Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Foil Highlighting (2)

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We began our color service with clean, dry hair. I sectioned L’s hair to separate the sides, top and back and decided to begin with the top section of hair. It is necessary to work quickly because once it has been mixed the haircolor will only be active (able to color the hair) for about 30 minutes, before going inert. This also makes it important to begin in a section where the highlights will be most visible. This lets you be sure that these highlights have plenty of time to take the color applied.
In L’s case, there was an additional reason to be speedy: Because she wanted parts of the hair bleached and other parts colored, we needed to be sure that we finished quickly allowing the bleach to process properly on the last highlights without having to wait so long that we ran the danger of “over-processing” the first highlights.
Once I was ready to begin, I donned my gloves and mixed the color and bleaching mix in separate bowls with separate brushes. After taking down the top section of hair and combing the hair to smooth it, I sliced a thin segment for the first highlight. The foils I used had been pre-cut to be approximately two inches longer than the hair I was working with.
  • Hair coloring with foils
  • Hair coloring with foils
  • Hair coloring with foils

After separating the slice, I held it apart with the last two fingers of one hand and took a foil in my free hand. I folded the top edge of the foil over the back and tail of a tail comb and placed it flush against the scalp with my free hand, and laid the segment I’d been holding over the foil. I repositioned my hands to that the hand I had held the hair with was now pressing the comb and foil to the head using the thumb and forefinger. This allowed me to brush on the bleaching mix without my holding hand being in the way.
Once the bleach was applied, I placed the brush back in its bowl and folded the foil in half, bringing the bottom half up to hold the bleaching hair between the folds. The sides were then folded in to enclose the hair segment. I used small clips to secure the foil and hold it out of the way while I proceeded to the next segment.
The next segment was to be a color segment, and I left an equally sized segment of hair the original color between each colored or bleached segment. I applied the color using a foil as described above, and continued the process until the top section of hair was complete.
I continued working, adding bleach and color to foils on one side, then the other, and finally in the back of the head. Total application time was about 15-20 minutes. I set my timer for 15 minutes and waited for the color and bleach to process keeping an eye on the bleached segments to be sure they didn’t over-process and burn the hair. {I used my own formula in mixing the bleach. I combined 2 tablespoons of bleach powder with 1 ounce of 20-volume cream developer and one ounce of deep conditioning treatment. Because L’s hair had been lightened previously and repeatedly, I wanted to make extra sure to make the bleach as gentle as possible and still be effective.)
Once the time was up, I removed the foils carefully and rinsed the hair thoroughly with warm water. I patted the hair to remove the excess moisture and applied an after-color conditioning treatment to the hair and placed a plastic cap over it. The hair was allowed to sit under the cap for another 20 minutes.
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