Is balayage more expensive than highlights? What technique should you choose according to your budget?

  • Balayage is a more expensive coloring technique than highlights.
  • It demands more products and the stylist invests more time and work in the process.
  • Moreover, with balayage, you will have to invest in specific hair products to maintain the color and you will have to visit the salon more often, which is not the case with highlights


more expensive than highlights

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Oh, blessed be Instagram among all the influencers of hair changes. Since you set trends, we colorists go crazy.

Crazy, for example, because of the dozens of questions we receive daily about the costs of highlights and balayage.

Do you have a calculator at hand? Do you want to calculate how much your next coloring job will cost?


 Today I decided to take a break and tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth, about which of these two techniques is cheaper. 

Please note that when I say that one is more expensive than the other, I do not mean that one is better than the other.


Both techniques are excellent when performed by professionals, but prices vary because of the products used and the time it takes for the professional to do the job.

Also, we cannot lose sight of the fact that if you have hair that needs deep conditioning beforehand, that should also be included in the price.


Of course, you should also take into account the aftercare you will need once you get your new look.

So, with your calculator in hand and your wallet running out of money, stay right there, because I’ll tell you:

  • Why balayage is more expensive than highlights
  • How to decide which technique best fits your budget


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Why is balayage more expensive than highlights?

hair coloring techniques budget

It doesn’t matter in which remote country you are reading these lines. For salons in Madrid, Buenos Aires, and New York, balayage will always be more expensive than highlights.


They are two very different techniques. No matter what shade you have in your hair, in balayage you will use much more product; you will invest much more time in the technique because it is freehand and, therefore, much more work.

 If you choose balayage, you will need a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of post coloring care. 


To help you understand what I’m talking about, close your eyes for a moment, and imagine yourself sitting in the salon with the stylist ready to start working on your hair.


The first thing the stylist will do is make a few highlights in all your hair, no matter what tone of balayage you have chosen. This is a very important step, and your stylist will work on it freehand.

It’s almost a work of art because she will paint your hair with a brush, with as much dedication and precision, as if she wanted to replicate Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

You will notice how this work takes time because color must be placed very precisely to achieve the balayage effect.


Then, you will have to wait for the exposure time, which will always depend on the desired color height. The lighter it is, the longer the exposure time of the product on your hair will be.

Later, your hair will be rinsed and you will get a toner to neutralize some unwanted shades that may appear in the process.

By this time, you’ll probably have spent six or seven hours in the salon, during which the stylist was completely dedicated to your hair.

Wait! Don’t open your eyes yet. There’s more to it.


When you leave the salon, you should go to a beauty shop right away and buy specific products to keep your color at its best.  After all, it would be unthinkable to spend a fortune on a makeover to just ruin it after five days. 

So, please open your wallet again, because you will need to buy sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, mattifying shampoo, which you should use once a week, ampoules, masks and hair lotions, which you should also apply once a week.


Are you disappointed?


Oh, no! Every woman can find a color technique that suits her interests, and above all, her budget.

That’s why, as I don’t want long faces, I’ll help you find that coloring technique that won’t leave you bankrupt. The one with which you can get a makeover that will shadow the most important influencers.

Don’t you believe me?


How to decide which technique is more suitable for your budget

If you are on a limited budget…

If you are on a tight budget for your makeover, choose highlights. You will only need to return to the salon after three to six months.

As far as home maintenance is concerned, you will simply need a shampoo, which you will have to choose according to the tone of your highlights.

 I also recommend highlights to people who don’t enjoy visits to the salon very much, either because they have a very busy life or because they don’t pay much attention to their hair. 

With an occasional trimming and nurturing, your highlights will look flawless.


If you have an unlimited budget

If you have an unlimited budget, you can choose the technique you like best. After all, you can pay for the desired type of hair color.

However, remember that it’s not all about money, as you’ll also need to make time for effective hair care with balayage.


 If you’re not very consistent with your hair maintenance, choose highlights,  as it’s a cheaper coloring technique. Besides, if you only choose more subtle tones, you’ll spend less money on maintenance.



  • Balayage is usually more expensive than highlights because more products and needed and it also requires the stylist to make the highlights by hand. Therefore, it takes more time and work.
  • Also, you will also spend more money on specific products to properly maintain your balayage. For highlights, on the other hand, you will only need a shampoo for shading.

So tell me, now that you know the truth, on which of the two techniques will you spend your money?

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