Should I straighten my hair before getting highlights?

touching up roots of highlighted hair

  • If you have curly or wavy hair, you don’t need to straighten it before getting highlights.
  • In fact, it’d be the other way around. Highlights will give your curls a new dimension and luminosity to make your features stand out.
  • To get highlights on your curly hair, I recommend the foil technique. This way, you’ll avoid tangling your hair.
  • If you want to go a step further and get highlights on straight hair, you’ll need to apply a straightening treatment. Then, after three weeks, get the highlights.


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When I read these questions, I get angry with my colleagues. These kinds of comments come from colorists with little experience.

 There’s no reason why getting highlights on straight hair would be better than on curly/wavy hair. Therefore, it’s not true that it’s better to straighten the hair for highlights. 


Highlights look perfect on both curly and straight hair.

I understand that it’s been fashionable to sport your hair straight. But trust me, that’s just another big lie.


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Waves and curls refresh your look and, best of all, highlights look gorgeous on them.

They illuminate your face and add warmth to your whole look.


So, let’s do an exercise.

Get a mirror.

Look at your curls or waves.

Look at the body and waves when you move your head. Feel how your curls make you have a unique, almost overwhelming personality.

Make friends with your curls or waves.


I’m going to let you in on a secret.

Having straight hair doesn’t make you more beautiful. Nor will you look neater with perfectly straight hair.


 That’s not true. Your curls make you beautiful and still sleek. You just need to learn how to get the best out of them. And one of those ways is to get some highlights. 


So, are you ready to fall in love with your curls all over again?


Well, that’s good news!

After making that decision, things can only get better.



You don’t need to straighten your hair to get highlights

grown out dark roots

Long live curls and waves!

And down with all those limiting beliefs that lead us to believe that if we modify an aspect of our body, we’ll be more beautiful.


In that case, modifying any aspect of our appearance should be an option, not a cultural disposition.

It’s good news.


 You’ll be able to get highlights without straightening your hair. It’s the same as saying that you’ll embrace your curls to take them to a new dimension. 


When you arrive at the salon, your colorist will recommend the best technique to apply highlights according to your curl type.

What does this mean?


There are two different techniques for highlighting that yield the same results:

  • Highlighting cap.
  • Aluminum foils or thermal highlight strips.


If your colorist uses the highlighting cap, she’ll section off the hair she needs to color and pull them through the small holes in the silicone or latex cap. Then, she’ll apply the bleach to the strands.

Alternatively, if the colorist uses the foils, she’ll divide the hair into small bundles and coat them with bleach. Then, she’ll wrap them in aluminum foil or thermal highlighting strips.


 If you are interested in my professional opinion, I recommend you highlight your curly hair with foils. 

The cap, instead, tends to tangle the hair. And curly manes are more prone to tangling.

So, if you use the cap, you run the risk of tangling the curls, and tugging to untangle them can be quite painful.

If your hair is wavy, you can opt for either cap or foils.


Why is it better to do highlights on curly hair without straightening it before?

First, because you’ll prevent your hair from undergoing two chemical processes: highlights and straightening.

Secondly, highlights will refresh your curls or waves.

Due to the spiral structure of your curly hair, the light is reflected differently in straight hair.


 Therefore, when you apply highlights, your strands shine at every turn of your curls. 


The light will reflect on your highlights and catch everyone’s attention.

If your hair is wavy, the highlights will make it look much longer and thicker, with the body in hair product advertisements.

Now, apart from curls, do you have gray hair?


In that case, getting highlights without straightening your hair will enhance your look even more.

 Because curls with highlights disguise gray hair due how the light reflects on it. 

And if you add highlights in very light colors, you can forget about gray hair for months.


Gray hair is perfectly concealed with highlights, and even more so on curly/wavy hair.

But since I’m here to help you, I’ll let you in on a professional secret that you should never forget.


Curly hair is much stronger than straight hair. It breaks much less and has a higher resistance. Therefore, highlights are an ideal technique for your curly mane.



You don’t need to straighten your hair before getting highlights.

Your waves or curls with highlights will give your mane a new dimension and more shine.

And along the way, you’ll have discovered that curls can also make you feel beautiful.

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