Pinwheel Foil Technique

In this video brought to you by Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), learn the pinwheel technique for clients who want the look of a full highlight in half the time.

Saving yourself time behind the chair is important for increasing your daily client capacity. Learning new tips and tricks to help you achieve desired results in less time will not only help with client satisfaction but also boost your business.  

The pinwheel technique is a great option to offer clients who want the look of a full highlight in half the time. This tutorial will walk you through how to achieve a pinwheel foiling technique that you can use on existing or new clients in significantly less time than it would take to do a full foil.  

What you’ll need: 

  • 6–7 foils for each side block. 
  • 18–20 foils for the back block and nape pinwheel. 
  • 12–15 foils for the mohawk section. 


  • Section hair. 
  • Foil hair. 
  • Apply color. 
  • Process until desired level of lift, then tone if needed. 
  • Total application time: 30 minutes 


Start by parting out a mohawk section from front hairline to the crown. Secure with a clip.  

Block one section on each side of the head from the parietal ridge down to behind the ear. Secure with a clip. Repeat this process on other side of the head. 

Block one section behind the two side blocks and down to the occipital bone. Secure with clip. You should have about two inches from the back block section down to the nape. This is your last section.  

Foil placement: 

Four block sections 

  • One block on each side (back of ear up to parietal ridge)  
  • One mohawk section from hairline just past the crown 
  • One block behind side blocks and mohawk 
  • Leave out two inches at the nape 

It’s up to you to use the slice or weave technique. For this tutorial, the slice technique was used. 

  1. Use a thick conditioner at the base of the left-out section to hold the foil and prevent bleeds.  
  2. Make sure to fully saturate the subsection, feathering lightener towards the roots to minimize any lines of demarcation. 
  3. Move on to the side block by starting at the hairline and beginning to sub-section diagonally, moving towards the back of the block section. 
  4. Move your way across the head after the side block, transitioning into the back of the mohawk (crown). 
  5. With roughly 1–2 inches left in the front of the mohawk, start working in front of the face. Start at the hairline with diagonal sections, working your way back from the mohawk. You can leave the hairline out or foil a money piece (optional).  
  6. Foil the last side block, repeating the same process as the first side block and starting at the hairline. 

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