How To Paint Bright Blondes With Less Than 30 Foils
Italian Balayage: 5 Tips To Master The Foil + Paint Technique
Want to paint high-impact blondes with less than 30 foils? Meet the “Italian Balayage” method created by Cassie Siskovic (@cassiskovic), Alfaparf Milano National Artistic Director. It’s a timesaving technique that fuses foilayage, balayage and teasylights to create light and contrast where it counts with less work. Keep scrollin’ for the video how-to and important takeaway tips!
1. Use Impact Zones As A Roadmap For Placement
Italian Balayage uses different impact zones to create brightness where it counts—the hairline, pivot foils at the recession, part line and fringe. Then, balayage to add surface saturation. In each impact zone, use three back-to-back foiled sections—aka “weave, slice, weave.” This strategic placement creates a full-foil effect with minimal work.
2. How To Connect The Hairline
One of the key impact zones, the “ear bridge,” connects the front hairline to the back and adds interior brightness—GENIUS, right? Here’s a breakdown of where to work around the ear:
Pro Tip: For finer texture, try using a micro-weave to create a more subtle effect. If the client has dense hair, customize with thicker sections—use three back-to-back slices or a “slice, weave, slice” technique.
3. Customize The Fringe + Face Frame
Italian Balayage starts in the front, working off of the client’s natural parting. “The more hair you color in the three foils, the stronger the impact,” shares Laura. “Right at the top, I tend to go a little deeper with my foils and weaves. [And] smaller, more subtle around the hairline.”
Check Out The Head Diagram Below!
Pro Tip: If a client has a widow’s peak hairline, work from both sides instead of directly from the front. Otherwise, there will be a small dark spot at the roots.
4. Foils Slipping? Try This!
When working around the ear and throughout the back, it’s common for foils to shift which can cause hot spots—especially, when doing balayage between foils. To prevent foils from slipping, try these quick tips:
- Use a small highlighting clip to hold heavier foiled sections into place.
- Pull the foil all the way up to the hairline with a lot of tension, then paint downward.
- Use a ‘dog ear’ fold—folding down one corner like a book page—to secure the foils.
5. Choosing The Best Lightener For Each Technique
Here’s how to decide what lightener to reach for when you’re mixing for Italian Balayage, using the Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach System:
When To Use Easy Lift 7:
- On-Scalp application
- Blue powder to manage unwanted yellow and orange tones.
- Lifts up to 7 levels in 50 minutes.
- For Level 6 hair and lighter.
When To Use High Lift 9:
- Color Corrections + Removing Cosmetic Color
- White lightening powder to control lift.
- Lifts up to 9 levels in 5 minutes.
- For Level 5 and darker.
When To Use Freestyle Lift Clay Lightener
- Hair Painting + Teasylights
- Clay dries on the outside but stays moist on the inside.
- Lifts up to 7 levels in 50 minutes.
- Always mix with a 1:1 ratio.
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