Curly color has never been more gorgeous.

By Melanie Rud Chadwick
Updated May 08, 2018

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. Ahead, four unique tips all curly-haired girls should keep in mind, plus some curly hair highlight inspo to take with you to your next salon appointment.

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Highlighting Curly Hair
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1 Consider How You Wear Your Hair

Sure, you may be naturally curly, but is that your day-to-day style? Whether you air dry, diffuse your curls, or get regular blow-outs can affect which technique your colorist may choose to use, explains Josh Shores, a colorist at the Renee Feldman Salon in Chicago. Be sure to speak with him or her about your go-to ‘do, so that 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 keep your strands free of any styling products you’d normally use: “The color needs to penetrate the hair, and heavy products will keep it from working,” he adds.

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. On the flip side, soft, fine curls call for soft, fine highlights. Hand painting around the hairline is an especially pretty option for this type of texture.

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4 Keep Your Curls Healthy

“Curly texture can often be dry, so talk to your colorist about using 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.