hair with coloring

There will come a time when you’ll look in the mirror and think that your hair lacks color. But you’ll also find it a waste to completely change your mop’s tint. If that will be the case, well, you can always turn to highlighting!

Highlighting involves applying shades of color to several strands of your hair. As the word “highlight” implies, your stylist will apply a shade (or shades) that is brighter than your original hair color.

Think you’re ready to add warmth to your look? Here’s a guide to the cost to highlight hair.

Average Highlights Cost At A Salon

The average highlights cost at a salon, according to Thumbtack, ranges from $60 to $130. Angie’s List, on the other hand, sets the price at around $75 to $300. If you combine the estimates, expect to pay $60 to $300 for a highlight.

What about the exact price? Like other salon services, the cost to highlight hair greatly varies depending on several factors. These include:

Your location

  • Places that have a saturated number of salons tend to charge lower due to the competition. Upscale cities, on the other hand, might house well-known salons that charge comparatively higher prices.

The salon

  • Most salons will charge you the national average cost to highlight hair. However, the salon’s popularity and its stylists’ skills may affect the price.

Type of highlight

  • There are two basic types of highlights, namely, partial and full. Obviously, the former costs less than the latter.
  • There are other styles available such as the “ombre” which gives your hair color a gradient effect.

Hair color

  • According to Thumbtack, you’d likely pay more if you are a blonde. The website indicates that coloring natural blondes cost $20 higher than applying highlights on brown hair.

Hair length

  • You’d also likely pay more for the highlighting if you have longer hair, as your stylist will have to apply additional dye to complete your look.

Sample Highlights Cost At A Salon

One of the factors that affect the highlighting cost is the salon you choose. That said, giving you a sample of prices from different establishments will provide enough idea on how much you’d spend for highlights. Following are some salons from different locations and the fees they charge (the pricing is available on their respective websites):

Cost Cutters (Wisconsin)

  • Cap highlight: Starts at $54.95
  • Full foil: Starts at $64.95

Hair Cuttery (has 860 locations in 16 states)

  • Partial highlights (max. 12): $50
  • Full highlights: $75

Milas Haircuts and Salon (Arizona)

  • Ombre highlights: Starts at $99
  • Hair cap highlights: $55
  • Partial highlights: $55
  • Full highlights: $69

Salon Visage (Tennessee)

  • Partial highlights: $65 to $100
  • Full highlights: $85 to $120
  • Partial Balayage: $80 to $100
  • Full Balayage: $100 to $130
  • Partial highlights over base: $85 to $120
  • Full highlights over base: $120 to $155

As you might have noticed, the highlighting style also affects the cost. Some of the above salons also indicated additional fees for longer hair or other colors.

You might also encounter salons that charge per hour. Most establishments who do, according to Angie’s List, have a $25/hour rate.

Of course, the best way to match your budget and the expenses is to check the prices online and contact your preferred salon first.

Additional Costs

Bringing $130 for the highlights is good only if you’re sure that you’re not going to pay the additional fees. That said, you’ll most probably end up requesting things from your stylist other than the highlights.

For instance, you will have to pay extra if you request for additional colors. At Hair Cuttery, that means an additional $20.

Your hair length may also alter the salon price. For example, Milas Haircuts and Salon prices their partial highlights at $55. However, they indicated that they charge a higher fee for longer hair. Specifically, the cost is $65 for medium-length hair and $75 for long hair. Similar to Hair Cuttery, they also charge $20 for additional colors.

Some salons may also charge extra for the haircut, wash, shampoo, and touch ups. To avoid expenses that are out of your budget, list down the things you need so you can achieve your desired look. And try your best to stick to it.

Money Saving Tips

Salons perfectly understand that upgrading your look doesn’t have to be costly. That’s why these establishments offer packages so that you can enjoy more services at a lower price.

To give you an idea of how much you’ll save, here’s a sample of bundled services offered by Hair Cuttery:

  • City Lights (full highlights, shampoo, chemistry treatment, cut, blow dry): $100
  • Double Dimension (single application color, full highlights, shampoo, chemistry treatment, cut, blow dry): $150

You can also hunt for discounts online. For instance, posts several coupons which you can use to avail promos from a variety of salons. If you’re visiting the site, make sure to enter your location for easier searching.


Highlights are beautiful, but not all people will look good with them. That said, you should first consult an expert. Your stylist will determine if you really need highlighting based on your natural hair color and your desired look. Some clients end up getting an all-over color or lowlights as the said styles fit them more.      

Remember, pay only if the look will suit you!

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