Foiling Hair

Foiling hair
Photo: Schankz/Shutterstock
Q: When foiling the entire head with two colors is it faster and easier to color first then foil? How do you get down to the head with the color? I have struggled with this question for years. There must be an easier way than the way I am doing foil. Do you lightly pull the strand tight?
A: If you are talking about doing a color service where the hair is basically one base color with a second color added using foils, you might find it easier to apply the base color first and follow up with added lowlights or highlights using foils.
I don't know if I would call it faster, however, since you need to process the color twice effectively and will have an extra shampooing and drying step in between the steps. Of course, the traditional, all at once method goes faster if you have an assistant.
What I normally do, is choose my colors and apply my highlight color to the hair first. If you are having trouble getting your color to the scalp, you are possibly trying to use too thick a slice of the hair in the foiling. Fold a small flap of the end of a foil over the tail of a comb and press it against the scalp at the base of the slice you are working with. Pull the slice of hair gently taut over the end of the tail comb and onto the foil, then have your assistant use two fingers to hold the foil and comb in place while you reach for and apply your color with a brush. Fold up the foil and move to the next slice.
If you're using non-bleach processing (simply applying two permanent colors, even if the highlighting uses a high-lift color) and you know how the hair reacts to the lifting color, you can apply the color mix and not worry. It's only bleaching processes that run a real danger in over-processing. Developer/color mixtures only have an active life of about 30 minutes, while bleaches are active as long as they are moist.
Because of this, I generally mix one-half of the color I need (base or high/lowlight) and work with one-half a head at the time (usually front, then back). Having someone to assist, you can have the assistant mix the color as more is needed, to keep the color fresh and active.
This way you can leave the foils and hair at the front of the head alone. Once you've foiled in all the high/lowlights you are going to use, go back over the half of the head with your base color and brush it on the hair between the foils - moving them carefully. (Be sure to use clips to hold the foils securely onto the hair.)
Be sure to leave ample processing time for the last segments of hair where color is applied, then move to the sink and begin rinsing. First rinse with the foils in place to remove the base color, and the remove the foils one by one. You should be pleased with the results and can get them done faster than doing the color a step at a time. Just be sure to get someone to help who can follow instructions and you're golden.
See also:
How to color hair
Highlighting with foils
Can I color my hair and add highlights at the same time?