Both Foils and Balayage are hair coloring techniques used to lighten hair.

So, how do you decide what you need? Here are some facts to remember:



Foiling, a more traditional lightening technique, involves painting select strips of hair with lightener or color, then, wrapping them in foil to keep them isolated and separated from the rest of the hair. Foiling is a great way to get brighter, lighter strands since the heat induction from the foil allows the lightener to lift higher in a concentrated area of hair. The result is a uniformed and even spaced lighter look from roots to ends.  Foiling can get the hair lighter than Balayage, so if you are going from a dark brown to a pale blond, Foiling will get you there.

The upkeep on Foil retouch is faster than Balayage (6-7 weeks) since the uniformed strands of blond are more prominent as they grow out leaving a distinct line of demarcation against the re-growth. Foiling can be chemically harsh on the hair especially if you are going from a very dark color to a pale blond, and the lightener has to stay on the hair within the foils for a longer time.  The success of Foiling also depends on the products used at home. Consult your stylist and be honest about what you use at home if you want the best results.


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Balayage (balāˈyäZH)

The French word for “sweeping” entails just that: brushing or sweeping lightener freehand onto the hair, based on the artistic interpretation of the colorist and the desired effect described by the client.

The free hand painting of Balayage color focuses more discoloration on the ends of the hair than the roots. The lighter color is concentrated on the ends of the hair transitioning softly in the mid shaft and seamlessly fading towards the hair line, giving you a more natural, youthful look.  With Balayage, the color processes in open air or under plastic film, allowing the strands of hair to gently reach a natural lifting peak.

Balayage can only lift up to your natural undertones (consult with your stylist about your individual undertones), and might need to be toned/glazed (to blend or neutralize undertones). Therefore, if you are a dark brunet, this technique will NOT get you to pale blond without adding Foils and possibly a toner/glaze.

This lightening/coloring technique is very popular in Europe and requires less maintenance than foiling since it grows out without the intense contrasted discoloration at the roots.

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To conclude, remember that both Foiling & Balayage are lightening techniques. If you are trying to decide whether you need Foils or Balayage, first decide on the look you want to achieve.  Pick out pictures of the hair color and effect you like (keep the pictures relative to your root color) and show them to your color expert. Ask for their expert advice on whether the look you like is achievable on your hair. Then let the color expert decide whether Foils or Balayage would be the best technique for the look you have decided on.

Today’s looks are all about dimension. Whether the color technique is Foiling or Balayage, the final outcome is most important!

Our advanced colorists can use both Balayage & Foils to create a unique look for you.

Call 678-546-5116 and schedule a consultation now!