Kinky, coily, springy, loose — no matter which curly hair subsidiary applies to you, dyeing it requires extra care and attention. Done the right way, though, with the right vetted professional and hair-color inspiration pulled up on your phone, and you'll walk out of the salon with dimension for days (or at least until your next touch-up).
What would that require, exactly? Turns out, the best hair color for curly hair is painted on freehand, balayage-style. "It's a much more gentle and organic way to highlight curls," said Ricardo Santiago, colorist at Bumble and Bumble. "Even the smallest amount of dimension can make the biggest difference. I like to have the client come in with their hair as they normally wear it, and just pick up the pieces of curls that are calling out for it."
Like anything else in this life, there are things about your texture to take into consideration before your appointment — namely, its elasticity, density, and moisture. ("Generally the drier hair is, the quicker it tends to lift or lighten, and the more likely it is to suck up — and hold on — to pigment," he said.) Plus, if you want to lighten up, know this: "The lighter you lift curls that are naturally dark, the more likely you may have to compromise how tight the curls bounce back. Take your time, lift slowly or over multiple sessions, use a bond-builder while you lighten, and be sure to use styling products that will add back both strength and moisture."
No matter what hue you choose — of which you can see 18 of our favorites here — Santiago added, "Less is more when it comes to extra curly or coily textures. Consider the overall shape and what hair shows, and don't spend time on, or stress out over, hair that you won't even be able to see."
Get your screen-shot fingers ready. These hair-color ideas are ready for their close-up.