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How much should I pay for hair color and cut?

Getting your hair colored and cut can be an expensive endeavor, especially at high-end salons in major cities. However, there are ways to get a great look without breaking the bank. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how much you can expect to pay for hair color and cuts based on your location, hair length and style.

Average Cost of Haircuts

The average price for a haircut in the United States ranges from $30 to $100. However, prices can vary widely depending on these factors:

  • Your location – Haircuts in small towns and rural areas tend to be cheaper than big cities
  • Salon type – High-end salons charge more than neighborhood barbershops
  • Stylist experience – Master stylists will charge more than assistants
  • Hair length – Long hair requires more work so costs more
  • Hair type – Thick, curly hair takes more time

Here are some average haircut prices in different cities across the US:

City Average Cost
New York City $70 – $150
Los Angeles $50 – $120
Chicago $40 – $100
Houston $30 – $80
Phoenix $30 – $70
Rural Town $15 – $35

As you can see, haircut prices tend to be highest in major metropolitan areas like NYC and LA. The range gives you an idea of prices from inexpensive neighborhood salons to upscale downtown spots.

Factors That Affect Haircut Pricing

These factors impact the price of your haircut:

Salon Type

Where you get your haircut makes a big difference in price. High-end salons in affluent areas cost more than chain salons or barbershops. Here are average prices:

  • Chain salons (Great Clips, Sports Clips): $15 – $40
  • Neighborhood salons: $25 – $60
  • Upscale boutique salons: $60 – $150
  • Barbershops: $15 – $45

Stylist Experience

Top stylists who have been working for years charge more than assistants fresh out of beauty school. Expect to pay:

  • Assistants/apprentices: $20 – $50
  • Experienced stylists: $40 – $150
  • Master stylists/salon owners: $100 – $300+

Hair Length & Type

Hair that is longer or needs more detailed cutting will cost more. Thick, curly hair also takes more work. Average prices based on length:

  • Pixie cut or very short: $30 – $75
  • Chin/shoulder length: $40 – $100
  • Bra strap length: $50 – $120
  • Extra long: $70 – $150+

Add $10-20+ for thick or curly hair.

Blow Drying & Styling

A cut alone tends to start around $30-50. Blow drying, styling and finishing can add $15-$30 or more to the price:

  • Wash only: $0
  • Cut only: $30 – $60
  • Wash, cut & blow dry: $45 – $100
  • Wash, cut, blow dry & style: $60 – $150+

Updos, braiding or heat styling will also boost the cost.

Add-On Services

Salons offer a range of add-on services that can increase your ticket total like:

  • Deep conditioning treatments: $10 – $30
  • Split end trims: $10 – $40
  • Beard trim: $5 – $30
  • Bang trim: $10 – $25

Think about which extras you really need and talk to your stylist about pricing.

Average Cost of Hair Color

Like haircuts, the price of hair coloring varies widely based on where you go and what kind of service you get. Here are some averages:

  • Root touch up: $50 – $80
  • Partial highlights: $75 – $150
  • Full head highlights: $100 – $250
  • Single process color: $50 – $120
  • Double process color: $100 – $200
  • Balayage/Ombre: $100 – $275
  • Permanent waves: $80 – $150
  • Keratin treatment: $150 – $500

A full head of foils or fashion color techniques like balayage will cost the most. Root touch ups in between full color services are cheaper.

Factors That Impact Hair Color Prices

Like cuts, many factors go into the price of hair coloring:

Salon Type

Budget chain salons tend to charge less for color than high-end boutiques. Expect to pay:

  • Chain salons: $40 – $100
  • Neighborhood salons: $50 – $150
  • Boutique salons: $100 – $300

Hair Length & Thickness

Long, thick hair requires more product and time. Prices tend to be:

  • Pixie cut: $40 – $80
  • Shoulder length: $50 – $120
  • Bra strap length: $70 – $180
  • Extra long/thick hair: $100 – $300

Color Technique

Some color techniques take much longer than others. For example:

  • Roots only: $50 – $100
  • Partial foils: $60 – $150
  • Full head foils: $120 – $250
  • Balayage: $150 – $275
  • Ombre: $100 – $220
  • Color correction: $100 – $300

Advanced techniques require more product, time and skill to perform.

Number of Colors

The more colors you get, the higher the cost. For example:

  • Single process: $50 – $100
  • Double process (highlights + color): $100 – $250
  • Triple process (lowlights + highlights + color): $150 – $300

Salon Location

Major cities like Los Angeles and New York City tend to have the highest rates:

City Average Color Cost
Los Angeles $90 – $300
Seattle $100 – $250
Portland $90 – $180
Denver $70 – $200
Dallas $60 – $150
Atlanta $80 – $220
New York City $150 – $350

Smaller towns and rural areas tend to be much cheaper for the same services.

Tips for Savings on Haircuts and Color

While great hair often costs money, there are ways to save on cuts and color:

  • Go to chain salons like Great Clips instead of high-end boutiques
  • Ask new stylists for the lowest rate
  • Get student discounts at cosmetology schools
  • Look for salons with new client promotions
  • Get just a root touch up instead of full color
  • Consider at-home root touch up kits for in between salon visits
  • Ask your stylist for money-saving tips like balayage instead of full foils
  • Cut down on extra services like deep conditioning
  • Bring your own hair products instead of using salon brands
  • Book on weekdays instead of weekends for lower rates at some salons
  • Negotiate prices for packaged services

With some planning and research, you can find affordable options for staying stylish. Talk to your stylist about ways to maximize your budget.

When Should You Pay More?

While it’s always nice to save money, there are times when it pays to spend a little extra on your hair:

  • Drastic color/style change – Going from dark to blonde or a short bob to long layers requires an experienced colorist and careful cut. This is not the time to cheap out.
  • Damage correction – If your hair is overprocessed or heat damaged, pay for Olaplex or Brazilian treatments to get it healthy.
  • Curly hair care – Invest in stylists specialized in cutting and styling curls to avoid damage.
  • Natural black hair – Find stylists experienced with Black hair textures to ensure proper care.
  • Special occasions – Pay extra for formal hairstyling for weddings, proms, photo shoots, etc.

It’s worth spending more upfront to avoid expensive corrections and damage control down the road.

How to Budget for Hair Care

Regular haircuts and color can get expensive over time. Here are some tips for budgeting:

Set Up a Hair Care Fund

Open a dedicated savings account and set aside money monthly to cover your average costs. Make it part of your budget.

Get Gift Cards for Birthdays/Holidays

Ask for gift cards to your favorite salons for gifts to offset costs.

Negotiate a Package

Ask your stylist for discounted rates if you pre-pay for multiple services at once.

Extend Time Between Appointments

Wait 8-10 weeks instead of 6-8 weeks for touch ups to reduce salon trips per year.

Do At-Home Root Touch Ups

DIY root cover up kits can save $30-50 in between full color appointments.

Learn DIY Tricks

Watch online tutorials to trim and style your hair at home in between cuts.

The Bottom Line

Haircuts typically range from $30 to $150 and hair color starts around $50 and can go up to $300 or more depending on where you go and the services you choose. With some smart shopping, budgeting and DIY tricks, you can avoid spending a small fortune to look your best.

The most important thing is to find an experienced, trusted stylist. It’s worth investing more in someone who knows how to properly care for your hair type and achieve the looks you want. With the right stylist, you can maximize your budget for beautiful hair all year long!