Texture Loves Colour – Expert Advice on Hair Colour for Highly Textured Hair

Any great colourist knows that the individuality plays an essential role when creating colour for your client. The beautiful thing about colouring highly textured hair is the individual nature of the patterns – from waves to curls, coils and kinks – that create a truly bespoke finish due to the way light is reflected. Curly hair often has more volume, which means there is more surface area to reflect light and create a highly luminous effect. While it begins with formulation and continues with placement, the key to colouring these textures lies in the health of the hair. To gain insight into the best colour tips for wavy, curly, coily and kinky hair, we chatted with DESIGN.DIRECTOR Kate Reid about the most important factors when it comes to colouring highly textured hair.

Q. Does colour have any effect on curl pattern? 

A. The main effect colour has on curl patterns has to do with hydration levels. When lifting hair, lightener can impact moisture levels and in turn create fluffy, frizzy hair. This is why steps need to be taken to treat the hair for moisture loss. While at the salon, colouring treatments like pH.D help to smooth the cuticle and add condition, resulting in healthier looking and feeling hair. This allows the hair to appear shinier, which is great for all hair types especially dehydrated, curly, coily or kinky hair that might be lacking moisture.

Learn more about utilising pH.D on various levels of hair here:

Refining on lighter levels:

Darker colourations and grey blending:

Q. How do you combat moisture loss? 

A. Caring for highly textured hair going through a colouring process begins before the salon appointment and carries on with essential home care after lightening or colour application. Prior to colouring, a thorough consultation with your stylist should address all these factors and include a healthy home care regimen. One of our favourites to hydrate hair daily is HYDRATE-ME.WASH and RINSE to ensure hair is properly moisturised before, during and after the process.

Q. How do texture and type make a difference in colour application? 

A. When we refer to texture in hair colour, we are referring to the diameter of an individual hair shaft. The reason to factor this into formulating has to do with the fact that finer hair can give off a more intense appearance especially with reds, coppers or brighter shades. Additionally, fine hair can lift quicker and lighter than coarse hair.

The natural movement of hair doesn’t necessarily affect the colour application, however, the way in which it is styled can. Hair that styled straight or smooth can give off the illusion of being healthier because a flat cuticle reflects light better. While wavy, curly or coily hair can lack that illusion, their natural movement allows for more depth and accentuation between shadows and highlights, creating a highly favourable finish.

Q. How does texture factor into the way hair accepts colour? 

A. Again, this can be linked back to the health of the hair. Rather than a texture pattern, hair colour responds differently to various porosities and should be factored into the colour application process. Highly porous hair absorbs more colour so you may need to apply extra product because the hair is like a sponge and will soak it up. On certain levels, you may need to watch the application process to ensure an even application from scalp to ends. Hair that has lower porosity and is in good condition is more predictable to colour and has more colouring options.

Q. What is the best way to keep the hair hydrated after a colour service? 

A. A weekly or bi-weekly treatment is essential. We recommend HYDRATE-ME.MASQUE or YOUNG.AGAIN.MASQUE but if you’re looking for an in-salon treatment try TREAT.ME MOISTURE, which helps promote elasticity and smoothness while improving moisture retention, softness and shine. Layering products will ensure that your hair is nourished all day long. LEAVE-IN.REPAIR is a great leave-in treatment to aid in moisture retention while being a great styling aid for highly textured hair. It provides intense repair and nourishment leaving hair shiny, glossy, and weightless. Additionally, it has the added bonus of heat protection, so it’s an essential step before layering your favourite styling products.

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Stay tuned on social media @kevin.murphy as we dive into even more tips and techniques for highly textured hair!