Does foiling seem like so “old school”? Hardly. It continues to be one of the most popular and profitable services performed in most salons today. Yes, balayage is huge, but there are certain times when/where foiling is really the only way to go.

MODERN checked in with top colorist Beth Minardi, creator of Beth Minardi Signature shades and a creative colorist at Warren Tricomi Salon in New York City, to get her take on the importance of having foiling expertise in your color tool kit. Here she shares her top five REASONS TO FOIL:

1. COLOR PENETRATION: When you need to guarantee that the color or lightener formula penetrates the entire section of hair completely, the best way to do that is to apply color to each section, wrap in foil, then exert pressure with your tint brush on the hair and the foil.

2. BLEEDING: When you want to guarantee that the color or lightener won’t bleed or migrate to another section of hair, especially at the scalp, foiling keeps each section separate.

3. PROCESSING: Foil conducts heat, so when maximum lift or deposit is required for perfect color results, it’s the better option. Plus, your color formula will react faster when processed in foil. Time equals money when working in the salon, and clients appreciate the shorter service.

4. COLOR MELTING: When you plan to melt, deepen or omit the hair close the scalp that is at least three inches long, as you simultaneously lighten/brighten the mid-lengths through ends, foiling is your best bet. “Because you are not folding the foil up, you are not marrying two opposing formulas that you are processing at the same time,” Minardi says. “This saves you time as it enhances your artistry. It also reduces the stress that can lead to carpel tunnel syndrome, as you are folding less and struggling less.”

5. EASE OF APPLICATION: When you want to go easy on your body, choose foil. “Lifting and stretching the hair to perform a balayage technique can be tough physically, especially if you’re doing several in a day,” Minardi says. “As colorists, we must take care our ourselves and our bodies. When you’re foiling, your arms are ergonomically comfortable right in front of your body.”

One final tip: When coloring hair that is at least as long as the bottom of the neck, Minardi prefers using special longer foils that are seven inches wide x 14 inches long to make application easier. She folds them in half vertically so they become 3 ½ inches wide and 14 inches long. On wider parts of the head, she does not fold them vertically, instead applying the seven inch-side directly to the hair near the scalp. “These pre-cut foils are the perfect size and weight, so they don’t tear or migrate away from the scalp,” Minardi explains. See them here.

Color Expert Beth Minardi
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Color Expert Beth Minardi

Minardi has a popular Facebook page designed for colorists and salon pros. Check it out: “Conversations with Top Color Professionals By Beth Minardi” - and visit BethMinardi.net for more great color information, tips, tricks and advise. In this video, Minardi demos how to sculpt with foil, creating dimensional, tasteful and seamless color.