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Last updated: October 31, 2022

Fast, High-Impact Blonde In Just 20 FOILS

Save Time With This 20-Foil Balayage Refresh Technique

We all have blonde clients that want to go brighter and blonder. What if we told you that achieving these hair goals can be done in half the time with strategic placement? BTC Team Member Oana Ciofu (@hair_by_oana) is revealing her signature “less is more” approach to a transformative balayage refresh….in just 20 foils! 


Keep scrolling for a preview of Oana’s formulas and pro tips with Moroccanoil®, and peep the video above for the full how-to!


Swipe to see the before and after!

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1. Use this simple sectioning technique for maximum impact

When it comes to sectioning, Oana prefers to keep it simple with six, clean parts. With a center part, create two sections in the front and one on each side, leaving room for two larger sections in the back.


Pro tip: When going ear to ear, remember to keep your part behind the ear. Otherwise, your sections will be too small in the front and too wide in the back.




2. Prepare your lightener with processing time in mind

Oana formulated with Moroccanoil® Blonde Voyage Powder Lightener with 20-volume developer (1:2) for her client, but she recommends bumping up your developer if you anticipate a quicker application.


Want to learn more about Moroccanoil® hair color? Click here for the latest lightener, glosses and developers!


3. Start your foil application with backcombing to soften & blend

To achieve a result driven by bright pops of blonde, Oana uses backcombing to create softness, blend and protect more fragile/previously processed hairs. Here’s how she incorporates backcombing into her foil application:


  1. Start on the sides of the hair, taking thicker weaves.
  2. Once your weave is prepped, gently backcomb baby hairs.
  3. Overdirect to the front; this will hide lines of demarcation when the hair is falling naturally.
  4. Start painting from the midlengths of the weave and work your way up, careful not to apply too much lightener to the roots.
  5. Leave a small pocket of depth between each foil to make the blonde on the midlengths and ends really stand out.


Pro tip: Pinching the hair at the borrom will cause the hair to knot when teasing. Instead, hold the hair flat between your fingers for a softer, easier backcomb.




4. Apply your usual highlighting technique to the front & top sections

Place your first foil along the center part, close to the hairline, making sure your weave isn’t too thin. Then, apply the second and third foil pivoted upwards, taking a larger stitch with each foil. Make sure each weave is wider towards the top and softer towards the back, keeping the blondest part of the weave toward the front.


As a rule, the foils in the front should line up seamlessly with the side foils.


Pro tip: Stand in the front of the client when applying the top foils so you don’t accidentally overdirect. The front is not only where you want the brightest pieces to be, but also where the client will be paying most attention!


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5. Use the Mohawk & back sections to tie the balayage together

Instead of creating highlights that go to the root, Oana’s goal is to create a tip-out effect on these sections. Backcomb each weave (almost into a tip-out!) so the back is the lowest part of the gradient. Sections should be wide and thick to get the most POP.




Once the Mohawk is foiled, move on to the back section. Sections should be larger and overdirected, connecting to the sides and front. Remember to diffuse any harsh lines and not to feather; the blonde needs to pop the most at the bottom.


Check out Oana’s full foil application:



Watch Oana’s full 20-foil blonding technique in action on BTCTV!


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