How Much Does Balayage Cost?

Written by: Staff

Balayage is a hair coloring technique where natural looking highlights are created.  Because of its overwhelming demand in the hair fashion industry, this service is offered at most salons.  You can choose to apply the highlights heavier for dramatic effects or you can also request to have the application done sparingly.  The highlights will generally last for about three months.

fresh balayage for this beach blondie ba by Growinnc, on Flickr
“fresh balayage for this beach blondie ba” (CC BY 2.0) by Growinnc

How much does balayage cost?

The price for a typical balayage application will depend on the salon, the length of your hair, texture, number of colors, how much hair you want done and the geographical location.  Most salons will charge either by the application or they may charge by the hour and/or strand.  The usual charges for a full head application will be between $140 and $250.  This will be on the pricier end because there is more labor involved when you compare it to traditional foil highlights.

For partial hair highlights, you will probably pay anywhere from $60 to $85 for only one color.  If you want more than one color, the price will more than likely go up.

Also, some salons may charge by the strand.  If this were the case, you could be looking at spending $10 to $15 per strand they color.

Salons that charge hourly will most likely cost you $60 to $75 per hour.  The usual application takes anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes. was able to interview a handful of stylists to see what they charged.  Some stated they charged by the time, while others had a flat rate such as $10 to $15 per single strand or prices that start at $130 and go up from there.

Forum members on said quotes inside the $150 to $270 range would be more than fair, and anything over $300 should be questioned.

Balayage overview

Balayage is a hair coloring technique that is designed to have the appearance of natural highlights.  Compared to foil highlights, the processing is quicker because the dye is much stronger.

Customized balayage is an advantage.  You can choose your own color and the salon may also suggest appropriate colors for you.  Most of the time, the price mentioned above will only includes one color.

While the highlighting is done, the hairstylist will also do a style for your hair.  Some may even trim a few ends of your hair if necessary.

During the process, the highlights are going to be painted on by hand using a sweeping motion. This motion will happen from the base and go to the tip of the hair.  Toward the base, the color is going to be applied lightly, while toward the top it’s going to be applied on heavier.   To create the highlight look, your hair will be divided into sections to make sure the hair color is carefully placed and not blended with your natural hair color.  When the application process is finished, you will be placed under heat for about 10 minutes.  Lastly, if applied, your stylist may apply a glass to create a shine.

This is a very time-consuming process and depending on the hair, it can take upwards of a few hours. recommends staying at least two hours.

What are the extra costs?

If you want to add another color other than the one included in the price quote, you will probably add another $15 to $45 to your total.

Because highlights only last a few months, reapplication in the future will be necessary if you want to keep the look.  While some salons do charge less for touch-up, it will still be an extra cost to consider.  Plan on these highlights lasting for about three months.

Don’t forget to tip your stylist.  This can be anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the total bill.

Tips to know

Who should have this done?  Those who want a natural highlight look or those who may have dry, over-processed hair.

While some people think it’s a new concept, it really isn’t.  In fact, it has been around since the early 70s.

Be careful to not get this dye on your skin as it may cause blistering since it’s so strong.

Stylists will recommend going two shades lighter than your natural hair color to achieve a natural look.

Avoid shampooing at least 24 hours after you’re done.  If you shampoo too quickly, you risk the chance of ruining the color bond.

Out of ideas? has thousands of ideas.

Before choosing a stylist, you will want to know three things: How long have they been doing it?  Do they use a special product, and what method do they use?  Since there are several methods available on the market, you will want to make sure you’re choosing someone who will be able to create good looking highlights.

How to pronounce balayage?  Here are a few audio snippets to listen to.

Balayage vs ombre

Balayage vs ombre cost:  This is a question many often ask and what you will find out is that the pricing will vary.  Ombre hair can come in many styles and will really depend on the color you’re looking for.  If you’re transitioning from a dark to light color, the costs could be around $80 to $150, but if you were looking for a softer version, the costs could be a bit less.  Compared to balayage, the pricing will be similar in pricing, so you won’t see a dramatic difference.

Ombre hair will be dark at your roots and will progressively get lighter as you get to the tips.

Balayage, which is known as sweep in French, is a technique which blends with your natural hair color.  Instead of using foils like highlights, a stylist, as mentioned above, will use a sweeping motion to paint your strands.  This will result in a shiny color and give you a “sun-kissed” look.  To make it easy:  ombre is the style and balayage is a technique.

Balayage technique

Balayage at home

How can I save money?

Look out for special sales or coupons on the salon’s website.  These deals may often be available for first-time customers. is notorious for having deals at local salons.  See if any deals are available in your vicinity.

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Average Reported Cost: $191.25

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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. Nancy (Wichita,  Kansas) paid $200 and said:

    Local salon charged this and I thought the hair looks great.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Colleen (Annandale,  Virginia) paid $200 and said:

    I was looking for root touch-up & a fresh cut. The process sounded nice, I assumed it would be similar to the cost of highlights – guess I should have asked first! Salon did a great job, hair looks great. Still shocked by the price. Might be worth it once a year or for special occasions.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Vicky (Scottsdale,  Arizona) paid $165 and said:

    I rounded up to $200 with a tip. It is totally worth it. I do this every six months. It grows out so nicely and blends in grays without having to have a root color that grows out and gives a different root color.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Thomas J Baker (Reston,  Virginia) paid $200 and said:

    $200. Worth the money. It looked fabulous.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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