Articles > Balayage > Foils Or Open Air? Watch This To Learn What To Use!
April 27, 2021

Foils Or Open Air? Watch This To Learn What To Use!

Watch This To Improve Your Hair Painting Technique

When it comes to highlights, balayage has many benefits besides an easy grow out. Did you know that it can be gentler on the hair than using foils? Watch Olaplex Global Ambassador Bianca Hillier (@biancacolour) demonstrate how to maintain the integrity of the hair when lifting using bond builders.


Keep scrolling to learn why she increases the developer to ensure an even lift, how open air balayage is easier on the hair and what you should never do during the consultation. Don’t forget to grab the formulas and check out the finished look!


CLICK HERE To Purchase The Olaplex Bond Builders Bianca Used!


Balayage Vs. Foils

When diffusing old highlights, Bianca prefers to use balayage rather than foils for a more natural look. Foiling causes the lightener to penetrate through the hair, which creates more trauma to the strands and denser highlights that don’t always look realistic. With balayage you can paint directly on top of old highlights, resulting in an easier lift to preserve the integrity of the hair and a sheer, natural finish.


Bianca also prefers not to weave and tease the hair when balayaging to avoid damage. She remarks that you can create the same effect hand painting with the right technique. Practice makes perfect!


Check Out The Before & After!

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Always Use A Bond Builder

Using a bond builder in your lightener is one of the best ways to ensure that your client’s hair is protected. Bianca always adds Olaplex No. 1 to her lightener and Olaplex No. 2 as a treatment to strengthen the hair. If you’re new to bond builders and aren’t ready to add them to your formulas, Bianca recommends starting with a standalone treatment at the shampoo bowl to ease into the process.


Increase The Volume As You Go

To make sure the hair processes at the same time, Bianca slowly increases the strength of her developer from 25- to 30-volume as she works up the head. To do this, each bowl is increased in quarter increments starting at 25-volume, then 25-volume with a quarter of 30-volume, then half 25- and 30-volume, then a quarter of 25- with 30-volume and finally 30-volume. 


Pro Tip: When mixing lightener, remember: The looser, the consistency, the stronger the lift. The thicker the consistency, the faster the lightener will dry out, resulting in less lift.


Balayage Formula

(1:2) Redken Flashlight Bonder Inside + 25-volume developer + 1/16th oz Olaplex No. 1


Balayage Requires Flexibility

During the consultation, make sure to never ensure a desired result. Bianca recommends to instead come up with a general plan with your client to achieve the results they want, but to emphasize that the plan can change to maintain the integrity of their hair.


Remember that balayage varies depending on the haircut, hair texture, client’s face, skin tone and the desired look, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all step-by-step  that fits every client. Just as the client needs to stay flexible about the plan, the stylist should also be flexible in how they approach the hair to achieve a custom result


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