The Difference Between Foil Highlights and Balayage

Foil highlighting is a process mostly all women are familiar with, and perhaps, maybe you yourself, have gotten foils to go lighter and brighter! Foil highlighting involves working row by row in a linear fashion and painting on color from the root to the end and processing with foils.  The entire section of hair is coated evenly for a more uniform effect.  So let’s explore what the difference is between these traditional highlights and the technique of balayage……

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Balayage is a French word which actually means to sweep or paint (also called a “freehand” technique).  Unlike foils, this technique allows the color professional the ability to place the color exactly where it will light up and enhance your individual features and coloring.  The color is painted on by hand and the colorist can scatter them throughout for a truly “sunkissed” look, which in turn is also more organic looking.  Unlike foils, where hair is lightened from the roots to the ends, the balayage technique allows hair to be more muted at the root and then getting progressively lighter.

In a nutshell, here are the things you need to know about balayage:

  • Softer, more natural and organic looking
  • More control over where color is placed
  • Less noticeable roots as hair grows out
  • More time in between touch ups as roots show less.  With foils there is more of a straight line at the root as it grows.

Interested in trying out this technique?  Schedule an appointment with one of our talented color professionals, and start the new season with a new look!

A few examples of balayage from our pros…..

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Balayage – Credit: Natalya
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Balayage – Credit: Paula
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Foil at crown and balayage the rest — Credit: Kellyann