My Trip to Curl Evolution and My Experience Getting Painted Highlights!

Ever since I decided to go natural, I always knew I wanted to get painted highlights but I was always hesitant because I’ve damaged my hair before by adding color. Painted highlights are an innovative method to obtain the color you want on specific curls. They are applied by using a dye brush and painting the exact curls you want the color on. There is also no use of foil in this process which results in a more moisturized and toned look.

After doing my research on this hair coloring technique for over a month, I decided I was ready to take the chance. I was at my job when my #curlfriend Rachel came to visit and I randomly asked her where did she go to dye her hair. She told me she went to Curl Evolution located in Babylon, Long Island. I already attend school in Long Island so I knew the trip to this salon wouldn’t be too inconvenient. I automatically looked up the salon’s reviews on Yelp and Google and its reviews were pretty solid and convincing. Besides, I haven’t heard of a salon out on the Island that specializes in curly hair.

The next day, I booked my appointment a month in advance so I can have enough time to still think about my decision. As the day approached, I became more and more excited and I started deep conditioning a few times a week so I can prepare my hair for the change. When I made my appointment over the phone, the receptionist assigned me to stylist Gracia. Using my FBI-like tendencies, I found her Instagram page and I saw her work.

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My “before” picture!

After looking at her pictures, I already knew my hair was going to be in good hands. I noticed that she is very adamant about preserving the elasticity of curls, and that’s exactly what I was looking for. I even asked her a few questions and showed her a picture of what I want my hair to look like through direct message. I felt I was doing a bit much but hey- I like to conduct as much research as I can before making any moves!

So March 31st finally arrives and here I am at Curl Evolution. I started off with a curly cut, which is a great method to cut your hair because the cut is done while your hair is dry curly so your stylist can see where exactly the curls will fall. Wet cuts, on the other hand, aren’t the most beneficial for those who constantly wear their hair curly.

Redken celebrity stylist Rodney Cutler says, “The weight of water will absolutely change the density and even visual length of your hair.” He adds, “Dry cutting takes the guesswork out of how your individual curl pattern will look in its everyday life.”

My stylist mixed the hair dye with Olaplex Bond Multiplier No. 1 and began application. According to, “Olaplex works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross linking them back together to form disulfide bonds before, during and after services. Disulfide bonds are broken via chemical, thermal, and mechanical processes.” In other words, this product helps preserve the default format of your curls.

Gracia began applying the dye on individual curls until she reached the top. She used cotton rods to divide my hair as she painted it. (She also paints, so she knew what she was doing!)

She then used plastic wrap to secure the dye instead of foil and she set the timer for about 20 minutes.

A low level developer was used on my hair- for two reasons: my hair color is virgin (except for the few highlights I already have) and using a high level developer can cause damage because although it lifts your hair color faster, it also puts your hair at high risk of becoming dry and brittle. However, the color lifted pretty quickly which I was happy about (keeping dye in my hair for too long terrifies me!)

Using Olaplex Bond Perfector No. 2, DevaCurl Buildup Buster, and Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner, Gracia deep conditioned my hair and eliminated all the buildup from the products I previously used. A plastic cap was used after this process in order to let the new product sit in. About 10-15 minutes later, she removed the cap and we moved on to styling- my favorite part!

Since it was a rainy and humid day, Gracia used Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel, Ouidad Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment and Ouidad Playcurl Curl Amplifying Styling Spray to style my hair. I never use gels on my hair because I personally don’t like my curls to feel hard, but these products all together gave my curls a fluffy, yet locked-in look. A diffuser was used (switching from low to high temperatures) to seal the style. She told me to whip my hair to each side a few times to ensure all my curls get the same diffusing treatment.


After approximately 20 minutes, my hair dried and I fell in love with how my highlights looked. I was so impressed and happy to see the final result. My biggest fear was losing my curl pattern and not having enough color on my hair. However, these fears were put to rest when I looked in the mirror. I would like to thank Gracia once again for turning my vision into a reality!

Although my hair didn’t lift to a full-blown blonde, Gracia recommended to do a few more coloring sessions to achieve the exact color I want. I will definitely be returning in about three months to touch up my highlights and lighten them. Although I can begin my next session in about three weeks, I prefer to wait because I don’t want to add too many chemicals to my hair in a short amount of time.

Anyway, I am very satisfied with my new look. All I wanted were highlights that were noticeable and that’s exactly what I got. When I return to Curl Evolution, I will definitely be requesting Gracia’s services as I know my hair will be in great hands with her. She even wrote down all the products she used on my hair so that when I return, we can get the ball rolling right away.

I definitely recommend Curl Evolution to those with curly hair and those who are transitioning. Those who are transitioning can really benefit from a curly cut. For my curly heads, you can definitely benefit by adding color, treatment, and a new style.

social_icons_instagram_mini : @curl_evolution

social_icons_instagram_mini : @justahstylist


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