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Last updated: July 06, 2021

5 Color Tips For Visible Dimension On Curly Hair

How To Create Multidimensional Color On Curly & Wavy Clients

Highlights and lowlights getting lost in the waves? We’ve got the secrets to achieving that multidimensional color curly clients love—and need! Whether you’re working with fine waves or thick curls, these tips can make a huge difference!


Watch  Schwarzkopf Professional Artistic Team member Jessica Rondinelli (@jrondinelli) demo her tips for dodging the in-between of monochromatic color for a seamless, bright blend on every swirl and curl.  


1. Zigzag Sectioning

Say no to straight, precise sections! Follow the natural hair pattern and use zigzag sections on waves and curls. Taking zigzag sections helps prevent any harsh lines that could cut into the high and low points of the curls.


When sectioning, be sure to take hair density into consideration. “Small sections may get lost because of the density of the curls naturally. Be mindful of taking a bigger section so that color is able to be seen through the curl patterns.” says Jessica. 


2. Use Two Shades To Create Even MORE Dimension

Using two color formulas goes so beyond a typical “high” and “low” contrast. In the demo, Jessica explains how using two shades from Schwarzkopf Professional multi-dimensional color line, tbh true beautiful honest Permanent Hair Color can actually create a one-of-a-kind color job through the hues and gradients the two formulas create. 


When colors are kept in the same tonal range, the two formulas allow for creative freedom and wiggle room for the colors to melt together beautifully, creating custom shades! tbh is formulated to illuminate the natural highs and lows of the hair which takes the guess work out of multidimensional coloring for easy application and maintenance. 


Shop the NEW “Try Me” Kit: Warm shades from tbh – true beautiful honest!


3. “Smudge” With Balayage Boards

Ensure every curl is fully saturated with Jessica’s board smudging technique. Here’s how she applies the full head of color to achieve ultra-dimensional results:


  • Assess the shape of the waves and curls to determine where you could best place your highlight and lowlight formulas in each section. 
  • Begin with a full head of base color (Formula A). Then, the multi-dimensional coloring (Formula B and Formula C) will be applied up to the base color and blended down.
  • Use a board and paint Formula B or Formula C (depending on the section) onto the board before laying the section of hair on top of the color.
  • Pulling the hair taut, smudge and “smoosh” the hair across the color on the board before applying the second shade (Formula B or C) over top—this creates the multidimension coloring in-between curls. 


Pro Tip: If your curly client is needing some lowlights to diffuse a “too light” foil mishap, this process can be done in vertical and horizontal sections to add in some depth to break up the blonde!


4. Color Blocking For Brightness 

When you’re working with a lot of hair texture, color blocking can be used to accent certain sections! Jessica demonstrates using triangle partings at the top of the head with an additional face frame around the hairline for added brightness and contrast.


  • Around The Hairline: With zigzag partings, create a thick section around the hairline to color block. This section will be colored using Formula D with the intention of laying over any curls behind it for a bright pop around the face.
  • Top Of The Head: Create triangle sections at the top of the head, the amount of triangles will be based on the client’s hair density (Jessica used three on her model). This will create a beautiful ribbon effect with contrasted dimension as the curls intertwine with the coloring underneath. 


Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of heavy sectioning. Remember, curls have density! In order to create multi-dimension within a curl pattern there has to be color shown. 


5. Alternate Formula Placement 

To amplify the dimension created from two color formulas, Jessica’s hot tip to alternate formula placement in each section is perfect for multidimension coloring! When using two formulas, be sure to have a separate board and brush for each color to keep things clean and organized.


In each section, Formula B and Formula C will be applied using the same technique, just alternating color placement. 

  • Using the smudging technique mentioned above, paint Formula B on the board. Then, lay the section of hair over Formula B on the board, and paint Formula C over top.
  • In the next section, paint Formula C on the board, lay the new section of hair over Formula C, and paint Formula B over top—that’s it!


Alternate formula placement on each section and use clear plastic wrap to keep the sections from touching each other. Rinse with cold water when processing is complete. 


open color formula
close formula
  • Formula A (base)

    Schwarzkopf Professional tbh - true beautiful honest 30g 4-64 + 25g 5-47 + 10-volume developer

  • Formula B (highlights)

    Equal parts tbh - true beautiful honest 8-64 + 7-47 + 10-volume developer

  • Formula C (lowlights)

    tbh - true beautiful honest 6-84 + 6-volume developer

  • Formula D (highlights - color block)

    tbh - true beautiful honest 10-56 + 9-47 + 20-volume developer‪


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