What Is A Foilyage And How Does It Differ From Other Popular Hair Coloring Methods?

If you dye your hair often, you're probably encountered foil highlights at least once or even had them done yourself. However, foilyage, an alternative method of putting foils in your hair, could be the hair coloring switch-up you're looking for. Instead of using foils for the same color all over, foilyage involves placing them from the root line but then switching up to more of a layered, balayage technique from halfway down your hair to the ends. 

Balayage hair is a method often used for clients who have hair that's already blonde or on the lighter brown side. Foilyage additionally differs from balayage due to the overall color being brighter meaning it's a great option if you've been considering getting highlights but are worried about them coming out looking uneven and chunky, as it takes a less structured approach to them. 

It's also ideal if your roots grow out quickly or you don't want a hairstyle that's extremely high maintenance, as the balayage at the bottom will create an intentionally grown-out look. As a result, you won't need to get your hair done as often. 

Foilyage could be a good alternative to balayage

As balayage doesn't work quite as well on those with darker hair, foilyage is a good alternative method. Speaking to Allure, celeb colorist Rachel Bodt shared that foilyage can be used "when clients want the balayage look but they aren't great candidates for it because their hair is quite dark and they want it significantly lighter." Plus, if your hair texture is coarse to the touch, foilyage is especially effective, according to Lorean Cairns, owner of hair salon chain Fox + Jane.

Obviously, your hair stylist should know the colors that are best for you and will also be aware of whether your hair is susceptible to damage, so it's best to go to a salon for this look, particularly because the multi-layered look is difficult to pull off properly by yourself. When done right, the result is "soft, lived-in-looking hair color that's beachy, but still polished," per Boldt. Nevertheless, as with any new color, you need to know how to take care of it before taking the plunge. 

Try these tips to keep your color looking perfect

Moreover, like any hair color that involves bleach, hairstylist Lorean Cairns warns that foilyage can cause damage, particularly if you have previously dyed your hair. After your locks have been colored, maintenance is key so they stay looking fresh and shiny. Founder of NYC The Team Michelle Hong advised InStyle that anyone considering foilyage should avoid super hot water when washing their hair, as this will accelerate the fading process. 

The same goes for swimming — put your hair up in a cap to protect it. You should also invest in a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner. Additionally, Cairns recommended using deep conditioning treatments to keep your hair in good shape, especially if it feels dry or brittle. However, as mentioned earlier, when your color does start fading it will do so in a way that looks quite natural, giving you a sunkissed look all year round.