Keeping it simple

How long do you leave foils in your hair? The average time to leave foils in your hair is 30 minutes, but depending on your natural hair color & the hair color, highlights, or lowlights you want, the time can vary between 20 minutes to 45 minutes. Mainly, two things affect the time to leave foils on your hair; the first is technique & the second is your base hair color. 

Let’s know more about this topic in detail!

How long do you leave foils in your hair based on your hair color? 

As mentioned, mostly the foils are left on the hair for 30 minutes, but for every original hair color & hair color, one wants the time can vary. So let’s look at the ideal time to leave foils on hair for different hair colors. 

  • If your hair is black or dark brown & you want a lighter shade, you will need to leave the foils on your hair for around 40-45 minutes. Maybe, your salon artist even applies the bleach for a second time also. If you’re doing the bleach & foils, then you will need to check the color every 5-10 minutes. 
  • If your hair is light brown & you want a lighter shade, then leave the foils for 30 minutes. It will work fast as foils are known to speed up the bleaching process. 
  • If your hair is already blonde, then you need to leave the foils up for 20 minutes. It will definitely, do the work. 

Read also this: does washing your hair less make it grow faster

How long do you leave foils in your hair based on color technique? 

The coloring techniques like balayage, highlights & full bleaching requires different foil time on the hair. Here is the time duration to leave foils on hair for different coloring techniques. 

Lightening some strands – 

If you want to lighten some part of the hair, then apply bleach & foil around for 10-20 minutes only. For dark original hair color, leave for 20 minutes & for light hair color, leave for approx. Ten minutes. 


Highlights are also done with the foiling technique. So one needs to leave hair on foils for 20-30 minutes to get hair color 3-4 shades lighter. You can also check in intervals of minutes to achieve desired highlights. 


The balayage needs to be at significantly lighter shades, so the average time is around 30-40 minutes. 

Bleaching all over-head-

The foils need to be on the hair for 35-45 minutes to bleach the whole hair. 

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What happens if you leave foils in too long? 

Using foils to change hair color is right, but it needs to be done with proper care & the foils should not be kept for too long. If the foils are on hair for too long, it can adversely affect the hair’s health & the color of hair will drastically change. 

As the foils provide heat inside the hair & help bleach penetrate the hair better & fast. But leaving foils for too long will make bleach affect hair strands & your hair will become brittle, dry & your hair color will become lighter. 

Bottom Line

This was all about ‘How long do you leave foils in your hair?’ We hope you get the answer you were searching for. Please let us know your thoughts & suggestions on this article in the comments below! 

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