Difference Between Cap Highlights And Foil Highlights

Difference Between Cap Highlights And Foil Highlights

Highlights are among one of the best ways to bring a change in your look without going for a complete hair color change. They enhance your hair features by either darkening or highlighting certain pieces of your hair. There are many different types of highlights available. Each of them has its different technique and style.

But in this specific article, we will be focusing mainly on comparing two different highlights, cap highlights vs. foil highlights. Both the highlights have their techniques and add elegance and depth to your hair. So, let’s discuss the cap highlights vs. foil highlights in detail.

Difference Between Cap Highlights And Foil Highlights


In the case of cap highlights, the technique consists of a hair highlighting cap. The cap possesses small holes through which strands of hair come out. Individuals pull out the hair strands with the help of a hooked tool. After pulling the hair out, you will highlight each strand individually as per your requirement and get your perfect look.

cap  highlights Technique

However, the stylist first weaves through each section of your hair in a foil highlighting technique. Following this, the stylist takes hair strands from each section of your scalp and applies color or lightener on them. After this, they use a piece of foil and wrap your hair in it by folding it around your hair. This folding protects the color and does not let it spread all over your hair.

coil  highlights Technique

Application process

While discussing cap highlights vs. foil highlights, one of the essential things to consider is the application process.

Cap highlights, even though easier than foil highlights, require time and effort. You can do it at home with the help of a hair coloring kit, but pulling out of hair through the cap holes can become difficult.

short hair coil highlights

On the other hand, foil highlights in a salon are the best option. You can try them at home if you have basic knowledge regarding hairdressing, but a professional is the best choice. That is because this technique requires an accurate and time-consuming method.

Hair type

Cap highlights are not very suitable for every type of hair. They work best for short hair, but it is not very popular for long hair. If you have long hair, there are high chances of your hair tangling up beneath the cap. As a result, highlighting will not be possible, creating a mess. Pulling out thick curls or long hair through the small-cap holes is also very difficult.

long hair foil highlights

However, foil highlighting works perfectly with short, long, and curly hair. With curls, foil highlighting becomes much easier because you can quickly tell which part you want dark or light highlights.


Cap highlights are cheaper than foil highlights. Even though the former takes more time and effort, it is less expensive than foil highlighting. It takes fewer materials, and if the detangling of your hair is done, then the required time is also less.

On the other hand, foil highlighting is both expensive and time-consuming. It is time-consuming because the stylist works with each strand individually and folds it properly in a foil.

Pain And Effort

Cap highlighting can be painful if you do not have straight and short or medium hair. Cap highlighting on long hair can even result in uneven and messy highlights.

But through foil highlights, you can easily highlight your long hair without much difficulty. The technique is not very uncomfortable and does not cause you any pain.


Cap highlighting allows you to get only one color in your hair. It is also impossible to color till your roots since the cap prevents it. With this technique, you can get a uniform color throughout your hair.

You can quickly get different highlight colors in your hair with foil highlighting. You can have different colors on different strands since the foil prevents mixing up. Getting different shades of the same color is also possible. For this, your stylist will have to remove your foil at other times from different parts.

Retouch Frequency

If you opt for cap highlighting, you will have to retouch your hair every two to three months. That is because the color does not touch your roots so that you can bleach them at a more extended time gap.

long hair foil highlights salon

For foil highlighting, however, you will have to retouch your hair within every one month to one and a half months. Here, the color touches your roots, and therefore you will need frequent coloring to make them look fresh. But in the end, for both the highlights, the maintenance period depends solely upon your hair growth rate.

Highlight spread

Cap highlights are thin than foil highlights. They spread out properly throughout the strands and give a very uniform look. These highlights are also very suitable for those people who have never done coloring or highlighting in their hair.

Foil highlights are a bit thick and focus on specific areas. Stylists recommend this technique if your hair is over-processed.

Which highlighting is suitable for your hair type?

  • If you have short and straight or wavy hair, cap highlights are the best for you. They are easier to work with and will make your hair look longer. It will also help you to brighten your features.
  • If you have long and curly hair, then foil highlights are perfect. It will allow you to separate your hair correctly and highlight specific areas of your hair.
  • Opting for cap highlights is the best choice for people with more gray hair. But if you have less amount of gray hair, then go for foil highlighting.

So, now you know all the differences in cap highlights vs. foil highlights. Both the highlights have their unique techniques and a list of pros and cons. Therefore, before getting yourself a highlight, consider these differences for a more manageable selection.

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