Full Foil? Partial Foil? Balayage? Ombre? Sombre? Color Melting? Foilage? Babylights?
Is your head spinning? With all of the options available in today’s hair industry, it can be difficult to know what to ask for when you are going in for a hair service. I’m going to break down what some of these terms mean, and discuss how you can decide which one is right for you.
Foiling is when your stylist weaves out pieces of your hair, places them in a foil and then applies the color or lightener. You can achieve a wide range of looks with foils depending on placement and what type of a weave is done – a fine weave offers a more natural look, and thicker slices or pieces create a more dramatic effect. The foils create heat, enabling the hair to achieve a lighter shade in less time.
Some drawbacks to a foil are the following: foils can create “lines” in the hair, depending on how close the stylist gets to the roots, there can be more damage done to the hair because of the heat created in the foil and the grow-out can be more noticeable from the line that the foil creates. There are ways so lessen this line, such as doing a root glaze, and lightening the roots at the shampoo bowl after applying the foils.
Average Starting Cost: $100
Balayage is a French word meaning, “to sweep” or “to paint,” and that is literally what is done. The hair is painted free-hand by the stylist, thus creating a very tailored look to the hair. The effect can be very subtle and natural, or more defined and noticeable. Because there isn’t a uniform look to the effect, the grow-out tends to be very subtle, and you can go longer in between services, unless you are dealing with issues such as gray coverage. The look is really beautiful and natural, and a great way to have dimension in the hair without all the color being on the part-line.
The one drawback to balayage is the price. Because it is free-hand painting, you are paying for the ability of your specific artist or stylist to achieve the desired result. They are placing the color exactly where they want to see it, and you are paying for that artistic eye. As mentioned above, you won’t have to come in as often which will help off-set the expense. As far as how often, it is really up to each person and when they decide that it is time to refresh. There are some clients that go 6 months to a year in between balayage services and other clients that come in every 3-4 months. If you are covering for gray, you can always do root touch-ups in-between your balayage appointments.
Average Starting Cost: $175
Ombre can be defined as the “gradual blending from one color to another.” Generally speaking, in regard to hair, it blends dark hair to light hair. This can be done in a very subtle and natural way, or used to create a dramatic look. Ombre doesn’t usually have the natural look that balayage has, however it can be a great way to give dimension to your hair without having to worry about grow-out on the part-line or around the face when the hair is pulled back. Again, this look can be tailored to whatever look you are wanting to achieve. The term “sombre” refers to a soft ombre look that creates a more gradual transition between the colors. You can create a balayage ombre look by doing balayage with a more solid color towards the ends of the hair.
Average Starting Cost: $150
This could actually be a sub-category under ombre. Color melting is the process of applying a minimum of 3 colors and gradually melting them together, creating a soft transition line. Color melting is another fun option when wanting dimension to the hair without individual pieces of color.
Average Cost: $150
This is a great option for the natural blonde client that just wants a little more dimension. Extremely tiny sections are taken and the color is applied and left on longer in order to achieve a bright, but very subtle, radiant color that mimics the natural highlights children have in their hair. Because this process is very time consuming, it can also be more costly.
Average Starting Cost: $200
This is a technique that can be done when you want to go platinum in one day and have hair that is brown or lighter. Every single hair strand is placed in a foil via minute slices. The heat from the foil as well as the time it takes allows the hair to lift enough (usually) to where it can be toned and you can achieve a platinum look.
The two drawbacks to this look are the time and expense.
Average Starting Cost: $300
How Do I Know Which One I Want?
Ask yourself the following questions…
1. What condition is my hair currently in?
If your hair is black, natural or otherwise, and you want to go blonde, balayage is probably not the best choice for you. If you have box color on your hair, you might not be able to do a platinum card and achieve white hair in one session. Make sure to have realistic expectations. You can most likely reach your desired look, but it can take time and multiple steps and sessions. Talk to your stylist and listen to what they say. Be honest about what you have done to your hair. If you hide things, such as home coloring or previous bleach under currently brown hair, it can have serious consequences. Let your stylist know so they can create the best plan possible. Remember that integrity of hair is more important than having a specific look you want that day.
2. What look would I like to achieve?
I love it when people bring in pictures, with a few caveats. First, know your hair, and try to find pictures of people with similar hair. For example, if you have insanely thick hair, find pictures of people with lots of hair. Most of the time it’s the other way around… people with fine hair like to bring in pictures of people with thick hair. Unfortunately, no amount of color or cutting will create that look when you have fine hair. Second, make sure to point out what you like in the picture. For example, a client could bring in a picture of brown hair with blonde highlights, and I am thinking she really likes the low-lights when she is looking at the side-swept bang in the photo. It is important that stylists know how to ask questions, but make sure to let them know what you are seeing when you look at a particular photo. One last caveat, but more of a pet peeve. We are equipped with coloring brushes and bleach, not a scalpel and liposuction. So, just know that if you bring in a picture of Heidi Klum, we can work on having Heidi Klum hair, but not a Heidi Klum body. Moving on…
3. What am I willing to invest in my hair?
Know beforehand that any major change you are wanting to do to your hair will cost and more than likely, take time. If you are wanting to know the price commitment before going with a certain style, make a consultation appointment and discuss upfront what the expected cost will be. Make sure you allow for some variance, as many times the stylist will be unable to give an exact price until they work with your hair and see what it will do. For example, maybe the box color that you previously used won’t lift, and several processes are needed to achieve the desired outcome. Just ask the stylist for a cost estimate for each process.
On top of the salon investment, make sure that you understand the products you will need at home to maintain the look. If you are getting a platinum card done and then go home and use Suave shampoo and conditioner (gasp!), you will cause immense damage to already fragile hair and strip out the toner that was used. Within a few weeks at most, you won’t be satisfied with your hair, all due to the fact that you used a poor product in your home care. Make sure to ask your stylist to suggest a good shampoo and conditioner and factor this amount into the cost of your service.
I know this isn’t directly related but I CANNOT have this entire dialog without discussing Olaplex. Olaplex is the magic wand of coloring and links broken disulfide bonds in your hair, thus allowing us, as stylists, to create some of these amazing looks with little to no damage. If you want to do a more dramatic look and already have compromised hair, I would require you to come in for an Olaplex Blowout, and have the hair treated prior to applying any color services. The hair actually feels healthier and shinier post-color service when done with Olaplex. To protect the investment you have made in your hair, make sure to take home Olaplex #3 to keep your hair healthy in between services. I LOVE OLAPLEX!!
As always, let me know if you have any questions, and Happy Styling!
There are many different hair brushes on the market, and it can be overwhelming to know which one is best for your needs. Each type has a specific purpose, but this post will be focusing on round brushes, and which to use when blowing out your hair.
If you have hair length from mid-neck or longer, the Cricket Technique #450 Thermal Brush is for you! This is the brush that I use in my video tutorial for the “Perfect Blowout”. It may seem daunting at first since it is much larger than what the average person is used to. However, there are many benefits to this brush. Rather than give you all of the professional terminology, I will go with the practical…
1. It’s big! This means that when you are round brushing your own hair you can round brush in a continuous motion rather than pulling the brush to the end of the hair, having to take it out and start at the root again. It also means you can get great volume at your roots depending on the angle you blow dry your hair… see video.
2. The bristles are all mushed together ( I told you this wouldn’t be technical). This means that the bristles are gripping the hair and smoothing and straightening it while blowing it out. If you have ever used a brush with the bristles in nice, neat rows, you will know that the hair slips through the brush and doesn’t smooth or straighten. If you want the technical reason this works it is because they are tourmaline ionic bristles.
3. The core of the brush is ceramic, which causes it to heat up during the blowout, thus shortening your drying time… who doesn’t love that?!?
4. Apparently there is a sectioning pick stored in the base of the brush… bonus, even though I have never used it and probably never will :).
If you have shorter hair, or longer hair with shorter layers on top, then the Cricket Technique #390 Thermal Brush will work great. Same benefits listed above, just a smaller barrel. If you are working with longer hair and shorter layers, I would suggest using the larger brush on the bottom and the smaller brush on the top.
Stay tuned for a Marketplace on the blog where these brushes and other products will be available for purchase. As always, let me know if you have any questions, and Happy Styling!
I am giving away this amazing Chi Silk Infusion to one lucky person once we reach 200 likes on our Facebook page! All you have to do to enter is head over to www.facebook.com/ChristyMillardHairStylist, and do the following…
1. Like the page
2. Find the picture of the product and share with friends
3. Comment under the product image that you have liked and shared
Once we reach 200 likes, a winner will be randomly selected. If you are not local, I will ship it to you. Thanks for entering and Happy Styling!