Today’s hairstylists are highly trained, passionate hair professionals. They are experts when it comes to hair colour, and many consider themselves hair artists. They truly excel at their craft and there’s nothing they love more than a happy client. A hairstylist at a mid to high-end salon will guide you through any hair colour transformation. You’ll leave feeling fresh, confident and armed with everything you need to know to maintain your colour at home between salon visits.
So, whether you have been colouring your hair for years or considering colouring your tresses for the very first time, there’s a lot to know. What about hair colour prices? Price ranges can vary significantly depending on the type of hair salon, their stylist’s level of experience and the salon’s location. Bigger cities typically charge more for custom colours, so if you’re planning to book at a top salon, except to pay a little extra for high-end colour products and stylist expertise.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to get started.
How much does Salon Hair Colour Cost?
On average, basic hair colour and highlights range from $60 on the low end to $150 or more at mid to high-end salons. If you’re interested in custom hair colours or trends like Balayage, Babylights, Lowlights or Ombré, prices can vary significantly. Prices reflect each individual client’s hair length, thickness, texture and the overall health of their hair. These factors determine how many colour sessions you’ll need and how much product your stylist will likely use.
If you have previously dyed your hair at home with box-dye, your hairstylist will need to assess the integrity and strength of your hair before applying any hair colour. All of these factors will affect the price. Most stylists also require clients to book a consultation appointment before your actual hair colour appointment. This ensures that you’ll get exactly what you want, and it helps your stylist book enough time for your appointment.
Colour vs. Price
An experienced hairstylist will dedicate time before each colour appointment to discuss your hair colour goals. This includes talking about which colours are best suited to your natural hair colour, complexion and at-home maintenance routine. Your budget is also a factor, since it will cost more to maintain a platinum blonde compared to a beautifully done balayage that can seamlessly grow out for months.
A good hairstylist will also advise you not to try to lighten your hair too fast from a dark shade. Unless you’re looking for a drastic change, you’ll likely be advised not to lighten your hair three shades lighter than your natural colour. Drastic changes tend to require multiple spaced-out appointments depending on the integrity of your hair. Drastic colour changes can also be more costly.
Sometimes, lower end hair salons or chains advertise discounted hair colour services. Usually, this is because they’re running a promotion and they can afford to temporarily discount some of their services. Salon chains also use less expensive hair dyes and hair care products compared to high-end or boutique salons.
Top salons carry exclusive hair colour lines and hair treatments which are of the highest professional quality. Be prepared to pay a little extra for these products – they’re well worth it. Not only that, stylists at top salons provide quality hair colour advice based on what will look best on you.
Hair Dye Prices at a Salon
Most established salons have a website and service menu. It’s a great idea to browse through their site to get a feel for their prices and the type of colour work they specialize in. Pro Tip: Although you’ll find hair colour price lists online, keep in mind that these are only guidelines and the prices don’t take into consideration your individual hair history, needs and goals.
Keep reading as we take a deeper look at professional hair dye prices.
Generally, highlights can cost as low as $50 on short hair, while hair longer than shoulder length starts at $90 and goes up from there. Highlighting your hair with more than one colour increases the price by about $20 to $40, and your stylist will also take into account how much bleach or toner is used.
What should you expect to spend if it’s your first time booking a balayage? First, because a balayage is so time-consuming, it tends to be one of the priciest hair colour services. Expect to pay about $200 on average for a balayage. High-end salons usually don’t include a blow-dry or styling in their price, so take this into consideration as well. Extra lightener, colour and toner will all bump up the price.
A partial balayage at a high-end salon typically starts at $70, while a full-head balayage ranges from $150 to $200 or more.
If you’re lucky enough to find promotional balayage pricing, don’t forget to tip your stylist accordingly, since as mentioned, this is a time-consuming colour service.
Pintura highlights are a specialized, hand-painted Brazilian highlighting technique that works well on curly hair. Prices range from $100 to $120 or more. Hair dye is applied to just the right places to emphasize natural curls, and rather than focusing on the roots, hair colour is applied mostly at the tips, then worked upwards.
This can be an expensive technique as foils aren’t used and it’s all up to the stylists level of artistry. Stylists apply colour to small sections of hair where the light naturally hits. Some stylists might even apply subtle accents that are placed strategically to enhance your natural hair colour.
Purple or Blue Hair
Dying your hair a permanent shade of blue or purple takes some time and patience. If you have dark hair and you want to go blue or purple, costs can range from $300 to $400.
If you have light or blonde hair, dying it purple or blue will be less expensive, since your hair will require less processing. The average cost ranges from $150 to $200.
Factors Further Affecting Salon Hair Colour Prices
The length and thickness of your hair, its colour history and overall health are all key factors in how much colouring your hair will cost. If you want to go from very dark to light, it’s important to follow your stylist’s advice and instructions carefully to avoid long-term damage.
Too much bleach can cause your hair to become dry, brittle or straw-like, and using the incorrect shampoo and conditioner at home can ruin your hair colour.
Continue reading as we answer all your burning questions.
1.If you have a long history of dying your hair, one of the most important factors to achieving your dream colour is determining your natural hair colour. Since your natural hair colour determines the right developer and toner needed, it’s an important step. Pro Tip: Always determine your natural hair colour from the roots.
2.Before applying fresh hair colour, you need to tell your stylist about any hair colour you’ve had applied within the past 12-18 months. Any colour containing a developer or peroxide can affect the end-result of the new colour you’re aiming for.
If your hair is coloured dark and you want to switch to a light colour, you can’t simply apply another permanent hair colour over top. Nothing will happen. First, your stylist will need to use Colour Remover or lighten your hair by bleaching it. If you have a semi-permanent colour on your hair, if it’s not removed it will also affect the results you’re hoping for.
3.Since grey hair has 0 pigment, this means that permanent hair colour will look and work differently on grey hair compared to on any other hair colour. It is therefore important for your stylist to determine your percentage of grey hair.
There are hair colours designed specifically for grey hair, so whether you have 50% or 100% grey, your stylist will need to assess which hair dye will work best for you.
4.There are 3 main types of hair thickness, each with different levels of resistance and reactions to hair colour:
Fine hair is the least thick, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a lot of it. It’s just fine and more fragile. Generally, fine hair takes to hair colours the easiest, but it can also be most prone to breakage and damage.
Medium hair is the most common and is considered normal or not needing much special treatment when colouring
Thick hair is strong and there is usually a lot of it. Thick hair can also be quite heavy and hard to manage and colour. It can sometimes be resistant to hair colour, requiring more effort or processing and more product to cover the entire head of hair.
If you’re not sure which category your hair falls into, grab a hairband and see how many times you can wrap it around your hair.
4 wraps or more means you have fine hair.
3 wraps means you have medium hair.
2 wraps that feel tight means your hair is thick.
5.Hair porosity. Your hair’s ability to absorb moisture is its porosity. The more moisture it can absorb, the more porous it is. How well your hair will accept hair colour is directly related to porosity.
Low porosity hair can be quite shiny, especially darker colours. Shiny hair is generally referred to as healthy. However, low porosity hair can make colour processing harder as colour won’t penetrate the hair easily. Your stylist will try alternative colour processing techniques to get you to your hair colour goal.
Normal hair porosity means low maintenance. This type of hair is usually predictable and absorbs colour well. Over time, normal hair is susceptible to damage with repeated colour processing, but with regular conditioning treatments, normal hair is kept healthy.
High porosity hair is caused by damaging the hair through over bleaching, chemical processes or the environment. Grey hair is already highly porous, while frizzy hair is usually a sign of high porosity hair. While high porosity hair typically absorbs colour well and quite quickly since the hair shafts are very open, this type of hair can be high maintenance. Regular treatments like deep conditioners are important to maintaining the long-term health of this type of hair.
How to Save on Salon Hair Colour Costs
We all want to save some money on our hair colour. How can you save while supporting and remaining loyal to your stylist?
1.Pre-book your appointments so you always know when it’s time to see your stylist. Not only is this smart, it also ensures you’re not waiting too long before your next salon visit. Pre-booking will reduce the amount of time and product your stylist will need to use, thus costing you less.
2.Help your colour last as long as possible between salon visits by following these tips: don’t wash your hair for the first few days after your colour appointment, shampoo your hair every 2-3 days, use dry shampoo to extend your wash days, wear a hat while in the sun, use the right professional hair care products.
3.Join your salon’s loyalty program! Save money by collecting rewards points and redeeming them according to the salon’s policies. Also, take a look at the service menu, as sometimes you can save by bundling different services together. Pro Tip: If you’re new to a city and it’s your first time at a salon, ask about first-time client offers and referral programs.
4.Book regular root touch-up appointments to avoid so much grow-out that you’ll need a longer colour appointment to match your roots to the rest of your hair!
5.Try one all-over colour instead of root touch-ups, highlights or a balayage. By colouring your hair one colour, you’re saving money on colour maintenance. While this might not work for everyone, it’s worth asking your stylist.
6.Search local beauty schools and stylists in training. These stylists are already highly trained and knowledgeable, they’re just new to the hair industry, so they offer their services at lower prices. Tip: you might even be able to score a free colour appointment if a hair student is looking for hair models.
7.Volunteer to be a hair model! Salons and stylists often participate in hair colour and styling competitions to showcase their skills. Ask your stylist to keep you in mind for upcoming hair model opportunities.
Nation-Wide Average Cost to Colour your Hair at a Salon
Nationwide, the average hair colour and highlights price ranges from about $60 to $150 depending on the type of salon, the stylists level of experience, the length and thickness of your hair, and if you’re having partial or full highlights done.
All-over colour, custom colours, highlights, Pintura highlights, lowlights, balayage or ombré all affect the total cost of your hair colour appointments. Blow-dry and styling will also sometimes cost extra, depending on the salon. Before any colour is applied, you’ll need to book a consultation so your stylist can assess your hair and determine your natural hair colour, or starting point.
Skillfully placed highlights will brighten up your face, add depth and dimension, and elevate your mood. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a stylist out there who will understand your hair goals and needs and help you achieve them.
Highlights & Lowlights
If you’re looking for a versatile, three-dimensional look, lowlights are a great way to achieve this. Parts of your hair are dyed several shades darker than your natural hair colour, and prices start around $75 at full-service salons.
While lowlights add depth to your hair and look great on all types of hair regardless of length, some hairstylists use a combination of highlights and lowlights to accentuate the natural movement of your hair. This technique works especially well on dark hair colours.
Tip: Once you’ve had your hair highlighted several times, you’ll save money at each follow-up appointment since adding just a few new lowlights will bring your look back to life.
While basic highlights start at $75, as you add various shades and colours, the price increases and can be as much as $300 for thick, long hair. Expertly placed highlights create the illusion of more volume, and they’re pretty easy to maintain.
Blonde Hair Highlights
Blonde hair is high-maintenance and even more commitment if it’s not your natural hair colour. The average cost to process is about $200, plus $40 for toner and about $85 for a haircut and blow-dry. If you need two applications of bleach to reach your desired colour of blonde, it can cost even more. A second bleach application is the step that takes your hair from blonde to blonder, while toner helps eliminate unwanted yellow tints.
Regular touch-ups are important to maintaining blonde hair. All-over colour processes should be done every 3-5 weeks, and foiled highlights should be done every 6-8 weeks depending on the level of contract you’re looking for.
Salon Colour Correction Prices
Colour corrections take a lot of time, use a lot of product and require a knowledgeable stylist. If you’re not taking into consideration these important factors, keep reading to educate yourself.
Stylists must cover their time and products used for each colour correction appointment. If not, they’ll lose money every time and struggle to pay their bills. First, stylists need to make sure their prices reflect how much it actually costs them to offer colour correction services. Next, they’ll calculate how much profit they will earn. Finally, product costs are taken into account.
Some stylists charge by the hour, which can cost from $120 to $130 hourly depending on your hair and how much colour correction is needed. Stylists can’t afford to give away hours of service and product. Charging clients hourly is generally the best way to go, and ends-up being quite close to the price of a high-end colour service on their menu.
Here’s an example. If you are a platinum blonde and you have regrowth, a base cost can range from $200 to $250 and up. So, colour correction prices are often based on root touch-up prices, then adjusted accordingly based on how much colour you need removed, how much regrowth you have and the length of your hair. It’s always best to book a consultation first before budgeting for a colour correction appointment.
High-End Salon Hair Colour Pricing Guide
As a salon and their stylists become highly experienced and masters of their craft, prices tend to change and increase. As a client, you’re paying for their expertise. This includes so many different factors. A stylists time and expertise is worth paying for, since an experienced stylist will help you achieve amazing results you never thought were possible.
Book you colour consultation today and discover which shades suit you best!