You may have had your hair highlighted with a technique that hair stylists refer to as “foil highlighting”. The foil highlighting technique has become popular over the last ten years. In fact most hair stylists don’t know how to highlight hair any other way.
There is also the perception that foil highlighting is done only in expensive salons, that any other methods won’t give you a great look and are not professional.
In the hair styling business we are always looking balayage hair highlights for new ways of doing hair either using different techniques of highlighting hair or cutting or styling hair. Sometimes new methods are really innovative such as using a round brush and a hand held hair dryer instead of rollers to style hair and sometimes it can be gimmicky such as the use of electric clippers in place of regular scissors to cut women’s hair. As you may have noticed, it didn’t catch on.
What is the reason for using foil? Foil is very flexible and malleable and therefore lends itself well for covering the “painted” hair so that it won’t come in contact with hair that is not being highlighted. It is a way of separating the highlighted hair from the rest of the hair.
Having your highlights done with foil can take a long time although some hair stylists are able to do it faster than others. Foil hair highlighting can also be very expensive especially if your hair stylist encourages you to have your roots done every two months which really isn’t necessary. But then some women want to have their roots redone as soon as they see dark hair showing.
When you add “highlights” to your hair you need a contrast, otherwise the highlights are not visible and the entire hair color becomes monochromatic which defeats the purpose.
There are also a few hair stylists who prefer the “cap highlighting” method over “foil highlighting”. I am one of them. My preference comes from experience. Having used both methods I have come to the conclusion that results are better using a streaking cap.
Why you may ask? One important reason is that by using this method I am able to space the bunches of hair to be highlighted with greater flexibility.
Another important reason is this: When I use hair bleach to achieve a certain highlight color, (and we use bleach often for certain colored highlights because only by using bleach are we able to achieve this type of highlights) I can apply the bleach almost at the same time all over the cap. What this means is that the bleach stays on the hair for a shorter time than when it’s done with foil which is much better for your hair.
When you consider that bleach immediately makes hair lighter the moment it comes in contact with it, by applying the bleach practically at the same time, it allows me to have total control over the outcome of the color I want to achieve compared to foil where the bleach is already processing hair (making it lighter) for at least twenty minutes by the time the stylist foils the back of the head.