Happiest birthday, Cleo Wade.
Peerless poet, wonderful human, fabulous friend, and one of my favorite curly queens.
When I first met Cleo, her hair was in need of a bit of TLC. The effects of over-processing and back to back pregnancies had wrecked havoc on her hair - which is often the case. To get to where we wanted to go with her color, a complete reset was necessary. A fresh start. For curls to spring and bounce, and the color to be reflective, the cuticle has to be intact. Coloring stretches the cuticle, and if too much is done too fast, you risk disturbing the entire curl pattern. The question remained, could we get to vibrant, golden curls, despite postpartum hair shedding.
A big misconception is that textured or curly hair needs the strongest color products to process. High porosity curly hair is actually extremely fragile and needs a lot of TLC in the approach. So our plan was to go low and slow when it came to lightening her hair, using a low developer (peroxide) over a longer period of time, to slowly get us to our ultimate sun-kissed goals.
Another reason that golden highlights was our eventual goal, is that lighter hair shows off texture and curl definition much better than dark hair, simply because it highlights the curl pattern. When it comes to curly hair and wanting to go darker, I always put little hints of lightness towards the ends (a shade or so) to give the hair a bit more reflection and dimension.
If you’re getting highlighted and you wear your hair curly for the most part, remember that your hair is going to look different every day, because your curl pattern can look different every day. It’s important to stretch the hair a bit when highlighting, so that if you do straighten your hair from time to time, the color is even and there are no gaps in continuity. Afterwards, if you do straighten your hair, go easy on the heat, always use a heat protectant spray before blow drying and do deep conditioning treatments as much as possible.
Though we’ve now reached our goal, I have to say I’ve actually enjoyed the in-between colors along the way as well.
(color by kadi lee, haircut by hector garcia).