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How Much Does a Wedding Hairstyle Cost (On Average)

Updated May 30, 2022
How Much Does a Wedding Hairstyle Cost (On Average)

At some point in the budgeting stage, every bride wonders – how much does a wedding hairstyle cost?

Wishing to look flawless on your big day is natural, but professional hairstyling doesn’t come cheap.

Despite the added costs, hiring a pro is always worth it. Making your hair and makeup yourself is stressful, and you don’t have a chance for mistakes.

Even if you’re a curling wand guru, the wedding morning will be tightly packed. Furthermore, a pro will ensure your hair remains gorgeous throughout the day.

The cost of wedding hair largely depends on your desired hairstyle, hair length, location, and the stylist’s experience. Then, you’ll also need to budget for add-ons such as travel expenses and accessories.

Average Wedding Hairstyle Price

The average price of a bridal hairstyle ranges from $110 to $250.

However, the average figure isn’t always a good representation of the actual situation. Some brides only pay $30, others pay well over $700, and some choose to do their hair at home.

You may wonder – what’s included in the wedding hairstyle cost? The name says it all – bridal hairstyling refers to creating your desired hair look. It doesn’t include hair treatments, a color touch-up, or a cut.

Some professionals include washing and blow-drying in the bridal hairstyling price, while others charge extra. Blow-dry costs $45 on average, so you may want to clarify this point with your hairstylist in advance.

Meanwhile, bridesmaids or mother-of-the-bride hairstyles are cheaper, priced at about $75 per person.

The primary reason for this is that bridal party hairstyles tend to be less elaborate. However, the costs quickly add up if you have many bridesmaids.

“Wait, do I have to pay for my bridesmaids’ hair?” you may ask. This isn’t mandatory. However, if you expect your bridesmaids to have their hair professionally done, paying for them is a good tone.

If you don’t mind your bridesmaids having DIY hairstyles, they can pay for the professional hairstyling themselves since they have freedom of choice.

Some brides order bridal hair and makeup packages. They typically have better value, priced at $300 on average as opposed to $110-$250 for hair and an extra $150 for makeup.

However, finding a professional who’s equally good in hairstyling and makeup is rare.

An updo always costs more than a blowout or loose curls. Expect to pay at least $45 extra even for a simple chignon.

Note that the indicated prices are for medium-length hair reaching shoulder blades but not exceeding waist-length.

Trial Session Price

Finding the best hairstylist is challenging, especially when you’re pressured by the thought that you only have one chance to make everything right. Picking a hairstyle that suits your face shape and bridal attire isn’t any easier.

A bridal hair trial session is crucial for every bride wishing to look perfect on her wedding day.

It’s by no means mandatory if you’re on a budget, but a trial hair styling session can eliminate stress and help you envision your bridal look.

The budget is a deciding factor for many brides, so you may wonder how much a bridal hair trial session is. Depending on the hairstyle’s intricacy and other factors, most professionals charge $55-$150 for a trial session.

The trial session is typically about 20%-50% cheaper than the bridal look. Some hairstylists include a trial in the total bridal hairstyling price.

You can clarify whether your stylist offers a test session for free before signing a contract.

Your Hair Length & Type

Your hair length can drastically impact the bridal hairstyling cost. Working with shorter hair is always easier and quicker than with long hair.

If you have African hair, you may need to find a hairstylist experienced in working with your hair type. Since such professionals are rare, they tend to charge more for their services.

Most wedding hairstyles for a pixie cut don’t involve heat styling and only take under 30 minutes. The hairstylist will likely use a hair gel, comb, and fingers.

Frankly, spending money on professional styling may be unnecessary for brides with extremely short hair. A hairstylist would likely charge you about $45.

Styling a bob cut on your own is more complex, but professional hairstylists typically only charge about $70 for chin-length hair.

After all, bridal hairstyles for a bob cut are typically limited to a natural blowout, curls, and simple updos.

If your hair exceeds waist length, you may pay significantly more than the nationwide average.

Styling long hair takes more time, and hairstyles are typically more intricate. Women with very long hair often pay over $300 for simple curls.

Location

Your location can drastically affect your wedding hairstyling costs. You likely don’t expect to pay the same rate in a high-end salon in Manhattan and in a small town in rural Kansas.

The difference in hairstylist rates among states and cities is mainly based on the different costs of living.

Brides in New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, California, and Washington pay the highest rates, and that’s not surprising.

These areas are among the most expensive American states to live in, and hairstylists are forced to charge more.

On the other hand, bridal hairstyling in Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Oklahoma tends to be the cheapest. The prices are always lower in small towns than in cities.

Hairstylist’s Experience

This point is pretty apparent – hairstylists base their rates on their expertise. A beginning stylist who’s only building their portfolio may offer you very appealing rates because they don’t yet have a lot of experience.

On the other hand, hairstylists with decades of industry experience and hundreds of reviews charge higher rates because they can prove their expertise and guarantee you a flawless look.

Professionals working with celebrities can charge thousands of dollars for a single hairstyle because they have a recognizable name and are in high demand.

Simply put, it’s all about supply and demand. The market of beginning hairstylists is wide, but only a few get to the top of the industry. Most brides will only trust their hair to the best professionals and are ready to pay accordingly.

Season

The same hairstylist may charge different rates depending on the season. Same as with experience, it’s all about the demand. Hairstylists tend to be extra busy in the peak wedding season and therefore raise their prices.

The wedding season lasts from May to October. If you’re getting married during the peak season, expect to pay an extra 10%-15% for the venue, vendors, and hairstylist.

Hairstylists are also busy during the graduation season and on major public holidays such as Christmas or Independence Day.

Travel Expenses

Many hair pros work in a fixed location at a salon. Visiting the salon yourself is the cheapest option, but it isn’t always convenient. Traveling takes time, and the wedding day timeline is usually tightly packed.

Furthermore, driving to the salon in a rush doesn’t help the wedding morning feel special. For this reason, most brides prefer to have the hairstylist travel to their location.

Of course, no hair pro will travel to your home or hotel at their own expense. The bride must reimburse any travel costs, regardless of the travel distance.

Often, hairstylists charge a fixed fee for traveling within the town’s borders. However, if you ask the hairstylist to travel out of town, you’ll need to cover the mileage or transport costs.

Tips

Tipping etiquette often gets confusing. Many brides wonder – do you need to tip your wedding hairstylist? Yes, tipping your hair pro is considered a good tone.

The golden rule is to tip as if it was an ordinary appointment, about 15% to 20% of the total cost. For instance, if your wedding hair costs $150, tip about $25-$30.

If you plan to hire multiple hairstylists to make your bridesmaids’ hair, tip each professional the same percentage.

Additional Costs

Many brides neglect the extra fees related to wedding hairstyling. Meanwhile, the costs can quickly add up. The most apparent add-ons are hair accessories such as clips, elastics, or a tiara.

The cost of basic elastics and clips is typically insignificant, but statement wedding hair accessories can be a significant expense. For instance, a bridal tiara may cost from $30 to over $500.

You may also need to spend money on prepping your hair for the wedding. If you have colored hair, you may need to visit a hairdresser for a coloring session which costs $80 on average.

Coloring may be even pricier if you’re a dyed blonde because the hairdresser will need to bleach and tone the hair, but you’re likely already familiar with the costs. Complex coloring techniques like balayage and baby lights usually cost over $150.

A cut is of great help in achieving a healthier, fuller hair look. The nationwide average price of a women’s haircut is about $55, but the prices differ drastically depending on the location.

For instance, a bride from Alabama may pay about $45, and a bride from California may pay $115 for the same haircut. Other potential expenses include hair treatments, supplements, and extensions.

Image credit: Unsplash

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