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Your Guide to Curly Hair Highlights

julio 17, 2020

If you’ve been scoping out hair color ideas for curly hair, you’ve probably come across an array of gorgeous curly hair highlights, whether your search has taken you to Pinterest or Instagram. If you don’t want to rock an all-over color change, curly hair with highlights is the perfect way to give a dimensional mane a try. Want to learn more about curly hair highlights? Below, we’re sharing the facts, including how to DIY highlights on curly hair and six curly hair highlight ideas we’re obsessed with.


Ok, first thing’s first—if you’re asking yourself, “Do highlights look good on curly hair?” the answer is a resounding yes! Highlights look seriously gorgeous on spiral strands, adding just the right amount of definition to your already defined hair texture. Consider this color and hair type combo a match made in hair heaven.


What about damage? As with any hair coloring option, especially one that involves lightening your strands with bleach, damage can occur. This is why it can be a good idea to go to a professional to get curly hair highlights. The more you want to lift your natural color—aka, the lighter you want to go with your highlights—the more potential damage that can occur.

For curly hair types, in particular, hair color processing can affect your hair texture and cause your spirals to be less tight in shape. That said, if your colorist takes the proper measures and lightens in sessions, you have healthy hair to start, and you follow a nourishing hair care regimen, highlights shouldn’t cause any permanent damage to your curly strands.


Like we said, if you plan to get curly hair highlights, it’s a good idea to book an appointment at the salon. That said, if you’re more of a DIY gal and find yourself asking, “How do you give yourself highlights with curly hair?” here’s what to do.

Step #1. Detangle your strands. We’re sure you don’t want to deal with knots and tangles in the midst of highlighting your curly strands. So, brush and detangle your curly hair prior to lightening.

Step #2. Pick your highlighting kit. Since you’ll be highlighting your hair at home, you should pick up a reliable highlighting kit. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach Highlights

Step #3. Paint your highlights. Curly hair has a specific, spiral pattern, which is why it can be more difficult to highlight than straight hair. You’ll want to hand-paint the bleach onto each individual curl to ensure your curl pattern is followed for a natural, sun-kissed look. This is why curly hair highlights are typically left to the pros—they have an eye for placement! Always follow the directions included in your kit to determine how long you should leave the bleach on your hair and what aftercare steps you should take.


Want some highlight color inspo? If you’re curious as to what hair colors look best on curly hair, check out the below for curly hair highlights you won't be able to get enough of.


As far as blonde highlights on curly hair go, we’re huge fans of honey blonde. This warm, golden blonde shade looks particularly stunning on those with a brown base.


Want to make a statement with your strands? Red highlights on curly hair is a trendsetting option. A vibrant red will add the perfect amount of contrast to your dark locks. Try red as an option for black curly hair with highlights, and you’ll have a look that truly pops.


When it comes to brown curly hair with highlights, we love the subtle definition that reddish-brown highlights add to the mix. The color veers just slightly outside of a natural hair shade with its red undertones, allowing for a trendy mane without stepping too far outside of your comfort zone.


If you’re comfortable playing with color, purple looks gorgeous on curly hair, and more specifically, lavender! Lavender highlights will create a striking contrast against your strands. We love them laced throughout a black or deep brown mane.


For a more traditional color option, consider getting milk chocolate brown highlights. The light brown shade will still create an overall lighter mane without the need to lighten to a blonde shade. This is a good option for those starting with a very dark base, as it will take fewer bleaching sessions to achieve than a blonde alternative.


Lavender not your thing but still looking to branch out? Silver highlights are just as trendy! Use them to add a modern twist to black curly hair.

Speaking of silver highlights, if you think this trend is right up your alley, you’ll want to check out our article, 10 Ideas for Gorgeous Silver and Gray Highlights.

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