Is Keratin Treatment Worth It? [a Guy’s Perspective]

by Darwin on June 23, 2012


Is Keratin Treatment Worth It?  Let me start by saying I had never even heard of this before until my wife started talking about some expensive hair treatment for hundreds of dollars that would apparently save her hours upon hours of time in the bathroom.  See, her hair’s not naturally straight and she’s always longed for a simple solution to avoid the hour or so of hair straightening every time we’re going out somewhere.  Apparently, this resolves the curly hair issue to some degree.  On many routine days around the house, she doesn’t bother and her hair looks fine (just curly) without a lot of fuss, but whenever she’s going out socially or to a kids’ event at school or whatever, she spends what seems like forever in the bathroom (I hate being late for anything, so I take notice).  To my wife, and many women I’m sure, it’s not really a question of value, it’s just something they want LOL.  To me, I always try to break down expenditures into an economic benefit.  In this case, what is her time worth and is this something we should be paying for.


The Cost of Keratin Treatment (Brazilian Blowout)


The going rate for this treatment from talking to her and some research on the web is usually about $300.  It is supposed to last for about 4 months.  Fortunately, she waited until a deal came up on Groupon and got a deal for $149.  Not to be excluded, though is a tip, which is supposed to be based on the actual base amount, so let’s call it $200 total.  According to my wife, she normally needs a full hour to do her hair to her liking and this would cut it down to 30 minutes.  She does her hair about 4 days a week.  So, here are the numbers:

  • Cost: $200
  • Time Saved: 2 hrs/wk
  • Time Period: 16 weeks
  • Total Time Saved: 32 hours
  • Time Value: $200/32hrs=$6.25/hr

How to Value Your Time

It’s always a difficult put a value on someone’s time.  For instance, my wife has no income, so it’s not like if she had 32 extra hours during the period, she’d derive more income doing something else with that time.  I have a steady job and even some freelance work which takes set periods of time, but I would argue I can’t even put a definitive value on my time because my work opportunities are not infinite.  I somehow manage to get it all in each week, plus family time, so let’s just leave it at, is her time worth $6.25/hr or more.  Probably.  It’s below minimum wage and even though working moms and dads often judge stay at home moms as not having a real job, well, they go back to work for a reason.  It’s much easier in many regards, so it is a job, just one that doesn’t pay in terms of dollars.
Alternatively, people often justify paying for things they don’t need with this time rationalization.  This is why people pay someone to mow their lawns, clean their houses and do any number of other things they could easily do themselves, but just don’t enjoy or don’t want to spend the time doing.  This kinda falls into that boat.  I mean, for the past 20 years, she’s been doing her hair as needed just fine and always got by.  Will she be doing something more or different with this newfound time?  Probably not, but perhaps it’s less stress getting out of the house on time or spending some more time with the kids which is tough to quantify the benefit.
As far as repeat procedures, evidently, the salon she just had it done at actually told her they’d honor that same living social rate as long as she wants to keep coming back (so this says something about the margins already built in!), but at least that could be a working assumption on future pricing.
I also don’t like the prospect of spending $600-$800 a year on a hair treatment which is completely unnecessary though.  So, for now, we have an understanding that this is something she’ll do once a year just for late spring through early fall, since the that’s when she spends most of the time outdoors, at social events and such. I’m no expert at the process itself or how different salons may offer differing levels of value, but I’d recommend signing up for Groupon and LivingSocial and just keeping an eye out for deals since I’ve actually seen more since she already bought her first one.  Evidently, it’s popular enough and there are enough salons around that you could reasonably avoid paying full price any time as long as these daily deal sites are still in business.

This One Was For the Ladies.  Any Thoughts?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris June 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

I am under the impression that this is something your family could afford. That means we are just trying to justify the spending at this point. As you already pointed out, by not getting her this treatment you are saying her time is worth less than minimum wage (not a point I’d bring up with her ;D). Also, it would save you both a lot of stress. She could obviously be stressing less over getting her hair done and looking nice; you wouldn’t have to stress about being late. And where as she might not be doing something monetarily productive during that time, she could still be doing something else. Spending more time with you or the children, devoting time to a passion/hobby. I’d say all of those things are worth more to you than the cost of the treatment.

Ultimately, if she is just doing this during the parts of the year she’d gain the most benefit out of, then I’d say go for it. After all, I believe the saying is, “Happy wife, happy life.” 🙂


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: