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Last updated: July 15, 2020

5 Tips For Lightening Curly & Textured Hair

Kauilani Goodwyn @kauigoodwyn Twisted Balayage Technique Curly Textured Hair Natural Detangle Two Strand Twist Lighten
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Instagram via @kauigoodwyn

Read These 5 Tips Before You Lighten Curly & Textured Hair

No hair service is one-size-fits-all and that couldn’t be more true when talking about lightening curly and textured hair. Because damage can result in a disrupted curl pattern (every curly girl’s worst nightmare), three texture experts shared their tips and tricks for safely lightening waves, curls and coils during the Textured Hair Elevated Summit. Keep scrolling to learn things like what to do if her starting level is orange, what volume developer is best and how to make color last longer.


1. What To Do About Orange Hair

A new client wants a soft balayage but her strands are currently orange as a result of a recent blonding gone bad. What do you do? MIZANI x Redken Ambassador Leysa Carrillo (@leysahairandmakeup) has a quick trick for unwanted orange: Redken Shades EQ 6ABn, one of their NEW ash brown shades. Using her signature Forever Curls technique:


  • First, she’ll paint a weaved section with lightener.


  • Then, she’ll tease the next section and apply Shades EQ 6ABn + Shades EQ Processing Solution on the tease only.


  • On that same teased section, apply lightener from the mids to the ends.


Leysa says when you go to comb it out later, the dark regrowth will seamlessly connect with the blonde to reveal a soft finish, making it look as if the hair was never orange.


Tap through Leysa’s post below to see how it works!

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A post shared by Leysa Carrillo🇨🇺Forever Curls (@leysahairandmakeup) on


2. A High Volume Developer Isn’t Required For A High Lift

There’s a common misconception that a higher volume developer is needed to achieve a higher lift on darker hair, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Atlanta-based cutter and colorist Dereq Clark (@dereqc)—who typically works on Levels 2, 3 and 4—says he’ll only use anywhere from 5- to 20-volume developer on these clients. (Remember: The tighter the curl, the more fragile the hair is.)


3. Try This Technique For A High-Impact Blonde—Without Backcombing

Do you dread combing out a tease? With The Texpert Collective Co-Founder Kauilani Goodwyn’s (@kauigoodwyn) signature twisted balayage technique, that step can be avoided! The application starts with a detangling process and two-strand twists, leaving hair out between for balayage.


Kauilani Goodwyn @kauigoodwyn Twisted Balayage Technique Curly Textured Hair Natural Detangle Two Strand Twist Lighten
Instagram via @kauigoodwyn

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Detangle + Dampen: Prep with MIZANI 25 Miracle Milk to detangle textured hair so it’s dampened and easier to work with.


  • Twist Technique (takes 20 to 30 minutes):
    • Start at the top of a pie-shaped section.
    • Twist two strands, split the bottom piece in half, push it to the side, grab the next piece and twist it in. Repeat. 
    • Continue this pattern to create a weave in the hair.
    • Twist the full head before applying any lightener. 


Pro Tip: With more curly and coiled texture types, you don’t need to secure with elastics to lock in the twist. If you do it on straight hair, you WILL need to use an elastic. 


  • Balayage Application: Apply lightener ONLY to the hair left out of the twists—the hair between and the ends. Use a traditional balayage technique on the sections left out and saturate the ends of the twists to create more brightness. 


Kauilani Goodwyn @kauigoodwyn Twisted Balayage Technique Curly Textured Hair Natural Detangle Two Strand Twist Lighten
The finished look, which can be worn curly OR straight! // Instagram via @kauigoodwyn


4. Remember This Rule For Relaxed Hair

Should you avoid lightening relaxed strands since both are chemical services that can be harsh on the hair? Not necessarily. “It’s not that they can’t get color, but there are rules to coloring relaxed hair,” advises Dereq. “The rule is: You can color relaxed hair, but you can’t relax colored hair.” So to avoid damage, go low and slow and make sure maintaining the integrity of the hair is the number one priority. 


Note: While many stylists do not recommend relaxing and lightening hair in the same day, it CAN be done…with the right education and products. Click here to learn more about it!


5. Tip For Healthier, Longer-Lasting Color

Because curly and textured hair is more delicate than other hair types, it’s important these clients leave with healthy strands and long-lasting color to both protect their curl pattern and prolong another lightening service. That’s why Leysa preps color clients with 25 Miracle Milk and works against the hair growth pattern, a tip she says makes her Forever Curls technique last anywhere from six to eight months.


Pro Tip: Make sure to use foils that are the same length as her hair and do not smush all the hair into the foil. Instead, apply lightener downward from roots to ends to ensure each section lays flat.

Products Used


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