If you recently learned that you are a 2A hair type and are confused and wondering what that means, especially if you’ve thought your hair was straight for so long, rest assured that the hair typing system isn’t a complex process.
The four categories of the hair typing system are: 1s are straight, 2s are wavy, 3s are curly, and 4s are coily or kinky hair types. These groupings are further divided based on the width and diameter of the curls, waves, or coils. Curl, wave, and coil A is the loosest and least dense, and C is the tightest and densest.
A common challenge with the wavy hair type is frizz and dryness, to mention a few. The reason is the hair follicle has an oval shape making it harder for the hair’s natural oils to travel down the hair shaft.
What is 2A Hair?
2A hair falls under the wavy category and has the loosest wave pattern, less definition, and an S-shape pattern. 2A hair strikes a balance between straight and wavy hair, making it easy to revert to either. Some days, you might wake up with a defined wave and another straight hair. It can be said to be the best of both worlds.
2A hair lacks volume, and the waves are seen at the bottom; most 2A hairs see their hair type as straight, with some curls at the end. However, this hair type isn’t exempted from the issues of wavy hair.
Care Tips for 2A Hair
Knowing your hair type improves everything, similar to how we feel when we discover ourselves or become aware of a part of ourselves that we didn’t know. In a matter of minutes, it can shift from exciting to daunting, but it will all be worthwhile in the end.
As was already said, the frizz, knots, and dryness are the main issues with the wavy type. A decent hair care routine and employing the appropriate products are necessary to resolve that.
1. Switch your Shampoo
Dryness is already a significant issue for hair types with waves; adding to it wouldn’t help. Shampoos typically contain harsh surfactants that excessively strip the hair of its natural oils, causing dryness.
A shampoo with milder surfactants would be much better for the hair and help keep it hydrated than the typical sulfate-containing shampoo. Regular shampoos are pretty effective at what they do, but your hair doesn’t need them.
Let your sulfate-containing shampoo act as a clarifying shampoo to eliminate product buildup, extra oils, and grime if you don’t want to toss them away. Nevertheless, it would be beneficial to perform a clarifying treatment once or twice a month, depending on your lifestyle, product usage, and dirt exposure.
To prevent tangling and hair damage, massage the shampoo gently into the scalp with your fingertips after lathering it in your palms. A co-wash, also known as a cleansing conditioner, can be used in place of shampoo and performs exactly what its name says; it is a conditioner-only washing. Make sure the bottle reads “co-wash” if you’re trying to buy one.
2. Confirm Hair Porosity
Finding the right product for your hair’s requirements depends heavily on knowing your hair’s porosity. The ability of the hair to absorb and retain moisture is determined by its porosity, which can range from low to high.
Typically, your hair becomes more porous the more damaged it is. Hair can be readily damaged by repeated exposure to heat, sunlight, chemical processing, environmental conditions, and mechanical damage from excessive brushing and combing.
Normal porous hair can adequately absorb and keep moisture, but low porosity hair has difficulty doing so yet has a high moisture holding capacity. On the other hand, hair’s high porosity makes moisture easy to absorb and lose.
Three methods—the cup test, strand test, and spay test—can be used to assess your hair’s porosity in the comfort of your home. The above test can give you a general idea of where you stand, but it has some limitations. To determine your hair porosity and get accurate and actual results, lab work is necessary, which is not readily available or cost-effective.
A clean strand of hair must be dipped into a glass of filtered water and given a gentle nudge for the cup test, which is more widely used and simple to perform. If it sinks, it is high porosity, stays in the middle, it is a normal porosity, and floats at the surface with low porosity. The strand test measures how you feel running your fingers tips down the hair strand, and the spray test measures how quickly your hair takes in moisture.
3. Pick up a Wide-tooth Comb
Tangling is a constant struggle even with the slightest change in weather for hair types with waves, and 2A isn’t exempted. Your hair becomes a poof ball if you brush it while it’s dry. If your hair is wavy, you might be able to get away with dry detangling, but doing it before washing and with an oil treatment will help to reduce knots and improve hair health.
Wide tooth combs are recommended for detangling hair since the spaces between the teeth relieve strain on the strands while leaving waves and clumps unaffected.
Apply a conditioner to your hair after shampooing, working it in from the mid-lengths to the tips and ensuring it is well covered. At this point, you take out your wide-tooth comb and start section-by-section detangling the hair. Afterward, give the hair a good rinse.
Conditioners contain Cetearyl alcohol, a fatty and good kind of alcohol, providing that slip that makes detangling easier. It also contains emollients and humectants-rich products capable of moisturizing the hair by sealing in moisture.
4. A Microfiber Towel for Drying
When wet, the hair is delicate and excessive pulling and rubbing causes breakage and frizz. Replace your terry towel with a microfiber towel or an old, light t-shirt to avoid that. Since the Terry towel has a rougher surface, vigorously rubbing wet hair together would produce tangles, hair breakage, and frizz.
While it can quickly dry and soak up a lot of water, microfiber is significantly kinder to hair strands. The t-shirts and microfiber towel could potentially be used as a plopping tool.
Your waves’ definition and volume can be enhanced with plops. Place your plopping device in a handy spot, lean forward, and drape the device over your head, securing it with a knot at the front. To get that definition, make sure your gel and maybe other styling products were added before you plopped.
5. Don’t Skip Trims
The split hair strands, which can also indicate damage, go up the hair shaft, preventing growth, leading to hair breakage, and becoming extremely tangled if not removed.
It is recommended to trim your hair frequently every six weeks; however, you could choose what schedule works best for you. Eliminating split ends promotes hair development and enhances the appearance of the hair as a whole.
6. Avoid Heavier Weight Products
Using light moisturizing products on 2A hair is advisable to prevent hygral fatigue, which results from over-moisturizing and can damage your hair. 2A is unique but is also dry and frizz-prone, though not as much as the other two hair groups.
Incorporating volumizing treatments like a texturizing spray, shampoo, etc., can help boost the volume because the hair usually has a flat appearance.
After washing your hair, add your moisturizing products—the leave-in conditioner that is appropriate for your hair type and porosity, gel, curl cream, hair oils, and serum—using the LCO or LOC method, which stands for leave-in (liquid), cream, and oils or leave-in, oils, and creams. Figure out the method that works best for you.
Emollients and humectants, which can be found in creams and oils, work to seal in moisture by producing an oily layer. A cream or oil should be chosen based on the hair’s porosity because that determines how the moisture would be absorbed; heavier weight products can weigh down 2A hair due to their dense wave pattern.
For much more porous hair, a heavier product contains substances like oils and butter, whereas lighter weight treatments would be for hair types with lower porosity and less density. Apply these products paying particular attention to areas more prone to dryness, then rake the style tools through the hair to define curls.
7. Sleep with Protective Covers
If you use cotton bedding, a protective head cover is required. When the cotton fabric’s surface rubs against the hair strands, it generates friction or increased strain, especially when turning and tossing, which draws moisture from the hair strands.
In other words, if you use an overnight hair treatment before bed when you wake up, your hair will be dry and unmanageable because the treatment has all been absorbed. To prevent it, sleep with a silk scarf or satin bonnet; they have a smooth surface that reduces friction and strain, which helps to keep the hair moisturized and encourages the development of healthy curls.
You may effortlessly wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf by picking one up, joining the ends together into a triangle with the silkier side facing outward, bending forward, and draping the scarf over your neck with the middle point pointing toward your forehead. The remaining pieces should be wrapped around your head, with the sides’ ends tucked beneath the central piece at the top of your hairline.
9. Avoid Hot Tools
It can be quite easy going from wavy to straight for this hair type, which is excellent but can damage your hair. As convenient as the blow dryers, curling iron, and flat iron can be, they would surely backfire. So it is advisable to stay clear of heat and limit its usage.
Heat alters the structure of the hair’s protein component changing its structure and shape. Before using any hot tool, apply a heat-protecting product to sections of the hair, ensuring all the strands are coated, and use the low settings on any heating device.
Best Products for 2A Hair
You can have long-lasting good hair days with nothing more than the correct products. Be sure that any hair care products you buy don’t contain harmful ingredients like silicones, sulfates, parabens, or drying alcohols.
- Everyday Shea Shampoos
- Giovanni Shampoos( Ultra-Sleek, Repairing, Ultra-volume, Frizz be gone)
- Jason Dandruff Relief
- Jason Normalizing Tea Tree Shampoo
- Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo
- Eden Bodyworks Coconut Cowash
- Everyday Shea Conditioners
- Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Conditioner
- Giovanni Conditioners( Frizz be gone, Ultra-Moist, Repairing, Ultra-Luxurious, Ultra-Sleek, and Ultra-Revive)
- Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat.
- Ouidad VitalCurl Define and Shine Styling Gel-Cream
- Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding
- Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk
- Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream
- Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee
- Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter
- Curl Keeper Gel
- Curls Goddess Curls Gel
- Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste
- Kevin Murphy Born Again Essential Treatment
- Kevin Murphy Young Again Masque
- Living Proof Restore Deep Conditioning Masque
- L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Deep Recovery Mask
- Made Beautiful Intense Treatment Masque
Leave in Treatments
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Detangler
- Suave Essentials Conditioners
- Taliah Waajid The Great Detangler
- Tresemme Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner
- Herbal Essences Body Envy Mousse
- Herbal Essences Set Me Up Mousse
- Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse
- Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse
- Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse
- Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo
- Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
- Suave Essentials Shampoo Daily Clarifying
- TRESemme Purify & Replenish Deep Cleanse Shampoo
It can be overwhelming to care for your hair type because you must keep trying different products and techniques to see what works best for you.
Hopefully, the tips above can help, but embrace the journey and remember that even though you have the same hair type as someone else, yours is unique to you. See your wavy hair as beautiful, and stop obsessing over curls; your hair health should be your top priority.