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Last updated: February 08, 2023

3 Hacks For Coloring Rich Copper Curls

How To Color Textured Hair Without Damaging Curls

“There’s nothing worse than when you nail the color but the curl is totally ruined,” says Alfaparf Milano National Artistic Director Cassie Siskovic (@cassiskovic). So, the next time a curly client sits in your chair requesting bright tones—like a trendy copper—use these pro tips to transform their color without disrupting their curl pattern. 


Watch Cassie collab with Alfaparf Brand Ambassador Milena Ghattas (@milenarosehair) in the full tutorial above, and keep reading for some key takeaway tips and formulas to create copper curls with dimension. 




1. How To Determine Using Lightener Before Permanent Color 

To keep texture patterns intact, we’d ideally like to use as minimal products as possible. Milena breaks down her process to determine if she’ll need to begin a color service with a lightener or if she can get the job done only using permanent color. 


For vibrant, bright red tones:

If your client has very coarse, dark hair as a starting canvas, Milena recommends using bleach for the color transformation. 


For more natural, copper tones:

“If your client’s ‘goal photo’ does not have a lot of intensity to the color,” Milena explains, “I can lean towards using permanent color without lightener,” [like Alfaparf Milano Evolution of the Color.]


See Milena’s before/after transformation below!

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Get Milena’s color formulas:

  • Base: Alfaparf Milano Evolution of the Color 8.43 + 30-volume Oxid’o developer (1:1.5)
    Ends: Evolution of the Color 8.43 + OOOSSS Lightening Booster + 30-volume Oxid’o developer (1:1.5)


Try Evolution of the Color yourself—see 120 shades!


2. Use A Low-Volume Developer To Avoid Overprocessing Curls

“Low and slow,” as Cassie says, will be the least damaging for any color processing on textured hair. Even if your client’s hair is as dark as a Level 1, Cassie recommends starting the lightening process with a 10-volume developer.


Remember these keys tips: 

  • Be patient, don’t rush the lightening process.
  • Use minimal heat and start with lower developers. 
  • Start in the back—you can always rinse the sections that are ready as you work toward the front. 
  • Remember: You can always bump up to 20- to 25-volume when you get to the front sections. 
  • Don’t let your eyes trick you, says Cassie. Assess the texture—when it comes to curls, it’s really common for the strands to be very fine, so the hair will work with the color faster. 


Pro Tip: Cassie’s go-to for gentle bleaching is Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach System Easy Lift 7The lightener provides strong results on any hair type without over-processing the cuticle.


3. Lighten The Ends As The Last Step 

We know the ends of our clients’ hair is generally the most porous, but we need to remember for curly hair, it’s also the most delicate! To avoid giving your curly clients a chemical cut, always apply lightener through the ends of their hair last. This will help retain any curl pattern to be symmetrical from root to end without overprocessing. 


Tap the beaker for the color formulas!

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close formula
  • Formula A (lightener)

    Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach Easy Lift 7 + 10-volume Oxid'o Developer (1:2) / Shift to 20-volume as needed per quadrant for even processing time. 

  • Formula B (base)

    Alfaparf Milano Evolution of the Color 10g 5 + 15g 6.53 + 10-volume Oxid'o Developer (1:1.5)

  • Formula C (ends)

    Evolution of the Color 30g 7.34 + 10g 6.4 + 10 pumps Copper Pigment + 10-volume Oxid'o Developer (1:2)

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