Foil Highlights Vs Babylight Highlights – The Differences

Foil highlights vs babylight highlights – what exactly is the difference? Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about both of these coloring methods.

Foil Highlights Vs Babylight Highlights

Foil Highlights Vs Babylight Highlights – The Main Differences

Both foil highlights and babylight highlights actually use foils, but foil highlights add a few shades of lighter hair to your existing hair color, whereas babylights will typically require more foil and more time.

This is because the method requires several different shades to change the color of your hair while lightening it. 

What are Foil Highlights?

Foil highlights are the most traditional application of highlights.

The good news is that highlights have become much more precise than they were twenty years ago, and gone are the days of highlighting creating thick stripes. 

These days, when you ask for foil highlights, a good stylist will only choose shades that are within three shades of your natural hair color. 

They will use their skill and expertise to carefully section out parts of your hair to lighten it so that when it is complete, the fading of one color to the other will look flawless. 

It essentially should make your natural hair color look as though you have spent a summer in the sun. 

The foil is an integral part of the process as the color within the foils is the lighter color and keeping it in foil will enhance the color itself. 

This is also how they ensure that only parts of your hair are receiving the lighter color. 

A great stylist will actually weave their comb through the tiny sections of your hair to give it the most natural look possible. 

In case you loved that chunky highlighted look from the 2000s, it’s still possible. And it actually is making a bit of a comeback. 

What are Babylight Highlights?

What are Babylight Highlights

Babylight highlights are becoming a more and more popular approach to highlights. 

It is an extremely delicate technique in which the hair stylist will highlight significantly more sections of your hair with various shades in order to lighten your entire head.

Babylights should be used if you want to change the color of your hair from a darker to a lighter shade without simply dying it a block color. 

You will still have that beautiful sun-kissed look, but your natural hair will either be completely or mostly dyed. 

This option is usually more expensive and time-consuming as the stylist will need to section off and foil the majority of your hair, but customers are reporting that it’s absolutely worth it. 

Often, getting babylight highlights will often look more natural and are great for those of us with fine hair as it adds extra dimensions through the micro-sectioning. 

Which Type of Highlights is Right for You?

Which Type of Highlights is Right for You

As incredible as hair stylists are, they are not mind readers.

If you want to get the look you saw on Instagram or Tik Tok, it’s important that you understand how to explain what it is about the looks you specifically like. 

Deciding whether you want foil highlights or babylight highlights may still seem confusing, so let’s break it down to make it a little easier.

Pros and Cons of Foil Highlights

The simplest way to decide if foil highlights are right for you is to understand the pros and cons:


  • Foil highlights are more affordable than other techniques and typically take less time. 
  • This technique will leave some of your natural hair color for a more organic look. 
  • Every hair stylist will know how to do classic foil highlights. 


  • If not done correctly, foil highlights can look stripey as opposed to well blended. 
  • You will need to return to the salon fairly regularly as your dark roots will grow in and show the difference quite clearly. 

Pros and Cons of Babylight Highlights

As you now know, babylight highlights, while not new to the scene, are becoming more popular each day. 

But if you’re still not sure if this technique is right for you, it’s important to understand the pros and cons.


  • Babylight highlights will change the all-over color of your hair without block coloring. 
  • They are more detailed than other types of highlights. 
  • Babylight highlights will add more dimension and are a great option for thin or flat hair. 
  • The look typically lasts longer as all the dyed hair fades simultaneously. 


  • This technique takes longer and is typically the most expensive type of highlighting. 
  • Because most or all of your hair is being dyed, over time, it can dry out and damage your hair more quickly than other highlights. 
  • Your roots will become extremely apparent quickly as your entire head is essentially dyed a lighter color. 
  • It is a more complicated technique and not all stylists will be able to apply it perfectly. 

Still don’t know which one is right for you? Don’t worry, hair stylists are quite used to clients not knowing how to describe what they want. 

So even though you have all the possible information about these two techniques, you can still use photos to show what you are looking for.

Hopefully your stylist will understand exactly what needs to be done in order to give you the correct result.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has explained the several similarities and contrasts between foil highlights vs. babylight highlights and given you the answer to which one might be the best option for your hair. 

Of course, even in understanding these techniques, we still recommend explaining to your stylist why you are interested in one of these options. If they know what you want, they are far more likely to be able to give you the hair of your dreams. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is babylight balayage? 

Balayage is an incredibly popular dying technique and typically it provides less saturation towards the root and intense color at the ends. Babylight balayage uses the approach of carefully placing lightening highlights throughout the hair and having the bottom half or third be beautifully blonde. 

Do foils damage your hair?

The unfortunate fact is that yes, foils do damage your hair. The lightening process can cause damage, split ends, and dry or coarse hair. While many stylists are doing their best to choose products that do the least amount of damage, it will always be worse than not dying your hair at all. 

What is shadow root?

Shadow root is a technique that many stylists are using to create a more natural look. It can be added to either foil highlights or babylight highlights by smudging your natural color closer to the roots so that new growth doesn’t look so obvious. 

How many foils are used for foil highlights and babylight highlights?

Standard foil highlights use between 45 and 100 foils, whereas babylight highlights use 100-120, so you can understand why babylight highlights take a lot longer.

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