The technique “Foilyage”, developed by Japanese colorist Hitomi Ikeda,  comes from combining the placement of foil highlights and the free-hand painting of Balayage. This method allows a natural rendering achieving a bold sun-kissed color design at the ends and avoiding any chunkiness at the root.

Hitomi uses a Sprush to apply color following the typical balayage steps. Next she wraps the hair in foils (instead of plastic) to ensure that the color is captured and stays on the strands, subtly transitioning from the depth at the roots and mids to sunkissed ends.


Here Ikeda shares the formula for this design:

Formula 1:  1 Oz SprushLites Lightener mixed with 1 Oz 10 volume developer

Formula 2: 1 Oz SprushLites Lightener mixed with 1 ½ Oz 30 volume developer

Formula 3:  1 Oz 07NB Redken Shades EQ + ½ Oz 06T Redkens Shades EQ mixed with 1 ½ Oz Processing Solution

Formula 4: 1 Oz 09N Redken Shades EQ + ½ Oz 09T Redken Shades EQ mix with 1 ½ Oz  Processing Solution


Step 1: Start from hairline with traditional 1/8 inch weaved foils highlights. Apply Formula 1 roots to end. Keep ¼ inch section between each foil.

Step 2: Starting from front, pick up ½ in hair strands between foils and free hand paint with a Sprush. Apply formula 2 evenly — almost like spreading butter, from mid shaft to end. Make sure ends are well saturated with lightener.  Do a small fold on the corner of the foil to keep hair in. Using a babylight pattern, leave some hair without lightener to create lowlights and dimension.

Step 3: Check periodically. Lighten to level 5 on roots, close to level 6 on ends, rinse and shampoo.

Step 4: Using formula 3, apply to create depth on roots. Process for 5 minutes. For the last 3 minutes apply formla 4 to the rest of the hair. After processing, rinse, shampoo and condition the hair.

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