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3 Things to Know Before Highlighting Curly Hair

If you have curly hair, chances are the hair color has actually changed your hair texture. It’s rare to walk out of a salon with your curls intact, especially when leaving with a fresh, lighter color. While switching it up may be a salon standard, that doesn’t mean straightening your texture is a requirement for showing off your highlights. Your stylist needs to know you have curls, and that you plan to rock them so they can strategically place and apply your highlights. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve got coils, according to one of our all-time favorite colorists.

Handle With Care

L’oréal Pro Ambassador Shelley Gregory shares what makes curly hair so different. “Curly hair is prone to breakage and being way drier. So It’s important to be a lot more gentle with curly hair, as not to disrupt the curl pattern,” she says. The color doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s more about where it is. “Curly hair can be any color, it showcases color the best because the curl shows the dimension in the color,” continues Shelley.

Placements That Pop

To really make highlights pop, make sure your colorist does their placement homework. “I always like to add larger sections of different colors next to each other to make them pop. So my highlights, instead of being a tiny weave, that would get lost In curly hair, are wide slices that vary on the thickness of hair,” she says.

Trust and believe the type of curl dictates where the highlight is. “That always comes into play and is something I love to talk about in consultations. Along with how clients like to style their hair, what their lifestyle is and how often they want to come in for retouches,” she continues.

In terms of technique, Shelley advocates for subtlety. “I love any sort of color that is applied in a Balayage method. You can get a big impact while also having a soft grown-out, sun-kissed look.”

Head-Turning Highlights

Remember not to overdo it if your mane is curly. “The health of your hair is the most important when coloring your hair. Have your stylist go through your home haircare routine to make sure you are giving your hair enough moisture, this can be started before your color appointment! It doesn’t matter how pretty the color looks if your curl is ruined from over-processing, so don’t be after if to ask the hair colorist if they are comfortable coloring your curls! And don’t be afraid to try new colors, colored curly hair is a head-turner when done right.”

HERE’s the hairspray you need to lock down your curls.



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