Lately I have been hating my hair. I have been coloring it for a long time, but only now does it look fried and brassy and damaged. I wonder why, I baby it with expensive shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair. I try to hold back on the heating elements to style it, and I haven’t been in chlorine or sun lately. I walk the aisles at CVS, Target and Sephora looking for the next miracle product that will take my straw and make it silk.
Then I realize that the reason I do not like my hair right now is because I am way past due for a trim and color touch-up. I have held off on seeing my stylist because my wallet is still reeling from Christmas, a vacation for New Year’s and a short cruise to celebrate my birthday. I thought I was being frugal, adding a few (okay several) weeks between my salon appointments. What’s funny about this reasoning is that in these extra weeks I have stayed away from the salon, I have spent more at drug stores, big box retailers and specialty boutiques trying to find something to fix my look. Deep conditioners for my hair, a straightening iron that is gentler, even a blush, a highlighter and a new foundation that would hopefully give me a rosier glow to counteract the lifeless head of hair. The scariest purchase in these few weeks away from the salon? I bought a pack of hair elastics and a few barrettes to hold back my wild and annoying mane.
As I have said before on this site, a good haircut is your best investment. If you have a good cut and properly maintain it, you won’t need the shine products, the major repairing conditioners, the temporary colors that are bought at 11pm from the all-night drugstore at a point of utter frustration. And you won’t need the elastics in your change purse, around your car’s gear shift and always on your wrist. Elastics will be left for the gym, chores and when applying a face mask.
As I applied my third product this morning and reached for the new pack of elastics, I realized I had gone off the hair deep end. Today as soon as the salon opened, I would be calling to make an appointment.
We feel that we can’t afford those gorgeous yet expensive leather pumps, so we buy three cheap versions in an attempt to replicate. We feel we can’t afford a nice salon cut and color, but we spend essentially the same amount in shampoos, conditioners, color enhancers, shine increasers, frizz reducers, volumizers and texturizers. We shy away from higher-end clothing stores and spend as much on disposable pieces at discount retailers. We often settle, and then we spend more because we aren’t fully satisfied.
Look through your linen closet, your medicine cabinet and on top of your bureau – how many beauty products do you have? And how many do you actually use on a regular basis? What are you really trying to accomplish with that new item?
As with our wardrobes, so should our hair follow the “quality, not quantity” mantra. When you concentrate on quality, in the long run you spend less. A $100 visit to the salon every other month will be far cheaper in the long run than trying to buy products, cosmetics, new clothes to counteract the rat’s nest on the top of your head.
Think how much you will save in elastics and barrettes.