How Much Do You Spend Annually on Your Hair? 16 Women Tell All

From root touchups to cuts and highlights

how-much-do-women-spend-on-hair-universal: an illustration of different women
Kotoffei/Getty Images

Does anyone else feel like they spend a small fortune on their hair every year? Well, that’s because many of us are. Further confirming our suspicions, we recently came across a survey conducted by Advanced Dermatology in 2022 of over 1,000 Americans on their annual grooming costs—and get this, the average spend came out to $877 for women (and $592 for men). Though the survey includes other beauty maintenance costs like skincare, makeup and even gym memberships, topping the list were hair products, haircuts and color.

Ever curious about the spending habits of others, we polled our friends and colleagues to get a sense of how much they shell out each year on their hair. The overall consensus? It costs a pretty penny...but it’s a worthy investment considering the way it makes them look and feel.

8 Things Your Hairstylist Wants You to Stop Doing

Marissa, 20s, New York

Cut once a year
Cost: $100/year
“Actually, I’ve only paid to get my hair cut once. It was $90 in Birmingham. But in NYC, my friends say it’s anywhere between $175 and $500 depending on what you want done.”

Abby, 30s, New York

Cut and blowout, once a year
Cost: Up to $180/year
“I recently started using shampoo and conditioner that cost much more than I usually spend, and I have to admit it really does make my hair look and feel much healthier. I had been using kind of whatever I found at the drugstore but after experiencing Covid hair loss switched to Vegamour and I really do notice a big difference (both in hair health and in improved growth).”

Katie, 30s, South Carolina

Haircuts for curly hair, twice a year
Cost: $500/year (though I also get custom haircare products through Prose, so closer to $3,000 when all is said and done)
“As I've gotten older, my hair has thinned and requires more careful management—so special towels, products, etc. Also, the needs of my hair constantly fluctuate and change throughout the year, which makes it hard to always budget for easily.”

Catrina, 20s, New York

Cut and sometimes a gloss, every 3 to 4 months
Cost: $600/year
“The cost has gone up because I started glossing my hair this year to help hide the incoming grays. Also, being a woman is expensive!”

Delia, 20s, New York

A long, layered haircut with an undercut. I go to the salon about once a year—or less. But I do visit the barber twice a month for a cleanup of my undercut.
Cost: $750/year
“My undercut has been an added expense, due to how frequently I need to get maintenance done to it. As an adult trying to save money, I can’t justify spending $150 on haircuts more than once a year. I used to go twice a year when I was younger, but my mom worked at a salon so we frequently got discounted cuts and dye jobs.”

Candace, 30s, Connecticut

Cut and highlights, every 3 to 4 months
Cost: $800/year
“The cost has increased, especially considering I used to DIY my highlights.”

Stephanie, 30s, Pennsylvania

Blowouts every few months, cuts every five or so months, color twice a year
Cost: $900/year
“I had virgin hair for years but just hopped on the blonde bandwagon a few years ago, and the color maintenance for it has definitely increased my annual spending.”

Erica, 30s, New York

Haircuts every 3 to 4 months, color and highlights once or twice a year
Cost: $1,200/year
“The cost has definitely increased as I’ve gotten older. I think prices have risen overall, and I’ve also become more specific about the salon I go to.”

Nicole, 30s, Chicago

Cut and color, every two months
Cost: $1,440/year
“The prices have remained relatively the same for me.”

Haomin, 30s, San Francisco

Cut and sometimes balayage, every 3 to 4 months
Cost: $1,500/year
“It feels like every new trend or tip is a way to sell another product and for us to spend more money. Also, I'm genuinely perplexed by the difference in costs between men/women here.”

Kelsey, 30s, New York

Full highlights, trims and blowouts, three times a year
Cost: $1,500/year
“I used to wait until I went home to visit my parents to get my hair done, since I had an existing relationship with a stylist there and it was MUCH cheaper. The past few times, she wasn't able to squeeze me in, so I realized I had to bite the bullet and find a place in the city. I love my new stylist and he does a great job, but it costs nearly three times the price I paid back home.”

Dana, 50s, California

Root touchs ups, cuts, highlights and extensions every 3 to 4 months
Cost: $1,800/year
“The cost of upkeep went way up when I started getting extensions last year. I now ask my parents for extensions as a birthday present.”

Rachel, 40s, New York

Cut and color, twice a year
Cost: $2,000/year
“The prices have gone WAY up. I used to spend about $400, but then I found a new salon and I see the owners there. I do shudder at the overall price, but I cannot tell you how much I relish the feeling of walking out the door feeling like a million bucks. There is zero grow-in time for my hair, either. I'm happy with it from the minute I walk out to the minute I return for my next cut. That said, I've definitely reached a point of seriously budgeting for it. I aim to set aside $150 a month knowing the ultimate cost. Eep!”

Angela, 30s, Massachusetts

Single process color every six weeks and a semi-annual haircut
Cost: $2,000/year
“The cost of upkeep has gone up in recent years because I’ve had to cover my grays more frequently as I’ve gotten older.”

Jillian, 40s, New York

Root touchups every 6-8 weeks, occasional cuts, highlights and an annual keratin
Cost: $2,000-2,500/year
“With one annual keratin treatment, one annual full balayage and one touch up balayage, plus regular cuts and root coloring, it’s…a lot. Everything changed once I went gray and started coloring and trying to soften the coarse texture. My hair is SO expensive. Nobody can ever tell my husband what it’s costing me!”

Some Parting Tips That Could Help You Save Money at the Salon

Skip the Blowout at the End

We love a blowout as much as the next person, but it’s often an added charge to your service. If you’re looking to cut back a little, this is one area you could save on. Just make sure to let the salon know when you book your appointment, as they typically factor styling time into the schedule.

Cut Out Other Extras

When you’re sitting in the chair with a head full of foils in and your stylist suggests adding the deep conditioning mask or bond building treatment to minimize damage, it seems like the smart thing to do. Alas, a seemingly small service like that could easily add another $50+ to your total, so we’d advise that you politely decline and ask for some at-home recommendations instead.

Ask If Your Stylist Does “Dry Cuts”

Some stylists offer dry cuts and trims because it can save them time and save their clients money, since it doesn’t involve a shampoo and blowout. Call ahead to see if your salon offers this service and if they do, make sure to go into your appointment with clean, dry hair.

Opt for Partial Highlights

If you regularly highlight your hair, you know how expensive it can get. Instead of getting full highlights every time, try getting partial highlights or just adding a few accent highlights around your face to refresh your color every other appointment.

Be Upfront About Your Commitment Level

And if you’re getting a new color or considering changing things up, have an honest conversation with your colorist about the amount of time and money you’re able to spend on upkeep. Some pointers include staying within two shades of your natural color, getting “babylights” or “balayage,” which blend into your base color more seamlessly, or asking for a shadow root, which looks more natural during the grow out stages. The goal is to stretch time between appointments, saving you hundreds of dollars in the process.

Try a Junior Stylist

As you know, many salons charge substantially more for time with their master or senior stylists, so if you’re looking to save money on your next appointment, try one of the junior stylists on staff. Better yet, if you’re feeling nervous about not seeing your usual person, you can always get your first cut done with them to set the shape and style you want, and schedule any follow up trims with their assistant or whomever else they recommend on staff.

How to Tell Your Hairstylist You Don’t Like Your New Cut or Color (According to Two Hairstylists)

Want more beauty tips sent right to your inbox? Subscribe here.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...