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You are watching: Can you use regular aluminum foil to highlight hair


Find Out around the many supplies of foils for at-house hairstyling, and see some step-by-action instructions for making use of foil.

Photograph by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

Hair Tips and also Tricks With Foils

In the hairdressing world, foils are commonly supplied to include highlights to a client's hair. Very few people various other than hair artists understand the various other exceptional offers for foils!

In addition to highlighting, you can usage foils to execute the following:

lowlightdye most of the hair and also leave a couple of bits herbal (type of like the oppowebsite of highlighting)protect sections of hair from ending up being over-processedadd in additional streaks that are bleached or colouredtouch up simply the roots of colour that's flourishing out

The fact is that hairdressing foil is a really flexible tool and also can be offered for a number of different jobs to produce an range of exciting looks.

First, I'll tell you the right method to apply foils to the head. Then, I'll explain all the different points you can perform when the foils are in, and also along the means I'll show you some videos to show the procedure.

Can I Use Aluminum Foil?

Yes, you deserve to use regular aluminum foil for your hair, as lengthy as the dye you're using says it's safe via metal. You might also usage waxed paper if you wanted, and of course the stuff you buy at a beauty supply store will work-related, also, although it might be more expensive.

How to Determine What Thickness to Use

Due to the fact that foil comes in assorted strengths and also thicknesses, you'll desire to consider this, as well. The trick is utilizing a product that is difficult sufficient to hold up to the chemicals in the dye and also still malleable enough to store the sections of dyed hair separate. Anvarious other way to make sure your foil will certainly host up is to fold about an inch of the foil dvery own on the finish that will touch the roots of the hair. This will make that finish doubly strong and also will certainly assist ensure that the dye will certainly be consisted of.

How to Cut It

Before you start, you'll want to cut the foil into strips of controlled dimension, depending on the size of the hair you're working through. Usually, you'll reduced strips that are 4 or 5 inches (10–13 centimeters) wide and 8–12 inches (20–30 cm) long. Because you'll fold the foil approximately encase the hair, reduced strips that are around twice the size of the hair you're dyeing. For incredibly long hair, rather of folding one piece of improbably lengthy foil, you deserve to usage two sepaprice pieces of foil that are each the length of the hair as a type of foil sandwich.

You can usage a piece of foil that is less than double the size of the sectioned hair, however the hair will should be curled or tucked up inside the foil. Be mindful while doing this so as not to bend the hair (and also leave a visible crease in the dye).

DIY Tutorial: How to Placed Foils in Hair

Before you begin through the foil, you have to wash and also dry your hair and also have whatever you require ready and on hand.


a clean head of hairbarrettes or clipsthe colour or bleach you'll be making use of (combined, if applicable)a tail comba tinting brush for using the dyestrips of foil

Tip 1: Section the Hair

Section off the hair that you wish to colour. Dividing that hair into smaller bundles will provide you even more manage over the procedure. Temporarily secure each area with a hairdressing barrette.


A tail or rattail comb (second from left) makes it straightforward to pick pieces of hair to dye.

Photograph by Shari Sirotnak on Unsplash

Tip 2: Use a Tail Comb to Select Hair to Dye

Use the finish of the tail comb to select which pieces you will dye. This calls for arttotally grabbing chunks of the hair or weaving the end of a tail comb via the hair to choose separate sections. For a organic look, huge chunks of hair are not recommended; instead, usage smaller sections and many sepaprice foils.

If you're working on a friend's hair, you'll desire to begin via the sections at the bottom (closer to the neck) and also job-related your way in the direction of the front (forehead).If you're doing your very own hair, you'll most likely start at the sides and also work-related your method up to the height.

Tip 3: Place the Foil

Place the sturdy, folded end of the foil under the section of hair you're going to apply the dye to, preferably through the silver side encountering up (although the foil deserve to be offered either way).


Brushing the dye right into the hair via a tinting comb. The foil acts almost prefer a canvas.

Image by Arturs Budkevics from Pixabay

Step 4: Apply the Dye

Apply the hair colourant that you are using, provided that it is safe to usage with metal, through a tinting comb. Make certain to thoabout coat the hair. Use the foil itself as a kind of canvas or table, as it will certainly provide a tiny assistance for the strand of hair you are coating.

Step 5: Wrap the Foil

Make sure the foil is tucked in close to the scalp and extending as much of the roots of the hair as feasible to proccasion the dye from obtaining onto other sections of hair.To wrap up the foil, begin by taking the end (opposite the roots) and folding it up and also over so that the hair is totally encased in an envelope of foil.Do not press as well difficult once you fold the foil or you will certainly cause colour leakage.

It will certainly take exercise to obtain this perfect! (Remember, for extra lengthy hair, you have the right to use two separate pieces of foil sandwiched together.)

Ovariety highlights on blonde hair.

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What Else Can You Use Foil For?

However before, foils aren't just used for dyeing sections of hair. Here are just a couple of skilled tips and also tricks which are extremely handy for DIY, at-house hair colouring sessions.

1. Exclusion

Foils are the majority of frequently provided if you only desire to dye a few bits of your hair. However before, if you wish to dye the mass of your hair and also safeguard a few bits from being processed, foils are also good. You can simply area off the hair you want to store undyed and wrap each area in foil, utilizing the very same procedure described above—just without including the dye. Then you deserve to continue to dye the remainder of your loose hair, functioning carefully about the foils.

2. Bleaching Hair

If parts of your hair are currently bleached, yet you want to lighten the rest or include more bleached sections, then the exclusion technique have the right to also be supplied. This trick is fantastic for protecting hair that has been damaged from over-processing via bleach in order to avoid extreme damage.

If you want to lighten the remainder of your hair, the already-bleached components need to be spanned and therefore saved from extreme handling. If you choose to bleach currently bleach-damaged hair, you may end up with a chemical haircut!

3. Regrowth Applications (Touch-Ups)

Foils are excellent to use with reexpansion applications if you don't wish to dye over your formerly dyed hair. This is specifically true for highlights as overlapping even more bleach on peak of your previous highlights will lighten your hair additionally and also bring about a slight 'stripey' effect. You deserve to use the exclusion technique for this.

Tips for Root Protection

When excluding hair from a process making use of foils, you may uncover it hard to cover the roots via the foil, and this may end up being a reason for worry. One handy item of equipment in this instance is your conditioner! Using your tinting comb, brush some conditioner onto the roots of your hair to proccasion them from being processed. You deserve to additionally apply it to your eyebrows in situation the hair you're dyeing falls in your face!

This content is exact and true to the ideal of the author’s understanding and is not intended to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Demic on August 25, 2019:

Never ever wash your hair before bleaching it. The dirtier your hair is, the even more herbal oils it'll have actually in it. When you have actually oils in your hair it'll make it so the bleach does much less damage.

Aubrey - I carry out random pieces from almost everywhere my head. I likewise occupational quick, which is potentially messy however I uncovered that it isn't necessary to be incredibly cautious or exacting via the strips, sections and so on When it's all done it looks excellent. I DO have short hair. This wouldn't occupational on lengthy hair. It just takes also much time. What you can do is some sections. Leave the rest alone. Next day proceed with remaining sections.

Tina W. on November 29, 2017:

Att: Ashley b.

A great trick i usage is mix Dawn dish soap and also shampoo. This will certainly spilgrimage the color . Use more shampoo and also a tiny amount of Dawn dish soap. If it doesn't work-related include a small more dish soap. Be mindful this will strip the hair.

I have some very severe and crazy layers. I just got a negative reduced. I know this cut looks so poor partially because if just how dark my hair is. It's been damaged so bleach is my last retype. Tried to take the dye out via all various other approaches initially. Time for the next step. I bought color zap at Sally's. The dye buildup is greatly on the ends so my setup was to usage foils via it to gain it on the ends first and also then around 5 mins on my whole head yet no one deserve to tell me if this is okay. It's a sulhair based remover and also i don't setup on mixing the peroxide activator with it. All it says in the directions is not to mix in a steel bowl...however every little thing states that. I can't afford to damages my hair. Can someone please tell me if I can usage foils for this? Thank you so so so much!!

Aubrey on May 04, 2016:

What carry out I execute if the hair is done processing in the ago but not done processing in the front? Can I spray it with a water bottle and will certainly that soptimal it from processing

Amanda on May 03, 2016:

This article is incredibly well put together!! I'm going to try it tonight. I'll write-up exactly how it went.

Sharon on August 21, 2014:

When utilizing foils , by the moment u obtain to the front the back is handling so what I execute if the earlier and also sides are processed I use a higher volume of peroxide on height , or u deserve to rinse the earlier and sides then foil the optimal via 20 vol peroxide. Hope that helps

kendra on March 08, 2014:

just how long perform you leave the foils ?

marla on February 28, 2014:

as soon as i foil hair occasionally the back gets lighter than the peak ,i have actually always startes from the ago and also operated forward.has anyone else had actually this difficulty. just happenes on exceptionally thick hair and i am wondering if i need to begin at the top first

maegan on March 31, 2013:

I'm a hairdresser likewise and also to avoid the foil from bleeding you have the right to use cotton in between foils so that if it does bleed, the cotton will absorb it before the shade touches the hair.

stylgrl82 on April 04, 2012:

hi winterhair im a stylest and also i think clipins r a much better method of thinkin, u deserve to buy hair ready to clip at simply about any kind of cosmo shope or beauty land also save in ur area or on the web key word clip on hair, That glue takes for ever before to get out a have the right to pull some of ur hair to boot! Hope this helps

Jamie on September 25, 2011:

Thanks for the tips! Now i hope i simply acquire it right!

manamadz on August 31, 2011:

Im eight months pregnant and also i desire to bleach my hair, but i don't want to do my roots. Iv nevee tried using foils before, carry out you think its the most basic point to usek

DIYTeenMom on August 25, 2011:

Can you use foil through any type of residence coloring kit, such as Revlon ColorSilk? I'm trying to offer my daughter "low lights" and also making use of a cap didn't occupational because the amount of hair I could pull via wasn't noticeable enough when we finiburned so I'd like to attempt foils so I can usage larger sections.

Jennifer on July 18, 2011:

Heather - sun exposure and can damages you hair if it is colored or not. There are commodities out tright here to assist through protecting your hair. Try Redken's Color Extend SUN line to assist defend your hair.

Heather on July 10, 2011:

got a foil freshly to lighten up my hair...does the sun damages hair after having a foil if I do not wear a hat or protect against the sun? My hair stylist says not to issue around the sunlight after a foil. Thanks

Louise on February 11, 2011:

If your foils are bleeding, then you have put too much product in them.

Research Analyst on July 28, 2010:

Great tips, especially for those that want to execute it themselves at home it will be much easier to recognize just how to shade hair with foils in this hub. Thanks!

chloe on February 27, 2010:

hi perform u have any type of tricks to prevent colour bleeding

natty on February 12, 2010:

my hair hassent out gone as light as i want it to just how can i acquire it to go lighter?

Winterhair on December 17, 2009:

I have actually assumed about getting hair extensions and also doesn't sound favor a really excellent concept. So i am gaining clip on hair extensions. Does anybody know where i have the right to buy them, any type of excellent websites selling them and just how much they cost>?

Choke Frantic (author) from Newcastle, Australia on December 08, 2009:

VB72 - I always have trouble with this issue myself. Remember - exercise always provides perfect! You'll uncover at most salons for reexpansion applications of bleach, a weaker solution is supplied, through a graduated outcome. This additionally helps you to go for much longer between salon visits, bereason tbelow isn't an onoticeable line between the lighter and darker hair.

VB72 on December 04, 2009:

How execute you bleach just the root of formerly bleached foils without going over the bleached percent while additionally avoiding creating a blunt line of older/more recent bleach?

bloodnlatex on November 17, 2009:

Great job. You seem to really know a lot around the whole hair coloring and also styling thing, and you lassist it all out so that anyone can easily understand also the process you were taking them with. That isn't constantly the easist thing to execute. You certainly have actually a future in creating and in the hair company.

Thanks for your comment, momo. To me, the terms dye and colour are interchangeable.

See more: What Is The Thermal Speed Of Hydrogen (H2) Molecules At 800 K?

momo on August 10, 2009:

Very good method of explaining, I still cringe though once I read or hear the word dye rather of colour LOL

Choke Frantic (author) from Newcastle, Australia on May 12, 2009:

I've never before even considered writing for a hair dressing magazine! Most of the ones which I buy are publiburned in the UK though, and also I don't recognize of any type of that are publimelted in Australia. Also, they may not take me seriously because I'm not over 29 => Thankyou for the compliment and great luck to you also.

Brenda Scully on May 12, 2009:

Not favor a hairdresser to give so many secrets of the proffesion away, appreciated, have you written for hair dressing magazines..... your short articles are well put together.... excellent luck for the challenge. x