Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is $500 A Year Too Much To Spend On Hair Care?

Dear Tazi:

I have long, curly hair that requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep looking good. I go to the hairdresser for a trim every eight weeks, and purchase salon products to wash and style my hair. I realize these are expensive, but I use them sparingly so one bottle of shampoo will last me for several months so the cost evens out a bit when compared with the brands sold in retail stores (which do not work as well on my hair; I have tried them all and I have to use more for less results).

My problem is that my husband is nagging me about the amount of money I spend on hair care. As year-end approaches, he has added up the total amount of my salon visits and hair products, and showed me that I have spend roughly $500 on cuts, highlights, and washing/styling products so far this year. He compared my spending to his hair-care spending, commenting he gets his hair cut once a month at the barber and spends only $15 per cut. I know we need to watch our budget, but I don't believe that my personal appearance should suffer for it!

I pointed out to my husband that he was not counting the price of his dandruff shampoo and conditioner ($10/set) and that he goes through one bottle of each per month, adding $120 to his "tab". I pointed out that his monthly supply of [men's hair coloring] is another $10/box, adding another $120 to his "tab", bringing it to a total that is darn close to mine! He argued that his products are necessary and that mine are not.

I asked my husband what he meant when he said his products were "necessary" and he told me that my highlights are "for fun" while his hair coloring is necessary to hide his gray and give him a youthful look in the workplace. He told me that I could easily go to a chain salon rather than the boutique and save a few hundred dollars per year. While this may be true, I have a great working relationship with my hairdresser and I do not wish to abandon it to save a few hundred dollars. I have suggested we look for other ways to save money, but he is being adamant that my hair care has to go - and has suggested that I cut my hair off into a pixie cut to accomplish this!

Tazi, it has been two days and I am still not speaking to my husband. Maybe I am being vain...but I love my hair! It is my one indulgence, whereas my husband has several. I think he should have to give up golf...or video games...or his cable-TV sports package...or something! Right?

Stay At Home Mom

Dear Stay At Home Mom:

I thought your husband was a control freak until I got to your signature. Now I see that he is a control freak with a God complex. It appears that your husband thinks that because he earns the paycheck he should have full say and control over how it is spent. I disagree with this - just because your work does not result in a paycheck does not mean that it does not result in an increased bottom line for your family budget.

While you do not work in a professional office, I can understand your desire to look nice. Being a stay-at-home-Mom can result in stained clothes, frayed nerves, and unshaven legs all in the name of putting the children first, so it is nice to be able to have one thing about yourself that keeps you connected to the woman you were before you became a Mom. She's still in there; let her shine through!  It will make you a better Mom by making you a happier woman. Is this something you can explain to your husband?

If your husband wants to save a few dollars, I suggest that he cut back in the areas you suggest - so long as it doesn't kill his career! Wouldn't want the gray hair to say "old" instead of "experience"! Seriously, though, if golf and pro-sports games are how he networks with his business connections, they will have to stay; however, I find his accounting for your every penny while discounting his own costs to be a real problem.

I suggest that the two of you sit down together and examine why your husband feels his treats and perks are more deserved than yours; you may have to do this in the office of a marriage counselor, but perhaps that is what your marriage needs at this point (there is no shame in this; think of the counselor as a coach - even the great Tom Brady listens to Coach Belichick!).

I also suggest that you look at your budget as a whole, and not cherry-pick items that your husband thinks are too expensive. The bottom line just may be getting weighed down by his excessive spending, and not your occasional perk.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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