How much does it cost to dye your hair? Well, that depends on a few factors. But don’t worry — we cover each of these in complete detail. Read on to learn all you need to know.
How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair?
Before you opt for a new hair color, you should learn about how much the process will cost. How much does it cost to dye your hair? How does the cost of getting your hair dyed at a salon compare with the cost of doing it yourself at home?
The Quick Answer
Hair coloring and highlights cost between $50 and $70 on average, but you’ll pay as little as $35 at a salon like Supercuts. Expect to pay between $100 and $150 for more complex services like Balayage, Babylights, or Ombre highlights. At-home hair color kits cost between $5 and $40.
The saying “Where you end up depends on where you start” applies here. If you come into a salon with virgin, untreated hair, it’s going to be a lot easier for your stylist to work with. Less time invested in your session means a lower price for you.
But if you come in with the remnants of black box hair dye on your locks and want to go platinum, it’s going to be a massive headache for your stylist to fix and probably won’t happen in a single visit. Multiple visits mean higher costs.
There are actually several factors that affect how much it costs to dye your hair. These include:
- Location of the salon
- Experience of the stylist
- Type of dye and technique used
- Length and condition of your hair
And if you’re choosing to go at it alone at home, the main cost factor is the brand of color and shade you choose. We’ll talk about all the factors that affect the overall cost in this guide.
We’ve also got a complete list of hair dye prices, along with the types of hair dye you can choose from and the most popular dye techniques to ask for.
Protect your colored hair with our favorite products:
How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair at a Salon?
Going to a hair salon to get your hair colored, bleached, highlighted, or toned is always the safest bet. Experienced stylists will steer you in the right direction and color for your hair.
They’ll recommend warmer or cooler tones that will perfectly accent your skin tone and eye color. After all, they know the correct techniques to use when applying the dye to ensure the end result is flawless.
They know how long to leave the color on your hair, which types of dye are best for your hair, and when your hair is just too damaged or processed to accept a new color.
We can go on and on about the benefits of having your hair dyed in a salon instead of doing it yourself at home. Let’s talk about the actual price you’ll pay for hair color in a salon and the factors that affect the overall cost.
Average Hair Highlights Cost
|Salon single process color||$50 - $100+|
|Salon double process color||$100 - $200+|
|Salon ombre, sombre, balayage||$125+|
|Salon color correction||$100/hr|
|Additional color/toner||$20 - $50+|
The average, mid-range salon in the U.S. charges $50-$70 for a single process hair color. Chain salons like Supercuts start at about $35+ for all-over color. Higher-end salons charge anywhere from $100+ for this.
Single process color refers to all-over color that is deposited in one go. Typically, single process hair color is applied in a shade that is no more than 2-3 shades darker than your current color.
If you’re going with a lighter color all over or a vibrant color, your stylist will have to lighten your hair before applying the dye. This is a double process color. That will add to the cost, making the color cost $100-$175.
Opting for an ombre or sombre effect? That technique requires more artistry on the part of your stylist, and usually requires a double process. That will be reflected in the cost, which will usually be $115+.
If you’re just going in for a root touch-up, your cost will be lower. You might pay $30 to $60 for this service, which is basically a single process color that uses less dye.
Tip color starts around $25 at Supercuts. Each additional shade of color or toner used to get your desired result will tack about $20-$40 onto the final price.
And if you’re going to a salon for a major lift (dark brown to light blond, for example) or color correction (we’ve all been there), your stylist might charge you by the hour instead.
The price per hour will vary widely, but we’ve seen that a lot of stylists charge about $100/hour. The prices above are averages, but several factors affect the actual price you pay.
The salon’s location, stylist’s experience level, how busy the stylist is, your hair’s current condition, and the techniques required to get your results will all play into the cost.
And don’t forget about the raw cost of the products your stylist will use to make it happen.
How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair at Home?
What if you’re feeling creative and want to dye your hair at home? How much will that cost? It’s quite a bit cheaper to color your hair at home, but most stylists can vouch: The potential savings aren’t always worth it.
Did you notice the $100/hr average color correction cost above? There’s a reason stylists charge so much to fix a botched color. It’s a lot of detailed work that requires precision, expertise, a lot of product, time, and patience.
But suppose you use a quality color that isn’t a radical change from your current color and pay careful attention to the instructions and application. In that case, it’s totally possible to get a great hair color or touch-up at home.
Here’s what you can expect to shell out for an at-home hair color.
|Home hair dye kit||$7 - $40|
|Home bleaching/lightening kit||$10 - $30|
|Toner kit||$5 - $15|
Stylists agree that the best-case scenario for at-home hair color is going 2-3 shades darker than your current color.
This is a single process color that you’ll apply all over your hair, saturating every strand. After it processes for the correct time, you’ll rinse it out and blow dry to see the results. If your hair is overly porous or damaged, color can “grab” or penetrate damaged areas faster, making them appear darker than the rest. These areas may also have different tonal qualities (think smoky or ashy). So, you will want to follow application techniques for damaged hair rather than apply the color root-to-tip.
If you’re going for a lighter hair color, or opting for a vibrant color like blue, purple, or pink, you’re going to need to bleach or lighten your hair before applying the new color. That’s where a lot of hair DIYers run into trouble.
You can purchase a bleaching kit at any beauty supply store that’s open to the public, which contains a bleaching powder and a cream developer that lifts the color of your hair to a lighter shade.
Typically, a toner is needed to remove any brassiness from the resulting color. Take care to use a developer that won’t damage your hair. For most shades of hair, 20 or 30 volume developer is enough to get the job done.
If you have very dark or stubborn hair that doesn’t easily lift, you might opt for 40 volume developer. If you find your dark hair is stuck in the orange/yellow tone and won’t lift any higher, don’t continue bleaching.
Just contact a stylist and see how you can safely lift the color without further damaging your hair. If you plan to dye your hair at home, you might spend about $45 if you get all the supplies you need for a great color.
If you’re lucky enough to have a go-to stylist that you’re just unable to book an appointment with right now, contact them and ask them to help walk you through the process.
Types of Hair Dye
When you get your hair dyed (or do it yourself), you will need to choose from a few different types of dye. The length of time you’d like to have the new color should be your main deciding factor.
But make sure to also consider the overall health and integrity of your hair. If you’re unsure which type of hair dye to use, ask for your stylist’s recommendation.
Temporary Hair Dye
- Lasts: 1-5 shampoos
Temporary hair dye isn’t usually what you think of when it comes to coloring your hair. These short-term dyes will wash out with a few shampoos.
Don’t use temporary hair color if your hair is extremely porous or damaged. It can stain your hair an unflattering, faded shade of the original temporary dye.
Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
- Lasts: 8-10 shampoos
Semi-permanent hair dye is the next step up from temporary. These dyes are gentler than their longer-lasting cousins, demi-permanent and permanent, because they don’t contain ammonia.
Most people use semi-permanent hair dye to cover grays, do root touch-ups, while growing out permanent hair color, or to maintain shine and glossiness.
Demi-Permanent Hair Dye
- Lasts: 20-24 shampoos
If you’re a little more committed to the color you want, you might opt for a demi-permanent dye. These dyes don’t contain ammonia, but are mixed with a little developer (peroxide) that allows the color to penetrate the hair cuticle to last longer.
Temporary and semi-permanent dyes don’t actually penetrate the hair, but coat it. Since this type of dye gets into the hair, it will last up to 10 weeks if you’re using a gentle shampoo for color-treated hair.
This is ideal for gray coverage, root touch-ups, blending colors, toning highlights, and refreshing permanent colors.
Permanent Hair Dye
- Lasts: 6-8 weeks+
Permanent hair dye is the real deal. While it is vibrant for about 6-8 weeks, after that, your roots will begin to grow out, and the dye will need to be touched up.
Technically, permanent dye will stay on your hair until it’s cut off. But to look good, it’s going to need regular touch-ups.
Permanent dye does contain ammonia and is mixed with a developer to allow the color to penetrate the hair cuticle for long-lasting color.
Use permanent dye if you’re planning on sticking with a color for a long time. It offers the highest level of gray coverage.
- Lasts: Permanent
Bleach permanently lifts your hair’s color to a lighter shade, and it’s usually used in conjunction with a toner or hair color applied over the bleached hair.
Whether you’re going blond or just selecting a lighter hair color than you currently have, bleach will be required to lift hair beyond 2-3 shades.
Bleach can be applied all over, to the ends, or in small sections to create highlights. Stylists use bleach powder and a developer to lighten the hair to the right level.
If you’re after a drastic change, your stylist might schedule more than one visit to gradually lighten your hair. This avoids damaging it in the process.
Henna Hair Dye
- Lasts: 4-6 weeks
Henna dye is not as commonly used, but it’s growing in popularity. Made from the henna plant, it’s a natural dye with a reddish color.
There’s not many color options with henna hair dye, but it won’t cause an allergic reaction and will last for 4-6 weeks before fading.
Hair Dye Techniques
These are some of the popular techniques used in salons to apply different types of hair dye. Which technique are you hoping to have done?
Single Process Color
- Starting price: $35+
Want one hair color all over? That’s a single process color, and it provides uniform coverage. Single process color doesn’t have to be boring or one-dimensional.
Your stylist can mix a few shades together to create added dimension and depth in the color.
A single process color doesn’t take as long as other types and is great for gray coverage, going 2-3 shades darker, plus adding shine and gloss.
Double Process Color
- Starting price: $100+
If you are opting for a hair color that is much lighter or more vibrant than your current shade, you will need a double process color. In a double process, the hair is first lightened (all over or sections) before a color is applied to the lightened hair.
Stylists use a double process to provide a lighter canvas on which to paint the new hair color, whether it’s a shade of blonde, brunette, or something more colorful. Double process color takes longer than single process and always costs more.
- Starting price: $150+
The ombre technique starts with a dark base (your natural hair color, if it’s dark enough) that gradually lightens through the ends of the hair.
Unlike balayage highlights, which are similarly painted on the middle to ends of hair, ombre hair color doesn’t just touch the surface of the hair. The lighter hair color at the ends will fully saturate all layers of your hair.
The result is a dark root area that fades into a much lighter shade at the tips of the hair. Usually, an ombre effect requires a double process.
- Starting price: $100+
If full ombre color is a little too much for you, consider the sombre technique. Sombre stands for “subtle ombre.” It’s a gentler transition of color, typically from a light shade of brunette into blonde.
Ask for caramel sombre, mocha sombre, or bronde sombre to get the gradient look of the ombre technique without as much color saturation at the ends. A sombre effect might require a double process.
- Starting price: $150
If you like the gradient color of ombre and balayage dye techniques but aren’t a fan of lighter ends, you might like the reverse ombre. Here, hair is lightened at the roots midway down.
Then darker color is blended from the ends of the hair upward. The result is an inverted or reversed ombre effect, with dark ends and light roots.
- Starting price: $25+
You might like the look of tip color, where hair dye is applied only to the ends of the hair without seamlessly blending upward. The result is a stark contrast between the color on the tips and the rest of your hair.
Many people opt for vibrant colors on the ends, like blues, reds, or pinks. You can also do blond, brunette, or black tips for added interest.
- Starting price: $30+
If you’ve had a permanent hair color done and it’s growing out, or if you’d like to color your roots to blend or contrast nicely with your ombre or sombre color, a quick root touch-up is the technique your stylist will use.
Here, color is applied only at the roots and gently feathered outward to ensure the roots will blend with the rest of the hair.
A root touch-up is a single process color and shouldn’t take more than an hour. It’s usually priced lower than an all-over single-process because less color is used.
So, How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair?
We’ve looked at a ton of options when it comes to dying your hair. You can have it done professionally in a salon, or you can do it yourself at home.
You can choose from temporary, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, permanent, bleach, or henna hair color.
You can opt for an all-over color that is lighter or darker than your current color, ombre, sombre, reverse ombre, tip color, a root touch-up, or any color technique your stylist recommends.
But with all these options in mind, one of the most important things to come back to is the overall cost. How much does it cost to dye your hair? Here’s a quick review.
- All-over hair color (1 color) done in a salon will cost around $50-$100+ on average. It’s cheaper (starting at $35) at Supercuts, so keep that in mind.
- At home, you’ll pay $5-$45+, depending on the brand of hair color you buy and whether or not you need a toner.
- For double-process hair color (lightened, then dyed) in a salon, you’ll pay $100-$175+. At home, expect to pay anywhere from $20-$70 for the bleach/lightening kit, toner, and hair color.
Getting your hair dyed isn’t the cheapest service to get in a salon, but it will give you more peace of mind than doing it yourself if you’re inexperienced.
Your stylist can help you determine which type of hair dye is best suited for your hair type and condition, plus the results you want.
They can also help pinpoint the perfect shade to accentuate your skin tone and features. And if something does go wrong, they’ll know exactly how to fix it.