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Last updated: May 03, 2024

Foilayage Pricing: How To Charge For Foils + Balayage

Charging For Foilayage Foils and Paint Highlights and Balayage What Would You Do
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5 Genius Foilayage Pricing Strategies

How do you price foilayage—per foil, hourly, a la carte or something else? Many colorists are now adding foils to their balayage work to achieve heavier brightness, but don’t know how to charge for it. But when we shared this foil-and-paint pricing dilemma on Insta, the BTC fam showed up with a lot of different answers, so just keep scrollin’!


Disclaimer: Everyone is entitled to their own pricing method and what works for them. We are simply showing you different ideas, so you can make the best choice for your salon biz!


Want some advice from the BTC community? DM us on Instagram and Facebook!



Idea #1: Charge An Hourly Rate

Charge an hourly rate for color services that includes product usage, bond builders, time, treatments, a haircut, etc. Here’s why:


  • Fair Pricing: “Someone [who] has really fine hair that only takes an hour and a half should not be charged the same price as someone who takes four to five hours,” shares @jessicascotthair.


  • Avoid Undercharging: Charging hourly prevents you from losing out on money if you forget to add a bond builder to the final ticket, or extra color bowls, OR if you have a Karen that doesn’t want to pay the extra $30 for a glaze, adds Jessica.


  • Client-Friendly Budgets: Fixed hourly rates help clients budget for each blonding session. This makes it easier to explain what you can realistically accomplish during each appointment, so everyone’s on the same page, suggests @mayhemilyhair.


Idea #2: Charge For Individual Services

Here are a couple of different strategies to consider when charging service-by-service:


  • A La Carte Pricing: Exactly what it sounds like, charge for every single service individually! This includes foils, hair painting, toners, treatments, color melts, haircuts, etc. During the consultation, let clients know that you charge a la carte and what services they can expect on their final ticket, suggests @beautymoresalon.


  • Base Price + Add-Ons: Charge a base price for the full highlight and balayage, plus additional charges for extras like Olaplex treatments and clients with more hair, suggests @lexiencannon.


Watch @sabrinathehairwitch’s video below & listen as she walks through exactly how she prices foilayage. 


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A post shared by Chicago Hair Nerd (@sabrinathehairwitch)


Idea #3: Avoid This Common Mistake

Wasting product at the backbar is one of the EASIEST ways to lose money as a colorist. Here are some ideas to avoid this common issue:


“My base price for [foilayage] with a haircut is $264. Anything past 40g of lightener, I charge an additional $25,” shares Austin-based stylist @haleyalayne. “If I root melt and tone at bowl, I charge $40. If it is only a toner $25 [ and] $30 per bowl if I use bond builder or Olaplex with lightener.”


“I know how much I want to make per hour then I add the cost of product but the tip usually covers my product cost,” adds @ryanngordon77. “I like to also think if it costs me $15 in product and I want a 10 percent production cost, I would charge $150. Most clients at the price would tip $20 to $25.”


Idea #4: Charge Per Foil

Foilayage can be a lot more work than traditional balayage or highlights (more work = more money). If you charge per foil, the type of application—partial, half head and full head—determines the final cost. From there, add a base charge for the wash and blow-dry and extra charges for haircuts, products used and add-ons.


After digging through the comments section, we found that colorists who charge based on foil count settle somewhere around five dollars PER FOIL. “My foils come out to about $4-5 a foil hourly or not,” shares @indresholliday. “I charge per hour as well ($125) and it usually comes out to that, plus I charge for length every 2 inches past the shoulder is [an] $10 extra on top of that.”


Idea #5: Charge Based On Desired Look

We know that when our clients request “just a few foils or some balayage”, this actually requires a LOT of steps, product, time and sometimes multiple sessions. By charging based on the desired look instead of services, this allows the stylist to come up with a process and ballpark price with more flexibility. You are charging for their dream hair that may require extra steps, instead of promising specific services. 


This has us wondering, do you really need to break down the price of every step for clients? Keep reading for a couple of different opinions.


Have Clients Focus On The Experience, Not Your Creative Process

“You show me what we’re starting with and the result you desire. I give you a tight ballpark cost. That way I’m not giving away information the client has no business knowing. My secrets are mine [and] my professional business. [Clients] should be looking for the desired result not all the grams of color used or whether I tone or don’t tone, foil or paint, bleach or high lift… [nowadays] clients are given far too much information about something they (should) know nothing about. It’s our profession. Not theirs. Just give them a price based on your knowledge.” – @lindamollo


Be Open With Clients:

“I personally like to be really open about the process with my clients and educate them on all the steps I’m taking to ensure they get their desired look. It usually makes them more aware of all the extra work I do for them since I am educating them on what I’m doing in that moment and in the end I feel like they appreciate my hard work and can understand my pricing better since I have educated them on the process, so I wouldn’t say it makes me any less than a true professional, I think it would prove that I am a professional because then they feel more comfortable because they can tell I know what I’m talking about.” – @styledby_sammiejay