Are you someone with straight, wavy or curly hair? Well, whatever your hair type is; did you know that your hair type too has a name and number to it? Nevertheless, now you do!
It is important to know that hair is categorized based on its types, type 1 being straight hair, type 2 being wavy hair, type 3 being curly hair and type 4 being tightly curled hair.
These distinctions are made based on the Walker Scale and these categories make it easy for one to identify their type of locs and provide hair care for it, suitably.
Say for example, if you are someone with naturally curly hair, then you would come under the type 3A, 3B or 3C category and thereby, the same for straight, wavy and very curly hair types.
2C vs. 3A Hair
Well, since we have got that out of the way, let’s get into some more details!
What is the Walker Scale of hair type distinction?
The Walker Scale got its name from its founder Andre Walker and it is also called the Hair Chart. This helps people know the exact classification of their hair type based on numbers and alphabets.
The numbers that you see, numbers 1 – 4, are those representing the texture of the hair like straight, wavy, curly or tightly curled; while the alphabets A,B and C, attached to the numbers help to clearly define your hair type, by defining the shape of each hair strand.
So 1A will be straight hair, while 4C will be extremely curly or kinky hair, similar to those with the Afro hair type.
How can we define ‘2C’ hair?
Since type 2 hair is the wavy hair type, 2C hair can be defined as the hair that is wavy but that have very well defined waves, where each strands look like the letter ‘S’.
This hair type can look relatively frizzy because the natural oils of the hair do not flow down evenly throughout all the waves of the strands.
People with 2C hair will find their hair looking more dense and voluminous as compared to those with straight hair (type 1 hair), but will stand weighed down and limp, when compared with the type 3A hair.
The strands of 2C hair can vary from thick to thin, coarse to fine, which means defining whether your hair is 2C or not, can be tricky.
But one thing for sure that you will notice is that the waves of 2C hair are tightly packed, unlike the 2A and 2B hair types.
How can we define ‘3A’ hair?
2C hair is very often confused with 3A hair because of the hair strand pattern. While 2C hair strands form the ‘S’ shaped pattern, 3A hair strands are the first type among the curly hair types (followed by 3B and 3C).
So you will find that the 3A hair type hair strands are relatively shaped in a coil or a spiral.
Just like 2C hair, 3A hair type too can have the problem of frizziness. This is because of the curls, the natural hair oils aren’t able to flow down throughout the length of the strands.
This is one of the major reasons as to why 3A hair is often prone to hair damage and dry hair issues. 3A hair looks very voluminous and even more dense when compared to 2C hair.
What makes 2C hair different from 3A hair?
I’m sure there could be a lot of confusion when it comes to differentiating between 2C and 3A hair types and they are often considered the same, while they are actually considerably different from each other.
So here are some of the most common differences between 2C and 3A hair types
|Features of the hair||2C Hair Type||3A Hair Type|
|Hair type (as per the Walker Scale)||Wavy (the most wavy that hair can get, before it begins to look curly).||Curly (the first type among the other curly haired hair types).|
|Shape and pattern of the hair strand||Hair strands form a wavy pattern that look like the letter ‘S’.||Hair strands form a curly pattern that look like a coil or a spiral.|
|Beginning of the waves/curls||The waves are very gradual and the hair is relatively straighter at the top, while the waves form towards the bottom of the hair.||The curls form right from the scalp and the coiled shape pattern can be seen throughout the hair.|
|Hair texture||Coarse, frizzy and relatively dry.||Coarse, frizzy and very dry, more prone to developing split ends (as compared to 2C hair).|
|Hair appearance||Could look weighed down and stand limp.||Looks voluminous, but can be difficult to detangle.|
Now since you know how different 2C and 3A hair types can be, it is important to note that because of the differences, each hair type requires a certain type of hair care and maintenance.
So here’s how you can care for and maintain 2C and 3A hair types
Best Ways to Care for 2C Hair
As I mentioned earlier, 2C hair may often look weighed down and stand very limp. This could be because of excessive product buildup in the hair.
Since the hair is frizzy, you may use products to keep your hair moisturized, but these products can lead to the buildup that weighs down your hair. So then, how do you hydrate your hair?
Well, there are plenty of products (like shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and serums) that are lightweight and meant for limp hair types. They will help revive your hair’s natural bounce, while also cleansing and moisturizing your hair.
Many a time, you will find your hair feeling dry and frizzy and hence you may be tempted to use hair butters and hair oils to hydrate your hair.
Well, since the 2C hair type can also tend to get oily pretty easily, you need to use lightweight oils and avoid using hair butter that are heavy, as they can further weigh down your hair.
When you shampoo and condition your hair, remember to use shampoos that are sulfate and paraben-free, as these chemical ingredients are very damaging and drying for the hair.
Also, remember to look out for lightweight conditioners that contain no silicones. This will help moisturize and hydrate your hair while helping reduce product buildup to a considerable extent.
Best Ways to Care for 3A Hair
It is very common for 3A hair to look frizzy and feel coarse and dry. But do not be alarmed, as using the right products will help you keep these issues at bay.
All you need to do is lookout for the right products and follow proper hair managing techniques. Here’s how you can do it.
Use techniques like deep conditioning (with or without heat) and of course, hair masks. These two techniques are a must to help prevent further hair damage and rejuvenate the hair that has already been damaged, because of the hair type you have.
You can also buy products that are rich in its moisturizing properties, so this will include all types of hair butter, hair oils, and leave-in conditioners.
Look out for shampoos and conditioners that not will not only get rid of the product buildup in your hair but ones that will also keep your hair sufficiently hydrated.
Also, when buying a conditioner, remember to stay away from those that have harsh chemicals like parabens, silicones etc. This is because it can make your naturally bouncy hair stand weighed down.
All you have to do is keep in mind two words – moisture and hydration. 3A curls require a lot of it! So find products that have nourishing ingredients, which are all-natural most preferably.
How can you tell whether you have 2C or 3A hair types?
So I’m sure you now have a fair idea of what kind of hair are the 2C and 3A hair types and how they differ from each other.
So, I’m sure you will find it easier, now, to distinguish between the two types. But if you still have any doubts, here’s what you can look for in your hair, in order to decide on what hair type you have.
- Hair looks straighter at the top and wavy at the bottom with ‘S’ shaped hair strands. The waves may not be consistent all over the hair and may have a few straighter hair strands.
- The hair may seem frizzy, but is relatively easy to manage and detangle.
- Your hair may sometimes stand very limp and weighed down, making it feel less voluminous.
- The hair will start looking coiled or spiral in shape right from the scalp. This will make the coiled pattern (curls) form consistently all over the head.
- The hair will be frizzy and will be hard to manage and will be difficult to detangle.
- Your hair will look very dense and voluminous.
The Final Takeaway
Well guys, if you are wondering which hair type is the best to have, you will never be able to get yourself an answer because all hair types are different and require different methods of hair care and different methods of maintenance.
So I’d recommend you analyze your hair type and work out the best ways to look after your hair in terms of brushing, shampooing, conditioning, moisturizing and styling. Make sure that all these aspects are done to suit your hair type perfectly.