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Last updated: May 05, 2022

What Would You Do: How To Schedule Balayage

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Advice From The BTC Community For How To Schedule Balayage Services

Do you give yourself enough time for balayage and other color services? Or should you be picking up the pace? One stylist feels like she’s too slow because she’s struggling to meet her salon’s 30/30/30 rule—don’t worry, we explain below 😉—so we reached out to the BTC community to find out how other stylists and salons schedule balayage services. Want to know how you compare? Keep reading for their input! 


“Is anyone else having trouble with this? My boss and front desk are not happy with me. They are old school and are still expecting me to follow the 30/30/30 rule, but I’m trying to explain to them that a lot of times this rule doesn’t work anymore because of specialized color services. Does anyone still follow the 30/30/30 rule for these services? I am still somewhat new to hair painting and balayage. Absolutely any info you can share would be SO appreciated!”


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But First, What’s The 30/30/30 Rule?

Basically it’s a guide for color services, meaning each appointment should take no more than 30 minutes to apply, 30 minutes to process and 30 minutes for the cut and style.


That’s A Bizarre Rule



“They have no right to tell you that you have to follow this bizarre 30/30/30 rule. For a root touchup it’s understandable, but for highlights, balayage, etc. it’s just plain unreasonable, especially for someone who is new and needs a little extra time. It sounds like they’d rather you rush and get more people done in one day than provide a quality service by taking your time.” – @madysen_liedel


“That’s almost never enough time for a balayage unless it’s a money piece touchup around the face. If you want to convince your boss to allow you to book more time, you have to charge accordingly. At the end of the day, it sounds like they want to be a salon that does 30-minute partials every eight to 10 weeks, not one that does three hour blondes who come in twice a year—and that’s their prerogative.” – @kevinjamespierce


“That rule is what created underpaid professionals, unsatisfied clients with unrealistic expectations and does not apply in this day and age.” – @mccartywife12


“That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard as a client! I wouldn’t want my stylist to be forced to do that to my hair, and that’s ridiculous a salon would even suggest that. It’s not 1950 anymore! These stupid old rules don’t make any sense!” – @calicfitness79


“I had been doing 30/30/30 my whole career until balayage and ombré became big. It’s impossible to do so they need to understand that it takes time and costs more. A longer appointment means more money.” – @amandagenevieve220


“WHAT?! Heck no. That’s the worst advice ever. Throw that rule out the window! It takes however long you need to achieve the results you are looking for. Sometimes it takes multiple toning formulas as well as multiple sessions. Charge according to the service, time and color needed…30/30/30 silly/silly/silly!” – @ms.annalouise


“That 30/30/30 rule is a little crazy! I need more than 30 minutes to rinse a color, cut and style! I will take a men’s cut or wax in between a retouch with someone I have done before, but not with a new client. Never book a client in between a balayage or a foil because you never know how someone will lift and it can change time to time. Also, in regards to taking three to four hours with these services, I feel there is no way to hurry it up!” – @_lznik960 



How Other Stylists Book Balayage Services



“Minimum three hours for any balayage experience is my religion of choice at my salon for my staff and clients. Happy staff = happy clients = happy owner.” – @xo.farhana.balayage


“We book an hour to an hour and a half for the painting, say an hour-ish for processing and if they’re scheduled with a haircut it’ll go as normal from there. We usually tell clients just a color appointment will take about 2 to 2½ hours.” – @_tiannamichelle


“For balayage, we do 45/45/45 and stylists are allowed to block out time in between or drag times around if they need to! For a color melt, we do 60/45/45.” – @kellyguldin


“My foil/balayage clients automatically get at least a 2- to 2½-hour slot. I might take a blowout while they’re processing but most likely not since I like to watch closely and don’t have a personal assistant to help me. The most time I’ve spent on someone is five hours and my boss never said a word because it was a huge ticket.” – @lyndsslayyshair


“We 100 percent allow our colorists to block out the amount of time needed to create their client’s look, and in one appointment if desired! Colorists should be in charge of their own schedules because they know best.” – @blonde.blond


“Lol I do 30/30/30 for highlights but for balayage see how long it takes you on average and schedule accordingly with each client. That’s what I did. Or a lot of stylists like to have a consultation prior to the service to get a better idea of how long it will take with that client.” – @jessicascotthair


“There’s no excuse for your boss to be upset as long as you are charging accordingly. My balayage slots are at least three hours for clients who I have worked on before. New clients get four+ for a more in-depth consultation and because I’m not sure how they are going to lift. This also includes application, process, wash, tone, process again, wash again, blow-dry/style and pictures. Don’t cheat yourself out of time because low and slow is key, but make sure you are charging for every step even if it does take five hours and your boss should have no issue.” – @beautybybrittw_



It Might Be Time For A New Salon



“Everyone’s head of hair is different. While it’s possible to get people done on a set schedule, that’s not always the case. Services and expectations are changing therefore you need the freedom to take as long as you need to get it done. If they aren’t happy, try finding somewhere that understands the change that is happening with clients and allows for more time. You’ll be happier if you find your tribe. Good luck!” – @petercolorshair


“I believe as a professional stylist you should be able to block out as much time as needed depending on what type of hair you are dealing with. I believe three hours minimum is ideal and 90 percent of the time I will not take anyone in between. At the end of the day your work is your art and your walking advertisement. I don’t believe in cutting corners when it comes to balayage/ombré/foilayage.” – @silvia_bak


“It’s time to find a new salon. They are not up to date on what the new hair tends consist of. I rarely get anyone out under four hours.” – @fairy.blondemother


“I mean, I hesitate to say this based off of one piece of information about your experience there, but it sort of sounds like your salon isn’t the best fit for what you’re trying to accomplish as a hairstylist. If you want to do specialized coloring techniques (which you can charge way more for, it looks way better on websites, social media, etc. and not to mention they’re just so fun!) and they aren’t supporting your creativity and your art, it sounds like they’re putting a lid on what’s possible for you. There will only be so high you can go from there.” – @happyhairdaze


“It is unrealistic and proves the ‘bosses’ do not know the timing for balayage. I myself work fairly fast, but you cannot rush good work! With ombré or balayage I can’t even book another client in between, which is also why it’s a more costly process. If they do not understand I say you look for another place to work. Best of luck!” – @lizzthehairwizz_87


Click here to see what everyone else had to say on Instagram!