Average Cost of Hair Colour

Brits pay anywhere from £4.50 to £140 or more to cover grey hair, add summer highlights, sport the latest balayage trend or simply have the hair colour that suits you best (why weren't you just born with it?), a significant portion of women around the UK reliably colour their hair every month or two. How much should you expect to pay to have the hair colour of your dreams? We've surveyed the market to find out how much money you'll need to part with for hair colouring.

All Over Salon Colour

Heading to the salon for all over colour can cost anywhere from £30 and £90 for a permanent tint. Once it grows and you need a touch up, expect to pay between £22 to £76 to have your roots or half a head coloured. Those living in a big city should expect to pay at the higher end of the range; those living in less expensive areas should pay less.

The cost of hair colouring not only varies by location and salon, but also by the experience of your hair colourist. While the titles may differ from salon to salon, it's quite common for a salon to have 2 - 3 levels of colourist, such as "technician", "senior technician" and "technical consultant/creative director". You'll typically pay an extra £5 to £10 for the next level of stylist.

Average Salon Cost of All Over ColourTechnicianSenior TechnicianTechnical Consultant/Creative Director
Full head£53 (range £29 to £65)£57 (range £34 to £80)£63 (range £36 to £90)
Half head/roots£41 (range £22 to £58)£46 (range £29 to £60)£54 (range £33 to £66)

Some salons include a rough blow dry in the price you pay for colour while others require that you also pay for a finishing blow dry (or cut and blow dry) at a cost of £20 to £30. This can bring the total cost for a full head colouring over £100 for a high-end, full-head colour.

Colour with Highlights from a Salon

The average cost for a senior technician to do full head highlights is £91; follow ups cost around £72. Getting highlights or a trendy style such as balayage will cost more than all over colour, due to the longer time involved in distributing the colour properly throughout your hair to give the desired effect. If you want highlights, expect to pay anywhere from £48 to £141 the first time you go depending on where you live and the experience level of your colourist; follow up appointments for touch ups as your hair grows will cost in the range of £41 to £110.

Average Salon Cost of Highlights/BalayageTechnicianSenior TechnicianTechnical Consultant/Creative Director
Full head£85 (range £48 to £105)£91 (range £49 to £126)£103 (range £62 to £141)
Half head/roots£64 (range £41 to £85)£72 (range £46 to £95)£82 (range £48 to £110)

Save Money by Colouring at Home

Budget-conscious consumers can pay a small fraction of the price of a salon visit by colouring their hair at home. For example, Asda sells Schwarzkopf Poly Colour Permanent Cream Colour for £2 per bottle, Garnier Nutrisse costs £4.50 and L'Oreal Paris Excellence Permanent Hair Colour costs £7—far less than the cost of salon colour.

Comparing Costs to Colour Your Hair

Dying your hair at home using colour in a box will save you upwards of £40 each time you colour your hair. If you have highlights, the savings will be even greater. Use the charts below to understand the costs involved in initially colouring your hair, and maintaining it over time.

chart showing cost to get hair colour for a full head

Ongoing maintenance costs a bit less as it takes less time to touch up roots or colour a half head than colouring a full head of hair. Nonetheless, colour in a box is still the far cheaper option for those on a budget.

chart showing cost to get hair colour touched up at roots

Methodology

We gathered prices for colour touch ups (e.g., roots only/half head) and full head colour from a dozen chain and independent salons around the country for a session with a senior stylist. We also gathered price data for DIY hair colour in a box from Asda. To get an idea of how the cost of hair colouring adds up throughout the year, please see our article You'll Save This Much Money "Going Grey".

Comments and Questions