The cost of both services depend on a variety of factors including the length of your hair, the current state of your hair (is it virgin or processed), if you’ll need any additional services (like bleaching some areas to remove existing color or adding a treatment like Olaplex) and where you're having it done (that trendy salon with a huge Insta following will likely cost more—as will an appointment with their “master” or “senior” stylist).
To give you a ballpark range, in metropolitan cities like New York or Los Angeles, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150-400 depending on the above factors and if you’re getting partial or full color.
It’s a costly investment, for sure, so if you’re still on the fence, we’d recommend asking for a consultation before fully committing. During your consultation, you can share inspiration photos of the look you’d like to achieve and ask your stylist some questions to give you a better sense of how much time and money this will cost you like “how many appointments will it require to get this color safely?” and “what does upkeep look like?”
Depending on how much you’re changing your natural hair color, it could determine how many visits you’ll need to safely achieve the final look. For example, if you have dark brown or black hair and want to lift your natural color to lighter shades of brown and blonde, your stylist may recommend spacing the color out over a couple of visits to maintain the health of your hair as much as possible. Better to start slowly and gradually lighten than rush through the process and end up with brassy results—or worse—breakage.
The good news is that both balayage and ombré are relatively low maintenance (especially compared to traditional highlights) since the color placement is more fluid. Though your upfront cost might be higher, you’ll be able to stretch more time between appointments (which is anywhere between 4 to 6 months for most people, though some go an entire year).