hair color application How to Dye Naturally Curly and Coily Hair Safely

You can color your curls and coils without sacrificing your hair’s health.

April 13, 2022
How To Dye Curly Hair

If you have curly hair and you’ve ever dyed it, then you know that dyeing curls comes with its own set of rules and techniques. Just like washing curls, detangling curls and even styling curls, you need to be mindful of the sensitivity of your hair as well as minimize damage to the curl pattern. That means prepping your curls for coloring is key and you can’t put just any hair dye on your mane (they are not all created equal). 


So to help you through the process we’re breaking down some of the need-to-know info on dyeing curly hair without damage, with tips from L’Oréal Paris creative director of style and color Jonathan Colombini, plus offering some of the best hair dyes for curly hair so you can get a gorgeous, vibrant color right at home.


How to Prepare Curly Hair for Hair Dye

When it comes to coloring curly hair, Colombini says that even distribution of the product is one of the biggest challenges people face.


“If the color isn’t evenly distributed to whichever section you’re doing, it can create what hair colorists call ‘color bands,’” he explains. “This is when you can see lines of different shaded color throughout the hair strands.”


That’s definitely not a good look. To avoid color bands, make sure you divide your hair into small sections so that they’re easier to work through and saturate. Have a front mirror and back mirror so that you can see the back of your head and keep lots of clips handy so that you can move hair out of your way when you’re not working on it. 


How to Dye Curly Hair Without Damaging It

This is going to sound basic but it’s worth saying — always follow the directions on the hair dye kit! If you’re planning to DIY your hair color you want to stick closely to the steps in the package. The results and claims made on your products are based on tests done using the directions included. If you decide to improvise the steps, you could end up with a botched color, or worse, chemically damaging your curl pattern. 


The one exception that Colombini notes is how much hair dye you use. He says, “because of the density that curly hair can create, proper saturation of dye is key — so double up the normal amount suggested.”  


Of course, the thickness of your hair and the type of hair dye you use is going to have a huge impact on how saturated your color is, how vibrant your results are and how long the color lasts. So you want to invest in hair color made for curly and coily hair.


If you’re planning on going from dark to light hair, which means bleaching your strands, hold off on coloring it and heat styling it all in one session. As per Colombini, “this number of services in one session isn’t okay on any hair type.”


The Best Hair Dye for Curly Hair

While opting for hair products made specially for curls — dye or otherwise — is always the best way to go, you can use any hair dye that has been tested on and approved for all hair types. L’Oréal Paris has different options for you when it comes to coloring your curls and coils, take your pick from these options below.


L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray

This temporary hair color spray suitable for all hair types is perfect for anyone who wants a brief hair color change with no commitment. There’s no mixing, no developer, no ammonia and no PPD, so you can give your curls a short-term color change with no risk of damage and wash it out when you’re ready to go back to your natural color. 


L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Similarly, this semi-permanent hair color lets you experiment with new hair hues sans the risk of damage to your curl pattern. The color lasts longer than temporary color spray but won’t permanently change your strands. After several washes you’ll see the color fade and your original shade start to revert back. 


L’Oréal Paris Féria Platinum Bounce Bond Care Lightening System

If you’re looking to go blonde or bleach your curly hair, reach for this lightening system made for all hair types. It’s formulated with bond care technology to protect fragile hair bonds from damage and maintain your curls’ natural shape and bounce while you lighten.


L’Oréal Paris Féria Midnight Bold Multi-Faceted Permanent Hair Color

When you’re looking to transform your dark tresses without the help of bleach, this is your go-to hair color kit. It gives hair a deep, shimmering tint without ravaging its health. Available in five shades, it’s an easy-to-use, one-step permanent hair color with bold results.


L’Oréal Paris Féria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color

This hair color kit comes with everything you need to give your hair color a permanent change. It comes in 33 custom-blended shades and is equipped with a conditioner that seals and smooths the hair. You get brilliant hair color without wrecked curls.


How to Take Care Of Color-Treated Curly Hair

If your curls have undergone a permanent hair color change, you want to make sure you’re giving them the care that color-treated hair deserves. These five products are great to have in your arsenal to keep your curls moisturized and healthy and your color vibrant and shiny.


The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo is a creamy formula that delivers vital moisture to your strands. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid and castor oil to lay the foundation for hydrated, bouncy and ultra-soft curls. 


After shampooing, follow up with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Length Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. It also hydrates curls with its creamy, moisture-sealing hyaluronic acid-infused formula without weighing down your hair.


For bleached and lightened hair specifically, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Conditioner are formulated to strengthen weak hair bonds damaged by bleaching and chemicals. Add these to your hair care routine.


And when your color needs a boost, turn to L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss. In just one 15 minute session (which you can do in the shower) you can enhance your hair color and tone while deeply conditioning your curls.


Next: 5 Products to Help You Refresh Your Curly Hair Care Routine This Spring


Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn