Women say they're defined by hair

Women say they're defined by hair


by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8


Posted on September 19, 2012 at 5:46 PM

The Katie Couric show did an entire hour on the subject of hair on Wednesday so we decided to have our own fun with women and what they spend on their “dos.”

The latest research we could find on the subject came from the shampoo company Tresseme. It said a survey of 2,000 women showed we spend an average of $50,000 in a lifetime on our hair.

Portland salon owners believe it, and so do their clients.

“It’s your identity. When you walk into a room looking for someone the first thing you look for is their hair,” said Brenda Kay, a Portland wig specialist for more than 40 years.

The owner of Au Salon in NW Portland agrees.

“It’s the difference between a good dress and bad dress from your closet. Wear the good, one and you feel better about yourself all day,” remarked Josette Arvidson.

The Tresseme survey showed women spend an average of $520 a year for haircuts and $330 for color. “The color needs to be youthful and that’s what women spend for,” explained Arvidson.

“As a busy mother, it’s the only thing I do just for myself,” said Au Salon client Nancy Leitgeb.

Arvidson believes women are paying for a change.

“In our industry, we know clients will leave a stylist if they don’t at least change things up a bit. I always say you can’t change the face, so you change the hair,” added Au Salon client Pat Lawrence

“I’ve been getting permanents for years and now at 84, I’ve decided to go straight.” Women opting for high end top for the line customized wigs are paying as much as $2,700 for a head of hair that will last three years.

“It’s virgin hair that’s never been treated with any chemicals and the weave makes it look like your scalp,” explained Brenda Kay.

Synthetic wigs which are available in her shop start at $250.

“Baby boomers are also going for what’s called a topper,” said Brenda.

It costs about $300 and attaches to a clients regular hair giving extra volume to those with thinning hair. “I wear one,” added Brenda. "And it stays in place in a stiff wind because of the clips.” In addition to spending money on hair the survey shows women spend valuable time.

The average woman takes an hour and 53 minutes a week washing and styling her locks. In a lifetime that comes out to about seven months.