Hair Health

2B Curly Hair Routine

In this Article

Anyone who’s tasted the joy of an amazing hair day knows why haircare matters. But it can feel hard to discover the best way to care for your hair, especially if it’s curly.

You might wonder, what are 2B curls? How do I tell if that’s really my hair type? What are the best hair products and hair routines for 2B curly hair?

In this guide to 2B hair, learn more about your curl type and how you can unlock the perfect haircare regimen for 2B curls. That way, every day can feel like an amazing hair day.

What is 2B Hair?

When it comes to hair typing, “2B hair” is a common hair pattern. Hair types are classified based on curl shape and texture. 

The hair typing system divides curl shape into four categories:

  • Type 1 – Naturally straight hair falls into this category. Some haircare companies treat straight hair as a “default,” so if a haircare product doesn’t say it’s designed for a specific hair type, it’s often designed for Type 1 hair. 
  • Type 2 – Naturally wavy hair falls into this category. These curls typically have a loose S shape.
  • Type 3 – Naturally curly hair that ranges from loose loops to tight corkscrews fits this category.
  • Type 4 – This category covers coily and textured hair. These strands form small zig-zags or small, tight curls from the scalp outward.

Next, this hair typing system uses a letter hierarchy to further categorize hair based on the diameter and width of your curl (also sometimes referred to as the texture).

This part of the system has three categories:

  • Type A – Within a given number type, A classifies the widest pattern size. For example, a 2A has a looser wave than a 2B. The hair strands themselves may also feel finer.
  • Type B – Within a given number type, B defines a medium pattern size. They also tend to have a medium strand thickness for that number type.
  • Type C – Within their number type, C curls have the smallest pattern size. They also tend to have thicker strands than the other letters in their number type.

This hair system can help you understand what hair products and styling advice make the most sense for your hair. 

What Does 2B Hair Look Like?

Type 2B hair typically has the following characteristics:

  • S-shaped waves that start part way down your hair
  • Hair up near the scalp tends to lie flat against your head
  • Thicker strands than 2A hair types but thinner strands than 2C hair types

Do I Have 2A or 2B Hair?

If you’re not sure if you have 2A or 2B curls, there are a few ways you can check your strands:

  • Frizz test – The texture of 2B hair lends itself to increased frizziness. So if your hair tends to lean towards frizzy, you most likely have 2B curls.
  • Strand shape – Inspect a strand from your head. If it looks like it’s in a definitive S-shape, then your curls are type 2B.
  • Volume – Type 2A hair tends to have less volume at the root. Type 2B, however, has a little more lift at the root of the hair. 

It is also possible to have more than one hair type. For example, you might have mostly 2B hair, but identify a few areas that look more like type 2A or type 2C. When that happens, either look for products that work well with all Type 2 curls or choose a product that works well with the majority of your hair.

If you’re still unsure about your hair type, you can always ask your hairstylist during your next cut. Or you can search for images of celebrities who have similar hair to you and see if their hair stylists define their hair types.

How to Treat 2B Hair

Now that you know your hair type, it’s time to learn how to take care of your 2B curls.

There are various options for taking care of type 2B hair. It’s normal to experiment with products like different types of hair oil or other hair stylers. Additionally, you may consider switching up the steps in your haircare routine until you find the variation that works best for you. 

If you’re stuck on where to start, try a method that looks something like this:

  1. Wash your hair with a curl shampoo and rinse.
  2. Follow the shampoo with a curl conditioner and rinse.
  3. Pat your curls dry with a towel.
  4. You can choose to add a leave-in conditioner at this stage. However, you can skip this step if you plan on using a curl-friendly conditioning styler. 
  5. Select a styling product like a curl enhancer or a curl definer depending on what look you want. Follow the application instructions listed on the product. As you apply, avoid raking your hands through your textured hair as it can disrupt the way your hair clumps into its natural waves.
  6. If your hair needs detangling at this stage, use a wide-tooth comb. You can also let your hair air dry or use a diffuser to lock in your favorite look.
  7. Once your hair is dry, you can put it in a specific style like a bun or a ponytail. Wait until your hair is dry to prevent it from drying in a shape or angular dent that can be difficult to brush away.

Try treating your hair to this routine about once every three days, or whenever your hair becomes oily. 

How to Style 2B Curls

Developing a healthy, regular haircare routine is a great first step. To take your haircare to the next level, try making style choices that help protect your hair from breakage. It can help keep your hair looking healthy and luscious in the long run.

Here are top styling tips for supporting 2B hair:

  • Choose the right styling product for your hair type – Some products are designed to work for people with hair types across the curl spectrum. What works best for a person with a tighter curl pattern—say 4B hair—might not work as well for someone with looser 2B curls. Be sure to check what type of products work best for your curls.
  • Brush with caution – Using a brush or fine-toothed comb can disrupt your curl pattern, leading to a look that’s typically more straight, puffy, and frizzy. Instead, try using a wide-toothed comb or gently finger-comb your hair to let your waves stay in their natural shape.
  • Regularly use low, loose hairstyles – While it’s easy to opt for a high ponytail, regularly wearing tight, high hairstyles can make your hair more vulnerable to breakage. Instead, try wearing your hair down or in a low, loose hairstyle like a loosened side-braid. Since naturally curly hair can be more vulnerable to breaking than naturally straight hair, trying looser hairstyles can prove especially important for this hair type.
  • Try silk scrunchies instead of regular hair ties – While a simple hair tie can help you create a quick, stylish look, they can also tangle in your hair when it’s time to take them out. Try swapping out some of your hair ties for big, silky scrunchies to pull your hair back without inviting breakage.
  • Consider a diffuser when you blow dry – When you need to blow dry, try attaching a diffuser to your blow dryer. It’s an attachment that disperses the air in a way that helps protect your wave pattern and reduce frizz.
  • Use heat tools with caution – Naturally curling hair often breaks more easily than straight hair. Consider using a heat protectant or hair strengthener to help protect your hair from breakage. 

Best Products for 2B Hair Type

A recent study indicates women with curls tend to spend twice as much on haircare as women with straight hair. They’re also less likely to spend time in a salon, preferring to create their own custom haircare routine that works best for them.

So, how do you pick the right products? 

First, it’s best to look for products that are:

  • Silicone-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Color safe
  • Sulfate-free
  • Safe for chemically-treated hair
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Paraben-free

With healthy hair products like these, you’ll see and feel the difference. 

When it comes to cultivating the curl shape you want, try one of the following curl-styling products:

  • Curl enhancer – A curl enhancer controls frizzing and provides lightweight conditioning. It helps enhance your waves without weighing them down.
  • Curl defining gel – A curl gel can help protect your curls against humidity and help you handle frizz to give your curls the definition they deserve.
  • Curl oil – With a few drops here and there, a curl oil can lock in moisture and give your locks a smooth, shiny look.

Whether you want to rotate between different fun curl styles or stick to the one product that helps create your signature hairstyle, knowing which curl-styling product to look for can help you cultivate the look you want.

Care for Your Curls With Living Proof

Living Proof combines science and style to create products that you and your hair can rely on. Our collection of hair products online is here to keep your curls bouncy and beautiful day in and day out. From our hair spray for humidity to our lightweight hair oil, we offer plenty of products you can experiment with in your haircare routine. 

We are the science. You’re the living proof. Browse our products today.

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Living Proof Review Team

  1. Cosmetics Business. How curls are growing the hair care category in 2019 
  2. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. The art of prevention: It’s too tight—Loosen up and let your hair down

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