While balayage has been the highlighting technique of choice over the last few seasons, foiled highlights are making a comeback. To learn about the benefits of foiled highlights, the reasons why you'd want to opt for this technique, and some of the looks you can achieve with this tried-and-true highlighting method we tapped celebrity hairdresser and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist Jason Backe.
The Difference Between Foiled Highlights & Balayage
A French word meaning to sweep or to paint, balayage is the technique of free-handing soft, painted lines to create streak-free, natural-looking highlights with less noticeable roots on the hair. "With balayage you use a free-hand painting technique, but with foiling there is a much more deliberate placement pattern," Backe explains. What's more, with balayage your hairdresser often has to reach for a lightener or a bleach in order to lift your base color, however with foils there are many more product choices to pick from. Not only does this give your hairdresser more versatility in creating your final desired result, it can often help to better preserve the integrity of your hair during the coloring process.
The Benefits of Foils
"The really heavy root shadow with balayaged ends started with the ombré trend a few years back, but in recent months we've seen a huge 90s influence in both fashion and hair," he shares. "The look now is more bold, more deliberate."
Backe explained that this is a trickle-down effect from the non-traditional haircolors we've seen rocking the runways-and our social media feeds-of late. Everything from pastels to unicorn-inspired hues to rose golds have made us less afraid of haircolor that makes a statement. Foiling can give you both the strong statement colors and natural effortless blends like balayage. As Backe says: "With foils you're only as limited as your creativity!"
Who Should Try Foiled Highlights?
Foiled highlights are great for anyone! Whether you want thin, natural-looking babylights or large, bold strong looks with your highlight or lowlight starting at the scalp, foils are a great technique to try. "With foils, it can be as varied as you want-you can go from the scalp or even have a root shadow, it's up to you," shares Backe.
Maintaining Your Highlights
With foils, expect to go in every 6-10 weeks for maintenance touch-ups. As well, reach for color-safe shampoos and conditioners to help preserve shine and vibrancy and consider investing in a purple-toned shampoo or conditioner to keep brassiness at bay!