Thanks for asking. Brilliant question. Recently, we got this asked after a colour consultation. The client asked around in other salons and got a significantly cheaper quote for colour elsewhere. We all like a good bargain, don’t we? It’s only right that we want more information and evaluate different options so we can decide what’s the right way forward for us. In this post, we want to explain why different hair salons charge different prices for ‘the same’ colour service. And we want to give you a behind the scene glimpse into how we calculate the price of a colour service.
Want a new hair colour and shopping around to find the right hair salon, the right hair colourist, and the right price for your budget? Read on before you decide on where to book.
You’ll find many hair salons and also freelance professionals who’ll work at very different price levels. There are the celeb salons, the high-end hair salons, the average salons, the no-name corner shops, and anything in between. You can even find mobile hairdressers who’ll come to your house and charge very different prices.
Price can depend on many different factors, such as
- the professional level, experience and expertise of the colourist you’d book with
- the pricing structure of the salon
- the colour brand the salon works with
- the location of the salon
- and ultimately, what service steps the colourist would take to achieve the desired outcome.
You see, a colour appointment is a complex one. Every hair colourist would approach what you’d like to achieve in a different way.
Think of it like a canvas. Your very first colour appointment – the colourist starts with a blank canvas. When you go back second time, the canvas is entirely different. Your hair has faded. It’s a different base we have to work on.
And when you’re having highlights done, you never go back to the next appointment with the same hair. Your hair is always different – because your base is different. The highlighted strands are different. Subtly different, but different. The colourist has to know literally which hair strand to touch with blondor (aka bleach), and which one to leave alone to avoid any damage.
No two hair colour appointments are the same. Not even on the same client. So we would always start with a thorough online consultation prior, give a price quote for each job, and if all is ok, we can book the appointment.
We understand that our prices don’t suit everyone’s budget. But we pride ourselves on the expertise and portfolio of our hair colourists, and their reviews speak for themselves.
For us, the main thing is that we explain in the treatment plan what our approach would be. How long the appointment would take. So that the client knows what to expect and also understands how much it would cost – so they can make an informed decision whether they want to book with us or no.
So how do we calculate the price of a hair colour service?
Colour prices are bespoke. Each time. Because no 2 hair colour appointments are the same.
As we prepare a price quote, we take into consideration
- the hair length,
- the amount of hair the client has,
- its quality,
- any areas that would need special attention (we call it a colour correction when we have to fix some uneven patches as part of a regular highlights service),
- the individual service steps that we would take (eg. highlights, root touch up, olaplex, toner, cut, blow dry)
- and on top of this comes the cost of the colour and materials which we measure by the gram. How much we use depends on the length and amount of hair, the quality of the hair, and the desired outcome. As no two colour appointments are the same, not even on the same client, how much material we use can vary slightly.
When seeing photos of the client’s hair, and the outcome they’d like to achieve, we’ll know what service steps we’d take, and we can also calculate a very close estimate of how much material we’d use.
And voila: service cost + material cost = the price quote is ready.
The price list you see on a website would reflect a general guideline that we use when giving individual price quotes. And you can also see how much we charge for material per gram.
For example, the £104 base price for long hair highlights, haircut and blow-dry doesn’t include the price of a toner – which in many but not all cases is needed. It doesn’t include Olaplex – which again, might be needed in case we’re dealing with colour-treated, bleached hair. And it doesn’t include any material cost.
So when a client books a £104 base service online, we would always call them, ask for photos so we can get back to them with a proper price quote and time estimate. If they want to proceed, we go ahead. If they prefer not to proceed, then no harm done, at least we advised and explained our treatment plan and approach.
When you go to a shop to buy a Pepsi Coke – you can be fairly sure that you get the same Pepsi, wherever you buy it.
But when you book a colour appointment, it’s more like going to a doctor or health practitioner. One doctor would work with one particular approach and prescribe x treatment. The other one would prescribe something entirely different.
So, whoever you book with, please make sure you find a good, professional hairdresser, who’ll look after your hair during a chemical procedure like this, and who’ll deliver the colour you’re after. Check their reviews too, and if there are any red flags that cause you concern, stay away.
If however, you establish trust, you feel they understand what you’d like, the reviews are good, their references are impeccable, the price suits your budget and all the good signs are there – go and book the appointment.
We really hope this helps.
Here’s another post you might be interested in checking out. It’s about changing hair colourists – and how to know if you’ve found the right one.