Set and Manage Realistic Expectations for Foilyage Clients

Foilyage Consultation

Understanding how to set and manage realistic client expectations is an essential skill for all stylists to develop and master, regardless of which service is being performed. If expectations aren’t managed effectively, then there is always the chance of a client being disappointed in the end results of a treatment, which isn’t good for anybody involved. 

That’s why we typically recommend that stylists start every service off with a hair consultation, which gives the stylist the opportunity to ask questions, set expectations, and educate the client about what is reasonable and what isn’t.


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Below, we offer some tips that you can use to have a better foilyage consultation with your foilyage clients.

Setting Realistic Foilyage Expectations

In order to effectively manage your client’s expectations so that you perform a foilyage service that everyone is happy with, both you and your client need to be on the same page for a number of factors. 

First and foremost, you need to understand the current condition of the hair you are working with and how it will impact the success of the treatment; second, you must understand the desired outcome so that you can craft a plan to get there; and third, you must understand the client’s timeline and how much they are willing to invest to get the look.

1. The Hair

The current condition of your client’s hair can and likely will have a major impact on your ability to deliver upon your client’s expectations. For example, whether the hair is damaged or healthy may impact the treatment or products that you choose to use. Similarly, the texture and density of their hair and their existing hair color may all impact how much lift you can realistically get out of a single treatment. 

It’s also critical that you explain to your client how the treatment may affect their hair once complete. For example, curls may relax after foilyage, which can come as a surprise to some.

2. The Desired Outcome

If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s going to be really difficult to get there. This holds true for foilyage as much as it does a road trip. Understanding the end result that your client is hoping to get out of the foilyage treatment is an essential piece of providing a successful service. 

Generally speaking, foilyage can get your client about 4 levels of lift for your client. This means that a client can go from a level 1 to a level 4, a level 4 to a level 7, or a level 8 to a level 10+. Knowing where your client wants to go with their hair will allow you to better explain to them what is realistic and whether or not multiple sessions will be necessary to get there.

Their goals and current condition of their hair will also impact the steps you take in the actual foilyage, which makes it doubly important. Whether the hair is virgin or color-treated, how dense it is, and the section sizes of your foils will all impact how much lift is generated. 

3. Timeline and Investment

Does your guest have a particular timeline in mind for when they need to get to their goal? For example, are they getting ready for a wedding, prom, or some other major life event? You will need to know their timeline so that you can manage their expectations and plot a path to get as close to their desired goals as possible. Going from a level 1 to a level 10 in one session isn’t going to happen!

It’s also important to note that it can take multiple services to achieve the desired look through foilyage, because foilyage is more detailed than, say, balayage. Therefore, it takes time to build the same coverage that balayage provides. 

Similarly, you will need to understand how much money they are willing to invest in order to get their desired look. If their budget doesn’t match what you know it will take, you must educate them on this fact as soon as possible so that they can either adjust their budget or adjust their goals.

Working Together with Your Client

Ultimately, setting realistic expectations is all about working together with your client to understand each other’s goals and formulate a plan to get there.

Have you been following the steps above and still falling short in managing client expectations? Consider leveraging photos during your hair consultation to make sure that you and your guests are all on the same page before the treatment begins. Words can mean different things to different people; letting your client choose a photo of where they want their hair to be can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that you’re all on the same page.

And, of course, practice makes perfect. As you perform foilyage more and more and get better at the treatment, you will naturally begin to understand who will benefit from it and who won’t, which will help make you a better stylist.

Want more tips and tricks that’ll help you improve your foilyage game and keep your clients happy and coming back for more? Check out our Not Yo Mama’s Foilyage online tutorial, where Salt Society educator Kristina demonstrates how to use teasy lights to create a modern balayage effect on a natural level 4! She dives into topics on how to avoid hard lines, easy breezy sink comb out, and how to create a creamy beige blonde on a dark brunette!

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