I just asked two leading hairdressers what the chicest hair colours are for curly hair—here's their verdicts

You'll want to read this before your next salon visit

Paola Locatelli wears black shirt, silver skirt outside Gucci during the Milan Fashion Week - Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 on September 22, 2023 in Milan, Italy
(Image credit: Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images)

Few things beat the feeling of freshly-coloured hair. When it comes to hair colour trends, the best hair colours for curly hair, specifically, will really compliment all types of curls. 

“Curls look great with colour [as] it can really make a curl pattern pop and show off the texture,” confirms Alisha Dobson, managing director at Bleach London Salons. “[There are] lots of things to take into account; how the client likes to wear their hair, what products they like to use—[as] some can be heavy and make the hair look darker—and if they only wear it curly or like to have straight, too. You want to make sure it looks good in all styles.”

“It’s important to consider porosity and moisture levels as you would always aim for the curls to look hydrated and healthy,” adds Christel Barron-Hough, co-founder and creative director of STIL London. “A gloss colour promotes shine and condition and lightening products can be tailor-made so that the structure of the hair maintains health. No-bleach blonde products like high-lift blondes are excellent for lightening the hair without making it too dehydrated but, generally, the colour will look more sun-kissed than super bright." Ahead, our experts have explained six key colour ideas that are pretty much guaranteed to work brilliantly on curly hair. 

The best hair colour ideas for curly hair, according to hairdressers

1. Copper tones

From bright and vivid through to more muted tones, Alisha notes that there’s a shade of copper to suit everyone. "Any technique [can be used] to get there, depending on your commitment level and the amount of your natural hair you want visible—from full head, dip lights, balayage or a subtle demi colour tone change," she says. 

2. Subtle lights

Soft highlights are an excellent choice for curls. "These add dimension to curls and in any colour, from soft browns to light blondes," Alisha explains. "They can be really low maintenance."

3. Glossy brunette

“[This helps] curls to look healthy and shiny from root to tip," says Alisha. “With hair on the longer side, after a few summers the ends can lift and either look like a great natural balayage or leave your hair looking a bit dry and flat. [Glossy brunette] can range from semi, demi or permanent depending on the depth and shade choice.” 

4. Hand painting and "curlyage"

"Hand painting is also a great technique as it will highlight colour in specific areas so you can work with the natural curl pattern," says Christel. Often referred to as "curlyage", balayage is a very popular choice for curly hair because it adds dimension, plus the technique can work with pretty much any colour palette. 

5. Soft-luxe blonde

Multi-dimensional blondes look brilliant on all curl types. Alisha describes "soft-luxe blonde" as a “softer blonde, after the Barbie platinum [blonde] popularity.”

6. Caramelised hair

An extremely flattering hair colour that we're predicting will be huge in 2024, caramelised hair looks so great on curly hair. "[This] will gently lighten the hair and often no bleaching products need to be used as high-lift blondes can lighten and brighten and maintain the natural curl pattern," says Christel. 

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.