What Is the Difference Between Wavy and Curly Hair?


Hair texture is divided into three types: curly, straight, and wavy. Despite the fact that the terms "curly hair" and "wavy hair" are sometimes used interchangeably, the two hair types differ in a number of areas. Curly and wavy hair varies in terms of curl strength, volume, and structure. Despite the fact that many people confuse curly and wavy hair, wavy hair is basically a form of curly hair. We'll look at the distinctions between the two in this blog. Continue reading!


Curly Hair

 A lady showing what curly hair looks like

Credit: Getty/ IProgressman


Curly hair bends in a 360º spiral producing a complete circle. Curly hair features a number of curls, which are much more distinct than wavy hair. When a strand of hair has many coils, it is characterized as curly. While curly hair is normally thick and does not produce an excessive amount of sebum, it is prone to breakage and, more importantly, frizz. Because they are so climate-dependent, they are challenging to manage. When the weather is humid, curly hair becomes frizzy.

Curly hairs can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you treat them. They can be a godsend in disguise if you know how to handle and style them correctly. Curly hair has numerous variances in hair pattern and structure. Furthermore, this sort of hair has its own personality.

Curly hair is classified as a Type 3 hair type. When people think of typical curly hair, they think of Type 3. There are further distinctions under Type 3 based on the curl tightness of the hair.


Type 3A

 A lady showing big, elongated rings of curls that fall down from the top of the head.

Credit: Naturally Curly


Curl type 3A is characterized by big, elongated rings of curls that fall down from the top of the head. This hair is usually not rough and features huge soft ringlets.

3A curls are recognized for being one of the most manageable curl types, and with the correct tools and products, they may not even need any styling.


Type 3B

 A lady showing curls that mimic a corkscrew which are tighter wrapped and about the size of a marker pen

Credit: Naturally Curly


This type's curls mimic a corkscrew. They're a little tighter wrapped and about the size of a marker pen. 3B curls are highly vulnerable to breakage and frizz. The upside is that if you have this hair type, you will never be short on volume. You can use style products designed to prevent humidity to control frizz and give your curls definition.


Type 3C

 A lady showing her curls which are much smaller and more tightly wrapped

Credit: Allure


The springs in this hair type are much smaller and more tightly wrapped than the types above. 3c curls have a pencil-like circumference that is closely knit together. As a result, this type of hair tends to be voluminous. Out of all the curl types covered here, this is the most difficult to manage. Hair gels can help keep your curls in place while also protecting them from frizz.


Wavy Hair

 A lady with wavy hair which is neither straight or curly

Credit: Marie Claire


Wavy hair is not considered curly, despite the fact that it has a pronounced wave. It has neither a straight nor a curly appearance. It's just in the middle of straight and curly hair. While wavy hair is less susceptible to oil accumulation than straight hair, it is more liable to frizz. Wavy hair is straight when wet, but as it dries, it develops loose, undefined curls/waves. Hair that is wavy is classified as type 2. Wavy hair, like curly hair, comes in a wide range of textures and hair patterns.


Type 2A

 A lady with straight hair at the crown and then a little curly at the end

Credit: Laura Braunstein Hair Studio


This type appears straight at the crown and begins to form waves towards the end. It could almost pass for straight if it weren't for the slight bend. The best products to give depth and dimension to such hair are a mild mousse and sea salt spray. If you have this hair type, search for products that will create volume rather than make your hair limp.


Type 2B

 This is another kind of wave that is straight and flat at the roots and gradually progresses into waves from the nape of your neck

Credit: All Things Hair


This type resembles typical beach waves. Type 2b waves are defined as hair that is straight and flat at the roots and gradually progresses into waves from the nape of your neck to the ends. This hair type is much more difficult to manage and has a tendency to frizz at the crown. Mousses and gels can be used to manage type 2b waves. You can use different wavy hair hairstyles with this wave type.


Type 2C

 A lady showing more distinct waves at the start of the crown.

Credit: Slay at Home Mother


Type 2c hair has more distinct waves that start at the crown. They might even have a couple of well-defined curls. This hair type is more prone to frizzing and has a thicker structure. A hair diffuser works wonders when it comes to bringing out the actual beauty of these waves.


The Difference Between Wavy and Curly Hair

 An image showing the difference between wavy and curly hair

Credit: Donna Bella Hair


  • Wavy hair is straighter and smoother than curly hair. Curly hair starts at the roots and is dense and rough. Unlike curly hair, wavy hair has a smooth structure.
  • Curly hair resembles ringlets. Wavy hair resembles curls but relaxes into an "S" form rather than tight curls. It has a jagged pattern as well.
  • It's difficult to brush curly hair when it's dry, unlike wavy hair.
  • Curly hair is more defined and curved than wavy hair. Wavy hair has a softer definition.
  • Hair that is curly appears to be full of volume. It normally begins at the scalp and progresses to the end of the hair. Wavy hair is defined as hair that is wavy at the bottom and flat at the roots. It resembles both curly and straight hair.




Understanding your hair type will assist you in selecting the appropriate products. Wavy and curly hair may appear to be similar, but they are very different and require different products. Whether your hair is curly or wavy, you'll need a hair tie to keep it in place. Introducing Burlybands: The ultimate hair tie for all hair types. Check us out today!

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