Lockstitch Foilayage: The Sewing Inspired Balayage Technique by @ashleenormanhair – Color




Moving forward in a post-pandemic world, two things are going to remain important to your clients: transparency about the beauty products they’re using, and highlighting their individual expression with simple, easy-to-use products. After a year at home, some clients have become accustomed to elegant, solid color palettes, and products created with clean, healthy ingredients. This is true for custom looks such as Balayage and Foilayage too.

Creating the perfect Balayage look for your clients can be tricky, especially without a proper technique in your arsenal. This doubles for clients with thick or curly hair, since highlights can often get lost. Schwarzkopf Professional Brand Ambassador Ashlee Norman understands that with the right Balayage technique, you’ll get a dynamic Balayage coloring. With the help of Schwarzkopf Professional’s tbh-true beautiful honest, a multidimensional, permanent hair color that offers a sophisticated way to enhance your clients’ hair, Norman has perfected the look.

Norman’s secret is her custom Lockstitch Foilayage, a technique inspired by a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine. Norman says the zigzag pattern is what she uses on clients with a lot of hair, since babylights can disappear in thick hair and are often too labor intensive. She also took inspiration from Brazilian Foilayage artists who work with thicker pick-ups in the foils for dark and dense hair to create faster contrast.

The technique uses different sized zigzag teasie-lights (highlights with a tease at the root to leave some of the natural color) to create interlocking triangles of light and dark. Larger, chunky zigzags on the internal sections create ribbons of dimension. Smaller, detailed zigzags that look more like a zipper at the top veil sections create more blend. What is so special about this technique is how time saving it can be for you in-salon. Norman says that this process easily shaves two hours off a major Foilayage project, which creates space for you to serve more clients.

Norman incorporates tbh-true beautiful honest products into this service for her clients. tbh-true beautiful honest gives the client a formula that offers multidimensional depth other permanent color products just can’t achieve. Using a formula created with Grapeseed Oil, tbh-true beautiful honest accentuates hair’s natural highs and lows, getting a salon look that is custom yet natural looking, while still providing a healthy glow with plenty of shine.

On a client with a natural level 4 base, with previously tinted highlights of red/orange level 4-5 and orange/yellow level 7-8, Norman uses tbh-true beautiful honest to achieve beautiful lowlights. Norman knows not all zigzags are created equally, so she is careful to consider what sized zigzags will go where to maximize the product, cut down on her service time, and provide the best coverage for her client. The type of pick-up and how much tease you incorporate at the roots will determine the level of dimension and the level of blend. The more tease, the more blend within the gradience, and the less impact at the ends. The less tease, the less blend in the gradience, and the more impact at the ends. Overdirecting the tease forward and weaving after the tease increases the blend and creates an Ombré in a round shape.

For this look, Norman pre-sectioned the hair into three zones: at the hairline where you’ll get the maximum impact; internally (where the sun don’t shine, as she points out) where you’ll work to create dimension with interlocking zigzag highlights and lowlights; and at the crown where you’ll create a veil using a deeper tease to leave more depth at the roots.


Schwarzkopf Professional Brand Ambassador @ashleenormanhair demonstrates her custom Balayage technique: the Lockstitch Foilayage that involves differently sized zigzag sections.

For the lowlights, which Norman interlocks with highlights, she used one-part each of Schwarzkopf Professional’s tbh-true beautiful honest 7-04N, 8-56W, and 13 Vol. Developer, mixed with Schwarzkopf Professional tbh-true beautiful honest Tone Softener. For her ColorMelt technique, she used different combinations of Schwarzkopf Professional’s tbh-true beautiful honest for the roots, the midlengths, and the ends, but she mixed each formula with tbh-true beautiful honest Tone Softener. At the root: one-part each of tbh-true beautiful honest 5-06N, 6-19C, and 6 Vol. Developer. At the midlengths, and the hairline shadow: one-part each of tbh-true beautiful honest 7-16C, 8-04N, and 13 Vol. Developer. At the ends: one-part each of tbh-true beautiful honest 9-49C, 10-19C and 20 Vol. Developer. The result is a bold Balayage look with cool blonde at the bottom and a natural brunette at the top, achieved in less time.

Outside of a traditional Balayage technique, Norman says tbh-true beautiful honest is great for shadow rooting, translucent gray coverage and subtle base shifting. She is able to do all three of these services in one step with her ColorMelt technique after she shampoos off the lightening services.

Creating a custom Balayage for a client can be both tricky and time consuming. But with Norman’s lockstitch technique using Schwarzkopf Professional’s tbh-true beautiful honest, you’ll be on your way to transforming your clients with bold, natural looking products in a fraction of the time.

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