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Professional Stylists vs. Home Box Dyes: How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair?

Cute African American women with red curly hair asking a hair colorist how much it cost to dye your hair.

Whether you’re simply looking to change your natural hair color or you want to prevent your hair from graying, it’s important to understand the cost of dying your hair.

How Much Does It Cost to Dye Your Hair?

The cost to dye your hair depends on whether you pay a professional hairstylist (i.e., colorist) at a beauty salon for services or color your hair at home using a DIY box kit. Costs also vary from location to location. On average, it costs $100 per month to dye your hair at a beauty salon and anywhere from $3-$20 per month using DIY box kits. 

National Average$100 per month
Professional Hair Salons (average range)$50-$150 per month
DIY Home Box Kits (average range)$3-$20 per month

Keep reading because this article has everything you need to know about the costs of hair coloring techniques, including price differences between paying a professional hairstylist to color your hair and buying hair dye kits to use at home. 

We also look at other costly consequences you may not have yet considered (i.e., hair type, hair length, hair products, and much more). 

The Cost of Professional Services vs. DIY Options

Pretty black lady on dark background with red curly hair looking seriously into the camera.

The cost to dye your hair varies based on whether you pay for professional hair coloring services (i.e., using a hair stylist or colorist) or opt to make it a do-it-yourself project. 

The location also matters as the cost of getting your hair dyed by a salon’s colorist can vary from business to business. Plus, there are also options like balayage highlights that come with additional costs. 

Even retail pricing in a hair salon (often based on a hair stylists’ experience) and sales tax can create significant variances in price points for goods and services. 

Average Salon Costs and Price Ranges

Close-up photo of your African American women wearing a red turtle neck.

A poll was taken by more than 500 Angie’s List members (mostly women) who use hair dye regularly to cover their gray hair.

This survey determined that those who paid for professional services spent upwards of $100 every month to maintain their hair color. 

A sampling of various prices paid across the country by these Angie’s List members gives an idea of the price range responsible for this average cost:

In Lake Worth, Florida, one person reported paying $50 for coloring and highlights every five weeks. 

Someone in Little Rock, Arkansas, said they paid in the range of $100-150 every month for color and a cut. Another in Colusa, California, spends $50 for their hair color, which goes up to $85 if highlights or lowlights are added.

It’s also important to note that cost varies between services, as an all-over coloring will use more dye, but highlights take longer, so the stylist may charge more in labor. 

Some salons may charge more for highlights and lowlights if you want multiple colors; others may have a higher price but offer unlimited colors. 

Our research has determined that the coloring options that you choose factor heavily into the final price. The length and thickness of your hair will also factor into the price. For example, longer hair will require the colorist to use more products (i.e., dye) to color your hair.

Meanwhile, the cost to get your hair dyed at a reputable beauty salon, on par with a nationwide chain such as MasterCuts, starts around $45 without additional highlights. 

Some classy yet low-cost local salons charge a mere $85 for a color-highlight-combo. Many department store salons have prices starting at $55 and going up to $105 for some services (ombre, balayage, color change, etc.).

The Cost of DIY Hair Dye

Black women with curly red hair with hands on her hips wearing a red mock turtle neck.

Getting your hair colored at a salon is just one option. Hair dye is a largely demanded and utilized product that has extended out from the professionals’ hands and onto the shelves at a variety of retail stores. 

Popularity has only persisted as time has gone by, and the number of companies that create hair dye box kits has multiplied. These days, nearly every color and shade you could ever want or need is available.

According to Angie’s List members’ poll, DIY hair dye box kits are a popular alternative to salon services, as some 47% say they preferred to color their hair at home by themselves. 

Cost is likely to be a significant factor in this for many people, as the difference is certainly significant.  

DIY hair dye box kits range between $3 and $20, and coloring lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Touch-ups may be required during this time. 

Other Possible Unintended Costs You May Not Have Considered

DIY Disasters

African American female with curly red hair

Dealing with various hair dyes at home can cause issues if you don’t take the time to do things properly. For example, dyes can easily get onto clothes, bath towels, walls, furniture, or other items causing unintended damage. 

It’s important to create an open working space, free from clutter and away from anything you don’t want to be exposed to hair dye and other chemicals, and use a smock to protect your skin and clothes. 

And, of course, follow all the directions that come in the box. Failure to do so could wind up costing you in clothes, bathroom decor, or worse.

You Dislike Your New Hair Color

Black women surprised by the cost of hair dying services.

Disliking your new hair color is a difficult pill to swallow. Unfortunately, it happens all the time, and no one is excluded from this possibility. 

Indeed, there is a chance that once you take on a new hair color, you absolutely despise it. It doesn’t work well with your complexion; the color doesn’t look the way you thought it would, or it was a reaction to a life event. 

Whatever the reason, you are now left with two choices: dye it again or live with it. 

Then you pay the cost for another hair coloring–which could be done at a salon even if you used a box-kit at home the first time. 

Another popular alternative is to purchase hair accessories, thick decorative headbands, wigs, and a variety of hats in an attempt to cover your new hair color. 

Damaging Your Hair

Black women with curly hair side-eyeing someone on her right, not looking directly into the camera.

The process of coloring your hair can be damaging. While hair dyes are often fun to change-up your appearance, the harsh chemicals in bleaching and tinting agents can do serious damage to your hair. 

Most often, the hair will become incredibly dry and brittle, almost resembling a straw-like texture.

Hair damage is common with DIY processes, although your hair can still be damaged when done professionally. Hair dyes use very strong chemicals that can damage the hair’s keratin protein structure.

This will increase your hair’s porosity and make your hair more likely to experience damage in future hair dying sessions.

Professional hair colorists are educated in hair dye science and should know the necessary chemical volume to use that avoids significant hair damage.

Nonetheless, continuously coloring your hair can lead to unintended hair damage, even when done professionally. 

Your hair colorists will likely explain this possibility and recommend rest-periods where you refrain from using dyes or coloring techniques to avoid these costly consequences.

Hair Dye Continually Staining Clothes, Linens, and Other Fabrics

Cute black girl wearing a black motorcycle jacket with red curly hair looking directly into the camera considering the cost of dying her hair again.

The trendy” rainbow” hair dyes, like pinks, purples, greens, and other “unnatural” hair colors, are semi-permanent dyes that are gradually removed from your hair. 

Typically, this happens when showering and washing your hair. This occurs whenever your hair gets wet. 

For example, when you get caught in the rain or (most annoyingly) when you sweat. Beads of sweat can drip color down your face and neck and onto your clothes. 

The moisture collected around your collar can create a transfer of color from any dyed hair touching your clothes. If you tend to sweat when you sleep, be prepared to wash your pillowcases often. 

Fewer Hair Washings

While some may not mind this unintended consequence required for maintaining lasting color and will happily don a shower cap now and again, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having unwashed hair for too long. 

Indeed, there are some (and you know who you are) who can’t stand it if they don’t shower and wash their hair daily. 

Even the best, high-quality, permanent hair coloring done by a salon professional will require you to refrain from washing too often or even applying special conditioning treatments to better maintain color integrity and longevity.

Of course, you can still take your daily shower, but you should consider wearing a shower cap or refrain from washing your hair every time to help make your investment last longer. 

Conclusion

The cost to dye your hair varies based on whether you chose to color your hair at home or pay a professional to do it for you. 

Beyond that, price differences are seen between dye kit brands as well as between salon locations. 

If you choose to go to a salon to get your hair dyed, research the cost of services at various locations in your area to find the best price available. 

When coloring your hair at home, opt for premium kits with higher-quality dyes. 

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