Can you use regular foil to bleach hair? And for highlights?

  • Yes, regular aluminum foil can be used for bleach or highlights because it works like professional aluminum foil. The idea is to maintain the heat of the chemical reaction and to increase the temperature in the areas to be bleached or toned.
  • However, if you’re doing localized strands or highlights all over your hair, it’s better to use professional aluminum foil. It’s already cut into strips of the same size, saves time, and avoids wasting.


to maintain the heat

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We hairdressers have a lot to thank aluminum foil for. Without it, some hair jobs would be practically impossible.

Can you imagine highlighting without foil? Or coloring most of the hair, leaving some strands with the base color, without using foil?


Almost all highlighting jobs would be impossible without foil.  It’s the same foil used in food services to cook meat, fish, and other delicacies. 

In kitchen uses, the aluminum foil wraps food such as meat to avoid losing juices. It also keeps the necessary temperature for cooking.

In bleaching and toning, foil has the same function: to keep and increase the temperature so that bleach and toner act more quickly and evenly.

If you don’t use foil to bleach, your hair could end up uneven.


Regular aluminum foil is just as useful as the foil used in salons.


So, if you’re about to get some highlights or tone your hair, stick with me because I’ll tell you:

  • Why regular aluminum foil is used to bleach hair
  • When to use whole foil and strips of foil


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Why is regular aluminum foil just as effective as the one they use in hair salons?


You’re about to bleach your hair. You think you have everything ready, gloves, comb, developer, and bleaching powder. Wait!


You’re missing the foil!

Don’t run out and buy it because that roll of regular foil your mother has in the kitchen will do. Why?


 Regular foil also keeps and increases the heat from the peroxide and bleaching chemical reaction.  It’ll ensure that your hair is lightened to the color you need.

That’s how you get so many color shades with foil.


Depending on the results you want to achieve, you can use it in one piece or in strips. And that’s what I’m talking about next.


When to use one piece and strip foil

Now that you know that you can use regular foil, you need to define the process you’ll do on your hair.


Will you bleach all your hair?

Then, you need to use one piece of regular or professional foil.

If you want to go to an even blonde, you need to wrap all your hair in foil.  Many people even use the aluminum cap, which achieves the same effect as the foil. 


If you want to bleach all your hair, you must wrap the hair completely with the aluminum foil after applying the bleaching mixture. This way, you’ll be sure to achieve very high shades of blonde.

The foil will keep the color even because the chemical reaction won’t lose temperature.

This way, you can apply any hair dye or toner, and It’ll be completely even.


Will you make some highlights using the famous highlighting cap?

You can also use regular aluminum foil.

In this case, once you finish pulling your hair through the highlighting cap, you must apply the bleaching mixture and wrap them in aluminum foil. This way, you’ll get an even bleaching process, keeping the right temperature and reaching very high blond tones.


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Do you plan to lighten your face with some localized strands or highlights?

You can use regular foil. However, in this case, a professional foil is better.


I’m going to stop for a moment.  Although regular aluminum foil will do the job, a hairdresser’s aluminum foil will be more comfortable for you  because it’s already cut into strips.

If you want to use plain aluminum foil, you’ll have to cut the strips yourself. You’ll need good scissors to tear the delicate paper.

You should also be careful with the length of the strips. They should be 10 to 13 centimeters wide and 20 to 30 cm long. Why so long?


Remember that you have to fold the aluminum foil to cover the hair. So, the strips should be about twice the length of your hair.

 If you’re not sure about your ability to cut the strips of regular foil, it’s best to buy the professional one. It comes already cut into strips.  It may be a bit more expensive, but it’ll be worth it.

You’ll make sure that they wrap all the highlights evenly.



One of the essential resources for highlighting is aluminum foil. You can use regular aluminum foil.

However, if you’re going for localized strands or highlights all over your hair, I recommend you use professional foil. It’s cut into strips that’ll save you time and ensure a smooth job.

If you’re going to bleach all your hair, you can use the regular aluminum foil because you don’t need to cut it.

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