Curly color has never been more gorgeous.

It goes without saying that curly textures call for different styling techniques and products than straight strands do. The same goes for coloring and highlights. Here are four unique tips all curly-haired girls should know, plus some highlight inspo to take with you to your next salon appointment.

Highlighting Curly Hair
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1 Consider How You Wear Your Hair

You may be naturally curly, but is that your day-to-day style? Whether you air-dry, diffuse your curls, or get regular blowouts can affect which technique your colorist may use, explains Josh Shores, a colorist at the Renee Feldman Salon in Chicago. Be sure to describe your go-to 'do, so they can highlight based on the hair you wear every day.

Holly Hunter Curly Hair
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2 Prep Properly

Wash and air-dry your hair the night before your appointment; this will give your colorist a clear picture of your curl pattern, says Shores. But skip any styling products you'd normally use. "The color needs to penetrate the hair," he adds. "And heavy products will keep it from working.

Cleo Wade
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3 Highlight Based on Your Curls

Not all curls are created equal, so not all highlights should be the same. Have thick, tight curls? "You need a wide, more dramatic highlight that can be seen within the curls," points out Shores. Alternatively, soft, fine curls call for soft, fine highlights. Hand painting around the hairline is an especially pretty option for this type of texture.

Shakira in The Voice Judge Chair
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4 Keep Your Curls Healthy

"Curly texture can often be dry, so talk to your colorist about a conditioning mask in between highlights," advises Shores. Shampooing only once or twice a week can also help keep your curls healthy and hydrated—and your highlights looking fresh and vibrant.

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