Thanks to Vogue Nationale

Thanks to Vogue Hairdressing

Thanks to Vogue Nationale

Courtesy Vogue Hairdressing


The Difference between Foils and Highlights

If you did not come through our home page your search has only found a small proportion of our vast and useful data base of real information, facts and how-to instructions.

For more use this link.


"Highlights" are strands of lighter colours in your hair and or "lowlights" are strands of darker colours in your hair. These can be done in several different ways but the two main methods are using done using foil packets* to separate the hair being coloured from the rest of the hair or using a plastic cap or bag to separate the hair. Both methods have their pro's and con's but what really is the difference between them?

(*There is a variation on the foil method using a type of plastic packet that either sticks or clips to the hair. In competent hands these do work quite well, although the foil method when used by an expert can produce a more personalized look for you).

Cap Highlights

The Pro's

  • Cheaper than the foil method.
  • Done in all but the most exclusive salons.
  • Quick.

The Con's

  • Only suitable for short hair as the process can put unnecessary stress on mid to longer hair.
  • Can be painful as a hook is used to pull strands of hair through the cap.
  • Only one colour at a time can be used.
  • Not suitable for curly hair as it tangles as it is pulled through the cap.
  • Not good at getting close to the scalp when the hair is very thick.
  • Hard to place lights in nape area close to the scalp.
  • Hard to control highlight placement to get them exactly where you want.

Foil Highlights


  • Painless.
  • Can use many different colours.
  • Gets the lights closer to the scalp and the hairline.
  • Can get the pieces of colour exactly where you want them.
  • Can create differing sizes of light more easily e.g. thick swooshes of colour or fine strands.
  • Does not stress the hair as there is no pulling of strands through tiny holes.


  • Takes longer to do.
  • More expensive.
  • The skill of the hairdresser is very important, as they can look shocking if they are not done well.
  • Not available in all salons.

At VirtualHairCare we recommend foil highlights as it is the only professional way to go to get the perfect look. Ask your hairdresser for more advice should you need it and check out our section on colour and highlighting and methods to suit you as well as how to choose the colours to suit you.

© VirtualHairCare

Go Back To Previous Page Back to Getting the most from your next Salon Visit