Color for Curls – Our Top Pro Tips
By Keune | August 5th, 2020
Across all hair types, clients are embracing their natural texture and want the color to complement it. While we love this celebration of individuality, coloring curls can be especially tricky without advanced knowledge for this hair type. There are several important tactics we stylists need to keep in mind when it comes to coloring curly hair. Keune Academy Trainer, Jessica Bartolucci, offers her top tips on color for curls — perfect for clients embracing natural texture.
Know Your Canvas
The first, and arguably most important, step in coloring curls is the initial consultation with the client. During this consultation, learn about the client’s natural pattern and texture as well as their preferred level of maintenance.
“Before deciding which product to use, really understand the canvas you’re working on—what type of curl pattern and texture is present in the hair, and how many levels of lift do you want to achieve,” says Bartolucci. She continues, “Does the guest also wear their hair straight? If your guest wears their hair both ways, the end result may look drastically different on each finished style. Make sure your guest is aware that this is the case. This may have them opting for a different end result, such as one that offers more versatility.” The takeaway? Know your client and what they’re hoping to achieve before you begin formulating.
Pick the Right Products
Another critical step, choose a lightener that corresponds to your client’s natural texture and desired level of lift. “While all of Keune’s lighteners have different advantages to protect and condition during lightening, my personal go-to’s for curly and textured hair are Cream Blonde and Freedom Blonde from the Ultimate Blonde Lightener series and/or So Pure Color Blonde Lift Powder,” says Bartolucci.
She adds, “Cream Blonde lifts up to seven levels for slow and steady lightening and optimal time control. Freedom Blonde, a clay-based lightener, also lifts up to seven levels; I love using this for freehand techniques.” For best results, keep the starting health of your client’s hair in mind as well. Curly hair textures are prone to being dry and susceptible to damage. Bartolucci recommends So Pure Color Blonde Lift Powder, stating “With up to six levels of lift and certified argan oil, I reach for this when my guest’s curls need a bit more nourishment.”
Focus on Curl Strength & Integrity
When coloring, you will always give your client the highest level of satisfaction by protecting the strength and integrity of their hair. Bartolucci remarks, “Make sure to protect the inner structure of the strand using Keune’s Bond Fusion system. Build bonds with Phase 1 (mixed in your lightener or color) and seal strands with Phase 2 (at back bar). After their service, send your client home with Phase 3 as a once a week deep conditioning treatment. The better your guests cares for their hair at home, the better the results will be for recurring salon visits.”
The right developer is equally important. She advises, “When it comes to developer, I opt for 10 or 20 volume and will rarely reach for 30 volume. Low and steady really wins this race.”
Formulation & Application
Formula customization is the key to success. According to Bartolucci, “Every guest’s formula will be different depending on their pattern and texture. For consistency, a low developer will keep the pattern intact. Bond Fusion protects the inner structure; Cool Booster added to the lightener neutralizes any unwanted warmth.”
Success with formula customization is also true of application. “I like to say, ‘Listen to the hair’,” offers Bartolucci and continues, “When sectioning, really focus on the curl and growth pattern, where the hair lays and where the hair falls. Marrying this with your client’s desired end result from the consultation is key.
“Curly hair requires every client receive their own customized application. Remember, the curlier the hair, the denser it appears. If you are looking for an overall blonder appearance, more is more—straighter slices along with more foils will be your go-to. If you are looking to keep dimension, deep zig-zag partings along with a color melt application will be your best friend. If you’re looking to achieve a more natural lived-in end result, utilize Freedom Blonde clay-based lightener on the outside of the curl pattern for that just-came-back-from-a-sunny-holiday feel.”
For seriously stressed locks, she expresses, “Don’t forget about Keune’s Tinta Color Ultimate Blonde Series. Depending on your guest’s desired end result, the 1500 and 1000 Series will achieve lift (up to five levels based on the product chosen and the level used) and tone. Tinta 2000 is a bleach hybrid that will also provide up to five levels of controlled lift. I’ll reach for these options when my guest’s hair may not support lightener; these are also a time saver behind the chair.”
Finishing the Look in the Salon
Post-color service, utilize the right techniques to finish the look. This will not only help the color pop, but it will also be an education opportunity for clients learning how to style their natural texture.
“In the salon, I use a microfiber towel to absorb excess water from curls and waves without
leaving them dull or frizzy,” says Bartolucci. She adds, “After the hair is shampooed and conditioned, I will ‘plop’ curls into the towel—this sometimes means having the client tilt their head forward to gather all the hair—and then I’ll secure the towel from there. This is a great ‘take-home‘ moment for the guest, as well. If the client is having a tough time with keeping their curls frizz-free, along with purposeful product recommendations, a microfiber towel or even a cotton t-shirt is life-changing.”
Equip your client with the right products to address curl-specific hair problems, like frizz. She comments, “I adore Style Humidity Shield on curly hair; apply damp and allow to air dry or diffuse using low heat and low power. The results are a light shine and medium hold while fighting frizz.”
Recommend Effective at-Home Care
Determine the right at-home care regimen for your client during the initial consultation. This is when you can learn more about the client’s normal hair care routine, various hair concerns, and lifestyle. Bartolucci starts, “In the consultation, I’ll ask, ‘What are you loving about your hair; what would you like to add to your hair?’ In this moment, aside from color and design, this is the primetime to learn where your guest may want more bounce, less frizz, or more shine.
“The Keune Care Curl Control range is a dream for natural wavy and curly hair. With a curl-defining complex comprising of various proteins and minerals, along with a curl bounce system containing wood-derived ingredients to promote and rejuvenate pattern, curls will be left nourished and more manageable. The lineup includes Keune Curl Control Shampoo, Conditioner, Mask, Boost Spray, and Defining Cream.”
The Key Takeaways
When it comes to coloring curls, the most important thing you can do, according to Bartolucci, is to listen to and communicate with your guest. She concludes, “Understand their needs and wants before diving into the color bowl, and be open and honest with what is achievable in that session. Being on the same page from the beginning will allow your guest to place their hair—and their trust—in you time and time again.”