Articles > Foilayage > 4 Tricks For Foilayage + Shadow Roots
Last updated: January 20, 2022

4 Tricks For Foilayage + Shadow Roots

Foilayage: Lift, Blend + Cover Gray In One Service

Foils slipping and splotchy results? Make foilayage applications fast, bright and problem-free with this tutorial from Lo Wheeler Davis (@lo_wheelerdavis), a California blonding expert and Kenra Professional Brand Ambassador. Watch the video and keep scrollin’ for tricks that will help you create a bold balayage effect in less time.


Watch more of Lo’s blonding + balayage tutorials for FREE on YouTube—click here!


Tip #1: Seeing Spots In Foils? Try This!

Getting splotchy blondes? You’re most likely taking too thick of sections and the lightener is not able to penetrate the hair. Mixing ratios can also cause splotches, so make sure that the lightener is not too thick to melt in between each hair strand. Lo’s go-to lightener is Kenra Color Simply Blonde Blue Powder Lightener with 30-volume developer. The blue base neutralizes warmth as the hair lifts.


Pro Tip: Lo takes LARGE sections for faster applications, but not THICK sections that prevent full saturation.



Check Out The Before & After!

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Tip #2: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

We love a good dos and don’ts moment! Avoid these easy mistakes that could ruin foilayage and learn what to do instead.


  • Loose Foils: Lo folds foils in thirds and uses the tail of her comb below the fold underneath each section. By having the flap underneath vs. in front, this helps tighten each foil with slack to re-tighten. Then, Lo locks in the corners to secure.


Pro Tip: For smaller sections that traditional folds won’t hold, Lo gets creative. For example, using a triangular-shaped section to prevent the hair from slipping.


foilayage balayage and foil tips for covering gray and preventing spotty blonde color or foils slipping lo wheeler davis kenra professional
Try this genius foil folding idea for small sections!


  • Dull Ends: Leaving the ends or extra blonde pieces out of foils? Toward the end of the application, open the foils and apply lightener through the ends to avoid bright mids with dull ends.


Tip #3: Shadow Root To Cover Gray Hair

For low-maintenance blondes or clients with gray hair, Lo suggests a shadow root to diffuse the blend with 100 percent coverage. Here are a couple of different ways to apply Lo’s go-to, Kenra Color Studio Stylist Express, a permanent color that processes in only 10 minutes.


  • Allow the blonde to process for 10 minutes before rinsing, then apply Studio Stylist Express to the base.
  • Rinse the blonde and apply Studio Stylist Express as a shadow root at the shampoo bowl.


foilayage balayage and foil tips for covering gray and preventing spotty blonde color or foils slipping lo wheeler davis kenra professional
Gray sparkles? Lo covers in 10 minutes with Kenra Color Studio Stylist Express.



Tip #4: How To Charge For Foilayage Services

Lo charges for foilayage and balayage the same way, focusing on the amount of hair she is coloring vs. the specific techniques required. Consider the amount of hair as a whole and charge based on the percentage of hair being lightened and colored. Time, product and density should be the biggest factors that determine pricing.


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