort, you can have the sort of beachy, tousled waves that other hair types have to work to achieve. But like all hair types, 2B hair comes with its own problems and can struggle with dryness and frizz. 

When you know how to care for the 2B hair type and which products to use, it’s pretty easy to look after. So read on to discover what 2B hair looks like, how to style 2B hair and the best care tips for your hair.

What is 2B Hair 

The 2B hair type is one of the wavy hair texture classifications in the Andre Walker Hair Typing System. Type 1 hair is straight, Type 3 locks are curly, and Type 4 tresses are coily.

Within Type 2, there are three sub-classifications, A, B, and C. Type 2B hair has an S-shaped wave pattern that sits pretty flat at the roots and then becomes stronger from the mid-lengths down to the ends. 

It also tends to have a medium strand texture, becomes frizzy easily, and needs styling products to define its loose curl pattern.

2b hair
2b hair

What Does 2B Hair Look Like?

If you have type 2B hair, your locks lie in the middle ground between straight and curly. Your 2B hair strands will look like loose S shapes that are straighter at the roots and wavier from the middle down to the ends. 

The 2B hair type often has medium hair texture and fine or medium density. Its defined wave pattern can look beautifully tousled, but it can start to kink in humid weather. Without the right hair routine, the 2B hair type can soon become dry and look wild and frizzy.

Pros and Cons of 2B Hair

The gorgeous natural wave pattern of type 2B hair looks good without too much effort. Here are some of the advantages of 2B hair:

Tousled Waves

The 2B hair type tumbles into loose beachy waves from the mid-lengths downwards without needing a load of products or hours of heat styling to look good.

Natural Volume 

The 2B hair type has a natural volume and fullness that makes it look thick. Although your hair is pretty straight at the roots, there’s just enough lift to keep your locks from looking limp.

Holds its style well

The gentle waves of 2B hair make it one of the most versatile hair types. You can turn it into bouncy ringlets, and with little work, you can create sleek straight hair. The medium thickness of your hair strands means it will maintain its style for up to 48 hours!

But every hair type has its own challenges, and these are some of the most common problems of 2B hair:

Tends to be dry

Your scalp’s natural oils move slowly down wavy hair strands, which means it can go longer without looking greasy. However, wavy hair can quickly become dry hair, especially at the ends.  

Tends to Be Frizzy

The dryness associated with 2B hair can cause it to become brittle, rough, and frizzy. You’ll need to hydrate and moisturize your hair well to eliminate frizz. 

Tangles easily

As your wavy strands slide over each other, they can quickly become tangled and knotted. And this problem only gets even worse if your hair is dry and frizzy. 

long 2b hair type mixed with 2c
mix of 2b and 2c waves

Difference Between 2B Hair and Other Types

All type 2 hair has a wavy texture, but there are slight differences between each of the three types. It’s pretty normal for one person to have a mix of hair types, and of course, your hair’s porosity, texture, and density will also affect the unique look of your locks.

Determining which type 2 hair you have is really not that important, though it can be nice to know. Just be aware that knowing which curl pattern you have will not help you choose products. Your texture, density, and porosity are much more helpful for that.

Our easy Curly Hair Type Quiz is a quick way to work out your important hair stats to help you choose products and styling methods.

2A hair

2A is the first wavy hair type and has a lightly-tousled texture that looks almost like straight hair. It tends to be straight at the roots with loose S-shaped waves starting further down the hair shaft.

This wavy hair type is easier to straighten with a flat iron than type 2B hair. However, it can easily be weighed down by product buildup.

woman with long type 2a hair
2a hair

2C hair

Type 2C hair is the last of the wavy hair types with a tight wave that is almost a natural curl. But if you look closely, the wavy strands are still S-shaped rather than a spiral. 

Because 2C hair is so close to the curly hair types, it’s more likely to experience frizz than type 2B hair. 

2c hair type
2c 3a hair

How to Care For 2B Hair

Even though your natural waves are a blessing, they still need careful attention to keep them looking their best. Your natural hair type is prone to frizz and tangles, and it’s easy for your locks to become dry and brittle.

Caring for 2B hair means finding the right moisturizing products to keep your wavy hair hydrated but not weighed down. It’s essential to know your hair’s porosity and density, as these will affect how it reacts to different products.

So here are some simple hair care tips to help you manage your 2B hair:

The Curly Girl Method

Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl Method helps you to enhance your natural curl pattern by avoiding sulfates, silicones and heat style methods. Instead, you’ll pamper your curls with co wash, wet styling and air drying. 

Learning to use the Curly Girl Method takes trial and error, and your hair will need to recover from the damage it’s suffered over the years. But with time, your natural texture will shine through, and you’ll have the luscious waves you’ve longed for.

before the curly girl method 2a 2b hair and the after with 2c 3a hair

Following the curly girl method dramatically transformed my hair from mostly 2a and 2b to 2c and 3a curls.

You can find out more about this hair care routine in our Beginner’s Guide to the Curly Girl Method.

How to Shampoo and Condition 

A sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner will help to cleanse and hydrate your locks without drying them out. 

Wavy hair is prone to tangles, so don’t scrub away at the strands or pile your hair up on top of your head. Instead, focus the shampoo on your scalp and then gently squeeze the suds through to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. 

As well as your regular conditioner, using a deep-condition treatment, hot oil or hair mask every two weeks will ensure your hair is nourished and hydrated. 


Washing your 2B waves too often will strip away the natural sebum and leave it feeling dry and brittle. So unless your hair is visibly dirty, it’s better to only wash it every two or three days at most. A dry shampoo will freshen up your scalp if it starts to look oily between wash days.

If your hair care routine includes styling or hair care products that contain silicone, product buildup will eventually weigh your waves down. Using a clarifying shampoo once a month will remove buildup and restore your hair’s bounce.

Choose the right products

Protein-based moisturizing hair care products will help to enhance waves. But avoid using too much product or applying it to the roots, as this will weigh your waves down and make them look greasy.

Adding a moisture-rich leave in treatment containing natural oils like argan oil or avocado oil to your hair routine is a great way to tame frizz and keep your hair from looking flyaway. Using a heat protectant before heat styling is also essential to protect your beautiful waves from heat damage.

Curly Product Handbook

If you need help finding the right products for your hair, then the Curly Product Handbook can help!

Determine your hair type, learn about products and ingredients, and choose from a list of vetted products based on your hair type.

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Drying Methods

Blow drying your hair can damage it, so you should blow dry your hair as little as possible if you want healthy hair.

Simply letting your hair air dry is the gentlest method, but there are two other techniques you can also try: 

plopping wavy hair


Plopping is a really easy way to retain your wave pattern while avoiding frizz or damage from hot tools.

All you have to do is apply your favorite curl-enhancing product, then flip your head over and pile your damp hair onto a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel. Wrap the towel or t-shirt into a turban on top of your head and leave your hair to dry naturally with a gentle scrunch effect that improves curl definition and boosts volume.

woman diffusing her 2b wavy hair


If you really can’t leave your hair to dry naturally, it’s essential to keep the heat as low as possible. Apply a heat protectant to your damp hair, use your blow dryer’s lowest setting and a diffuser attachment to reduce frizz and heat damage.

You could even plop your hair first until it’s just a little damp and then use your diffuser until it is completely dry.

combing 2b hair

Proper Brushing and Combing

2B waves are concentrated further down the strands, so it tends to tangle easily from the mid-lengths down to the ends. It’s best to detangle your hair when it’s wet, but remember that wet hair is even more fragile.  

So first, saturate your locks with detangling spray before using a wide tooth comb instead of a brush to gently remove tangles and knots. This will also help to prevent hair breakage and smooth your waves without disrupting the natural curl pattern. 

2B Hair Products

Finding the perfect products for your 2B hair might take a little trial and error. Here are just a few of our favorite products for you to try:

Best Shampoo and Conditioner for 2B Hair

The TWIST Essential Moisture line is rich in naturally derived nutrients to gently cleanse and moisturize your hair on wash day. It’s vegan, silicone-free, cruelty-free, and safe to use on both natural hair and colored hair. 

Top Pick
TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo
$7.00 ($0.54 / Fl Oz)

The TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo is not too strong but strong enough to remove buildup without stripping your hair.

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03/09/2024 08:52 pm GMT
Top Pick
TWIST Weather or Not Element-Defying Conditioner
$6.56 ($0.41 / Ounce)

This lightweight conditioner softens hair instantly without weighing hair down and has light anti-humidity ingredients to help your style last in the humidity.

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03/09/2024 08:32 pm GMT

Best Leave in Conditioner for 2B Hair

A good leave in conditioner is vital for healthy looking 2B hair that tends to be dry, and TWIST Curl Goals is an excellent leave in conditioner. It detangles hair, seals in moisture, enhances shine, and brings dull hair back to life. 

Top Pick
TWIST Curl Goals Moisture-locking Leave-in Conditioner
$5.90 ($0.56 / Fl Oz)

Lock in moisture and softness with this lightweight leave-in.

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03/05/2024 09:42 pm GMT

Best Curl Cream for 2B Hair

Just a little of this Briogeo Curl Charisma Defining Creme is enough to give your 2B hair gorgeous shine and definition. It leaves curls soft and flexible, and it smells pretty good too! This curl cream is great in place of leave-in.

Top Pick
Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Avocado Leave-In Defining Creme
$24.00 ($4.00 / Ounce)

I don't often use leave in but this is definitely my favorite. It has some protein, is lightweight, and creates a little definition.

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03/05/2024 07:47 pm GMT

Best Gel for 2B hair

If you’re looking for extra definition and hold, don’t skip a good gel. The TWIST Weather Up Gel is great in all climates and provides the definition and hold for a style that lasts days. Just be sure to scrunch out the crunch for those coveted soft, bouncy waves.

Top Pick
TWIST Weather Up Weightless Curl Defining Gel
$11.99 ($1.14 / Fl Oz)

For light moisture and humidity blocking ingredients, this is my go to gel. It provides a long lasting hold, good cast, and great definition.

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03/09/2024 09:02 pm GMT

Best Salt Spray for 2B hair

If you love ‘wash and wear’ styling and textured volume, then you’ll definitely love this Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Just spritz your locks and leave them to air dry for gorgeously carefree beachy waves.

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray
$15.49 ($0.65 / Fl Oz)
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03/10/2024 06:37 pm GMT

2B Cuts and Hairstyles

Now you know how to look after your hair, you also need to know the styles and cuts that will suit your 2B waves. 


2B hair is often quite fine and can suffer from tangling, breakage, and split ends. So regular trims are an important part of keeping your 2B waves looking their best.

You should aim to have your hair trimmed at least every 10-12 weeks, even if you are trying to grow your hair. This will enhance your natural hair texture and keep your hair looking healthy.

Length of 2B Haircuts

2B hair can look great at every length as long as you care for it properly. Choosing the optimal length for your hair and using the right styling products will help to encourage stronger waves.

Short 2B Hair

Short 2B hair can be frizz-prone, but a wavy bob is a fantastic option for your 2B waves. It’s an easy-care style that just needs to be diffuse-dried with a little curl cream or mousse to look great. 

Curling a few small sections at the front of your hair with a 1-inch curling iron will add a little texture. 

Shoulder Length 2B Hair

2B hair falls between straight and curly, and the ideal length for this hair type falls between short and long. Cutting your hair between your jaw and shoulder will encourage your locks to bounce naturally into gorgeous waves.

Long 2B Hair 

The weight of long hair can stretch out 2B waves and make your hair look straighter. If you don’t want to lose the length, having round layers cut into your hair can help to reduce the weight, add volume and encourage the curl.

2B Hairstyles

Type 2B hair is easy to style if you know how to style it. Straightening 2B hair will take a lot of work with a brush and blow dryer, so it’s better to leave it in its natural state or enhance your gorgeous waves instead. 

The styling video below shows a great way to style 2b hair for less fizz and more definition.

Here are a few more suggestions for hairstyles for 2B hair:

Natural 2B Waves

Your natural hair can look fabulous with minimal effort. You just need to add a little mousse or light curl cream to enhance your hair’s texture and volume, then scrunch it up a little. That’s all there is to it!

Extra Volume Waves

Try using pin curls or rollers to give your hair extra volume, breaking up the curls for added volume. Diffusing your hair dry with a light curl cream will avoid frizz, or you could use a curling iron to curl sections of your hair, running your fingers through afterward to turn the curls into loosely defined waves.

The Perfect Half-Up, Half-Down Look

A half-up half-down hairstyle is a great way to make your hair look longer and thicker. Simply air dry or diffuse dry your waves and then gather the top of your hair into a ponytail, pulling a few tendrils loose for a face-framing effect.

Beach Waves

Messy beach waves are the easy option for 2B hair because this is your hair’s natural style. Applying a curl cream or mouse will help to combat frizz, and a little sea salt spray will enhance your natural waves. 

Final Thoughts on 2B Hair Care

This guide has covered all the main points of caring for the 2B hair type. We’ve looked at how to tell the difference between 2A, 2B, and 2C hair, shared some hair care tips to help you wash, dry, and style your hair without damaging your waves, and discovered the best hairstyles for 2B hair. 

All hair is unique, and your 2B hair has its own individual needs. But now that you’ve read our guide to caring for 2B hair, you have all the information you need to keep your natural 2B waves looking gorgeous. 

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our curly hair movement! And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more curly hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

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  1. Hello!
    I am so excited to have discovered your site.. I’m new to embracing my natural hair texture, and have struggled. But I’m feeling encouraged by all of your reading materials.. thank you!!

  2. Thank you Delilah, I been trying to embrace my natural hair and gray hair for about 10 years, with mix success. Finally I found your youtube video channel, big fan, I started to understand my hair. I have a good hairdresser for curly hair but she was giving the wrong advice and using the wrong products for my hair. I was tired of spending a lot of money in expensive products, I still has tones of products and I didn’t want to spend more money, BUT I done your quiz and follow your advice, got the Twist line and I feel it was so easy, I love the products, reasonable price, and I love the results from the first day!
    Thank you again for helping me to finally feel my hair how I wanted to feel light and uncomplicated.

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