How Much Does Hair Coloring Cost at a Salon?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Getting your hair professionally colored at a local salon can have an impressive effect on the look of your hair.  While it is slightly expensive, it is still a safer and more practical option than a home hair color kit that can possibly cause damage or be applied incorrectly.

DIY dip dye hair by mommyknows { Kim Becker }, on Flickr
DIY dip dye hair” (CC BY 2.0) by mommyknows { Kim Becker }

How much does hair coloring cost at the salon?

Each salon has different styles and methods of dyeing hair, so the costs will vary.  It will also depend on your geographical location, the number of colors you want, the length of your hair and the salon/stylist you choose.  For just the hair coloring, you should be prepared to pay $45 to $115.  These costs could be much higher if you were to choose a reputable salon in a major city.  Timeout.com, for example, showcased many New York City salons and the charges.  Also, be prepared to spend this at least every three to five weeks.  We called up a few salons in our area and came up with the quotes below.

On this Reddit AskWomen thread, one paid $150 for highlights, a color, haircut and tip, while another paid $200 to $250 at a higher-end salon.

Ulta Beauty Supply, which has its own salon, charges anywhere from $45 and beyond.  This will depend on the method you choose.

Cost Cutters, a franchise-based salon, states it charges $55 or more for a color.

SalonPrice
Supercutsstarts at $35
Ulta Salonstarts at $45
JCPenney salonstarts at $55
Hair Cutterystarts at $69
Smart Stylestarts at $45
Fantastic Samsstarts at $59

Hair coloring at the salon overview

Before you get your hair colored, the stylist will meet with you to discuss your needs.  During this time, you will show them what you want in terms of your color.  This can be done either via a photo or simply explaining the technique.  With this information, a stylist will be able to recommend his or her opinion and show you which colors could work best for your skin tone, face shape and hair color.

Most jobs should take as little as 60 minutes to complete.

What are the extra costs?

Longer and thicker hair may mean extra charges.

Adding highlights or lowlights could add 20 to 30 percent to the price.  Adding more than one color, such as the pinwheel hair color technique, can increase the price as well.

Most hair stylists expect to be tipped for any services they provide.  This tip should be five to 20 percent of the total bill.

To keep up to date with most colors, stylists recommend coming in every three to four weeks for a touch-up.

Expert stylists will highly recommend you change your shampoo and conditioner to maintain your color, especially if it’s your first time.  Plan on spending at least $20 to $40 for a combination of these products.

Tips to know:

Consider going with highlights rather than a full hair color.

For those who have gray hair, most experts are going to state that blonde is going to be the best color to choose since it is easier to apply.

If this is the first time you’re working with a stylist, consider booking a consultation appointment ahead of time.  During this time, you can discuss the color, shade and what you want in general.  It will also give you a good idea on how long the procedure will probably take.

Don’t know what kind of color you want?  Consider browsing popular hair style Instagram accounts or hairstyle apps for inspiration.  When you do find something you like, be sure to bookmark and show it to your stylist.  It’s a lot easier to show a picture instead of trying to explain what you want.

Cosmopolitan recommends applying a hair mask to your hair the day before your color to prep it for the coloring process.

To protect your hair from fading, try not to expose it to the sun as often.  It’s also best to protect it from salt and pool water.

Is dying your hair bad?  While coloring your hair isn’t considered dangerous, there are some ingredients you should look out for.  Formaldehyde and coal tar, for example, are two potentially harmful components that you should avoid.  Also, ammonia and para-phenylenediamine are ingredients some experts will tell you to avoid as they may cause itching or blistering.

Should I wash my hair before I dye it?  Most experts recommend you don’t wash your hair and leave it dirty instead.  Cleaning your hair ahead of time may cause the shampoo to react with your color, potentially causing a burning effect.

How to know what color to dye your hair?  Take the hair color quiz to find out.

How can I save money?

Check with a local cosmetology school.  Those who are learning to work with hair dye may be able to do your hair color much cheaper.  Don’t worry as they will be supervised by a professional stylist.  If you want to learn how to color hair, this video can show you step by step instructions.

If you feel comfortable doing the job on your own, a box of hair dye can cost about $5 to $30.

Those who are new to the salon should check their official website to see if any promotions or coupons are available.  Many salons often offer lucrative deals to those who haven’t been there before.  This is a great way to save 10 percent or more.


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Average Reported Cost: $425

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Jane (Palm Beach,  Florida) paid $425 and said:

    Excellent job done by George Elliott. He is an east coast institution, clients fly in for his magic! I would pay him more and be happy to. I always tip him at least 100.00

    Was it worth it? Yes

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