Coloring curls provides unique challenges and opportunities.

So you're looking for a way to put a little oomph into your curls for spring? Coloring curls provides unique challenges and opportunities.

'I find with curly hair there's a tendency for it to look solid and voluminous,' says Kris Sorbie, global artistic director of color for Redken.

The key is to play up the texture and movement of those curls. This can be done using several techniques.

Michael Murphy, a stylist with Oribe and spokesperson for Clairol Professional, likes to highlight curly hair. But keep it subtle, he warns.

'The more contrasting and stripey you go, the less it blends in with the curls,' Murphy said.

On brown hair, he likes to use Clairol's high-lift golden blond. Although it's stronger than regular color, it's not as damaging as a bleach. The result is golden, blond highlights.

Sorbie likes to color curly hair in layers to create texture within the texture. For example, for a client with medium brown hair, she would do a thin section on top and color it a lighter brown.

Then she would take a horseshoe shaped layer below it and lighten it to a copper color. The layer below would be a cool red.

'It would give it dimension,' Sorbie said.

Another good coloring product for curls are glosses, which seal and soften the rough cuticle of curly hair. The result is more shine and better curl formation, Murphy said.

Glosses work well on hair that's been relaxed. Sorbie recommends a demi-permanent color, like Redken Shades EQ, on relaxed strands to add shine and color.

Justine Beech, director of color for Gavert Atelier hair salon in Beverly Hills, is forecasting simplicity for spring. Instead of drastically altering natural haircolor, she prefers to stay close to natural color by going one to two levels from it, or she enhances natural color by adding shine through clear and color glosses. Other options, she says, are adding a few highlights through ballyage (hand-painting) for a 'tone on tone' effect, or choosing 'true tones,' colors that are neither too ash or too warm include coppery golden-reds and golden-blondes.

For girls in their teens, Beech likes tone on tone highlights around the hairline and crown. For owmen in their 20s, she aims for a more dramatic effect, altering natural haircolor with color glosses and highlighting. Beech covers grey hairs for women in their 30s, while keeping haircolor close to the natural tone and adding warmth. For women over 40, Beech covers grey hair by selecting a base color close to the natural tone and adding highlights for more dimension.

Greater simplicity means less maintenance, Beech says.

'With the weather warming up, women want to stay more outside and spend less time indoors taking care of their hair,' she says.

Because of curly hair's texture, it is crucial not to overprocess the hair. Stay away from high-lifting bleaches because curls tend to look dry naturally.After coloring your hair, it's important to take special care of it, using moisturizing shampoos and deep conditioners. Sorbie recommends the Redken Color Extend line, which makes the color last longer. Murphy likes the Clairol Color ProTec line of shampoos, conditioners and styling aids, which have protein, anti-oxidants and sunscreen shields to protect hair.

'UV rays even bleach out natural hair color, so imagine what they do to hair that has been chemically treated,' Murphy said. 'I always advise my clients to protect colored hair when they spend time outdoors because protection is the key - once damage is done there really is no repairing it.'