Hair Tips: Should I Ask for Foils or Balayage?

Posted Friday March 6, 2015 10:15 PM GMT
Photo Credit: Thinkstock Images

We’ve all seen (or unfortunately experienced) hair color gone wrong. Whether it’s an off undertone, streaky highlights or a completely botched head of hair, nothing ruins our day (okay, month) like a bad trip to the salon.

That’s why when speaking with a colorist, it’s important to know what you want. Simple questions like foils or balayage, gloss or no gloss, could make the difference between walking out with sexy Victoria’s Secret-inspired hair and cheap streaks.

We caught up with celebrity hair colorist Amina Bouchirab from Pierre Michel Hair and Beauty in New York City to learn how to get — and keep — our dream 'do. In addition to understanding the basic techniques, we asked her how to politely confront our colorist when we’re less than satisfied with the results.

We've heard a lot about the balayage effect in Hollywood — is it better than foils?
The choice between foil and balayage depends on the look you are looking for ... both are still very popular techniques. Because balayage is almost like painting the hair, the color can be applied closer to the roots to create a more natural hair tone with fewer streaks. It's better for clients who want more contrast or the ombre look of two-toned hair.

Do I always need a gloss?
A gloss is great for people who tend to have dry hair after coloring, as it lends a boost of shine after your treatment. It’s most beneficial for colored brunettes to brighten their hair in-between appointments.

I want highlights but I don’t want to make a major commitment. What's the best technique for minimal upkeep?
There’s no such thing as no upkeep ... there’s less upkeep. This is where balayage comes in — because the painting technique is able to get closer to the roots than foils, your root color will not grow in as fast.

Do at-home root touch ups work or should I leave it to the pros?
Leave it to the pro — store brought color in a box will never match the exact shade a professional gives you, so you''l likely end up making the situation worse.

Is there a polite way of telling my stylist it’s not the color I wanted?
Simple — call and tell the truth! Do not feel that you are insulting your colorist. We want every client to leave with exactly what they want, even if it takes two visits.

Any last advice on getting my hair colored?
When making a major change, bring a picture of the color you are requesting and always have a consultation with your colorist first.

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