12 December 2018
Hair salon time is 'me time' and beauty time, and it's hard for a spouse to put a price on that. Photo:
Hair salon time is 'me time' and beauty time, and it's hard for a spouse to put a price on that. Photo:

Want to stay together? Don’t mess with the hair budget

Here’s a little marital tip: avoid telling your spouse how much he or she should spend on getting his or her hair done.

Try it if you aren’t convinced. Guaranteed nuclear war.

Social media participants allowed no ifs, ands or buts when asked about the way couples should approach the significant cost of getting one’s hair done, Reuters reported.

One clear-cut response: “There are some things you don’t share with your spouse, and hair cost is one of them.”

Another: “Smart husbands don’t mess with the hair-doing budget.”

And yet another: “Two things men should only address if they have something good to say: hair and weight.”

Hair care, in particular, seems to be an intensely personal subject for couples.

Throw money concerns into the mix, and it can lead to the financial equivalent of a really bad hair day.

Indeed, financial arguments are by far the No. 1 one predictor of divorce, research by Sonya Britt, a professor at Kansas State University, shows.

There is no doubt the costs of hair care can add up, and quickly.

The average salon client drops US$67.17 per visit for hair services, American Salon’s Green Book industry report says.

And men go to a stylist 11.2 times a year on average, while women drop in 12.9 times annually.

“As a woman you grow up feeling like expensive hair treatments are mandatory, almost like you’re being shamed into it,” said Dr. Phoenyx Austin, a fitness expert in Washington and author of If You Love It, It Will Grow and the children’s book Love Your Hair.

“You don’t want someone telling you you’re spending too much money. It’s a very touchy subject.”

That said, Austin says the final tab can easily get “out of hand”, when you are combining pricey appointments with expensive take-home products.

She knows of women who spend up to US$1,500 a month on their hair.

“The worst thing is to come at your spouse complaining about a salon bill when you’re shelling out lots of money on other stuff,” she said.

“Make sure to frame the discussion that any cutbacks will go into family savings, or to your kids’ college. That’s a good way to massage it into the conversation.”

Samantha McGarry once went into battle on the subject, and the skirmish was brief and decisive.

“At one point, my husband said something about the cost of getting my hair done,” said the 47-year-old public relations executive from Framingham, Massachusetts.

“So we had a little conversation, and now he knows to focus on other areas.”

Truth be told, McGarry doesn’t spend crazy amounts on her hair: US$120 every now and then on a cut and color. She certainly does not want that budget shorn.

“It’s about feeling beautiful, it’s about having ‘me time’, it’s about all of that,” McGarry said.

“Spouses should probably steer clear in order to keep the peace.”

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