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How Much Does Hair Dyeing Cost?

by Gabbi

Deciding to change your hair color comes with a lot of considerations. After all, you want to make sure the new color suits you, that your hair can sustain the damage, and that it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Figuring out how much dyeing your hair costs depends on a lot of factors, so it can be hard to estimate on your own. 

First, you have to figure out what color you want your hair to be. This will help estimate the costs because the price of hair dyeing often depends on whether you’ll have to lighten or darken your current color to get the color you want.

Next, you’ll have to figure out if you want to color your entire head or if you’re looking for partial colors, like ombre or highlights. Partial color can use less product, but it also calls for a more skillful application, so the costs can vary.

Lastly, you’ll need to decide where you’re getting your hair colored or simply bleached and toned. Premium salons can charge hundreds of dollars for a color process, whereas chain salons are a lot more affordable.

Maybe you feel comfortable enough to dye your own hair, in which case you’ll just have to purchase the supplies, which can save you a lot of money. 

So, how much does hair dyeing cost? On average, if you’re going to a salon, it will cost $80-200 for a single-process color application. If you’re doing it at home, it can cost $10-50 on average, however it could cost much more to correct it if it doesn’t work.

In this post, we will break down the costs for different types of color applications, so you can get an accurate estimate for how much your new color will cost you – whether you do it at a fancy salon or in your own bathroom.

Costs Of Dyeing Your Hair At A Salon 

Salons vary greatly across the country, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number. There are also lots of different salons out there – from premium-level celebrity salons to familiar chains like Supercuts. As you can imagine, there is a wide range of prices.

We did some research to find out the cost of hair dyeing at a few different salons, including some in major cities like New York, and some in smaller towns that nobody’s ever heard of. This experiment left us with the following price breakdown for most types of hair color processes:

Color TypeAverage Cost at Premium SalonAverage Cost at Chain Salon
Single-process color$85 – $250$25 – $75
Double-process color$175 – $350$45+
Highlights$120 – $250$35 – $100
Balayage$165 – $270N/A
Color + Highlight$220 – $300$45+
Root Touch-Up$40 – $120$15 – $40

As you can see, there is a lot of variability in pricing at premium hair salons. Many of them have different “levels” of stylists who charge more or less based on their experience level.

Some high-end salons also charge by the hour instead of service type. That way, they can do whatever is needed to be done to your hair and charge a flat hourly rate of $100-$150.

Chain salons are more affordable, but that comes with a different kind of cost. They are less likely to offer popular treatments like Olaplex when bleaching your hair, for example, leaving you with more damage. They also don’t offer many “trendy” color options like balayage and pastel colors.

Costs Of Dyeing Your Hair At Home

If you’re feeling creative (and confident enough) to dye your hair at home, you can save a lot of money. We compared the costs for some at-home hair dyeing solutions and came up with the following averages:

Color TypeAverage Cost
Single Color $8 – $35
Bleach / Lightening Kit$9 – $40
Highlights / Balayage Kit$7 – $22
Semi-Permanent Color$12 – $32

Keep in mind that these prices are for each box of color. If you have long hair, you may need to use two or even three boxes of color to cover your hair.

Also, the chances of box dye not coming out the way you expected it to, causing damage to your hair, or otherwise ruining your color are much higher with at-home dyes. You could end up paying a lot more to fix it down the road, which is why we always recommend just going to a salon if you can afford it.

However, if you insist on trying box dye at home, here’s a great video from professional hairdresser Sam Vay explaining the best methods for using box dye at home to avoid damaging your hair.

Single-Process Color

Single-process color refers to a technique where your whole head gets dyed one color. Typically, it’s a color that is darker than your own hair by up to 3 shades. For example, if you wanted to go from your light brown hair to a deep chocolate color, you’d get there through single-process color. 

This means that single-process color cannot lighten your hair or give you multidimensional highlights. The single-process color at most salons ranges from $85-250, depending on location, stylist experience, and level of the salon. 

If you were to do it at home, it would cost you around $8-35 depending on the brand of hair color kit you get. As you can see, the price difference between dyeing your hair at a salon and using a boxed kit at home is significant.

Single-process coloring is one of the simplest color transformations and can be done at home fairly safely and easily. If you are comfortable doing it yourself, you could save hundreds of dollars.

Double-Process Color

Double-process color is when your hair has to go through a two-step process to get you the color you want.

For example, if you want to go from dark brown hair to a light coppery red, you’ll need to get your brown hair lightened with bleach first, and then color over your lightened hair with a coppery red dye.

Bright and funky pastel colors usually require double-processing because your hair needs to be lightened to a very white blonde in order for bright colors to show up on it.

Double-process color is obviously more complicated and takes more time than single-process. Because of that, it costs more money.

At a typical premium salon, it would cost you an average of $175-350 to get your hair dyed through a double-process color.

Chain salons are a little more affordable, but we discovered that many of them are not even offering double-process colorings due to how complicated they are.

If you were to do it at home, it would cost around $9-40 for the first step (bleaching) and $8-35 for the second step (coloring) for a total of $17-75. 

Keep in mind that attempting this type of dyeing process at home can be risky. You can easily damage your hair while bleaching it at home, and putting so much boxed dye on it in rapid succession can make it look very fried.

Partial Hair Color

Partial hair color refers to highlights, balayage, ombre, and other techniques where only part of your hair gets colored.

There are lots of different techniques that can be used, so prices vary a lot from salon to salon. This is where it’s worth doing some research and finding a stylist that can create your vision.

It’s easy to mess up highlights and leave you with thick streaks from the 2000s – so it’s important to invest in someone who can do it well.

Salons charge anywhere from $120-270 on average for highlights and balayage (can vary based on full vs partial balayage). Chain salons often offer partial highlights for $35-100 depending on the length of your hair, and they rarely offer balayage or other higher-end techniques.

If you were to do your own highlights or balayage at home, you would need to invest in a bleach kit or a special highlighting kit. Those typically go for $7-40 depending on what kit you end up using. 

Keep in mind, however, that it’s very hard to do a technique like balayage on yourself. If you’re going to attempt it, try to find a friend or someone who can help you.

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Silver

If you’re thinking of dyeing your hair silver and wondering how much it will cost, we did the math.

In order to dye your hair silver, your hair needs to undergo the following steps:

  1. Bleach to the lightest shade of blonde, almost white
  2. Tone the hair to remove any remaining yellow tones
  3. Dye the hair with a silver/grey dye

How much would it cost?

At A Salon

If you go to a professional, which is recommended for this type of hair transformation, the whole process may take 4-6 hours and might need to be broken up over the course of two days.

Bleaching your hair and toning it would cost on average $175-350, then adding the silver color would cost $45-100.

Total salon cost: $220-450 

This does not include the potential added cost of using Olaplex or other treatments to preserve your hair, so if you are starting out with really dark hair color, expect to pay more.

At Home

If you were to attempt this color at home, you still need to follow the same steps: bleach, tone, and color.

Bleaching and toning can be done for $15-40 if you get your supplies at a beauty supply store.

The final step, the silver color, costs around $9-32.

Total at-home cost: $24-72

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Blonde

If you’re going from a dark color to blonde, you will have to take the following steps:

  1. Bleach your hair to your desired level
  2. Tone it to remove brassiness and yellow tones
  3. Apply blonde dye (optional – sometimes the toner is enough)

If you go to a salon, your stylist will usually do a consultation with you to figure out what type of blonde color you want. After all, there are darker blondes, strawberry blondes, platinum blondes, champagne blonde – the list goes on.

Depending on your goal, the price will be different. Your stylist will be able to give you a good estimate based on how long they think it’ll take and how much they will need to lift your current color.

At A Salon

Typical cost of dyeing your hair blonde at a salon will be $180-350. As with any bleaching, your stylist may suggest doing a protective treatment on your hair like Olaplex, which typically adds to the overall cost.

Total salon cost: $180-350

At Home

If you’re attempting to go blonde at home, keep in mind that the risks are high. If you’re starting with very dark hair or if you currently have a dark hair dye in your hair, the bleach might have to sit in your hair for a long time.

You could easily end up damaging your hair.

However, you’d save a lot of money! Dyeing your hair blonde at home is as easy as bleaching it to your desired level ($8-40) and then toning it ($7-12) to the blonde shade you want. Sometimes the toner might not give you the perfect color, so you might have to go over it with an additional blonde dye.

Total at-home cost: $15-52

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Blue

Blue is a trendy hair color these days, and it can be done in many different ways. 

If you want a bright and vibrant blue, you’ll have to start with light hair. The process is similar to dyeing your hair silver or pastel – you need a light, almost white base for it.

If you are looking to put blue over your existing color without lightening, it can still look really good. Just keep in mind that it will be as dark as your current hair color with blue tones laid over it.

Depending on which path you choose, the price can vary. We’ve done some research to figure out the most accurate costs for dyeing your hair blue at a salon and at home.

At A Salon

If you’re not looking to lighten your hair, and just want to put blue over your current color, salons will charge for a single-process color, which is around $85-250. 

If you do decide to lighten your hair first, it would be considered a double-process color, and it will cost $175-350.

Total salon cost: $85-350

At Home

Dyeing your hair blue at home is simple, especially if you are not looking to bleach it first. There are lots of permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary blue hair dyes on the market ranging from $7-28.

If you decide to bleach your hair first, you’ll need to buy a bleaching kit for about $9-40, and then put the blue dye over it. 

Total at-home cost: $7-68

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Green

Dyeing your hair green is a very similar process to dyeing your hair blue. You’ll need to decide if you want to lighten your hair first or if you want the green to go right on top of your current color – and the costs will depend on that. 

At A Salon

If you don’t want to bleach your hair before getting it dyed green, your stylist will charge you $85-250 for the green color alone. If you want them to bleach it first, expect it to cost $175-350.

Total salon cost: $85-350

At Home

Similarly to the blue dye, you can get it done inexpensively at home if you’re not lightening your hair first, by simply buying a green dye for around $7-28. 

If you choose to bleach first, add the cost of a bleaching kit to that estimate.

Total at-home cost: $7-68

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Purple

To dye your hair purple, you will likely need to start out with medium to light hair in order for the purple to show up. If you already have medium or light hair, you can simply use a single-process color application. If not, you’ll need a double process since your hair will need to be lightened first.

At A Salon

Dyeing your hair purple through a single-process color application will cost you around $85-250, and around $175-350 if your stylist needs to bleach it first.

Keep in mind that if you’re going for a light purple or lavender, you’ll almost always have to bleach the hair first. 

Total salon cost: $85-350

At Home

If you’re just applying purple color over your current hair, it’ll cost $7-28. If you’re bleaching first, you’ll add $9-40 for the bleaching kit.

Total at-home cost: $7-68

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Red

If you’re dying to become a redhead, you’re in luck. Most people can go red with a single-process color application, meaning you don’t need to spend a fortune.

However, if your hair is currently dark, your stylist might need to lighten it a tad to get the red color to show up better.

This can add to the cost, but it won’t be as expensive as some of the more vibrant colors like blondes and pastels.

At A Salon

Dyeing your hair red at a salon will usually run you about $85-250 for a red that’s applied directly to your current color. If your stylist needs to lift your current color, the cost may go up to $120-300.

Total salon cost: $85-300

At Home

Going red at home is affordable. A pack of red dye can be anywhere from $8-30. 

They even have some red hair dyes that can be applied to dark hair and lighten it a few shades while depositing the red color, like this Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color. This means you don’t even need to buy a separate bleaching kit! 

Total at-home cost: $8-30

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Brown

Looking to transform your locks into beautiful chocolate brown? It’s a pretty straightforward process. 

For most people, it will take a single-process color application to get their hair to a brown shade. Unless your hair is jet black or platinum blonde, switching to brown is easy.

If you do have black or light blonde hair, your stylist might need to do some color correction to ensure that your resulting brown color looks right.

At A Salon

Since going brown usually requires a simple color application, most salons will charge their base rate of $85-250. Brown is such a simple color to do, that some chain hair salons can also do it, for as little as $25-75.

Total salon cost: $25-250

At Home

Dyeing your hair brown at home is as simple as buying a box of brown hair dye. In fact, for most people who are looking to go brown, we’d suggest doing it at home because of how simple and cost-effective it is.

However, if your current color is light blonde or black, you’ll probably need to do it at a salon to get a good result.

Total at-home cost: $7-28

Cost Of Dyeing Your Hair Black

Raven-black hair is always in style. If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can choose to get it done at a salon or at home.

We’d recommend going to a professional if your starting color is light brown or lighter. This is because black dyes usually have some cool bluish-green tones that can show up when applied directly to light hair. 

Your stylist can tone your hair before applying black to prevent it from looking too green or blue. 

However, if you’re starting with medium-brown hair or darker, you can get away with simply putting a black hair dye directly on your hair and getting amazing results.

At A Salon

Going black at a salon will cost you the typical single-process color application fee of $85-250 at a premium salon, or $25-75 at a chain salon.

The cost may vary depending on how much your stylist will need to tone or fill your original color to prepare it for black. 

Total salon cost: $25-250

At Home

Provided that your hair is already medium-brown or darker, dyeing your hair black at home will be as easy as picking up a black hair dye kit for $7-28.

If your hair is lighter than medium brown and you don’t want to go to a salon, make sure to prep your hair by first dyeing it red or auburn. You can then apply the black dye over your auburn hair and you won’t have to worry about any green or blue tones popping through!

Total at-home cost: $7+

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