First of all what's the difference in application? One is applied right on that skin of the scalp and the other is used (off the scalp) in foils and various "off" the scalp applications.
Highlights or Foil work:
After slices it will look like this:
After highlights it will look like this:
See how in the photo to the right there are some variations in color just not distinct ones as in the photo to the left?
Off-the scalp applications include:
Highlights, Slices, Balayage, Tips, Halo, Veil, Splash Lights, Ombre and all the zillion other names/techniques that will pop-up in the next year or two. The technique "OMBRE" has had the longest and most spectacular impact on both hair & pop culture I have ever seen. So much so, it flip flopped over into the world of fashion. I have a pair of silky pants that blend from white to pale apricot to orange and I still wear them ! Now THAT is a hair trend!
Highlights the trend prior to Ombre that made the biggest impact never left the world of hair, and to be honest there is not really much I can say about it that I like or liked. We learned a different technique at Sassoon called slices that I feel looks better(more natural) than highlights as you can see above. Although, I must admit there are some good advantages to highlights, just not the ones many of you think you will receive .... so I shouldn't be so quick to judge. I take that back !
Powder lightener consists of a powder-like substance usually blue or violet which is mixed with Developer / peroxide, so it is a fairly dry liquid (once mixed) which "stays in place" is the biggest advantage. It doesn't run and its not liquidy so it is easy to paint on with a tint brush. Another trick of this application is that all lighteners expand, so always apply in a smaller area than you want the action to take place. This is how the biggest disadvantage of lightener takes place.......overlapping. When you overlap last months application with this months, you create breakage or weakness, so I don't like to just say USE LIGHTENER everyone..I'm just not that kind of educator. It takes skill and knowledge....I would recommend reading every post I have written on the subject in this Blog!
OMBRE ...... REVERSE OMBRE
This is what powder lightener looks like:
The looks you will gain from powder lightener and foils is completely different in the outcome.What's the difference and why should one use one over the other is what you can see above I hope.
The consistency of Oil Bleach is . . . shall we say . . . "very liquid". Its a lipid based lightener + plus + a unique Oil (we use an unscented Gleam) made-up of oils that work the best with hair strands + creme Violet developer + a tiny bit of violet/blue toner powder. So its a very liquid-y creamy consistency (with lots of violet toned ingredients to counteract any brass that may want to come thru!) which makes it easy to work with while spreading it over a wide area (the entire scalp - or just the base on Re-touches). All the liquid ingredients make it a bit runny...but don't get worried about that . . the consistency is what brings you the moisture, the lipids and all the conditioners. With all good things, there are a few drawbacks you must always weigh the consequences in the entire field of hair color! I find it very easy to work with as do all of our customers after the first go-around. The tremendous advantage is all those lipids, remember how much I talk about the advantages of lipids - fats - oils . . all hugely advantageous to the hair strands on your head. Lipids are the single best conditioner you can use on a hair for condition. This is what Oil Bleach will look like on your head once it is all applied:
Its not just words, lipids truly work. The hair is made-up of lipids, so when returned they make a complete difference in the condition of the hair. Unlike keratin, I have never found replacing keratin in the hair to be repairing. If the Oil Lightener didn't work so well I promise you I would have never gone to all the trouble of using it all these years - as a busy Colorist speed is the main goal, I just so happened to plug in QUALITY to my speedy applications, its the only way a Colorist becomes a 'good' Colorist - especially in LA with so much competition.
I've said many times before - - there are "GOOD" alcohols and there are "BAD" alcohols...
Our Oil Bleach Kit uses the 'good' alcohols which is why I go to all the trouble of making it for you. Fatty alcohols are the good alcohols and are derived from natural vegetable oils, denatured (liquid) alcohols are the 'bad' alcohols. Fatty alcohols are ingredients that I used because of their awesome conditioning benefits. When used in hair conditioners (or our Oil bleach) they deposit on the surface of the hair's cuticle helping with moisture, conditioning & Lipid content of the hair strand ... while bleaching the hair at the same time - its perfect.
The lipid content gives you shine, luster & basically healthy looking hair. So, to me - - - A pure and simple GOLD MINE!
When purchasing products look for these names these are a couple names of "good" alcohols:
- cetyl alcohol
- stearyl alcohol
So with a little inside knowledge as to how, what & why an oil bleach works versus a powder I hope many of you will look into the processes a little further - we recently had a woman in the group try it and she was over-the-moon with her results.
Foil work and powder lightener also has its advantages, it just completely depends on the look you aspire to. So there isn't a better choice from one to another........there is a "what-look-do-you-want-in-the-end" selection you would need to consider first.
I hope that explains the two different lighteners.