10 In Thoughts & Observations

Midlife Rhenna – I’m Older And Have More Disposable Income

I’m still a little surprised at what Midlife Rhenna did this time. It happened almost six weeks ago and I’m a little scared because I know she’s thinking about doing it again. Honestly, I can’t believe I’m going to confess this—not so much because it’s a horrendous act—but because…well, it’s just extravagant. In a freakishly vain way.

I spent one hundred and sixty dollars on shampoo, conditioner, and styling gel. That’s roughly fifty-three dollars each.

I know. That makes me crazy and stupid, right?

The guy who does my hair—a genius for folks with fine hair like me—carries this line of products called Shu Uemura. Much like his salon, their products are allegedly the crème de la crème of all things hair related.

Now, I willingly crossed the line into crazy hair maintenance costs several years ago after one too many cuts and colors ended in either disappointment or disaster. I told myself I’d save loads of tears and frustration by shelling out more money, and chanted, “You get what you pay for,” every time I went. But forking over even more money to pay for their products? Huh-uh. I didn’t bother to ask how much the stuff was because the packaging looked like it was past my price-point comfort level, and I was already packing my lunch every day to pay for my visits.

And then they sucked me.

I was happily reclined at the rinse bowl, the stylist’s helper giving me a deliciously relaxing scalp massage, when this glorious scent hit me. An exotic, floral perfume I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I asked the lady what it was and, sure enough, it was some new product from Shu Uemura that works miracles on fine hair.

The stylist finished up on my hair and I made my way to the counter to pay, the wonderful scent still wrapped around me. I took a chance and asked them to add the products to my bill, thinking twenty—maybe twenty-five each. It would be a splurge, right?

The cashier read me my final bill and you’d have thought someone zapped me with a defibrillator. The total was so bad, I didn’t care how much of a cheapskate I looked like and told the lady to put them back. No way was I spending that kind of money on shampoo.

But for the next six weeks I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I confess, I even tried to find the stuff on Amazon to get it cheaper…because hey, Amazon Prime is the bomb. (This is when I learned the exotic scent was Lotus Flower.)

No luck online. Not anywhere except the official Shu Uemura site.

Next time I went it? I caved. Never in my life have spent so much on something so readily available at a much lower price point. But, in true midlife fashion, that rebellious part of me knew I had a few extra Christmas dollars tucked away and chimed in with a, “What the hell.”

The stylist swore I’d notice a difference, and surprised as I am to admit it, he was right. Now I’m a few weeks away from my next appointment and I find myself wondering if I’ll buy more.

What’s the most shocking thing you’ve ever purchased? What made it shocking? The money or the product itself? Would you do it again? Do you think I’m nuts? Would you pay this much for shampoo?

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  • Reply
    Gretchen wing
    January 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Yes you are nuts, but who says $ can’t buy happiness? It’s still cheaper than a plane ticket, right? Since that’s always my main luxury, that’s how I measure everything. And I justify plane tickets by saying, hey, family and friends are more important than anything, right?

    • Reply
      January 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Well, there is that! I’ll tuck that handy rationalization away for my next trip to the salon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jeffe Kennedy
    January 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Such a funny story! Enjoy your fancee shampoo. Hair is DEFINITELY a “you get what you pay for” thing with me.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Oh, I’m enjoying it…but you should see me when it comes to dispensing the stuff. You’d think the stuff had gold flecks in it. It’s sad, really.

  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    January 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I say if it makes you feel good about your hair, it’s worth it – especially if it actually works! There’s nothing worse than a bad hair day. I don’t spend that much on shampoo, but recently my friend (a makeup artist) dragged me to a Mac store. My thirteen-year-old, boxed up pretty, pretty princess persona jumped out, took me by surprise, and a buttload of money later, I now have lots of makeup I’ll never use up in my lifetime. But now I can play Barbie makeover whenever I want! 🙂

    • Reply
      January 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Yes! Makeup is another one where I get sucked in. And then I get home and have this monstrous guilt for what I’ve done.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I go to one of those hairdressers, too, but I don’t get sucked into buying their shampoo and conditioner. I only buy important stuff from them–hair masque, etc.
    Rolling your eyes? Yeah, me, too, but it makes a difference. Really! It does!!!
    And it’s only $40 a tube, so it’s cheap. Right? I don’t remember what the other stuff I buy from them costs. 🙂 But no shampoo and no conditioner.

  • Reply
    Marianna Heusler
    January 28, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I once bought a white pair of over the knee boots, that made me feel like JLo whenever I put them on. I still have them and, even if I only wear them once a year, I still love them! And hair is super important, first thing anyone notices. If it cost hundreds of dollars to get it to look great, go for it (even if you end up washing out most of the product!).

  • Reply
    Shan Jeniah Burton
    January 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    My hair is thick, wavy, and a LOT. It tends to be dry, but I can use anything with moisture in it, and some silicon frizz stuff. I can even use baking soda and vinegar, and I often cut it myself (if I make a goof, waves are very forgiving, since I favor an untamed tumble, anyway).

    That doesn’t mean I haven’t shocked myself. Once, I spent about $300 more to complete custom calendars than I hoped to make on them, And that doesn’t include the investment of photography, layout, design, ect, I put into them. We were so broke, then. My husband and I still share painful chuckles about my business venture – and I’m happy that we can!

    When I was in my 20s. I scraped together everything I could, and neglected paying some bills and getting needed car repairs, so that I could buy to tickets to see Simon and Garfunkel’s reunion concert at Madison Square Garden. I love Paul Simon, and justified that I was too young the last time they were together.

    That one was totally worth it. Totally.

    Then there was the time I lost the house payment, and we had to max out nearly every credit card we had to pay it….

    May you be as happy with your hair yummies as I was with that concert! =D

    • Reply
      January 29, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hahaha…not sure it can match Simon and Garfunkel, but my hair sure smells good. 🙂

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