As a proud African-American mom with a curl pattern that’s in a league of its own, each of my kids decided to go rogue and sport their own unique 2A curly hair, 2B curly hair, and 2C curly hair.
It felt like I was running a mini hair science lab, experimenting with a never-ending list of products for their wonderfully mixed hair!
Mother to three cherubs, all flaunting wildly different curls, I’ve earned my stripes and stars in the endless supermarket aisle of hair potions, lotions, and magical elixirs.
If you’re riding shotgun on this curly coaster with me, chances are your child’s hair is also doing the hokey pokey.
Not straight enough to pass as pin-straight, but not curly enough to spring up into spirals, right?
What is Type 2A curly hair?
Here’s the lowdown – Type 2 hair is the wave of the future, literally.
It’s wavy hair, my friend.
Now, type 2 hair is like the middle child, thicker than its elder type 1 (the straight-laced one), but less bouncy than its younger siblings, types 3 and 4.
Okay, now that we’ve nailed the family portrait, let’s dive headfirst into the vibrant bazaar of hair products!
Here are the ‘Curl-emmy’ winners for 2A, 2B, and 2C curly hair!
Table of Contents
Curl Talk is single-handedly one of the best things about Not Your Mother, because while it works for all types of curls…it is amazing as a 2a curly hair product!
It’s free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohol which is basically a godsend for type 2 hair because —
If you’re able to find the set, save yourself a return trip to the store because it’s worth trying as a duo.
After being on YouTube for over 10 years teaching moms how to style their mixed kids’ curly hair, Shea Moisture is no stranger.
I always suggest Shea Moisture products to other parents, because it’s something I’ve used since my kids started walking.
Also, their products are so gentle and nourishing.
And they use ingredients you can actually pronounce, which can’t be said about some baby brands.
Their Hydrating Conditioner is no different, and this will be a product to keep in your product stash to also help combat frizz with hydration.
As mentioned above, NYM is one of the best brands to add to your collection of 2a hair products collection for your kids.
Not the answer you were probably expecting, but it’s the honest truth.
And here’s why: products work differently for everyone.
For example, my oldest daughter and I have similar curl patterns and hair types, but we have to use different shampoos and conditioners.
I usually keep four to five different types of shampoo and conditioner sets, just for this reason.
Shea Moisture’s Honey and Yogurt Hydrate + Repair combo is one of the few products that blew me away instantly while using.
Honestly speaking, I purchased this for myself to try but instead used it on my daughter’s hair for a wash day.
I kid you not, I was so impressed that I washed my hair immediately after!
I’m not ashamed to say that I actually used the conditioner as a leave-in on myself and my hair felt just as soft as if I walked out of a hair salon in Heaven.
Too much? It’s true.
To date, I repurchased the Hydrate and Repair combo, because it works like crazy, but also for the scent (my girls love it!).
Cleansing conditioners are essential if you need to completely reset your child’s follicles.
I didn’t realize they even existed until my oldest started Soccer Shots at daycare, and her scalp and hair smelled rank.
Shampooing every few days was excessive for her curls, but co-washing wasn’t fully cleansing her hair.
Enter: cleansing conditioner.
Unwash makes an amazing cleaning conditioner that helps rid build-up without having to strip hair of its natural oils (like so many shampoos).
Regardless of which brand you settle on, having a cleansing conditioner will be essential for the necessary moments when you need a fresh reset for your kiddo.
Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment is one of my top three product favorites.
I’ve used their Tea Tree and Mint products for over 10 years, and it’s one of the few products that hasn’t changed.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it right?
Paul Mitchell knocked it out of the park with this fresh, minty clean but not overly powerful scent of a product that WORKS WONDERS.
This is also a product that works for every curl type in our family, including as a type 2 hair product!
Olaplex is a pricey, but worth it purchase.
Their No. 3 Repairing Treatment is a product staple for almost every curl type.
For the longest time, I coveted it for myself, but in the past two years, I used No. 3 [infrequently] to see how my kiddos’ hair would tolerate it (and if it was kid-friendly).
It’s not a product I would splurge on to use monthly for them (because it’s pricey), but it is a product I would definitely have on my shelf.
If your kids are anything like mine, they can get a little rough during playtime.
And after so many hair snags and pulls, and chews, Olaplex will come to the rescue (trust me).
Pro tip: During the change of seasons is usually when I bust out my little bottle, almost as a curl refresher treatment.
I have tried many hair oils in my day, and natural oils for my kids, especially when they were first learning to walk.
But, I have yet to find a hair oil (even DIYs I’ve made myself) that follows through on its claims as well as the one from OUAI.
I included it on my list for type 2 hair products because it helps to combat frizz that can seem like an uphill battle in itself.
It protects against split ends, and even UV damage.
UV protection was extremely important to me when we lived in Florida for four years.
My oldest was outside almost daily and I wanted to make sure her hiplength hair was always protected.
To date, I have yet to find another hair oil that can outperform OUAI.
If you haven’t guessed, I’m a huge fan of Not Your Mother’s products; and their frizz control is no different.
If you’re attempting to combat frizz for your little one, consider purchasing a light sculpting gel.
I use gels as the final step in my routine for my kids, and I use them sparingly (like on special occasions).
NYM’s Frizz Control made the cut for best type 2 hair products because it isn’t sticky or heavy like other gels.
Trust me, that is the last thing you want for your child’s hair to feel weighed down, or leave residue in their classrooms (been there done that).
One of the best pieces of advice I could give to other moms is to perfect hairstyling at bedtime.
Save yourself time (and grief) in the morning by getting your kids ready for school or church by doing their hairstyling at night.
If you’re able to do a hairstyle that lasts two to three days, you’ll want to invest in a curl refresher mist, like this one from Maui Moisture.
It is so helpful when you need a quick spritz and light manipulation if they are hard dreamers and toss about at night.
But, it saves you SO much time in the morning so you don’t have to do your entire hairstyling routine from start to finish.
Maui Moisture also has some amazing scents but is light enough that they are generally friendly to non-sensitive noses.
And there you have it, the best of 2A, 2B, and 2C curly hair products!
I have dabbled in too many to count hair products for my three kids, all with different curl patterns and hair types.
[This post has affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.]