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Home / Blog/ How Much Should a Color Correction Cost?
Home Blog How Much Should a Color Correction Cost?

How Much Should a Color Correction Cost?


What is a Color Correction?

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.

Color stripping hair to take it a totally different color would be another example. 

Dramatic change in a color reflect, for example from very warm to very cold, would also count as a color correction.

Very very brassy hair, inconsistent between mid-lengths roots and ends almost always requires color correction.

In almost all cases, color correction involves 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

It's Not Just the application time. 

It's not just the time spent. Every stage requires processinng time, rinsing, towelling etc. Plus a whole lot of expertise.

It's also not just time. Generally speaking, very sophisticated professional products are also used during color correction.

Studies show that professional product use alone for a major hair color correction could easily cost the stylist around $50.

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 fewer other clients for a stylist to take care of.

Clients may baulk at a high bill. But they should realize that time truly is money & they need to compensate the stylist fairly.

Roots, Mid-lengths, ends...All Different!

Roots, mid-lengths, ends all different

Time + Knowledge + Skill = Money

There is also 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 is where she makes or breaks her reputation. 

If the client has attempted to do her own hair herself, or gone to a stylist who made a serious mistake, that's more work.

So how much should a Color Correction cost?

A colorist needs to charge enough to cover for her time, her hours. 

Even a relatively simple color correction can take 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours.

We would generally suggest $100 an hour as an average service charge for a stylist.

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. Perhaps closer to $120 an hour.

And if you are in a small town it will be lower. Edging down to around $80 an hour.

So at $100 an hour, a regular color correction (2.5 - 3 hours of work) would cost you around $250 - $300.

It sounds like a huge amount but not if you factor in the time, expertise and the products involved.

If you are a woman looking for a stylist for some major color correction work, around $300 is what you should be prepared to pay.

And if it is a major correction, involving multiple stages and perhaps 4 or 5 hours is going to set the client back by around $400-$500.

Should I go for multiple sessions instead?

Sometimes the temptation comes to go to a stylist for 3 separate (and cheaper) sessions. 3 mini-sessions, if you like.

Even hair stylists do suggest this. Color correction in stages.

We respectfully disagree with this approach.

Do it once and do it right would be our motto.

Assuming quality products are used, and assuming the stylist knows his or her stuff, there is no reason to do it in 3 stages. 

You will just end up damaging the hair more.

It is far better to fix everything once properly. Invest the money and the time to bring your hair back to where it should be.

It will work out cheaper in the long run.

What are the go-to color correction products that stylists use during Color Correction?

A quality bleach is very often the first and the most important part of color correction.

We generally recommend Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect.

The extra protection (plus the very powerful lift) means that it works fast, with minimal damage.

The Bond Protect means that it avoid hair breakage and can be used near the scalp area.

Of course, this bleach needs to be applied judiciously. First to the parts which are darker, later to parts which are only just slightly brassy.

The stylist will generally aim to make the whole hair one consistent level after bleaching.

Then comes toning.

The really useful product is a really powerful toner which can get rid of warmth and change the reflect to cool.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V is very often used by stylists to do this blonde transformation.

Typically, at the most basic, a color correction would therefore involve use of a bleach, a developer and a toner.

Color Correction: Adding in Green to Counteract Red

Hair by Elona Taki

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.