Retouching Highlights with Foils

Highlights with foils
Photo: Schankz/Shutterstock
Q: When you get foils for highlighting, how often will you have to go back to the salon to get the re-growth done and how bad is it for your hair (in terms of damage)?
Applying foils is very time-consuming and I don’t want to spend much time too often at the salon. Also, once you got foils, is it difficult to get rid of them?

A: Like any lifting color process, the rate of hair growth means that within a month you’ll have about ½ inch of new growth at the scalp. By the end of two months, you’ll have a full inch of your natural color showing. So most salons schedule retouch services for any color process at around 6 weeks.
However, if you discuss your needs with your stylist, you can usually arrange to have your highlights placed in such a way as to make the new growth harder to see. This generally involves NOT placing the highlights along a part in the hairstyle or too close to the leading edges of the hair. You can also get longer life out of your highlights by using a staggered part (where the hair is parted with segments going in opposite directions).
Finally, there’s a technique called “breaking the base” where a mild bleaching agent is applied at the scalp to lighten the new growth a little and make the contrast between the highlighted segments and new growth appear less noticeable.
As for damage done by retouching highlights, a good stylist knows that in high-lift processes, a retouch service is intended to be applied ONLY to the new growth of the hair. Therefore, the hair already lightened should not be affected further.
If the stylist is careless or incompetent, you could end up with weakened areas where the lightening agent overlaps the previously lightened hair. This is why it’s important to choose a good stylist.
See also:
Breaking the base
How long do highlights last and how often do you need to touch them up?
How long should I wait before getting highlights and lowlights redone?