How Much Do Highlights Cost?

Written by: Staff

Highlights are one of the many coloring techniques used in hair salons today.  When it comes to coloring hair, there are many options and combinations available.  Instead of dying all of the hair, highlights simply dye portions of it.  Once you get highlights, you will have to continue to get it done on a regular basis to keep the color; otherwise, your roots will grow out and reveal your natural hair color.

blonder 6 by Idhren, on Flickr
blonder 6” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Idhren

How much do highlights cost?

On average, highlights can cost anywhere from $75 to as much as $250 once you factor in the cut and shampoo.  The cost of highlights will depend on the salon and the stylist, the length, color of your hair, the color you wish to dye your hair, and the number of highlights desired.  The length and thickness of your hair will usually be the biggest factor.  Those with hair past their shoulder, for instance, may pay about 30 percent more than someone that has hair that is only slightly past their ears.  Check out our table below to see what salons were charging across the United States.

At popular franchises such as Great Clips and Supercuts, the costs started at $25.

According to, women stated they paid anywhere from $110 to as much as $300 for highlights. says you should be prepared to spend about $45 to $105 to have your highlights done.

LocationPrice Quoted
Atlanta, GA$120
Chicago, IL$45 at beauty school
Denver, CO$130 for highlights + $60 for cut
Detroit, MI$75 + tip
Los Angeles, CA$250
Memphis, TN$130
New Orleans, LA$125 + $75 for future touchups
Pittsburgh, PA$125

We also looked at some of the most popular chains and what they said they would charge for highlights, and we included their “quotes” in our table below:

SalonPrice Quoted
Fantastic Sams- $50 for partial
- $65 for full
- $100 for color and highlights
Great Clips$115 before tip
Hair Cuttery$150
JCPenneypartial foil starts at $50
MasterCutsstarts at $40
Regis Salon$75 for partial
Supercuts$72 for three color foil
Walmartstarts at $50

NOTE:  These are quotes we received in our local area, so they could vary in your geographical location.

Highlights overview

The most common type of highlights will be done using a foil wrap or via another method known as balayage, which is a technique where the stylist uses a color brush to achieve the desired look by using a cap where the hairpieces poke through.

During the process, if using the foil method, the stylist will wash your hair thoroughly, and after your hair has been washed, a stylist will then combine the necessary chemicals to form a mixture.  Applying the mixture to your wet hair, the stylist will place the dye within the foil.  After the foils and dye have been applied, you will have to sit underneath a hair dryer to allow the dye to dry for up to 60 minutes.  If using the balayage method, the stylist will pull strands of your hair through the cap and will highlight each piece with a brush while the remaining of your hair stays within the cap.

In terms of options, you can either have a full or partial highlight session.  The term full refers to the amount of hair that will be covered in color, while partial will be just that — a partial part of your hair.

The average highlight job will take anywhere from one to four hours depending on the amount of hair that has to be highlighted.

What are the extra costs?

A hair cut, wash and shampoo will generally be an additional cost, on top of the highlight charges.  Some salons may include the initial wash, but it will really depend upon the salon’s pricing policy.

Touch-ups may be needed a few weeks after your first highlighting session.  Generally, the touch-ups are going to cost 50 to 75 percent less than the initial highlight job.  While optional, touch-ups may be necessary in order to maintain the proper color.

From our research, it seems as if stylists will charge $20 to $40 more, on average, if your hair was a natural blonde instead of brown.

With any salon purchase, a tip is highly recommended.  Most tips will be in the 10 to 20 percent range.

Tips to know:

If you want to maintain your hair color after the highlights, most salons will recommend that you come back every six weeks or so.  This will greatly depend upon your hair growth rate.

How can I save money?

If you want to save money, consider going to a local salon or even a beauty school.  These schools will often take walk-in guests and often perform the job at a fraction of the cost.

Consider looking for coupons on local websites such as  Salons love to advertise their services on these websites.  If you time it right, some salons often offer up to 70% off their services.  Your popular chains, such as Great Clips and Supercuts, will also offer coupons from time to time.

If you are on a strict budget, consider doing the highlights with a friend.  Highlighting products can cost as little as $5 and can take only a few hours if done properly.

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Average Reported Cost: $91.25

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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. Emily (Ontario,  Canada) paid $100 and said:

    I though it was definitely worth it when i went with my sister. It cost 200$ for both of us but it made me look good!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Anonymous (Orange,  California) paid $ and said:

    Partial highlights cost only

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. guyz n dollz hair co (nesconset,  New York) paid $85 and said:

    partial hi lites with wash cut and blow long hair love my hair definitely worth it! paid $ 85.00!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Lee Moore (Danbury,  Connecticut) paid $180 and said:

    I had base color and foils full head.. a little high priced for retired person

    Was it worth it? Yes

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