Cut the Cost of Hair Color With 4 Steps…

March 19, 2016

Have you thought about having your hair colored but just don’t think you can afford it? Maybe, after you have just seen a photo of Drew Barrymore in a fashion magazine with her highlighted golden brown hair, you start thinking, that’s the color for me!  But then you start thinking about what it’s going to cost you.

Most women don’t know what questions to ask when getting started with the hair color process, which could often increase the cost of hair color in the end. Ignorance is not bliss here.  The following four processes will help you stick well within your budget and have enough left over to have lunch with your best friend!

Becoming familiar with the following hair color processes will also help ease the fear of hair color.  I find that most women get a little confused when it comes to the somewhat daunting task of making choices between one process and another.  The lack of understanding these processes will cost your hair, and your bank account.

Some of you might be thinking that you can just do your hair at home and it will be much cheaper, but it might cost you more in the long run to fix what you may mess up. For those of you that want to learn about the difference of “at-home” and salon services, please checkout my ebook  Excuse Me… Your Roots Are Showing.

With the following four processes you can either match your present hair color or change it a shade or two.  When changing your hair color the first time, don’t change it more than one or two shades.  Start small, because you can always add more, but can’t take away what you’ve already done.

As professional colorist we formulate with numbers.  Most of the drug store products use shades as a guide, although this is changing.  Clairol and L’Oreal are now using numbers on most of their packages.  Just be sure to write down what you have used and save it for next time.  The biggest problem with “at-home” color is not remembering what was used.

This often leads to big trouble. SO… write it down.  When doing your hair at home you can also cut the cost by just using one half of the package.  Save the rest in an airtight container until next time.


1) Semi-Permanent Color

This process doesn’t penetrate the hair as deeply as Permanent hair color will.  It shampoos out with each shampoo and leaves the hair with beautiful reflections of color and in great condition.  If your hair is healthy, it could last for six weeks.

The wonderful part about this process is that it will not have a re-growth, meaning, if you don’t like it, you won’t see a line of natural hair color as your hair grows out.  It’s also one of the least costly services in the salon.  Most product companies have at least twenty shades that can either be used alone or mixed together, so you can also use this at home in-between your permanent color services to help keep the shine.

2) Partial Highlights

This is a wonderful process to see how you might look with a little lightness around the face or over the top of your head.  Partial Highlights will get you started and help you stay within your budget.  This small change in color will add dimension to your overall color.  Ask for shades in the soft golden blondes rather than using white highlights, which don’t give shine to the hair.

Often when the highlights are too light they fade into the hair, not showing up at all.  Soft golden-blondes or red-gold highlights add shine and luster to all Blondes and Brunettes.  Red Heads always look magnificent with golden-coppery highlights.

3) Base Color Plus Partial Highlights

(By the way, this is the process Drew Barrymore has…but she probably pays more than you will.)  If you have been coloring your hair for years or have just started and feel your hair color has a lack luster look, the best way to correct this is with a few highlights.

Yellow, flat looking blondes that look a bit fake will get the life back that most blondes want.  Highlights will add softness to the overall shade.  This process is also great for flat, drab brown, which is very aging.  You can add soft golden shades or just softer browns over the drabness.  Your hair will finally be the shade it was when you had your first date, or it will give you the confidence to meet the love of your life.

4) Balayage (Brush-in Highlights)

This is my favorite way of doing highlights because the final outcome is beautiful and very natural.  This process is done with very fine strands that are placed around the face or throughout the head.  This process is brushed onto the hair strand so that when you see the finished results it looks as close to natural as a child’s hair color does when she/he has  spent the summer in the sun.

This process can be used over either natural hair or previously processed hair.  The salon price will probably  be a little more than when highlights are done with foils.  Different volumes of developer are used for different degrees of lightness.  Stay with the light golden blonde shades.  The overall effect will be subtle and elegant without a line of re-growth.  You will have soft, and lovely sun lights glowing through-out the hair, which are well worth the cost.

All of the above processes can be adjusted to full-head processes, which will of course cost more, because it will take longer for the service.  Please allow the extra cost and time that will be needed.  Do your research in fashion magazines to find the shade you might feel good in.

Also, be open mined.  Try to find the shade you would like before booking the consultation.  Then go in for a free consultation.  Believe me, the professional will respect you whether you’re having a partial service or the full service.  They want you to return.


Some of you are paying your way through college for yourself, or you could be buying the newest cell phone for a child in school, so there’s not always a lot left over.  Most of you will leave yourself to last, but would still like to have pretty hair color.

If you don’t have enough money for a hair color service and just can’t think of doing your own hair, simply get a great haircut and use my product  coloursplash! Hair Color Refresher which is added to your shampoo or used alone.  This is used every week to help keep the shine in your natural hair color or in your previously color treated hair.

This will retain the gloss and shine that keeps your hair fresh and healthy.  You deserve to enjoy beautiful hair color, and now you know how to cut the cost so you can!

Tracy Hill


My name is Tracy Hill – Hair Colourist to Hollywood’s elite, and former international hair colour training director for Clairol Inc., L’Oreal, and Vidal Sassoon.  I have been an authority on hair colour for more than 30 years.

With my busy star-studded clientele covering the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan, often times my clients just couldn’t make it to the salon.  So I got busy and created coloursplash!®, a new product line called coloursplash!® designed to be used between salon appointments.

coloursplash!® is a unique ammonia and peroxide-free hair color product that keeps your hair looking fresh and perfect everyday of the month…AND it diffuses your grey!  This hair colour innovation is so effective it’s no wonder it sold out in only 6 minutes on QVC!

I also decided to put my decades of experience into an eBook to help as many people as possible with their hair coloring questions.  In my eBook, “Excuse Me… Your Roots are Showing,” I’ll give you expert advice, tips, and hair color secrets.  I will tell you everything you need to know about hair color; from coloring your hair at home, going to the salon; to choosing the right hair color.  In “Excuse Me… Your Roots are Showing” I will also dispel hair color myths, explain how to deal with coloring dilemmas, and much more!

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