A color correction is basically any coloring involving major color transformation
A total color make-over, for example taking a client from dark to blonde, from vivid ruby red to ash blonde would be considered a color correction.
Very very brassy hair, inconsistent between mid-lengths roots and ends would also require color correction.
A client wanting to go white, white blonde without compromise would be another example of a color correction.
In almost all cases, color correction would involve two or sometimes even three or four separate coloring processes.
For example, someone with huge color build up of red hair with a dark base looking to go white blonde might require the following:
Step One: color removal on the red parts.
Step Two: bleach on the dark parts
Step Three: extend bleach to the ends.
Step Four: lifting, coloring and toning on the entire hair
Multiple Processes, A lot of time
Color correction involving multiple processes requires a lot of time on the stylist's part.
It's not just the mixing and application time, every stage requires processing time, rinsing, toweling etc.
Typically a color correction can require up to 4 hours. Even 6 hours is not unheard of.
That's pretty much a whole day gone for the stylist. Meaning that many fewer other clients for a stylist.
Clients may baulk at a high bill but they should truly realize that this is time truly is money & they need to compensate the stylist fairly.
Not to mention a lot of very sophisticated professional products are being used very generously.
Studies show that professional product use alone for a major hair color correction could easily cost the stylist around $50.
Time + Knowledge + Skill = Money
In addition to time, there is the knowledge aspect of it.
Only some stylists out there even have enough knowledge and expertise to do a truly great color correction.
From a stylist's point of view, a color correction case is a major thing. This where she makes or breaks her reputation.
So how much should a Color Correction cost?
As a colorist it is important that you charge enough to cover your time and not end up actually losing money when you do a color correction.
You are going to need to cover the cost of your other clients lost for the day. Plus product use. Plus your actual service charge.
Between $70 an hour to $120 an hour would be a rough range that you could expect to charge.
You can take $100 an hour as an average.
Clearly, this charge would vary according to where in the US you are.
If you live in downtown NY or in Miami or LA it will be higher.
And if you are in a small town it will be lower.
So at $100 an hour a stylist would probably charge between $250 at a very minimum going up to $400 and even more.
About the author
Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.