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What is 2B hair?

2B hair is a hair type on the curlier end of the straight hair spectrum. It tends to have a gentle wave pattern and is low maintenance compared to curlier hair types like 3A or 3B hair. Understanding your hair type and texture is important for knowing how to properly care for your locks. Read on to learn all about 2B hair.

What Does 2B Hair Look Like?

2B hair has a loose, wavy pattern. The waves tend to be wide and loose rather than tight corkscrew curls. 2B hair often has a blend of textures – some parts may be straight while others have a bend or wave. It lacks defined curl clumps and will usually fall into a soft “S” pattern. The waves can range from barely there to more prominent. Generally, the pattern is visible when the hair air dries or with minimal styling effort like scrunching.

When wet, 2B hair tends to have a looser wave or slight bend. The waves take shape as the hair dries or with minimal scrunching. The waves are not uniform – some chunks of hair may have more bend than others. It lacks the ringlets of a true curly hair type but has more body than straight hair. The waves add volume and movement to hairstyles.

2B Hair Characteristics

Here are some key characteristics of 2B wavy hair:

  • Has a loose, wide wave pattern
  • Air dries with a soft, natural wave
  • Waves range from subtle to more defined
  • The waves are inconsistent – some parts appear straight while others have texture
  • Lacks defined curl clumps or ringlets
  • Adds volume and movement to hairstyles
  • Usually easy to straighten or enhance waves with minimal effort
  • Less frizzy than curlier hair types
  • Can be fine to medium in texture

Difference Between 2A and 2B Hair

2B hair is next to 2A hair on the hair typing chart. While subtle, there are some key differences between these wave types:

2A Hair 2B Hair
Has a loose barely-there wave Has a more defined, loose wave
Very low maintenance Low maintenance
Waves are inconsistent and barely there Waves are visible but not well-clumped
Lacks obvious bend when wet Shows wave pattern when wet
Dries very straight Dries with a soft wave
Doesn’t add much volume Adds volume and fullness

While 2A and 2B hair can look similar, 2B hair has visibly more texture, wave and body. The waves are loose but still add shape and movement to the hair.

2B Hair Texture

2B hair has a natural texture that’s low-maintenance but adds soft volume. Here’s an overview of its texture:

  • Density – This hair type often has medium density. It’s usually not very sparse or overly thick in density.
  • Strand Width – The strands tend to be medium in width. They are not super fine but not overly coarse either.
  • Porosity – 2B hair can have normal to low porosity. The cuticle layers lie relatively flat, resisting moisture absorption.
  • Texture – This hair is smooth with a soft bend. The waves add movement but not frizz.
  • Elasticity – The hair is elastic enough to stretch straight temporarily and bounce back to the wave.

How To Care for 2B Hair

2B hair is one of the easier hair types to care for. Here are some top tips for caring for wavy 2B locks:

Cleansing Tips

  • Wash 1-2 times per week at most.
  • Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo.
  • Only shampoo the scalp area to avoid drying waves.
  • Use cool water instead of hot to prevent frizz.
  • Avoid over-scrubbing waves when shampooing.

Conditioning Tips

  • Always use a nourishing conditioner after shampooing.
  • Apply conditioner from mid-lengths to ends.
  • Let conditioner sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Rinse with cool water.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner for extra moisture.

Drying Tips

  • Blot hair gently with a towel or T-shirt to remove excess moisture.
  • Avoid rubbing harshly, which causes frizz.
  • Let hair air dry naturally whenever possible.
  • Use a diffuser attachment on low speed and heat to gently dry.
  • Allow hair to dry most of the way before touching or styling.

Styling Tips

  • Embrace natural texture by scrunching in styling products.
  • Enhance waves with salt spray, mousse or curl cream.
  • Use a wave-friendly styling wand to touch up the pattern.
  • Straighten sparingly to avoid damage.
  • Braid, ponytail or clip up to stretch out waves between washes.

Best Products for 2B Hair

Here are some of the top recommended products for 2B wavy hair:


  • Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
  • Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Shampoo
  • Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo
  • Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo


  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Ouai Wave Spray
  • Verb Sea Texture Cream
  • Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Cream

Styling Products

  • Ouai Wave Spray
  • Verb Sea Texture Cream
  • Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Cream
  • Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

How to Style 2B Hair

2B hair offers versatile styling options. Here are some top styles for wavy hair:

Air Dried Waves

Embracenatural texture by letting hair air dry after washing. Scrunch in some wave enhancing cream or mousse while damp. Let dry fully, then scrunch out any crunch.

Beachy Waves

For beachy, textured waves, scrunch sea salt spray into damp hair. Allow to air dry or diffuse. Finish with a texture spray once dry for separation and definition.

Tousled Waves

Add root lift powder at the roots while hair is damp. Scrunch in mousse then let air dry. Once dry, messily finger comb and scrunch for tousled texture.

Blown Out Waves

Apply a smoothing cream through damp hair. Blow dry using a paddle brush to stretch out the waves. Finish with hairspray for polished shine and flexible hold.

How to Straighten 2B Hair

To temporarily smooth out wavy 2B hair, follow these steps:

  1. Apply a heat protectant spray to damp hair before blow drying.
  2. Blow dry using a round brush to add initial smoothness.
  3. Section fully dried hair into manageable parts for flat ironing.
  4. Run a flat iron in one pass over each section at medium heat.
  5. Finish with a smoothing serum to tame frizz and flyaways.

Avoid over-straightening, which can damage hair over time. Save straightening for occasional wear rather than daily styling.

2B Hair Cut and Layering Tips

Getting the right cut boosts the natural texture and movement of 2B hair. Here are some tips:

  • Go for light face-framing layers around the face.
  • Add longer layers throughout the interior hair length.
  • Stack cutting builds movement by point cutting ends.
  • An A-line bob is cute on wavy hair.
  • Curtain bangs blend seamlessly with waves.
  • A square blunt cut minimizes frizz on the ends.

Layers remove weighted hair that drags down the wave pattern. Point cutting creates soft, piece-y ends that enhance texture and bounce.

Hair Color for 2B Hair

2B hair suits a range of hair colors from natural black to platinum blonde. Here are top color ideas for wavy hair:

  • Balayage/Ombre – Handpainted highlights help waves pop.
  • All-Over Color – Rich chocolate brunette looks gorgeous on waves.
  • Babylights – Ultra-fine highlights around the face.
  • Sunkissed Bronde – Dark blonde base with golden highlights.
  • Copper – Vibrant copper hair color pumps up volume.
  • Strawberry Blonde – Soft warm blonde shade flatters fair skin.

When coloring wavy hair, request toning to cancel unwanted brassiness in highlights. Use color-safe products to keep hair healthy and shiny.


In summary, 2B hair has a loose, wavy texture with waves that range from subtle to more defined. The hair lacks tight curl clumps but shows wave and bend when air dried. To care for 2B hair, use hydrating products and let hair air dry to embrace the natural texture. With the right cut and styling, 2B hair offers volume and movement with less work than highly curly hair.