Hair Coloring 101

Foiling… balayage… root touch up… what’s the difference?

Dying your hair is a fun way to switch things up, but there are so many hair coloring techniques these days, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. After determining the “look” you’re going for, your stylist will be able to figure out exactly which technique will leave you with the desired effect. 


Foiling is one of the most common hair dying techniques. If you’ve ever walked into the salon and seen a woman reading a magazine with a bunch of tin foil on her head, she was probably getting a foiling treatment. Foiling is done by separating the hair into sections, positioning the foil beneath the hair section, and painting the color onto the hair/foil together. Your hair remains in the foil while the color mixture processes. This is done because foil conducts heat and allows the color to work deeper into the hair. Foiling is most often used when the color change is a dramatic one and the client requires more lift. It also allows the stylists to have more control and be more precise when placing color. 


Balayage, which has grown in popularity these past few years, is sort of like foiling’s cousin. In comparison to foiling, balayage involves painting the color mixture directly onto the hair, freehand, in order to achieve a more natural, softer look. The mixture is then left to do its work in the open air rather than folded into foil. Balayage is typically used when the client has lighter hair, requiring less left, or if the client wants less up-keep. Because balayage results in a more natural look, there is less upkeep as the dye begins to grow out. 

Gray Coverage

Many women don’t start dying their hair until they get older and their hair begins to gray. The silvery-gray style has definitely taken off more recently, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to preserve your natural colors. When it comes to covering gray hair, sticking to your natural color is usually the way to go. Next you and your stylist will have to decide on demi-permanent or permanent dye. There are pros and cons to both. Demi-permanent will result in less trips to the salon for touch-ups, as this dye will simply color the gray rather than covering it in an attempt to blend with the rest of the hair. Permanent dye, while slightly more maintenance, completely covers the gray and leaves your hair looking noticeably refreshed. It is also a single-process coloring technique, meaning it’s quick!

Whatever your reason for dying your hair, it doesn’t hurt to understand the different techniques before jumping right in. Knowing what you want is necessary when going into a dye appointment. This way your stylist can figure out the best approach to get you your desired look. 

Haven Salon Color Lines: DavinesL’OréalAll-Nutrient, and Rusk

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