Everything You Need To Know About Dyeing Curly Hair


From an expert

It might seem like there would be a lot of hard parts about growing up as the middle of five children, but by far the hardest things was that, despite my huge family, no one understood my hair. I was the first and only person for generations to have curly hair. This basically meant that no one knew how or what I should do with my curly locks, including me, and it took me years to learn to embrace my curly-haired self.

Throughout high school, my sisters experimented with hair dye—everything from those really streaky, chunky highlights of the early 2000s to dip-dying the ends green in the 2010s to going silver last year. During all of their dyeing expeditions, my hair stayed the same. It’s not that I didn’t want bright orange tiger-striped streaks, it was that I was scared senseless of dyeing my tresses. 

I’m not sure that there is any casual cosmetic decision more shrouded in mystery and old wives’ tale older than dying curly hair. I just never seemed to be able to find a clear answer as to what it would do to my locks. All anecdotal evidence pointed to the end of the world. A friend’s mom said that her curls thinned and started falling out after she dyed her hair. Another friend claimed that she had completely lost her curl pattern. A girl in my English class said that it had left her hair in a permanently frizzy state.

I’ve already always had a complicated relationship with my hair. I might threaten to shave my head most mornings, but I’d still lose it if I ever lost my curls. Recently, though, I’ve been itching to do something different. Instead of continuing to pore through the horror stories of hair dye-killing curls, I decided to speak with an actual expert who would have real answers and advice that wasn’t centered around a story they heard from their third cousin twice removed. I spoke to Colleen Flaherty, the head colorist at NYC's Spoke & Weal (the only salon I’ve ever returned to for a haircut), to figure out what is possible for curly hair when it comes to color. Here's what she had to say.

Is it true that dyeing your hair can kill your curl pattern?
It depends on how strong or weak the hair is, on the person’s curl, and their type of hair. There are some people where I can lighten them up, and their curl is completely fine, and then there are some people where it loosens up their curl just a little bit. During a consultation, I always say to someone with curly hair that it might change their curl pattern or whatnot, so don’t be alarmed.

Can people determine the strength of their curl?
If your hair’s been processed over and over again, you will most likely lose the curl pattern. If a person has fine curly hair, it might become a little bit more limp after dye; this won't happen as much if the hair is strong or coarse. It all depends on your texture of hair. It also depends on the product that you use, because if you’re not using the right products, you might not get as much curl as before.

When curl patterns are destroyed, is that usually recoverable or permanent?
The only time I’ve actually ever seen a destroyed curl pattern, it’s been in one area. I’ve never seen it completely over the whole head. It’ll maybe be one or two curls [that are affected], and maybe after a month, [the curl pattern] will start to come back again. But I’ve never seen someone’s curl go completely straight. 

Should people with curly hair stay away from anything specific? Like bleach, for example?
It just depends on their texture and the type of their hair. I don’t think curly hair should be scared of bleach or what we use as a lightener, but it all depends on how the colorist is coloring their hair. They could completely damage it if they’re not using the right product or if they’re not using it correctly.

Are there any red flags to look out for? 
I don’t think there’s anything that you should stay away from. I think you should go to someone who's comfortable coloring curly hair. And if you feel strong and have done your research on who you’re seeing, so that you can make sure they can give you the result that you want, then I don’t think you should be afraid. The colorist that’s coloring your hair should be able to determine what will look good and best for you, and you guys should have a consultation about what the best look is for you.

What is the most important thing you think people should know about dyeing their hair when it’s curly?
If you’re getting highlighted, your hair is going to look different every day because your curl pattern can look different every day. Not that it would be completely different, but you might see more color one day and a little bit less the next day. But that’s beautiful too because you get different versions of color!

What’s the biggest difference between dyeing curly and straight hair?
Say you wanted to color your hair dark and all one color; the thing with curly hair is it might look lighter on top and darker on the bottom because you have all of this curl down there, where it can start to look kind of like a black hole. You have no movement because you’re not seeing that curl, so that’s something different. Whereas with straight hair, you kind of get to see it a little bit more. When it comes to curly hair and wanting to go darker, I tend to put little pieces of something a few shades lighter just to give that hair down toward the end a little more reflection, so it doesn’t feel kind of like a black hole or like you can’t see your curl because it looks so dark.

After dyeing hair, what should you be doing for maintenance?
I always recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner and then always using a product that benefits your curl completely. If you’re not using stuff that’s going to help your color, then it could easily fade, but it also depends on your texture. If your hair is a little more dry, then maybe we would just recommend a shampoo to give it something more moisturizing for your curl. But always use a professional-grade product.

Any other wisdom or tips for curly hair?
Lion Babe’s hair is great, and she’ll do this little trick: She’ll diffuse her hair and then at the end, she’ll go with a little curling iron to define the curls a little bit more—that way it looks a little bit more put together.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council

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Photograph via @kimkardashian.


Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.


After delivered the perfect pep talk

When Lena Waithe took over as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live, her first time ever as a late-night host, actress and friend Halle Berry knew exactly how to pump her up. After Kimmel's security guard Guillermo Rodriguez hit the "Berry Button" (a large button on the wall that says just that), Berry came running out in a backless tee and boyfriend jeans to give Waithe a pep talk... and plant one on her.

Berry rolled in as if she'd just jogged from hanging out with her friends to come to Waithe's immediate aid, joking she wasn't dressed for the occasion; but, let's be real, she could wear a paper bag, and we wouldn't complain. Waithe requested the "Halle Berry juice," similar to her 2002 Oscars speech, and Berry immediately had the lights turned down low and jumped into inspirational speech mode.

"I know that you are a force of nature. You are a beautiful African-American queen going after everything that is hers," Berry said before going on to list Waithe's many titles and accomplishments. She jokingly concluded, "And you already winning, girl, 'cause you are dressed way better than Jimmy ever will," before asking if Waithe needed anything else. Clearly, Waithe thought that was all Berry was there to do, because she said no, but Berry insisted she needed one more thing before grabbing Waithe's face and surprising her with a kiss. "Wow," Waithe reacted after Berry pulled away, and honestly same!

Watch the video, below.

Lena Waithe's Guest Host Monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live