So, what’s the real difference between these techniques?
Ryan Pearl, colorist at New York’s Cutler Salon explains that, “Foil lightens the hair from the root to the ends while balayage allows the hair to be softer or muted at the root, and then gets progressively lighter as it travels through to the end.”
Jessica Gonzalez, Colorist at Sally Hershberger Los Angeles adds, “The grow out is less obvious with balayage, you can go months without touching it up. I feel sometimes traditional foils can look a little patterny and I like a more free style.”
Although balayage is known to process without foils, Stylist Nikki Lee from 901 salon prefers to use both: “I like to use foils when I balayage “foliage” because the foil helps to speed up the process and can lift the hair lighter than balayage.”
Foliage is the perfect combination of balayage and foiled highlights, Chrissy Rasmussen, Owner and Stylist at Habit Salon in Arizona tells us about her favorite way of implementing the technique: “Right now, I see that clients love and want ashy, platinum, sun-kissed hair [and] I feel that I can achieve this look by combining these two methods into foliage. I hand paint pieces of hair where I want it in a foil. I feel that using a foil can more consistently pull the clients’ hair past the brassy stage.”