Transitioning from foil highlights to balayage is easier than you think!
Transitioning from foil highlights to balayage is easier than you think!

Sophia Avera, colorist and balayage expert based at Muse Salon, Atlanta, Georgia, is frequently asked how to convert her foil highlighting clients to balayage. “It’s something I’m asked on a regular basis,” Avera, a top educator for L’Oréal Professionnel, says. “Colorists think it is complicated, and it really is not. A good transition can take place immediately and after the third visit the client will never want to go back!”

Why do it, we asked Alvera. “It’s lower maintenance, for one,” Avera says, adding that you will move the client from six to eight weeks and charge more. “It will allow you to see more clients. It is also a younger looking color design, it’s fresher and more on trend. Balayage highlights are also best for that client who NEVER wants to see a line of demarcation.”

MODERN asked about the five key points about transitioning the foil client to balayage: 

CONSULTATION: This is more important than ever, according to Avera. Is she happy with her existing shade? Is she looking for dimension? Is she looking for something less aggressive on her hair? “You must know this to determine how to best transition.” 

HOW TO KEEP SOME OF THE EXISTING HIGHLIGHTS: “The key,” Avera says, “If you see something, do something. Touch up the highlights you like and erase the ones you don’t. Some of the pre-existing color can be put to good use. You just want to dry brush over the previously colored hair. Erase the ones you don’t want by painting over with a demi-perm, the shade of the clients natural hair or desired base.” How to determine level of lift: it all depends on the  level of existing highlight. Do you want to match the preexisting or blur? Change saturation based on pre-existing highlights. Apply more product where there are no highlights, less on pre-existing.

IS THIS COMPLICATED?: It’s not a dramatic and complicated thing, according to Avera. “Keep it simple. Take medium size sections. Pull out and apply color or erase where needed. Some sections may need up to 4 points and some may just need a lowlight.” 

FOR CURLY OR TEXTURED HAIR?: Says Avera – “Foils can straighten curly hair, while balayage respects the curl pattern.”

HOW TO CHARGE:  “The first time is a color correction,” Avera says. “It will take more time and product. Charge accordingly.” After that, according to Avera, it is a touch-up. 

MODERN met with Avera as she was taking a break during her social media and balayage bootcamp held at SalonCentric in St. Petersburg, Florida. Here she demonstrates how to easily transition a foil client to balayage:

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