Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Sore Scalp After Foil Highlighting

Q: I recently had blonde foils put through my hair. After the colour my scalp was extremely sore and sensitive and very red. This lasted for about 2 weeks. I had never been to this hairdresser before and I noticed that she didn't put cotton wool in between the foils like my older hairdresser did. I have never suffered from this before. I am really apprehensive now about having foils again. Is there anyway this can be prevented or have I developed a sensitivity to the chemicals?
A: It is completely possible that you have developed a sensitivity to the chemicals, or that you were already sensitive and that your previous stylist's safety measures kept you from experiencing the irritation you got from this last process.
There is no reason to be overly concerned about continued foil highlighting. There are many steps that can be taken to protect your scalp. There are additives that can be included in the haircolor formula to make it gentler on sensitive skin. You can also have a balm applied to the scalp before the coloring process, such as a thick conditioner formula or petrolium jelly to prevent the haircolor from touching the scalp.
The important thing is to explain your reaction to the next stylist you visit so that something can be done to prevent a repeat of the reaction. You don't give a reason for not visiting your older hairdresser for this process, but unless there was a matter of dissatisfaction with a service, you may want to return to him/her.
You didn't specify exactly how light the highlights you had done were compared to your natural color, but if the hair was lightened using a bleaching agent, then the possibility is that you aren't especially sensitive to the chemicals but rather the chemical is one that should not have been allowed to touch your scalp. The foil technique is generally sufficient to prevent the bleaching agent from getting on the scalp, but if the stylist used a little too much of the mixture or used a liquid developer rather than a cream developer the mixture may have simply run. The above mentioned protective steps would help in this situation as well.
In any case, be sure to explain to your stylist that you've had a problem with irritation following a highlighting treatment before. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Related posts:
Bleaching hair
Hair color allergies
The foil highlighting procedure