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07th Aug 2022

Autumn vibes: ‘Foilayage’ is the new hair colour trend we all want now

Trine Jensen-Burke


Yes, please.

August is here, and with it, the last month of summer is upon us.

I don’t know about you, but being on the cusp of a new season always makes me feel like a change – especially when it comes to my hair.

And right now, I know what I want my hair to look like come autumn. Enter foilayage – the brilliant new hair colour technique that really is all about combining the best of balayage and the old-school way of using foil to apply dye to sections of the hair.

The results are really stunning, and a quick browse around Instagram will tell you this trend really is about to take off, and it is easy to see why.

Where balayage is softer and more subtle – and we love that natural look for sure – foil-dyed hair is lighter and has a more pronounced finish, making it really stand out against the sections that are balayage-ed.

Speaking to Glamour, Creative Colourist with HARI, Francesca Dixon explains:

“Traditional highlights will almost always use foils and colour is applied to the root of the hair whereas balayage is a visual hand-painted technique working with pieces of hair. The results are very different as balayage gives hair a blended and overall softer subtle finish, whereas highlights (because they are added from the root) can often look stripy.”

If you, like me, have now gotten caught up in all the gorgeous #foilayage images on Instagram, there is no denying inspiration is plentiful.

However, if you are keen to learn more about this technique and want your colourist to try it out at your next appointment, here is what you need to know.

What is foilayage?

According to Glamour, foilayage is a combination of balayage with the use of foils more often seen in the traditional application of highlights to create brighter, lighter sections throughout while retaining a natural-looking finish and seamless blending.

The colourist sections hair and strategically applies hair dye, before wrapping the section in foils and leaving it to develop. This amplifies the brightness and lightness of the section while retaining the flattering, face-framing benefits of balayage.

The key to the look is all in the way the colourist applies the foils. In traditional highlights, the colourist would apply dye from root to tip, before folding the entire section in one piece of foil.

With foilayage, the section has been carefully painted, often leaving out the root or with dye applied at a specific angle. To avoid mixing sections of hair that have had dye applied, and the sections that have been deliberately missed out, the colourist uses two sheets of foil to sandwich the hair, keeping the colour perfectly in place while it develops. The foils speed up the lightning process and create a brighter, more brilliant result.