How Much Does It Cost to Get Highlights?

Wondering how much highlights cost? You’re not alone—about 40% of salon-goers opt for some form of hair coloring. For many women, the transformative power of highlights—boosting confidence and elevating style—often outweighs the cost, making it a worthwhile investment in their self-expression. But, how much is it?

The cost of getting highlights varies widely based on location, salon reputation, and hair length. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $150. High-end salons in metropolitan areas may charge upwards of $200. Keep in mind maintenance and additional treatments like toner can add to the overall cost.

Get ready to step into the spotlight with highlights that not only elevate your hairstyle but also make your confidence irresistibly radiant!

Why Are Highlights So Expensive?

Highlighting hair isn’t just about adding streaks of color; it’s an intricate art that demands a combination of skill, expertise, and the right products. Professional stylists undergo extensive training and continuously update their skills through workshops to master the latest techniques.

However, the process itself can be time-consuming, and the longer it takes, the more it will cost. Depending on the desired outcome and the method used, a highlighting session can span several hours.

The salon’s location and reputation also factor into the cost. An upscale neighborhood or a salon with a celebrity clientele can command higher prices. Moreover, the tools and equipment, especially those specific to certain highlighting techniques, add to the overall expense.

What is the Average Cost of Highlights?

When considering hair highlights, one of the primary concerns for many is the cost. On average, hair coloring and highlights range between $50 and $150. However, this is a broad spectrum, and the actual price you might pay can fall anywhere within this range or even outside it.

Cost Based on Types of Highlighting Methods

Type of HighlightDescriptionAverage Cost
TraditionalClassic method using foils to create a uniform look.$50 – $150
BalayageFreehand painting technique for a sun-kissed look.$50 – $90
PinturaDesigned for curly hair, emphasizes natural curls.$100 – $120
OmbreThe stark contrast between dark roots and lighter ends.Starting at $150
PartialHighlights cover less than half of the head.$45 – $55
Full HeadHighlights cover the entire head.$80 – $100
LowlightsDarker shades were added to introduce depth and dimension.Starting at $75

Traditional Highlights: $50 – $150

Traditional highlights involve the classic method of using foils to separate strands of hair, which are then lightened to create a uniform and evenly distributed look. This technique is ideal for those seeking a consistent and classic highlighted appearance.

The cost can vary based on hair length, as longer hair may require more foils. Additionally, the number of foils used and the reputation of the salon can also influence the price.

Balayage Highlights: $50 – $90

Derived from the French term meaning “to sweep,” balayage involves freehand painting on the hair, creating a sun-kissed, natural gradient. It’s perfect for those seeking a more organic transition between colors.

The complexity of the desired look, hair length, and the stylist’s experience can all play a role in determining the cost.

Pintura Highlights: $100 – $120

Pintura is a technique specifically designed for curly hair. The term “pintura” means “painting” in Portuguese. This method emphasizes and enhances the hair’s natural curls by hand-painting individual curls.

The cost can be influenced by the hair’s density, the number of curls that need highlighting, and the expertise of the stylist, especially since it’s a specialized technique.

Ombre Highlights: Starting at $150

Ombre provides a stark contrast between dark roots and dramatically lighter ends. This bold gradient is ideal for those looking for a trendy and standout look.

Factors influencing the cost include the introduction of multiple transition shades, the length of the hair, and the maintenance required, especially if the contrast is intense.

Partial Highlights: $45 – $55

Partial highlights involve coloring sections of the hair, typically covering less than half of the head. This technique is a great option for those looking for a subtle change or to frame the face.

The cost can vary based on the number of foils used, the strategic placement of the highlights, and the thickness of the hair.

Full Head Highlights: $80 – $100

Full head highlights involve coloring the majority, if not all, of the hair. This technique offers a complete transformation and a multi-dimensional look.

The cost is influenced by factors such as hair length and volume, the number of foils used, and the choice of colors.

Lowlights: Starting at $75

Lowlights introduce darker tones to the hair, adding depth and dimension. They’re perfect for achieving a more textured appearance.

The cost of lowlights can be influenced by the depth of the chosen shade, the technique used (hand-painted vs. foiled), and the frequency of introducing lowlights alongside highlights.

Price for Highlights By State

StateAverage Appointment Cost

Factors That Contribute to Cost Differences Between States.

As you can see, the price of highlights can vary significantly from one state to another. Several factors contribute to these price differences:

  1. Cost of Living: States with a higher cost of living, such as California or New York, often have higher salon service prices compared to states with a lower cost of living.
  2. Salon Location: Within a state, urban areas or cities with a higher population density, like Los Angeles or New York City, tend to have higher prices than rural areas. This is due to higher rent costs, increased demand, and the availability of high-end salons in metropolitan areas.
  3. Salon Reputation and Expertise: Salons with a renowned reputation or those that employ stylists with specialized training and certifications might charge more for their services, regardless of the state.
  4. Supply and Demand: In areas where certain hair services are in high demand, prices might be higher. For instance, a state with a significant beach culture might see higher demand (and possibly higher prices) for sun-kissed balayage highlights.
  5. State Regulations: Some states have stricter regulations and licensing requirements for cosmetologists, which might influence the cost of services.
  6. Economic Factors: Local economic conditions, average income levels, and the presence of high-end clientele can influence salon pricing.

While these are general factors that can influence the price of highlights in different states, it’s always a good idea to check with local salons for specific pricing.

Additionally, promotional offers, loyalty discounts, and package deals can also affect the final cost, regardless of the state.

How Does Hair Length Affect Highlights Cost?

The length of one’s hair plays a significant role in determining the cost of highlights. Generally, longer hair requires more product, time, and expertise, leading to higher costs.

When highlighting longer hair, stylists often need to use more foils or spend additional time hand-painting for techniques like balayage. This not only increases the amount of product used but also extends the appointment duration.

On the other hand, shorter hair typically incurs a lower cost for highlights, as it requires less product and time. However, it’s worth noting that while length is a key factor, other elements such as hair thickness, desired look, and the specific highlighting technique chosen also influence the final price.

Cost By Highlighting Techniques

The technique in which a hair stylist uses can also influence the overall cost:

TechniqueDescriptionAverage Cost Range
Foil HighlightsTraditional methods use foils to intensify color. More pronounced results.$50 to $150 or more
Cap HighlightsThe older method involves a plastic cap. Less precise but can be cost-effective for shorter hair.$30 to $100
Etching/Hair PaintingThe Freehand technique allows for artistic, customized results. Requires high skill and precision.$70 to $200 or more

Foil Highlights

This is one of the most traditional methods of highlighting. Hair strands are sectioned off and wrapped in foils after the color or bleach is applied. The foils help to intensify the color processing and achieve more pronounced results.

Given its systematic approach and the materials involved, foil highlighting can be moderately priced. However, the cost can vary based on the number of foils used and the stylist’s expertise.

On average, foil highlights can range from $50 to $150 or more, depending on factors like hair length and salon location.

Cap Highlights

Cap highlighting involves pulling strands of hair through tiny holes in a plastic cap and then applying the color or bleach. This method is often considered more old-fashioned and is less commonly used today, especially for longer hair, as it can be uncomfortable and less precise than other techniques.

However, it can be a cost-effective option for those with shorter hair or those seeking a more subtle, blended look. Prices for cap highlights typically range from $30 to $100.

Etching or Hair Painting

Etching, also known as hair painting, is a freehand technique where the colorist applies color directly to the hair without using foils or caps. It allows for a more artistic and customized approach, often resulting in a more natural, sun-kissed look.

Because of the skill and precision required, etching can be on the pricier side. Prices can vary widely based on the stylist’s experience and the desired look, but they often range from $70 to $200 or more.

Tips for Saving Money on Highlights

Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it comes to beauty treatments:

  • Package Deals: Many salons offer packages that combine hair coloring, cutting, and treatments, often at a discounted rate.
  • Prep at Home: Washing and detangling your hair before your appointment can save time and potentially reduce costs.
  • Junior Stylists: Opting for a less experienced stylist can be more affordable. They’re often supervised by senior stylists, ensuring quality.
  • Avoid Salon Products: While salon products are high-quality, they come with a markup. Consider purchasing similar products from beauty supply stores.

Wrapping It Up

The cost of getting highlights is far from uniform, influenced by a medley of factors that can make your bill fluctuate. While you might find prices ranging from $60 to $200, this range isn’t arbitrary. Geographic location is a key determinant, with urban salons often charging more due to higher operating expenses.

The salon’s standing and the stylist’s level of expertise can also tip the scales, as seasoned professionals usually command higher fees. Your hair’s length and texture add another layer of complexity, as they can require additional time and product.

Ultimately, for those who see highlights as an investment in their self-image and confidence, the price becomes a secondary consideration in the quest for radiant, dimensional locks.

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