As an African-American mom with, yet again, a different curl pattern than each of my kids, it was hit or miss when trying to figure out type 2 hair products for their mixed hair.
As a mom of three small kids all with completely different curl patterns, I know a thing or two about endlessly shopping for hair products.
If you’re also on the struggle bus with me, your child’s hair probably isn’t straight, but it’s not exactly curly either, right?
To break it down, type 2 hair is essentially wavy hair.
Type 2 hair is thicker than one (straight) but less coily than types 3 and 4.
Now that we have the basics, let’s get shopping.
Here are some of the best Type 2 hair products for mixed hair.
1. Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Shampoo and Conditioner
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 type 2 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.
2. Shea Moisture Daily Hydrating Conditioner
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.
3. Not Your Mother’s Naturals Curl Definition Shampoo and Conditioner
As mentioned above, NYM is one of the best brands to add to your type 2 hair product collection for your kids.
What makes the Natural Curl line different from the Curl Talk?
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.
4. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Combo
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 a 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!).
5. Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner Hair Cleanser
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.
6. Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment
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!
7. Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment
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.
8. OUAI Hair Oil
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.
9. Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Frizz Control
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).
10. Maui Moisture Flaxseed Curl Refresher Mist
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.
These were some of the best type 2 hair products.
If you found this helpful for narrowing down the best type 2 hair products for your kids, make sure to check out the mixed hair category on my blog.
I have dabbled in too many to count hair products for my three kids, all with different curl patterns and hair types.
If you also have kids with opposite hair types, click here to read more and join us over on Instagram to catch us real-time as we live out our daily Do You Even Mom moments.
[This post has affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.]
Should Unwash be used every other day or just once before a new wash?
Absolutely not. It will depend on your child, of course, but I wouldn’t use a cleansing conditioner daily. At MAX, maybe a few times a week.
Not Your Mother’s rocks! I saw these on instagram, screenshotted them and ordered a shampoo and conditioner set on my next amazon order. Not only do they work but they leave the hair uber soft and perfumed. We’re all fans!
OMG yes! I was hooked when I first tried it years ago.
Just got the Shea moisture conditioner. What shampoo do you recommend to pair it with?
You can always try it with the one that is part of the line. And see how that works out. Here’s the link: https://rstyle.me/+wDLd9SlE-TDGlKQSP8mvEg
I swear by Ouai, pricey but it’s well worth it. My daughter has thick, wavy hair and these products cut down on frizz, lock the moisture and keep her hair looking healthy. Plus, it’s so easy to comb it.
There are very few pricey products that didn’t live up to their price point, but yes I agree with you 100%
I had the worst experience ever with Olaplex. I don’t know why but my hair started to fall out like crazy, I had to stop after just two washes, it just wasn’t for me which is a bummer considering it costs quite a lot.
Oh no that is terrible! Just goes to show that all products are not created equal, and unfortunately the downside of the trial/error of finding what works best 🙁
Hubby knows his stuff darn well! He prefers to be the one in charge of doing junior’s hair, he does a pretty good job tbh. We only buy Cantu and Shea Moisture products, they work like a charm on his wavy hair.
That’s amazing that he is confident and so involved!
Mixed hair requires a ton of tlc, I’ve learned this the hard way. Once we added a scalp treatment to the mix her hair was much smoother and it required less-frequent washes.
I think the “hardest” part of mixed hair is just the trial and error seeing which works, especially when the majority of the hair products in stores are tailored to straight hair. The struggle I went through growing up smh.
I can’t remember how many hours I’ve spent watching youtube videos in the search for the holy grail only to discover the magic formula for us by complete mistake. I got targeted by an ad for Not Your Mother’s and rightfully so, this is not what I used as a kid, I am still shocked she has zero frizz.
OMG that is honestly SO amazing! You should check out my Mixed Hair Guide eBook that I made. I took all of my own YT videos from the past 10 years and condensed it into one document for comments just like the one you left 🙂 https://doyouevenmom.com/mixed-hair-care/
Ditto! I find it completely unnecessary to use gels on small kids unless we’re talking about special occasions. I don’t even use gel every single time after I had to deal with some weird buildup. Keeping things simple works best for us.
OMG build up and that dreaded white snowflakes that pop up every time you brush, and it only gets worse?! LOL smh.
I have to try the Maui mist, I wake up most mornings with really unmanageable hair. As a mother of two under two, having half an hour to do my hair is a sci-fi scenario right here. So I need a magic fix and I needed it yesterday!
Your comment spoke to my soul LOL! I am literally going through the same thing right now! Let me know what you think of it 🙂
Do you recommend introducing new products one by one or replacing all products from the get go? I’ve already added to cart some of these, the PM ones and the Olaplex treatment but I have no idea if I should buy some of the products I’m currently using as well. Thanks dear!