The cap highlighting method used to be very popular because stylists believed it provided a controlled technique for highlighting or lowlighting strands of hair. The cap highlighting method involved placing a snug plastic cap over the entire head and then tying underneath the chin to hold the cap in place. Once the cap was secured a long hook which resembled a knitting style needle was used to gently punch small holes into the cap and then pull target strands through the holes. Once the desired strands were pulled through in a pre-designed highlighting or lighting pattern, bleach or hair color was applied just to the strands pulled from the cap. Although the cap did offer protection from color or bleach bleeding onto other strands, it was a limited method of creating highlights and lowlights and did not often the dimension or freedom to be creative that foils offer. Cap highlighting methods were sometimes used on hair consumers with very long hair because it was believed by some long hair experts that the cap method offered more protection from chemical damage. While this may have been true for some, taking the cap off long hair without ripping or damaging the strands was problematic. This was especially true if the hair was naturally curly or wavy and the hair would twirl in such a manner as to make it more difficult to remove the cap. To prevent problems removing the cap some hairstylists would blow dry the client's hair stick straight before applying the cap or would use lots of rinse out conditioner to make sure the hair slipped out without pain or pulling. As of 2011 cap highlighting is still taught in cosmetology schools but the majority of hair colorists use foils or hand painting to apply highlights and/or lowlights. While there are still some isolated reasons for utilizing a cap, those reasons are limited.