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Women with beautiful curly hair

Clouding Is The Highlighting Technique Every Curly Girl Needs To Know About

We sat down with an expert to get the inside scoop on everything there is to know about clouding.

Often viral hair trends appear to be a one-size-fits-all solution for every hair type. The truth is, however, whether it’s a trending hair cut, color, or style, what works for your best friend may not work for you. Take the popular highlighting technique balayage. In theory, balayage should work on every hair type, but we’re so used to seeing balayage on long, straight strands, many curly girls are left wondering if it’s the right highlighting technique for their mane.

If you have a head full of curls and you’re looking to upgrade your hair color with highlights, we have just the hair color technique for you: clouding. Created by Redken brand ambassador Lindsey Olsen, the clouding is a highlighting technique specifically for curly hair. Intrigued? You’re in luck! We sat down with Olsen and got the inside scoop on everything there is to know about clouding.

What is clouding?

Clouding is a highlighting technique in which your colorist applies hair dye to your hair using their hands to scrunch the formula on to your strands. It can be used to create a dramatic all-over look, subtle highlights, or a saturated ombre.

“No matter how thick or curly their hair is, it can create a subtle or dramatic change depending on starting level and processing time,” Olsen says.

Good hair day by @rachel_redd.

Who is clouding best for?

Clouding is best for people who wear their hair curly all of the time because of how the scrunching hits the highs and lows of the strand. By focusing the majority of the hair dye on the ends, it keeps the base dark, which helps to shows off curls faster. Because the dye is applied to the hair in its natural state, this technique is not recommended for anyone who likes to straighten their curly hair often.

This technique is particularly great for anyone with thick, dense curls that typically take hours to style.

“It is by far the fastest color application and process for blonding on curly hair—which is why I use it so often,” Olsen explains.

Good hair day by @neeenaboo.

How do you care for highlighted curly hair?

No matter your hair texture, type, or chosen hair color technique, you should expect to make a few changes to your hair care routine anytime your color your hair. First, we suggest swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated for color-treated hair. We recommend Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner. This lightweight, gentle sulfate-free system provides captivating color care and strengthens the hair fiber from root to tip with soft, flexible results.

Once a week, treat your newly highlighted strands to some extra TLC with Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask. The Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask is so powerful it leaves strands intensely nourished and provides four weeks of vibrancy and radiance when used as a system with Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner.

Last, but certainly not least, expect to head back to the salon for a touch-up every eight to 12 weeks to keep your color in tip-top shape.

Interested in highlighting your curly hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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