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chelle21689's avatar

Why does dying your hair at a salon cost so much?

Asked by chelle21689 (7008points) April 11th, 2015

Seriously, it’s like around $100 or more! I’m talking about getting “special” highlights like foil weaving, ombre, or bayalage. What exactly makes it so expensive? Is it the product? I mean it takes maybe 1–2 hours to do hair, so why are women paying like $120 for hair? I’ve gone to cheaper salons and done it myself and it doesn’t turn out as nice so I guess I get what I pay for. But still, even doing nails with all the special stuff doesn’t cost that much.

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14 Answers

kritiper's avatar

The beautician went to school to learn his or her trade. The chemicals used require the expertise of said beautician. You are paying for this knowledge.

livelaughlove21's avatar

^ Exactly that. And, like you said, you get what you pay for.

Darth_Algar's avatar

They’re charging that much because the market will bear it. If enough people stop paying that price for that service then the price will drop. Simple economics.

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) chemicals

2) manual labor – the stylist is spending time on you

3) some part that you pay is so that if another person complains, and the stylist gives them a freebie, the stylist still makes money. Basically you are paying some percentage as a sort of insurance against future screwups.

zenvelo's avatar

You point out it takes a couple hours. While coloring your hair the stylist could do three or four $60 haircuts. So part of the charge is for taking up her time,

jca's avatar

Highlights are a lot of money because they take a lot of time. Last time I got my hair highlighted, it was about $150, which is why I stopped doing that. I know for the whole head, the colorist has a lot of labor, skill and she uses a lot of foil. Plus the product (at the place I go) is a quality product without peroxide. Now I get single process, which is $55. Again, the product they use where I go is silk based, peroxide free, not smelly, not harsh, not irritating my scalp, not drying, and my hair feels and looks great. That takes a half hour for her to do, then I sit there for like 45 minutes or whatever while the color works its magic. Where I go, it’s a very understated, sedate place where more affluent people go.

I could go to some lesser quality places in the hood that I work in, but the product is probably going to be crappier and drying to my hair.

josie's avatar

Because you (the market, the customer) choose to pay it. If the hair color market went on strike and refused the service, the price would drop.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It doesn’t if you want to go to someone who isn’t skilled and who doesn’t care about the products they use. However, a beautician or hair stylist who has gone through a good training programme, who has a good deal of experience and is going to make your hair look pretty without ruining it, deserves to be paid for their skill and time. I have a hairdresser who visits me at home and she’s fantastic. She’s also very skilled and experienced. I’d pay her three times what she asks if she wanted me to because I trust her to look after my hair and not to leave me looking like a fool. I’m always happy with my hair and people regularly comment on it. That’s worth paying for.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

To add to what others have said, the cost has three main components; overhead, skill of the beautician, and product. I did not do hair in the salon but nails. There was basic overhead I had to factor into a set of nails, the cost of the tips, brush, product, nippers and such that allowed me to be able to do my work. Then there was my training and skill, because of which even with rather crappy product I knew how to compensate. However, I used quality product, in many cases, you could not buy it at the drug store, or if you were to go to a beauty sup[ply store, it was the product you had to present your license to buy. Many of the …..(let’s say non-US native) salons, used the illegal junk that had MMA in it because ot was way cheaper to buy, and because they used electric files to carve the shape into the nail as oppose to forming it when they applied them, they could charge far less. They just wanted to make the sale, and of you came back, fine, if you did not, they could replace you with another looking for a bargain. I was able to observe those who did hair and those who were better skilled got more customers and those who repeated. They too used superior colors because they covered Grey better and looked more natural, but also they retained in the hair and did not wash out in the shower. I would say it cost more because 60% skill of the stylist, 25% product, 15% overhead (booth rental, expenses, taxes, etc.).

Judi's avatar

Most beauticians are self employed. They have to pay rent to the salon owner, insurance and self employment tax. They went to school to learn their trade and have to pay money to retain their license. A good hair dresser will participate in continuing education to keep up with current trends and techniques.
If I could get my hair colored by a professional who takes their career seriously for $100 I would consider it a bargain.
Why would a hairdresser be worth less than a plumber? $50 an hour is cheap considering what they have to invest before you even sit in their chair.

jca's avatar

Also, @chelle21689, you can’t compare the cost of nails to the cost of hair dye, as with nail products, it’s just a miniscule fraction of what’s in a bottle of nail polish, and some lotion, soap, a few swipes of nail polish remover and alcohol. Compare that to hair dye, which, with a good quality product (the one at my place where I go is silk based) probably costs at least 5 bucks at wholesale. Plus foil sheets, etc.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well you are paying a professional to also style your hair to a certain degree. Plus the products they use to colour hair are usually of a very high standard, and will usually turn out the colour that they are supposed to be.

MooCows's avatar

I just paid $50 for a mani and pedi and two people worked
on me so it didn’t take that long. I thought that was alotof
money for that but I wouldn’t mess with others feet so maybe
not.

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