You can get Foilyage Highlights WITHOUT BLEACH. Here's why you should.

Published on Jan 08, 2021

We know.. it's New Year and with Valentines' Day and CNY coming up, many of us are heading to the salon for that annual refresh of colour. 

Some stylists will recommend the trending  face-framing earloop highlights or the gorgeous airtouch highlights but all these require bleach... which is probably not ideal for those of us with permed or frizzy hair. 

Does that mean that we're doomed to only boring shades of brown? 

Top Singaporean Stylist Andrew from MODE Studio shares with us an alternative new form of colour: Foilyage Highlights - which works EVEN WITHOUT BLEACH. Read on to find out what it is and why it got our Chief Agent G so in love!

1. Zero Bleach = Lower Damage


A lot of people have the misconception that you have to bleach to achieve visible colours.The actual answer DEPENDS. ~ Andrew from MODE Studio

While it is true that bleach will lighten hair faster, there is an alternative low-damage way of colouring that lightens the hair without bleach: high lift colour. High lift hair colour is a permanent hair colour that contains low levels of ammonia (compared to bleach) and deposits the colour at the same time. While some damage remains, the levels of ammonia is far below that of bleach, allowing for lower levels of damage. 

And it is precisely High Lift Colour that is used in this Foilyage Highlights that makes it suitable even for permed hair. 

Those of us who've permed our hair will know that bleaching it will cause our curls to disappear but look at Agent G's hair a week after the highlights?

Foilyage Highlights Safe For Permed Hair

Yep, she still has all the curls intact. 

2. Zero-Bleach Foilyage Highlights Are Subtle But Visible


Just because there's no bleach doesn't mean that the effect is not obvious. 

No Bleach Foilyage Using Foil

While that is a common complaint for zero-bleach colours, Andrew manages to avert that with the use of foils. As foils keeps the colour more in contact with the hair, colour is lifted to an extent that it is light enough to be seen. 

Foilyage Highlights and Styling Perfect for After Work Events

This adds a subtle colour and depth that frames the entire face and highlights the texture and waves in the hair - perfect for a classy look during and after work! 

3. Zero-Bleach Foilyage Highlights Requires Only 2 Hours and Minimal Maintenance


For busy working women, you'd be happy to note that the foilyage hairstyle takes approximately 2 hours to achieve. Eliminating the bleaching also takes away the processing time for bleach and the intense treatment requred - cutting your total time at the salon to 2 hours or less!

2 Hours Zero Bleach Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

Best part is that there is no clear demarcation between when the highlights start and stop, so you don't have to rush to the salon when your hair grows out! Your roots will still look natural even 6 months after.

Want to know exactly how the zero-bleach foilyage highlights work? Read on for Agent G's experience at Mode Studio @ Wheelock Place.

Agent G's Zero-Bleach Foilyage Highlights Experience


Hi! I'm Agent G, chief editor of Beauty Undercover.

Permed Hair Before Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

Frequent readers of Beauty Undercover would know that I'm a fan of PERMS. Whenever I hear news about any new perm lotions, I would very excitedly go down to try when possible. Hair however needs to be as healthy as possible to achieve bouncy curls. Therefore, you would seldom see me go for chemical services such as hair colouring or bleach. 

Permed Hair Before Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

Don't know if it's just in my mind, I'm feeling as if I'm looking older these days and it DISTURBS me. 

When I was complaining about how much older I felt to the ever-youthful Andrew from MODE Studio , he stopped me in my tracks.

It's not you lah sister.It's your hair.When was the last time you gave it a colour? ~ Andrew

With that, Andrew shared that having long black hair could make one look and feel older as the huge contrast between the skin and hair colour highlights how dull and sallow our skin may be. 

But I recently permed my hair... and I really don't want to damage it. 

Permed Hair Before Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio
Why don't you try our zero-bleach foilyage? Damage is lower since we don't use bleach and it can still brighten your complexion!

I know I'm ready for a change... so that's when I made an appointment with none other than Andrew himself!

First impression


If there was a top 10 list of salons we personally love to visit, MODE Studio will definitely be on that list. 

MODE Studio Interior

During non-COVID times, I've drunk a glass too many wine, champagne, beer and even 茅台 right at this table with friends and even stylists at MODE. The people here are just so friendly, generous and sincere in wanting you to have a good time.

That may be why the alcohol is free-flow and the usage of VIP rooms free (on a first-come-first-served basis). 

Free Usage of VIP Room with Complimentary alcohol and beverages at MODE Studio

That's why kiasu me chose to come early so I can enjoy the privacy of a VIP room. 

Drinks Menu at MODE Studio

Kinda sad that we don't have access to these drinks now... but hoping for a relaxing of regulations once most of us get vaccinated! 

Hair Colour Menu at MODE Studio

After escorting me to the room, Andrew came back with a book of hair colours for a feel of the tones I like and to explain the levels he can reach. 

The lighter the better... without bleach.~ Me (Agent G) 

Seeing how excited I was, Andrew gave me his signature smile and went, "Yes Ma'am!" 

Creating the Highlights


He left the room for a good 3 minutes before coming back with a bowl of white liquid and his assistant Billy. To make sure that the highlights looked natural, the first thing they did was not to apply the colour immediately but to section the hair...

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

And then, apply the backcombing technique. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

By backcombing the hair, only alternate strands of hair will be highlighted.

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

This gives additional dimension while making sure that hair regrowth won't be obvious. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

He started from the side of my hair before moving onto the fringe and rest of my hair. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

Not every stylist at every salon use foils but this is a signature method used in MODE Studio to make sure that the colour doesn't leak to other parts of the hair for a cleaner neater application that also achieves a stronger contrast. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

After about 45 minutes of hard work, my hair is ALMOST DONE. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

Oops, I mean the application. 

Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

The next step in the process is heating. To accelerate the processing time, mild heat is applied so the colour processes faster. This process itself took around 15 min. 

Instead of resting on his own during this time, Andrew chose to stay in the room to chat with me, something I really appreciate! 

Wash and Treatment


Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

After about 10 minutes, Andrew removed the foils and I'm all ready to have it washed off. 

Hair Wash at MODE Studio

Billy escorted me to the wash area where he rinsed off the colour.

Hair Wash at MODE Studio

No matter how low-damage the colour is, my hair still sustained some damage. So Billy recommended me to try this post-treatment.

Hair Wash at MODE Studio

Unlike most hair treatments that are milky, oily or creamy, this special treatment takes the form of a foam.

This helps to penetrate the hair more deeply so that dry, damaged and color-treated hair can be nourished more thoroughly.

Hair Wash at MODE Studio

The best part is that this treatment is also beneficial for the scalp, so Billy took the chance to give me a really good head massage to go along with it. 

Hair Wash with Atomizer Gun at MODE Studio

To make sure that the goodness gets to the hair even more quickly, Billy used an atomizer gun that nano-sizes water particles,"pushing" more of the treatment into the cortex of the hair. 

Hair Wash with Atomizer Gun at MODE Studio

After about 10 minutes, it was time for the final rinse-off.

Hair Wash with Atomizer Gun at MODE Studio

That's it! Here's a sneak peek:

How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

Ready for the reveal?

Permed Hair Before Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

My hair used to look as dowdy as this but under Andrew's magic hands, it has now transformed to this:

How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio
How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio
How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

To be honest, these photos don't do justice to the colour. 

How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

While the highlights don't jump out immediately at first glance, it brightens up the face and emphasizes the curls in a way I really love.

How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio
How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

Even with the mask on!

How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio
How I Look After Getting No Bleach Foilyage Highlights on Permed Hair at MODE Studio

Classy and sophisticated, that's exactly the look I'm going for... and all WITHOUT BLEACH!

Update: A Week Later


For those who're wondering if my curls are still there (after the no-bleach hair colour, I'm elated to report that...

1 Week After Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

YES IT IS.

1 Week After Getting Foilyage Highlights at MODE Studio

Even when I'm back home and don't have access to professional styling, my hair still has quite a bit of curls... something I'm very grateful for. 

THANK YOU ANDREW and Mode Studio @ Wheelock Place for brightening my 2021!

Are you interested in Zero-Bleach Foilyage Highlights? Share your experience on BU.sg!

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