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Full Head Foils vs Highlights Compared

If you want to change the color of your hair, highlights and foils are two common ways to do it. But it's helpful to know the difference between them before deciding. This detail guide explains full foils vs highlights simply. It talks about things like how each is done, what they look like, and how much work they need after. Comparing them this way will help you pick which one is better for your own hair goals and needs.

The Ins and Outs of Full Head Foils

Full head foils involve placing the small aluminum foil pieces throughout all of your hair. This let's the color or bleach touch every section for an even result. Some get this to go lighter or darker all over.

The process begins with the stylist sectioning the hair. Each section is then woven into foils, and bleach or hair color is applied. The foils help in achieving a more pronounced lightening effect, especially when bleach is used. Depending on the desired outcome, the stylist might use heat to enhance the coloring process.

Pluses of Full Head Foils

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: With full foils, the hue or bleach is wrapped piece by piece. This lets each hair soak it in thoroughly. No strand misses getting the products, so results turn out evenly all over.

  2. Versatility: Full foils can achieve slight shifts like softening gray hair mixed in or more dramatic changes. Whether you desire lightening your dark locks brighter or going much deeper in shade, this method fits making big or small makeovers.

  3. Dimension: When foiling, color soaks singly into all hair. This grants extra vibrancy with darker lowlights mixed with lighter pieces throughout. It gives hair depth and interest with many subtle tones instead of one flat shade alone. Whether darkening or lighting your looks, added character comes from dye penetrating fiber by fiber with full foils.

Ideal Candidates for Full Head Foils

Anyone hoping to alter their entire head of hair significantly will benefit from full foils. Whether lightening hair several levels up the color scale or darkening multiple shades deeper, full foils ensure an even result over each strand. Those looking to transition their hair color dramatically, such as going from medium brunette to dark blonde, will obtain consistent dye coverage from root to tip using this hair color technique.

Post-Foil Care and Upkeep

To preserve the vibrancy of newly dyed hair and minimize regrowth, returning to the hair salon after 6 weeks is recommended. During these touch-up visits, your hairstylist can fill in the hair near the roots that have grown in with natural unchanged pigment. Using gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners labeled as color-safe will help prolong the life of your dye job between salon visits. Regular conditioning helps maintain hair health and prevents lightened strands from fading prematurely. With proper maintenance, full foils recipients can enjoy their transformed hair color vibrantly for longer.

What are Hair Highlights?

Hair highlights add dimension and interest to hair by lightening specific strands to varying degrees of contrast against the natural hair color. They can range from very subtle lightening of just a few pieces by a shade or two, to dramatic color variations like transforming dark brown hair into rich caramel highlights. This technique leaves some hair the original color while dying select sections differently to create visual interest.

Highlights involve a stylist carefully choosing certain strands or sections of the hair to color a few levels lighter or darker than the existing hair color. The highlighted pieces can be thin strands woven throughout or thicker sections for greater contrast. The effect lightens the hair in an uneven fashion from subtle to dramatic depending on number of strands processed. This creates richer color depth and variability rather than one uniform shade.

When highlighting, the stylist will hand pick pieces of hair to add color to. They may wrap the selected strands individually in foil to protect surrounding hair from the dye processing. Or use a freehand painting technique for wider blended sections. Either method allows the color to lift or deposit pigment discretely while leaving other hair untouched, resulting in a mixed blend of tones for fuller visual impact.

Pros of Highlights

  1. Natural Appearance: Highlights mimic the sun's natural effect of selectively lighting sections of hair, much like strands near the face or back of the head catch glimpses of rays. The highlights wrapped or painted through to only parts of the hair recreate this face-framing sunkissed look over time in nature.

  2. Customizable: The stylist has control over how many strands are selected for highlighting and can vary the thickness and closeness of pieces. This allows them to precisely tailor the highlighting technique based on your features, density, and preferences. The level of contrast between lightened and natural pieces can also be determined for subtle or dramatic looks.

  3. Less Maintenance: Since only sections of hair are dyed lighter rather than the full head, regrowth is less apparent as it blends back into the roots. Darker pieces soften the line of demarcation between new and original hair. Touch-ups are needed less frequently as highlights require less filling in when roots reappear than a full head of color. This makes maintenance easier on the schedule and wallet long-term.

Ideal Candidates for Highlights

Those seeking a sun-kissed, beachy look with a blend of illuminated and natural looking strands will find highlights an excellent option. Rather than dramatic contrast, highlights gradually brighten pieces to replicate warmth caught from glimpses of daylight. Their subtlety also makes highlights a preferred choice for those wanting added dimension and interest to their hair, without a drastic color change. The mingling of tones fools the eye into thinking highlights were naturally acquired rather than processed.

Keeping Up Highlights

While highlights require less frequent touch-ups compared to techniques like foiling, regular salon appointments every 6-8 weeks are still recommended. During these visits, a colorist can skillfully fill in the hair around the roots to blend the new, natural regrowth into the existing highlighted strands above. Continued use of sulfate-free, color-protecting shampoos and conditioners between appointments helps moisturize the hair and preserve the highlighted pigment from sun exposure and daily brushing. With low-maintenance care, highlights can look fresh for months at a time.

Full Head Foils vs Highlights: A Comparative Analysis


Full foils involve a stylist wrapping every single strand of hair individually in foil before applying the hair color or bleach evenly across the whole head. This achieves consistent coverage. Highlights selectively paint or foil small pieces of hair, leaving roots and other areas natural, creating contrast and dimension.


With foils, the end result is one unified shade throughout. Highlights give a sun-kissed, lived-in look as they add varying tones that graduate away from the roots like natural sun exposure streaks hair differently.

Maintenance and Durability

Highlights require less frequent touch-ups every 6-8 weeks typically compared to full foils every 4-6 weeks. Since highlights only alter pieces, regrowth isn't as immediately obvious and blends more seamlessly than dark roots contrasting light foiled hair.

Time investment

Wrapping and coloring every single strand of long hair requires extensive time with full foils. Highlighting strategically deposits pigment in fewer sections, permitting shorter sessions, especially for subtler versions.

Deciding on Highlights or Foils

Your Natural Hair Colour and Desired Look

Examining your current hair shade and the effect you desire will help decide. Full foils are best if wanting a dramatic transition like dark to light. Highlights suite lighter changes, like face framing layers, for a subtle sun-kissed finish.

Keeping Your Regimen in Mind

For busy women, highlights need less frequent visits as roots blend seamlessly. Dark regrowth shows through foils sooner, demanding speedier appointments.

Valuing Stylist Viewpoint

Discussion hair type, face shape, lifestyle permits hairdressers to advise favorites for your needs. Experts grasp techniques flattering features and budget without long-haul commitments that align results to routines pleasingly. Ask industry opinions assisting clear decisions.

Top Salon for Color in Fredericton

Vibrant Salon and Spa is a great option for professional hair colorists in Fredericton. We have very talented stylists who are experts at creating different looks through dyeing. They can do balayage where some strands are lightened or regular highlights put in certain areas. Lowlights darker colors parts too. The stylists will make sure it looks good with your face whatever you want - if just some hair brighter or everything dyed to change color fully. At Vibrant Salon and Spa, we help choose the best method for you - whether a natural sun-kissed effect or dramatic whole head change. Our trained team makes any style look perfect through quality salon services.

Key Takeaways:

  • Full head foils offer comprehensive coverage, while highlights target specific sections.

  • Highlights provide a natural, sun-kissed look, whereas full head foils are more uniform.

  • Maintenance for highlights is generally lower than full head foils.

  • Consulting with a professional stylist can help in making a wise decision.

  • For top hair dye services, Vibrant Salon in Fredericton is a brilliant choice.


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