How-To Video: Guy Tang Demystifies Coloring Curly Hair

If you look at Guy Tang’s Instagram page (@guy_tang), with over 2.1M followers, or his YouTube channel, with over 1.7M followers, it's pretty hard to believe that this man could ever be afraid of anything when it comes to hair. But in his most recent video, Tang reveals a common "hair fear" that he gradually overcame with practice. “My biggest fear was styling curly hair. But I started learning, and I became so confident with curly hair, that I became obsessed with it," says Tang. "Instead of running from our fears, we should run to them and embrace them, making that fear our biggest strength. I mean, I’m talking about curly hair, not jumping into a tank with sharks.” His model and assistant—both curly girls themselves—backed up his sentiment, telling their own hair stories, where they learned to accept and celebrate their natural curls. Tang joined in saying that his curly-hair obsession became so strong that he felt "basic" with straight hair and got a perm last year in Korea. "I'm bringing back the perm!" Tang said with a laugh. Luckily for us, Tang's curl mania led to some pretty amazing insight when it comes to coloring naturally curling hair. Check out his insider tips and tricks here, and become a master yourself. Enjoy coloring every coil, kink and wave!      

Guy's top tips for emphasizing dimension and curl revolution: 

  • When it comes to mixing up lightener, use a 1:2 ratio, or a 2:3 if you want it to spread quickly (but using a 1:2 is the go-to favorite as it adds more shine and is more acidic). Now keep in mind that when you mix more developer into your lightener, it will weaken the power of lift so a 1:1 ratio will always be stronger (a 1:2 ratio is shown in the video). 
  • For the front of the face use a 10 or 20 volume lightener,  and then switch to a higher one for the back as hair is less delicate—and don't forget to add a drop of Olaplex! (for the front, Tang used 40 grams of the #Mydentity #Magnum8 Powder Lightener mixed with the #Mydentity Permanent 20V Developer and then switched to 40 grams of the #Mydentity #Magnum8 Powder Lightener with #Mydentity Permanent 30V Developer for the back). 
  • Don't lighten the shorter curlier pieces around the front of the face as you will end up emphasizing the hairs and they can end up looking like broken pieces.
  • Start with a diagonal parting parallel to your A section. Because curly hair has a life of its own you can't do the usual and pick up every piece of hair you see. Instead, make sure to weave your pieces and start doing so right at the scalp instead of the mid lengths as it will look more natural.
  • For the sides of the face, always make your foiling pattern into a V-shape (the tip of the V should face down the forehead) as it helps stop the color from looking blocky when parted down the middle, will ensure the color hugs the face and will also give that 'pop' when hair is flipped to either side. 
  • When foiling at the top of the head, skip about an inch thick of a section to make sure you keep color dimension and avoid turning an entire area blonde. Continue by stitching right at the scalp to help avoid that checker board look and ensure your weave looks thin and natural. 
  • When retoutching roots from previous color applications, work vertically. Take the lightener and permanent color mixture midway down the hair section. For the video, a whole tube of the #Mydentity 7NI Permanent Color was mixed with half a tube of #Mydentity 6AA Permanent Color combined with the #Mydentity Permanent 20V Developer
  • It's important to mix with the dedicated developer and lightener as it harmonizes and works together to get the proper lift. Using others can make it unpredictable; hindering the lightener or accelerating the process. 
  • Don't be afraid to mix your base colors. Mixing helps to create the best dimension. In the video, we see a 1:2 ratio using two tubes of the #Mydentity 7BB Demi-permanent Color combined with the #Mydentity Demi-permanent 6V Developer (with a touch of Olaplex to treat the hair while also glossing it) applied to the roots to help hide stich marks (also being ribboned further down through strands that seemed too warm). #Mydentity 9BB Demi-permanent  Color in a 1:2 ratio was then mixed with  #Mydentity Demi-permanent 6V Developer and was then applied to either meet from the root, or mid lengths (meshing with the 7BB). To finish, Tang mixed whatever was left in the bowl of the 9BB formula with a tube of #Mydentity Crystal Clear Demi-permanent Color and #Mydentity Demi-permanent 6V Developer applied down the ends (with additional Olaplex).
  • When it comes to curly hair, sometimes you have to drop the hair and see where the "hair lives" in order to decide where to place each color for each area to help create that vertical and horizontal dimension. 
  • Glaze hair while dry so you get full color deposition and ensure color longevity.

About: Cult LA Colorist & Hair Activist, Guy Tang, created a social media dynasty by inspiring other stylists, just like him, to make a difference and change the world doing hair. Guy introduced his own unique style into the industry by providing education through hair art on his YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook platforms. Through these platforms, Guy empowered his #hairbestie family to bring fun and excitement back into the industry. He is the creator of #Mydentity Color Line.