Why do you use aluminum foil to dye your hair? Is it always necessary?

takes three hours

  • You don’t always need to use aluminum foil to dye your hair.
  • You only use foil for a few specific color techniques like highlights or balayage.
  • Using foil has a few significant advantages. On the one hand, it allows you to better control how long the product is in your hair.
  • On the other hand, you can work with more precision to decide exactly where you want your highlights, for example, without staining other parts of your hair.


You may also be interested in: What does foil do when bleaching hair?


There are a few elements out there that are like a superhero’s weapon but for hairstylists.

Tell me the truth: What would Wonder Woman be without her Lasso of Truth? And Arrow without her powerful arrows?


Worse yet, I can’t imagine Iron Man without his unstoppable armor, although in the last Avengers movie it didn’t actually do him that much good.

But, besides superheroes and their amazing universes, there is a reality. And, the truth is that without brushes, dyes, heat tools, and aluminum foil, those of use that work in hair care, would be reduced to the sad reality of mortals.


 And if we’re talking aluminum foil, it’s one of the best inventions since the dye was first made. Because it really does make coloring hair and bleaching it much easier.  

Because it is malleable and easy to use material.

And even better, it’s very easy to get.


Aluminum foil’s main function is related to heat since it raises your hair’s temperature with the bleach in it to help us lighten your hair.

The foil heats your hair, which opens its cuticle to the ammonia, which enters inside your hair, and that way, we can change your hair color.


That’s why, if you’re thinking about using aluminum foil in your next color or bleach session, stick around, because I’ll tell you:

  • When it is a good idea to use aluminum foil to dye your hair
  • How to correctly use aluminum foil


After this, you won’t have any more questions about when to use aluminum foil when it comes time to bleach or color your hair.


When it is a good idea to use aluminum foil to dye your hair

takes longer than foils

Like I said at the beginning, you use aluminum foil when you want to bleach specific areas of your hair, like to do highlights or balayage.


  • In this case, the aluminum foil allows you to separate the areas of hair that you’ll use the bleach mix on, so it just works on those pieces of hair, without daring to touch the rest of your hair.

You also should use foil when it is time to touch up your highlights. Do you know why? Because it’s a way to avoid processing the areas you highlighted before.


  • Another case when you would use aluminum foil would be if you want to protect an area of your hair to only apply color to one part of it.

For example, I have a client that has a two-toned pixie cut.

The top layer of her hair is her natural color and I dyed the bottom layer two shades darker. To make sure that the difference in the colors looks even, I cover up the part of her hair that I won’t dye with the dark color with aluminum foil, so I don’t end up staining the top layer.


  • That’s why if you just want to dye one area of your hair, what you need to do is separate the hair you don’t want to dye and wrap that in aluminum foil.

Then you can go ahead and dye the rest of your hair, carefully working around where you’ve wrapped up areas of hair in foil.


What kind of aluminum foil should you use and how do you prepare it to dye your hair

  • Another important aspect of using aluminum foil that you need to keep in mind is what kind of foil you use, specifically how thick and how resistant it is.

The trick is to use a material that is sufficiently resistant to the chemical products in the dye, but also malleable enough to keep the necessary areas of your hair separated.


  • Another way to make sure that the foil stays in place is to fold about the last inch of foil at your roots.

That will make that end doubly as strong and will help make sure that the dye or the bleach mix is contained.


  • Before you start, either with dye or with bleach, you’ll need to cut the foil into strips that are a manageable size, depending on how long the hair you’re working with is.

In general, you’ll probably want to work with strips that are 5-7 inches wide and 10-15 inches long.


Since you’ll need to fold the foil to wrap up your hair, cut the foil about twice as long as the hair you’ll be dyeing is.

If your hair is extremely long, instead of folding a super long piece of foil, you can use two separate pieces of foil that are the same length as your hair to make a kind of sandwich of aluminum foil on your hair.


How to put the strips of aluminum foil in your hair

Once you’ve divided your hair into the sections that you want to bleach or dye, the time has come to put the foil into place. Let’s look step-by-step at how to put them onto a section of hair. Then, you can repeat the same process for each of the sections that you want to dye or bleach.


  • Put the shiny side of the foil under the section of hair that you’re going to apply dye to.
  • Use the dye or bleach mix on your hair, ensuring to fully cover the entire surface of that section of your hair.
  • Make sure that the foil goes all the way up close to your scalp and cover the roots of your hair as much as you can to avoid the dye touching other parts of your hair.
  • To wrap your hair in the foil, start by taking the end opposite your roots and folding it upward so your hair is completely enclosed in the foil.
  • Don’t push too hard when you fold the foil or else you may cause your hair to lose some of the dye. 



You must use aluminum foil when you want to do highlights to section off the areas of your hair that you’re going to bleach.

You also can use it to divide out an area of your hair that you want to use a different color of dye on without that dye bleeding over into the rest of your hair.


Now tell me, have you ever used aluminum foil to dye your hair? Was it easy to do or hard?

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