Your Guide to 2B Hair Identification and Care

The wavy folks greet you, friend; your hair isn’t really straight and isn’t exactly on the curly side either. It’s normal if you’re perplexed about your hair and even more so now that you’re a 2B type, but you won’t be after giving this piece a good read.

Are you curious about the 2B and why you fall under it? You have hair type 2B according to a chart or system that classifies hair types. The initial division of hair types was into curly, wavy, and straight. It is now divided into four categories, with the coily type—also known as the black or afro hair—making up the fourth. Additionally, subclasses A through C are based on diameter and how wide the curls, waves, and coils are.

Contrary to wavy and curly hair types, which have oval-shaped follicles that make it much harder for natural oils to travel down the shaft, making the hair more prone to frizz. Straight hair with no resemblance to curl has a circular-shaped hair follicle that accounts for the straightness, and natural oils find traveling down the shaft easier.

What is 2B Hair?

2B Hair
Instagram / @hairbyzaia

2B hair is comfortably seated between 2A and 2C. It doesn’t have a loose wave as A does and not too tight of waves as C does. It instead has defined waves and can be a bit resistant to styling; the hair tends to take an S pattern.

2B hair has a flat root appearance and gets wavier from the mid-lengths to the tips. This hair type can be easily reverted to straight; with all its uniqueness, 2B can be pretty tough to care for with the never-ending frizz, dryness, and tangles! It is a chore, but I’ve got helpful tips to get you through it.

2B as the middleman can sometimes be confused for its counterparts, 2A hair looks almost like straight hair with waves and body at its ends, and 2C has a semblance to a curl, but with a closer look, you’ll find they are not spiral but S-shaped and are the densest in the two hair category. 

Care Tips for 2B Hair

Caring for 2B Hair
Instagram / @schickhaaria

It all gets better from knowing your hair type, like how we feel, discovering ourselves, or knowing part of ourselves that we didn’t think existed. It can go from exciting to overwhelming in minutes, but it’s all worth it in the end. As stated earlier, the major problem with the wavy type is the frizz, tangles, and dryness. Solving that requires using the right products and having a good hair care routine.

1. Replace your Shampoo

Shampoos typically contain harsh surfactants that overly strip the hair of its natural oils, causing dryness, which is already a significant problem for wavy hair types; adding to it would do no good. 

Replacing the regular sulfate-containing shampoo with one that contains milder surfactants would be much more beneficial to the hair and help keep it moisturized. Ditching regular shampoos is quite sad because they are effective at what they do, but it just isn’t what your hair needs. 

If you don’t want to throw them away, let it serve as a clarifying shampoo that works to get rid of product buildup, excess oils, and dirt. But, it would help if you did a clarifying treatment once or twice a month, depending on your lifestyle, product usage, and exposure to dirt.

After lathering the shampoo in your palms, massage it into the scalp with your fingertips, and that shouldn’t be done aggressively or vigorously to prevent tangling and hair breakage. A co-wash can also be used in place of a shampoo; co-wash, also called a cleansing conditioner, does precisely as the name implies; it is a conditioner-only washing. If you are looking to purchase a co-wash, make sure it says that on the bottle and surfactants, which would be able to cleanse your hair.

2. Confirm Hair Porosity

Hair porosity! Super important, determining your hair porosity is key to finding the right product suitable for your hair needs. Hair porosity is categorized into low, normal, and high, which is how well the hair absorbs and retains moisture. 

Typically, the more damaged your hair is, the more porous it becomes. Hair can easily be damaged due to frequent heat exposure, sun exposure, chemical processing, environmental damage, and mechanical damage – over brushing and combing.

Low porosity hair has trouble absorbing moisture but has high retaining power, and normal porous hair can absorb and maintain moisture sufficiently. In contrast, the high porosity of hair can readily absorb and lose moisture.

Testing for your hair porosity can be done in the comfort of your home; there are three methods by which you can do that; the cup test, strand test, and a spay test. Determining your hair porosity and getting accurate and actual results requires lab work, which is not easily accessible and cost-effective; the above test can indicate where you stand, but there are limitations. 

The cup test, which is widely known and more straightforward, requires a clean strand of hair and dipping it into a glass containing purified water preferably, and giving the hair a gentle tug; if it sinks, it is high porosity, stays in the middle, normal porosity, and floats at the surface, a low porosity. 

3. Pick up a Wide-tooth Comb

Wavy hair type, especially 2B, is prone to tangling and is a constant battle even with the slightest change in weather. Brushing your hair when it is dry turns it into a poof ball. You could get away with dry detangling for the wavy types, but that should be done before a wash to lessen the knots.

A wide tooth comb is advised for detangling hair; the spaces between allow less tension on the strands, and the waves and clumps aren’t affected. After shampooing your hair, go in with a conditioner, applying at the mid-lengths to the tips, ensuring it is thoroughly coated. At this point, you grab your wide-tooth comb and begin to detangle hair, working your way in sections. After that is done, give your 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

The hair is fragile when wet, and putting a lot of strain and friction results in hair breakage and frizz. To avoid that, ditch your terry towel for a microfiber towel or an old light t-shirt. The Terry towel has a rougher surface area, and aggressively rubbing the wet strands together would cause it to tangle up, cause hair breakage, and encourage frizz.

While the microfiber can absorb a ton of water and speed up the drying process, it is gentler on the strands. You could also use the microfiber towel and t-shirts as a popping device. Plopping your waves can improve their definition and volume. To do that, position your plopping device in a convenient area, bend forward and drape the device over your head, securing it with a knot at the front.

Be sure to have added in your gel and maybe other styling products before plopping, to achieve that definition.

5. Don’t Skip Trim

The hair strands split, which can also indicate damage, and if not cut off, travels up the hair shaft inhibiting growth and causing hair breakage and massive tangling because split ends are fragile.

It is advised to have frequent trims every six weeks; you decide what works for you, and most importantly, stick to the schedule. Getting rid of split ends encourages hair growth and improves its overall appearance.

6. Moisturizing Products is Key

2B hair is dry and frizz-prone; giving it the moisture it needs is essential to keeping these issues away. As with moisture, refrain from dousing your hair with moisturizing products as that could cause hygral fatigue, which implies over-moisturizing; the protein water balance has been disturbed, causing your strands to weaken and damage. 

Using the LCO or LOC method, which stands for leave-in (liquid), cream, and oils or leave-in, oils, and creams, add your moisturizing products after washing your hair; the leave-in conditioner that is best for your hair type and porosity, gel, curl cream, hair oils, and serum. Discover the technique that suits you the best.

Emollients and humectants, commonly found in creams and oils, lock in moisture by forming an oily coating. I advise choosing a cream or oil based on the hair’s porosity. A heavier product contains substances like oils and butter for much more porous hair, whereas lighter weight treatments are for hair types with less density and low porosity. When applying these products, pay close attention to regions more prone to dryness, then rake the styling products through the hair to define curls.

7. Sleep with Protective Covers

A protective head cover is necessary if you sleep on cotton sheets. The surface of the cotton material rubs against the hair strands, creating friction or increased tension, especially with the turning and tossing; this causes the moisture to be absorbed from the hair strands.

In other words, if you apply an overnight hair treatment and then go to sleep, it all disappears, leaving you with dry, unruly hair when you wake up. Wear a silk or satin cap or scarf as you sleep to avoid that. They reduce friction and strain because of their smooth surface, which helps to maintain moisture in the hair and promotes the growth of healthy curls.

A silk or satin scarf can be used to wrap your hair easily; simply grab your selected piece, link the opposite ends to form a triangle, ensuring sure the silkier side is facing outward, bend forward, and drape the scarf over your neck with the middle point pointing toward your forehead. Wrap the remaining pieces around your head, tucking the ends hanging at the sides under the middle piece at the top hairline.

Best Products for 2B Hair

2B Wavy Hair products
Instagram / @sophiemariegraf

Having the right products is all you need for long-lasting good hair days, and when purchasing any hair care products, be sure it doesn’t contain damaging substances like silicones, sulfates, parabens, and 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

Deep Conditioners

  • 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

Clarifying Shampoos

  • Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo
  • Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
  • Suave Essentials Shampoo Daily Clarifying
  • TRESemme Purify & Replenish Deep Cleanse Shampoo


Caring for your hair type would require constantly experimenting with products and techniques until you figure out what works best for you; it can get overwhelming, and hopefully, the tips listed above can make it less so, but embrace that journey and understand that even if you have the same hair type as someone else’s, yours is peculiar to you.

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