Prepare yourself for lighter curls with these 5 Tips

You are totally in love with the fact that your curls  are winding ,curly, healthy and shiny and yet the darkness of it bores you. Have you ever been there? Or have you fallen in love with the way your celeb or friend rocks their color?

 This happens to me very often. I am going to say that I fall for Jennifer Lopez hair color every time i see an interview or a performance. It's like her color keeps getting better along with her skin and body. I mean really? More power to her. 

All of a sudden the idea of lighter color starts to creep up on you. There it is the moment you are faced with, should I alter the health of my hair. Anxiety starts to kick in. Making this decision is a huge commitment, not only will you be committed monetarily, you will invest your time, patience, and emotions. Yes my curl friends you are investing and committing.

  Color is like a partnership. The love hate relationship of color is one that will take you thru a roller coaster. Sometimes, good days and other times not so great days. However being someone who has gone from Natural Curls that I couldn’t get black enough with 01B to a Natural curl that is currently a light Blonde, I have found that the process although a roller coaster was a lot of fun and quite an adventure.

 Being someone with lighten curls and also someone that works in the curl world as a beauty expert, Lightening Curls is a specialty that has been fun to work with. Whether it was for an editorial shot or a company advertisement, or simply for my amazing clients, all of it has been a ball of experience. At first I am not going to lie, it was trial and error yes errors. Curly hair can be very temperamental.

Curl composition, textures, density and elasticity, formation and diameter and of course the clients emotional state of mind or your own state of mind.  Whether you are reading this as an Salon professional and or a consumer or beauty expert, I would like to share with you top 5 things thathave worked for my personal curl journey and also in my career when lightening curly hair. Trust me when I tell you that I am so sure that the next 10 tips will not only help you understand the process but also help you make a lightening decision.

Lets get into it.


Tip #1

Create a storyboard. Yes, storyboards can be very fun. Changing your hair color will also mean changing your make up and sometimes your wardrobe. The red lipstick that worked with your dark hair might not work so much with your lighter hair and probably nor will that muddy green shirt. ( I really loved that shirt)


Start your “EXPLORATION PROCESS!”  Gathering information for your storyboard is as easy as opening a pinterest board or a folder on your phone Give your pinterest board and folder personal tittles and begin your search.

Search for pictures of curly girls with your texture of curls and the colors you love. IMPORTANT-  Looking at colors on straight hair is fun however your expectations will be an epic fail if you think the results will be the same as the picture. This was also a hard lesson for me at the beginning of my curl journey. Later in my career I realized that Light reflects different on hair that is straight verses hair that is curly. However if you have curly hair that you wear straight most of the time, then by all means go for it.

Let’s get back to the storyboard. You don’t have to have it so that everyone views it, it can simply be for your posting/viewing use only. If your anything like me, ask your friends to help you find pictures. This can very fun, ask them to find pictures of colors that they would love to see on your hair, make up and clothes.  IMPORTANT -Ask the people that you wouldn’t hesitate to trust their judgment and also people that know you very well.  If you’re ok with their suggestions ask them to pin to your board or share on your folder.





If you’re a Salon professional, this is something you can do as well. Show it to your clients as a color portfolio. I have many folders on my ipad and some of my favorite ones are the ones that included curl color schemes by seasons and my own work. This will also set the tone and relationship between you and the curl client. You get to show how you work!!




As much as I am of fan of DIY for curly hair, I am definitely not a fan of DIY color. Sorry boo’s there is a reason why salon professionals need a license to do hair. It is because of chemical knowledge.  Now, this is not to say that if you have a license automatically this makes you a curl guru or expert on curls and color. I’ll be really honest, the reason I have my husband color my curls is because I have spent the past 5 years teaching him color chemistry and artistry. Oh and I trust him. I get it guys, I know money and trust is involved in this process. However if you want to reach your color goals and still keep your curls intactthan visiting a Color curl expert is a must.

IMPORTANT- Color chemistry can be very harsh on hair that is already dry or brittle.  It is said that every time your hair is colored or lightened with lighteners your hair receives damage by over 30%. In this process your elasticity is at risk and integrity of curls will become weak.


Find a color curl expert in your area and book a consultation.  In your consultation you should get a diagnosis of the integrity of your hair. Also your expert should be able to explain whether you will need color to reach your goals a decolorizer or a lightener.  Here are some questions to ask your curl expert


What condition is my hair in?

Will I need color or any other chemicals to achieve my hair goals?

Should there be a preparation period in which I start treating my hair with protein before any color services?

How do I care for my hair after the service?

What products do I use post color service?

How many times during the year do I have to color or lighten my hair?

Will I be able to achieve my color goals in one process or one visit to the salon?

How much will I be investing in it?


Basically come up with a list of questions to ask your stylist. Write them down when ever a thought pops into your mind and take it with you to the salon. Be prepared!!



Tip #3 Never ever go into it with the expectation that you will become blonde in one step or even in one day.


Color is very tricky and when you have curly hair that you want to keep, it becomes trickier. You must go in with the expectation that “your hair can only promise what it can only promise.” That’s right everyone’s hair has a degree of color that it can promise in one sitting or in one day. Think about it like this a Toyota can be built in 13 hours but a Rolce-Royce takes 6 months to build. Do you want a color or do you want luxury looking color with healthy curls? Be patient. It does take a few tries to get to a light color from previous dark tones or natural dark tones.


It tends to go thru some stages that like to live in the warm tones like Orange, yellow orange or yellow/yellow orange. Yes that Orange is hard to get rid of. As a curly blonde now I can honestly say you can get rid of it but it takes time. BE PATIENT!!!!


Tip #4  Having different tones of blondes creates a natural look. Have you ever looked at celebrity hair and completely have fallen head over heels in love with it? Well, for me it’s Jennifer Lopez’s beautiful blonde/bronde hair. Yes her looks are simply amazing. If you take a closer look, what makes it look amazing is the array of colors falling between warm and cool tones with strategically placed light chunks.


An all over color may look good but mixing the colors with each other will look amazingly Yummy!


Tip #5 Stay open! When you first make a drastic change especially when you have lighten your hair, you will go thru a mini emotional roller coaster. Your family and closest friends will also come along on that ride. I remember when I first lightened, I stared at my hair for the first 5 mins.  I felt on top of the world and then all of a sudden the thought of “did I make a mistake “ started hitting me hard and quickly. Followed by the anxiety of showing up to my family and friends and having to hear their thoughts and opinions and then feeling like I was stuck in the orange stage for years when it had only been 1 month. Looking back I think I could have had a little more fun going thru those stages. Keep thinking about your end result. Stay Open, have fun with everyone’s opinions and all of the color stages and remember your color goals. Don’t head back to dark just keep moving forward to lighter hair, you can always darken once you are light.



Lets Recap


#1. Storyboard (gather favorite looks)

#2. Salon Experience (ask questions)

#3 Realistic Expectations (promises)

#4 Embrace different tones (cool/warm)

#5 Stay open and have Fun (color goals)

Follow these steps and I am sure that you will be able to make the right curl color decisions.


Xxoo Isabella Vázquez