Can I Highlight My Curly Hair?

FS_Curly_Hair_Highlights-compressed.jpg

Can I Highlight My Curly Hair?

Curly-haired vixens, you already know that your hair takes a little extra love and care. It may have taken you years to perfect your routine, but now you’ve got it down pat. As such, you’re probably hesitant to switch it up and try out highlights or a new hair color of any kind. Never fear, though. You can definitely highlight your gorgeous curly hair.

Before we get down to brass tacks and talk about the best way to vamp up your voluminous curls, we first have to address some of the atrocious ways that curly hair has been highlighted in the past. You know, the horror stories that probably kept you away from color for the better part of your adult life.

For one, there were those caps through which you pulled sections of your hair to highlight it. It was a great way to end up with polka dots in your hair. No thanks!

And can we talk about foils? Because of its natural bounce and fragility, curly hair does not respond well to foil highlighting.

Okay, now that we’ve lain down the law when it comes to what not to do if you have curly hair, we can comfortably move onto what you CAN (and should) do if you want that extra little va-va-voom.

Fall in Love with Balayage

Also known as “pintura” and “hair painting,” the balayage hair highlighting technique was practically made for curly hair.

Because it involves taking the time and care to paint individual sections by hand, you’ll never have to worry about your hair looking striped or chunky. And you’ll definitely never end up with polka dots on your scalp, thank goodness.

In order to get the most multidimensional shine, make sure you ask your hairstylist to mix in multiple shades of highlights and lowlights.

Twist Your Curls into Braids

This technique is a tried-and-true secret of top hair colorists everywhere.  Although similar to balayage and sombre, this highlighting technique is different with a twist.  It starts with taking dry hair and twisting it into multiple braids (the number depends on the thickness of your mane).

From there, hair color is strategically applied to the braids producing natural looking sunkissed highlights.

The twists will ensure that the hair color distributes in a more natural pattern. Few things make curly hair look dull and flat like solid, one-tone hair color.  

Give Gloss a Shot

So, hair gloss is technically not a highlighting technique, it is a hair treatment.  In fact, a gloss treatment is a good alternative to hair color especially for curly hair that is dry, damaged or brittle.  Hair gloss is a temporary hair treatment that is clear and adds shine to your strands and may actually hydrate hair leaving it feeling irresistibly soft.  

On the other hand, hair glaze actually contains a pigment that enhances hair tone, but glaze may contain peroxide or ammonia - not be the best choice if your hair is damaged.  Until your hair is healthy enough for hair color or highlights why not give gloss a shot? Your curly hair will thank you.

Highlighting and coloring curly hair is an art as well as a science that should be left to the professionals.  But how do you tell your hair colorist what you really want? Show your hair colorist these latest hair color trends or get hair inspiration by following us on Pinterest.


Did you know that Fantastic Sams Cut & Color is a full-service, "no-appointment-needed" hair salon with over 1,000 convenient locations?  

Find a Hair Salon near you.

Fantastic Looks Good On You.