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Foilyage Tools & Lightener: Everything You Need to Know

Foilyage on blonde hair up


There’s a lot that goes into a successful foilyage treatment. For example, you need to understand and master sectioning and placement so that you can deliver the results that your clients are looking for. You need to know what an effective hair consultation looks like so that you can understand what your client wants to get out of the service to begin with. 

But before you ever sit down to talk to a client or touch her hair, you need to make sure you are armed for success with the right tools and the right product. 

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Foilyage and balayage are related treatments, but there are key differences between the two. These differences impact your choice of product and tools. If you try to use the same tools on all of your clients regardless of the specific technique or service you are performing, then you’re not going to be as effective as you can be.

Below, we discuss foilyage lightener and tools in greater detail so that you can understand not just what you should be using, but also why you should be using them.

Foilyage Lightener vs. Balayage Lightener

In balayage, we often recommend that stylists use a clay-based lightener, for a number of reasons. 

But when it comes to foilyage, we actually don’t recommend clay. That’s because clay-based lighteners don’t have as much power to lift, and they dry out quickly, further limiting their ability to get you the lift you need. 

Generally speaking, the ideal foilyage lightener is a foiling lightener mixed to a creamy consistency. The actual choice of the lightener itself should of course be driven by the outcome that your client or guest is looking for, but a smooth and creamy lightener will ensure easy gliding and reduce the risk of splotchiness, while still getting you the lift your client expects. 

The texture and density of the hair you’re working on may also impact the consistency of the product you are using. Finer hair will likely require a thicker product consistency so that it stays in place, while coarser hair will likely require a thinner product consistency to allow for gliding.

Foilyage vs. Balayage Tools

Foilyage Brush

Foilyage Brush Damp Hair

Just as it’s important to get product choice correct, it’s just as important that you use the right tools in applying that product. Your choice of comb and brush, in particular, are critical aspects of a successful foilyage application.

Balayage brushes tend to have a wider head, with more bristles. They also tend to come in both natural and synthetic bristles. Foilyage brushes on the other hand tend to be thinner, with longer bristles to impart greater glidability and saturation in each section. 

When it comes to brushes and combs for foilyage, we typically recommend:

  • Using a foiling comb with finer teeth to tease out your client’s hair, so that the tease is more secure.
  • Using a brush like the Melt Brush to apply your product to your client’s hair, as the feathered bristles will help you achieve a seamless blend while still empowering you to properly saturate your sections. The soft bristles are more forgiving and tend not to create harsh lines as other types of bristles might.
  • Using a wet brush for blending the melt.

Foilyage Combs

Other Considerations

In addition to your choice of brush and lightener, there are some other tools you should always have on hand for your foilyage services as well. These include:

  • Clarifying shampoo to remove mineral buildup from hair prior to working on it
  • Foils that are the right weight and length, depending on the texture and length of the hair you’re working on
  • Toothless clips that won’t puncture the foil during processing

    Want more root smudge tips? Download our Root Smudge Formula PDF!

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