Chapter 5 – Foiling Placement and Technique

5.3 Additional Considerations

When applying foils, there are certain areas of the head that may require additional attention to detail. This includes the hairline, growth patterns, the nape, and the part.


When foiling, the hairline around the face should in most cases be looked at as its own section, especially in cases where there is a distinct growth pattern present. You must also consider the texture of the hair around the face in relation to the rest of the hair. Generally the hair will be a finer texture and have less density, which may warrant using a gentler product. In cases where you are using bleach, earlier removal of the foils may be required.

Fine, Wispy Hairline

If your client has finer, less density hair around their face, you must take care to not create a blocky or stripy appearance around the hairline with your foils. If your client would like a lot of brightness around the face, it is best to do many baby fine weaves closer together, rather than trying to save time with less foils and a thicker weave.

Stylist tip: To get right up to the hairline when you are working with wispy low density, place your foils diagonal forward in the side, as it can be difficult to create a clean section when placing them diagonal back, and you may miss the hairline altogether.

Video: Diagonal Forward Hairline Placement

Note: Video has no sound.

Widow’s Peak or High Recession

When working around a widow’s peak or a higher recession area, here are some foil placements that work well to ensure that there are no resulting bare spots:

A widow's peak is a V-shaped growth of hair toward the centre of the forehead.
Widow’s peak.

When working around a widow's peak, create a fringe section, and place your foils according to the direction of hair growth. By overlapping your weaves at the back, you create a blended result, no matter how the hair flips or settles into place.

Video: Widow’s Peak Application

Note: Video has no sound.

A high recession foil placement.
Hairline recession.

With a recession area, working along the line of the recession is important. If you were to place your foils horizontally, you would be left with an untouched section right in front, which would not be ideal if the client were to pull their hair back.

Split Crowns and Whorls

Split Crown

If your client has a strong growth pattern that causes the hair to split in the crown area, be sure to weave carefully across the split, which may take you slightly off course from your mohawk section.

Foils are inserted off-centre to line up with where the split crown is.
Split crown.

Video: Split Crown Application

Note: Video has no sound.


If there is a strong whorl, you may choose to place your foils in a circular pattern so as to follow the direction of hair growth. This will also prevent over-directing of the hair, which may cause the foils to bleed.

Foils placed around the whorl in the direction of hair growth.


The nape, like the front hairline, has the tendency to have finer, wispy hair with less density. When fine, less density hair is combined with the strong curve of the head as it narrows into the nape, it can make it tricky to get your foils snug to the root. Using a foiling board to apply the first few foils in the nape is a great way to add stability until the stacked foils provide a stable enough base to support your foils as you move up the head.

A foil board inserted at the nape.
A foiling board helps to keep foils snug in the nape.


Your client’s part should also be taken into consideration. Whether they wear their hair down the middle or to one side, be sure that you are applying their colour equally to both sides of the part line. For example, if your client wears their hair parted to one side, using a centre mohawk section will place too much colour on the heavy side of the part, and not enough on the lighter side, as seen below:

For a side part, the centre foils should be placed over where the part will be and angled rather than the centre of the head.

Moving your mohawk section to accommodate the part, and by placing the foils on an angle that follows the way the hair falls towards the heavy side, will give a much more balanced result.

What if your client likes to move their part around? A great option for this client is the herringbone foil placement:

When the foils are placed diagonally on either side of a middle part line, this mimics the side part placement above, but allows the part to be on either side. When the hair is parted down the middle, you will get a balanced, blended appearance.

Note: If your client prefers to see a defined highlight in their part line rather than a soft, blended result, you can return to your foundation horizontal mohawk placement and use slices, or a combination of slices and thick weaves.

Remember that consultation and hair analysis are key to a successful foil application! Use what you’ve learned to create a customized foil placement for each of your clients, and you will have a very satisfied clientele!

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Hair Colour for Hairstylists: Level 2 Copyright © 2021 by Arden Magtiza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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