Chapter 5 – Foiling Placement and Technique

5.2 Foil Application Angles

Anytime we are working with hair, whether it is styling, cutting, or colouring, we must consider how the hair falls. The same is true when we are deciding how and where to place foils.

There are 3 ways in which we can place our foils:

Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal angles.

Horizontal                               Vertical                                   Diagonal

In Hairstylist Foundations, you likely first learned a standard 6-section, weaved horizontal foil placement:

Horizontal foils on three sections of the head: top, back, and sides.

This was a great way to learn as the horizontal placement is the easiest to apply and it allows you to focus on your weaves, tight foil placement, and application of product. But let’s take it further and discuss how the angle of your foil placement affects your results, and how the direction of the hair fall should actually determine the angle at which you place your foils.

A horizontal placement creates a diffused and blended result. Think of it as a veil of colour.

Four foils placed horizontally at the back of the head. Results show a thin curtain of lighter hair.
Fine slice, horizontal placement.

A vertical placement creates a defined streak of colour.

A number of foils placed virtically around the head. The results show sharp virtical strips of lighter hair.
Fine slice, vertical placement.

A diagonal placement will give you a result that is somewhere in between horizontal and vertical.

A number of foils placed diagonally around the side of the head. Results show blended and varried thin strips of lighter hair.
Fine slice, diagonal forward placement.

Pretty straightforward, right? So why did our horizontal mohawk placement above always turn out as defined streaks of colour? Because you must think of the angle of your foil in relation to the head shape and direction of the hair fall.

If you look at the mohawk section again, but in relation to the hair falling straight down from the part, you will see that these foils were in fact placed vertically!

Anytime that you are placing foils, no matter the angle, you must remember that you are working on a round surface. The hair will fall differently depending on the area of the head and the natural growth of the hair.

For example:

The hairline in this example falls slightly towards the face, while the hair that falls from the crown curves around the back of the head. So what would a true horizontal placement look like in this case?

Foil placement

You can see how the foil placement follows the curve of the head and the foils are now placed horizontal to the hair fall.

There is no one-size-fits-all foil placement that will be perfect for every client. This is because every client has a unique growth pattern. Discuss the desired results during the consultation with your client and plan your sections and angles according to the direction of the hair fall and in relation to the desired result.

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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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