Pintura Highlights: Everything You Need To Know!
Foiling Curls: 3 Tips To Make Highlights POP!
Ever spent hours foiling a head of curls only to rinse them out and have the highlights disappear? We feel your pain. So we tapped curl specialist and 2021 #ONESHOT Natural Texture Winner Christin Brown (@curlfactor) to share her pintura highlights technique. What is that you ask? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know and click here to purchase Christin’s course on BTC University and receive unlimited access!
What we learned:
You can learn Christin’s full technique in her 90-minute course, but we’re teasing these tips you need to know now!
Tip #1: What are Pintura Highlights?
Similar to the French word balayage meaning “to sweep,” pintura is Spanish for “to paint” and it is perfect for giving curly clients highlights that POP. The technique is simple: Strategically painting one curl at a time in the hair’s natural state. “This technique really adds dimension and focus to the client’s curl pattern whether they are wavy or super coiled,” Christin explains.
Tip #2: The technique: Sectioning, saturation & how to paint
Check out Christin’s sectioning, saturation tips and technique!
Sectioning: Work with the client’s natural head shape for high-impact placement. Christin takes radial partings around the client’s head to create a waterfall effect of highlights. This allows her to visibly see where each highlight lives against the client’s existing color, creating natural depth throughout.
Achieve maximum saturation without overloading the brush. Using her hand as a palette, Christin swipes the brush to pick up a medium-thick line of product—mimicking toothpaste on a toothbrush. “By setting up the brush this way, my accuracy when painting is much easier and I am able to saturate the hair evenly and in one application,” Christin explains.
Tight tension + gentle painting motion = precise application. Holding the curl straight, Christin gently glides the lightener on, “kissing” the product onto the hair. “I’m not pressing down or smashing the product onto the hair—I’m literally just kissing the top of the curl and gliding down the hair shaft. Since I have that thick product line I am able to get the saturation I need,” explains Christin
Tip #3: Must-have products to keep curls healthy from lifting to toning!
Clients (and their colorists) are aware that curls are more susceptible to breakage—especially when applying bleach! That’s why Christin uses Olaplex products throughout the entire service to guarantee her client’s hair stays healthy. Check them out below!
- Mix Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier into the lightener formula: A tried-and-true combo for rebuilding bonds and protecting strands while lifting.
Pro Tip: Christin suggests mixing the lightener and developer thoroughly before adding in Olaplex No. 1 for better consistency control.
- After rinsing, apply Olaplex No. 2 to detangle and repair. Who doesn’t love a little TLC? Christin applies Olaplex No. 2 Bond Perfector and uses her fingers to work out any knots after lifting while also repairing the hair.
- Cleanse and tone with the NEW Olaplex No. 4P Shampoo. Christin uses the newest product in the Olaplex line to tone away any brassines without leaving the shampoo bowl. “The No. 4P is super pigmented and sulfate-free, so it will really help make the fresh highlights pop without drying out the curls,” she adds.
- Style with Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother to strengthen, moisturize and control frizz. Christin’s advice when it comes to styling? Don’t overthink it! “Since we’ve kept the client’s hair moisturized throughout the entire process and we detangled with the No. 2, simply applying the No. 6 and diffusing to dry will leave the client’s curls feeling soft and bouncy,” Christin explains.
Slide for the Before & After!
Click the Beaker for Christin’s Formula Breakdown!
- Formula A (lightener on section from parietal ridge to ears + three hairline foils)
- Formula B (lightener on crown section)Violet Pigmented Lightener + 20-volume Pigmented developer (1:2) + ⅛ Olaplex No. 1 Bond MultiplierPro Tip: For the best consistency, Christin adds Olaplex to the formula AFTER thoroughly mixing the lightener and developer.
- Formula C (toner)
Olaplex No. 4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo applied at the shampoo bowl
Have questions? Christin has answers!
One of the benefits of watching a course on BTC University? Artists are able to answer your questions in REAL TIME! Here are some technical questions viewers had for Christin during her livestream:
Question: How do you make sure the highlights don’t bleed onto the rest of the hair?
Answer: “If you are really concerned about the lightener transferring, you can 100 percent use mesh or a paper towel to keep the zones separate. This is more important with clients that have looser waves and tight coils. My client today has really fluffy curls, so as the lightener processes and creates a slight cast on the hair strand, I can gently lay each section down and not worry about the top section smashing the bottom.”
Q: What at-home maintenance advice do you give clients to keep their hair healthy between lightening appointments?
A: “The first big tip I give my clients is that they have to stay away from water for at least 48 hours after their appointment. That means no showers, no swimming pools, no saunas. This is because the product in their hair is still oxidizing and applying moisture will alter their fresh color.”
“The next big piece of advice is for their next wash day, they apply a deep conditioner. The reason is because their hair may feel a little on the drier side after waiting to cleanse so a moisture mask is a must! I love to send my clients home with the Olaplex No. 8 Intense Moisture Mask because it is a multi-benefit reparative mask and it is perfect to apply in the shower.”