Articles > Hair Color > Converting Foils To Balayage Without The Grow Out? Here’s How!
Last updated: May 24, 2022

Converting Foils To Balayage Without The Grow Out? Here’s How!

7 Tips To Help Transition Foils To Balayage 

If your long-time foil clients are over the constant maintenance and want something simpler, Shelley Gregory (@shelleygregoryhair) has just the technique that will allow you to quickly transition them to balayage—no awkward grow out period required!


Just keep scrolling to get Shelley’s placement tips, then watch the video above for the full tutorial. Don’t forget to check out the finished look and grab the formulas!


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1. Remove Metal From The Hair

Before you get started, spray L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Pre-Treatment to the hair to neutralize any metal deposits that might have been lurking. Depending on where you live, metal can enter into the cortex of the hair through the water or even from old pipes. Taking the time to apply a treatment to your clients’ hair will ensure you have a flawless color application and you can charge more for the add-on.


Check Out The Before & After!

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2. Blend Out Foil Placement With Balayage

Shelley says to think of blending out old foil highlights as connecting the dots. Here’s how to do it:


  • First, find where the original highlights are and balayage over them. The finished result will look like a softer version of a foil.


  • Next, paint lowlights in between the highlights to further soften the foil placement and blend everything together.


3. Paint With Control

Take a small amount of lightener on your brush so you maintain full control over the placement for clean lines. Shelley prefers to use L’Oréal Professional Blond Studio Clay 7 Lightening Powder because the lightener’s consistency allows it to stay where you place it.


Pro Tip: If you happen to get the lowlight color on the highlights, sweep the plastic edge of your brush over the top of the lightener to wipe it off. If you feel it’s not enough, just go back over the highlights with more lightener.


4. Work In Horizontal Sections For A Dramatic Finish

Shelley worked in horizontal sections so the highlights would truly pop against the lowlights! If she took vertical sections, the final result would have been softer and more blended. It’s up to the client what they prefer, but if they really want to see a difference, horizontal sectioning is the way to go.


Tap The Beaker For The Formulas!

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  • Formula A

    L'Oréal Professionnel Blond Studio Clay 7 Lightening Powder + 40-volume Developer

  • Formula B

    L'Oréal Professionnel DIA Light 507 + 6-volume Developer


5. Avoid Back-To-Back Highlights

After placing highlights in one section, make sure you’re not placing another highlight directly next to it. Instead, drop out some hair in between to break up the sections. If you place highlights too close together, you’ll end up with chunky pieces that don’t blend with the rest of the hair.


6. Painting The Hairline

When painting at the hairline, ask the client how they wear their ponytail, then use that ponytail placement to decide where the lightener should be placed.. Don’t be afraid to ask them to lean back to get a better angle. Shelley only paints the highlights at the hairline to ensure maximum brightness.


Note: If the client is already extremely bright around the hairline and would like to tone it down, then you would paint lowlights at the hairline.


7. Transition Clients Immediately

Usually when doing a traditional conversion from foils to balayage, the client will need to let their hair grow out for at least three to six months, but with Shelley’s technique the wait is cut down to around eight weeks. So the next time your client comes in for a touch up, you can immediately transition them to a softer look.


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