Forgo foil highlights and try balayage—your hair will be healthier for it.
Pack a punch with fewer highlights and avoid excessive damage with balayage highlights. Acclaimed hair stylist Eva Scrivo demonstrates this freeform technique so you can get the look next time you’re at the salon.
It’s OK to come to your color appointment with dirty hair. The oils create a barrier so the bleach doesn’t penetrate the cuticle as deeply and hair remains healthier, according to Scrivo.
Provide a picture of the look you’d like. This gives the colorist an idea of your expectations including the amount and intensity of the shade you’re after (and face it, there’s more than one shade of blonde out there).
Here, you see my washed-out, four-month-old foil highlights. I wanted to brighten the strands around my face, while letting my natural hair come through (yes, a little “ombré”).
I showed Scrivo a picture of Rachel Bilson’s ombré locks and asked her to tweak that look for me.
Your hair stylist can create a multidimensional look with fewer highlights than foils would involve. It also allows her to place the color precisely where it needs to be without re-bleaching previously colored strands and drying them out.
Bleach often expands when heated, damaging already-highlighted hair. Colorists call the resulting breakage a “chemical cut.” Balayage avoids this dilemma.
Plastic wrap and cotton balls! Not so glamorous, but gentler than clunky foils. Nor does it fry your hair the way foils can, which means less damage and healthier hair for you.
When transitioning from dark to light tones, balayage can soften an otherwise harsh transformation. “Foils leave an obvious line of demarcation that often appears too brassy. Hand painting on highlights gives us more control over the end result and a more multi-dimensional outcome,” Scrivo says.
To glaze or not to glaze? A glaze won’t change your color, it’ll just help liven it up (or it can change a cool tone to a warm one). I opted to skip this post-color step preferring to get glazed in a month from now to help maintain the highlights.
“A glaze applied at the roots will refresh your hair color and buy you another month between touch ups,” Scrivo says. This could help preserve your hair health by eliminating excessive coloring. But remember, glazes can also dehydrate hair. “Even a clear gloss contains peroxide that can be drying over time,” Scrivo adds.