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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.
  • 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.