Highlights aren't just for girls with straight strands, curly girls can get in on the fun as well. While the process is a bit different, balayage for naturally curly hair is equally as gorgeous. To learn more about this technique and to get tips for taking care of highlighted curly hair we turned to hairdresser and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist Nancy Braun.
Get the Look
"Like balayage, babylights, and foiled highlights on straight and wavy hair, highlights on curls help to add dimension and texture to the hair," Braun explains. "This creates gorgeous highs and lows and looks almost beach-like and naturally sun-kissed," she says. However, while the result is as stunning, the technique is a little different. Since curly hair needs more moisture, Braun explains that one major difference between highlights for straight-and even wavy-hair and highlights for naturally curly hair, is the way the technician applies the color. "It has to be saturated through the curl," she says, "not just sitting on top of the hair. This is key in getting a great color."
The method itself is just like balayage, applied to each curl with a free-hand painting technique. This ensures that the highlights look naturally sun-kissed, accentuate movement and definition, and grow out without an obvious line of demarcation. Using a free-hand technique allows your hairdresser to create a custom color just for you and your type of curl.
Taking Care of Your Highlights
Using the right products is key when maintaining your color and the health of your hair. Braun explains that since highlights can be drying on already dry curly hair, once you get your hair done, you'll want to shampoo less often. And, when you do shampoo, you'll want to use products formulated for color-treated hair. If it looks like your style is in need of a refresh, Braun recommends using a spray bottle with some water to revive and reshape your curls.
Tricks of the Trade
Another tip? Hair masks. "One of the greatest tricks in the world is for curly girls to use a mask as a leave in product," Braun says. "This helps to put some hydration back into the hair, plus it will help hold the curl. But, don't use a ton of product, just place a quarter sized amount in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and then scrunch through damp hair to distribute the product. You'll want products that make your hair look and fee soft, not crunchy," she says, using a mask as a leave-in styling product creates that soft curl. With curly hair, you need to put moisture back into your hair as often as possible, and this trick is great for doing just that!