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Last updated: June 20, 2019

Gray Coverage: Why It’s Never Just A Root Touch-Up

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Gray Coverage: Why It’s Never Just A Root Touch-Up

Gray coverage. To clients, it should be a quick root touch-up that’s pretty affordable. But for stylists, it’s easily a 2-hour appointment that eats up product. Tired of potential new clients not understanding how the work justifies the cost, Tara Modelowitz (@thechemicalqueen) took to Instagram to breakdown root touch-up services. Get her pricing and process below, then keep reading to see what other insights fellow colorists had to offer!



Tara’s Pricing & Process

Pricing: For Tara, root touch-ups start at $100 and may increase due to factors like how thick her client’s hair is and how much color the service requires. “Time is money and products are money,” says Tara. “The days of $60 root touch-ups are long gone.”


Appointment Breakdown:

  1. Talk with the client for about 10 to 15 minutes while assessing her hair.
  2. Mix her custom formula, then take 15 to 20 minutes to apply it depending on the thickness of the client’s hair and how long it takes to apply.
  3. Let her process for about 35 to 45 minutes.
  4. Shampoo while giving a (standard) scalp massage, taking another 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Then, spend another 30+ minutes for the style. “No one in my salon leaves with wet hair. Ever,” shares Tara.


Total Chair Time: About 2 hours


See what other advice and insights colorists had to offer!

“In my opinion, this particular client doesn’t value our knowledge and expertise or the industry as a profession and is just looking for the Groupon experience. Never let those people discredit what professionals bring to the table. She’s most likely the same client who will complain about how she can’t find a good hairdresser either but probably drives a Mercedes and carries a Louis Vuitton bag. You can’t make people respect you and, to me, these particular clients don’t respect us as professionals.” – @camouflageandbalayage


“You hit the nail on the head. My touchups start at $75 and increase if I need to use more product for thicker hair or if it calls for heavier pigment ratio due to resistant gray. It’s not a kitchen/bathroom slap on service. There is a method to our madness and there is the receiving of customer service and ambiance that I feel also plays into the price of the service.” – @monicalynne73


“Yes! I have felt all of these things, which is why I now charge $95 to $100. It requires so much more time and it’s much more customized than clients think.” – @newporthairbytiffany


“I’ve always heard the rule of thumb is your color cost times eight. And then if you are booked solid for 6 weeks, add a raise on top of that. I charge $85 but I want to be at $90. My color cost is $10 a tube. I’ve been wondering what stylists in my area are charging for touch-ups. I need to check and see if I’m even close. I haven’t checked local prices for years.” – @prettypistol


“I totally agree. On average, I use between two and four colors to perfect the best gray coverage. Also, some of the quadrants require their own color due to the percentage of natural vs. non-pigmented hair. A lot goes into a root touch-up and every time I see my regular clients I reassess their color. It takes time to perfect our craft. I charge $90 for a root touch-up and $100 for a pull through (And more if the service requires it!).” – @madelinemclark



Check out Tara’s formula for this seamlessly blended ombré!

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Tara Modelowitz