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Foils Vs. Balayage: How To Pick The Best Hair Coloring Techniques And The Best Colorist

What You Need To Know:






Balayage is a freestyle hair highlighting technique also known as hair painting.    Your colorist chooses specific hair strands and hand-paints their surface strand by strand without using foils.

light blonde highlights


Traditional highlights are created differently.  Your colorist separates hair sections, weaves through, applies color on the selected  strands of hair and folds them in foils.  The more strands you fold, the more highlights you’ll have.  This technique usually creates more color symmetry from roots to end and a more pronounced line of demarcation.

long straight layered haircuts


  • Foils and balayage are techniques that require skill, time and practice.  The outcome of the color depends on the maestro, not on the technique.
  • Practice makes perfect.  Inexperienced hair colorists can unfortunately make color mistakes such as spots, uneven color and stripey highlights either by foils or by balayage
  • If you are unsure about a particular hair salon, go in for a consultationMost salons will happily book you 15-30 min to discuss your concerns.
  • Look at the environment, look at the other clients, look at the hairstyles and the hair color around you.  Most hair salons have a style.  Does that particular style suit YOU?
  • Do you like your hair colorist?  Do you trust her?  Is she asking you questions about your hair?  Is she listening?
  • Try to get a sense of the environment.  Happy workers do better work.
  • Be realistic about what can or can’t be done.  Some hair colorists are very talented, but they are holding a brush, not a magic wand.
  • Remember that it is always easier to go from light to dark, than from dark to light.
  • Color looks best when you have healthy hair.  Don’t over-process your hair and use hair products designed for colored hair.  
  • Do a little research before you go in for your consultation. Bring pictures of highlights you like and pictures of highlights you DON’T likeYour colorist will get a better sense of your style.
  • Once you picked a colorist, relax and let her do her job.  Don’t micromanage the process.  It will stress you and your colorist and prevent her from doing her best.
  • Don’t be averse to change, change is good!  


If you wish to know more about balayage, click here.




Enhance your natural or strawberry blonde highlighted hair with DAVINES ALCHEMIC SHAMPOO and CONDITIONER.  These hair products contain direct pigments that add a copper tone on to the  cuticle, without penetrating the cortex.  Use this shampoo and conditioner either to intensify your  natural strawberry blonde hair,  or to add copper tones to your highlights.  You can also impart copper tones to mousy hair and add shine to your hair.  Hydrate, balance pH and strengthen your hair with ingredients such as hydrolyzed milk proteins and Provitamin B5.



Maintain golden blonde hair, refresh sun-kissed highlights and add honey tones to dirty blonde hair with golden direct pigments that exist in DAVINES’ ALCHEMIC SHAMPOO & GOLDEN CONDITIONER.  Hydrolyzed milk proteins will deposit protein and fill in holes in the hair shaft.  Hair stays hydrated and silky.

Alchemist Shampoo for Golden Blonde Hair

Golden blonde conditioner

In Category: Balayage & Ombre hair color


Show 1 Comment
  • Hair Coloring February 21, 2013, 11:05 PM

    Choosing the right technique for the client should always come first. There are instances where foils will do a job that balayage won’t and vice versa. For the most part our clients have been extremely happy with high lighting and low lighting using balayage (at my salon we balayage with color and with lightener)- and find that the look is softer and more natural which allows you more time for grow-out between visits. However, there are those clients who need more lift or who simply prefer the foiled look. Good colorists should be well versed in not only in the different techniques, but in application of each as well.

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