Kaleena Stroud
Updated on February 14, 2024

You have curly hair and want a color change, but nothing too drastic and definitely nothing damaging to your perfect curls. Sound familiar? Pintura highlights may be one of the best color techniques for curly hair. We’ll take a look at how this trend adds dimension to your bouncy tresses in a way that traditional foiled highlights never could. We also serve up some super hot pintura hair photos for your next salon appointment.

What is Pintura Highlights?

Founded by Dennis Da Silva, Brazilian hairstylist, and co-founder of DevaCurl. The word pintura actually means “painting” in Brazilian Portuguese, most probably finding its root from Da Silva’s native language.

Pintura highlights work best on curly hair and coily-haired girls. That’s because tightly wound curls don’t reflect as much light as say, wavy curls, and therefore need the brighter highlights in order to show off that brilliant shine.

Are Pintura highlights damaging? Anytime you add permanent color to your hair, damage is involved. However, because no foils and extreme heat are used and because the roots and much of the natural hair can be left untouched, it is a much healthier option for your tresses.

How to Get the Look?

Pintura highlights have a similar technique as to other popular hair-painting buzzwords you see everywhere: like balayage, for example. The difference lies in the amount of color applied from mid-hair down to the roots. Pintura highlights not only apply a heavy hand at the tips but actually begin working the color from the tips upward. Essentially, it’s a way of hand-painting natural-looking highlights on curly hair for a pretty pop of all-over color that truly shines through your hair.

Your colorist should strategically place the color where the light falls, as opposed to a foil technique where the colorist will most likely stretch the curl in order to place the color and wrap it in foil to process. When hand-painted using the Pintura technique, the colorist can leave your natural curl intact so that the color will actually hit the right spots for bursts of color. The colorist can go as heavy-handed with the color as you’d like, whether you want summer bronze, lots of blonde or a pop of pink. You can bring out the best of it at home using some popular products like the fan-favorite Light Defining Gel by DevaCurl.

10 Pintura Highlight Inspirations

Not everyone can afford a trip to the O.G. DevaSalon or find a curl specialist, but you can make sure your stylist has a clear idea of what you want by bringing photo inspiration to your next appointment. We’ll get things started with these 10 awesome photos of picture-perfect pintura hair. Take a look!

1. Sun-Kissed and Subtle

The beauty of Pintura highlights lies in the way it can look natural. Just a few hints of highlights here and there where the natural light would fall makes this look so sun-kissed. Get these curls to become ribbons of light with some added volume from the all-over layers.

2. Almost Full Blonde

No need to be scared of reaching toward a full head of blonde. With Pintura highlights, getting that coveted balayage rooty dark ends plus blonde tips is actually achievable. This soft sandy color is natural and effortless.

3. Gradual and Soft Look

One of the best parts of Pintura highlights is they aren’t as damaging. The colorist is able to touch-up the hair by coloring just the dyed parts, leaving the roots alone. This soft, gradual look of pintura highlights on natural hair is easy to maintain and universally flattering.

4. Caramel Medium-Length ‘Do

Have some summer fun by going three shades lighter with the highlights. Your colorist can hand-paint the color onto each curl so the highlights don’t look streaky. The outcome should be bright pops of color to brighten up a nice, medium-length cut.

5. Peek-A-Boo Red Pieces

Like your hair was randomly blessed with auburn streaks, no one has to know it was perfectly curated. Take any brunette up a notch with some random red pieces that peak through the curls. Add a side part or even some bangs for extra feminine style.

6. All-Over Blonde

Take advantage of this technique to go blonde. With highlights and lowlights, the outcome can still look super natural. And while Pintura is less damaging than traditional highlights, you will still want to treat your dyed hair with deep conditioning hair masks to keep it soft and strong.

7. Bold Color and Curls

These highlights boast a mixture of natural grown-out color with pops of fresh color. Combine it with lots of shape and volume at the top to show off the curls and you have yourself a fun look. This honey blonde-brunette mix complements her eyes and skin tone.

8. Soft Brown Colors

Sometimes all a women needs is a touch of intrigue. Adding a hint of “did she just spend a few hours in South Beach?” is enough to spice-up any natural brunette. Keep the pieces near the face to soften the complexion, as seen here.

9. Long Bronzed Brunette

These bronzy highlights are added heavily throughout her hair, focusing on the front pieces. The metallic colors are eye-popping and go perfectly with her accessories (and did we mention, eye-color?). The blend of browns with a heavy side part are to-die-for.

10. Blue Swirls on Short Hair

Did we say Pintura highlights were only for brunettes and blondes? No way! This technique is a fun way to add any color you want. Whether it be blue, red or yellow, it aids to blend the colors in a way that moves with your curls.

Get the desired highlighted look you have been pining over by opting for this technique. As you can see, even a little bit goes a long way as the perfect method to bring out the best in your curls. And the best part is, when done right, Pintura highlights are easy to upkeep. Plus, they do less damage than traditional foiled highlights and the before and after will be Instagram-worthy.

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