Tabitha Webb | Merryn Somerset Webb

Is it worth it?

Tabitha Webb | Merryn Somerset Webb

Tabitha Webb | Merryn Somerset Webb


I am delighted to be launching a new blog with my sister Merryn Somerset Webb, Editor of Money Week.

We have had different opinions our entire lives about whether things are worth it…I am impulsive and irresponsible and she is very careful and clever.

This means that she is much better set up for life than me, but it also means she secretly loves nothing more than when I do yet another wardrobe cleanse and she finds herself on the receiving end of some of my impulse buys…so who’s right?

That, quite frankly, is a matter of opinion!


Tabitha: My first experience with hair dye came courtesy of my eldest sister Jules, who after becoming a ‘beauty school drop-out’, promised me some luscious platinum locks for my 17th birthday.

After a disastrous turn with a home dyeing kit, I turned up to one of my first big days out at a boys public school with orange hair and a see through skirt.

Not one of my best looks.

But all the same it instilled in me the need to give my drab mousy locks a lift. To this day the sight of a root over a couple of centimetres long sends me into a cold sweat, as I see myself ageing in front of the mirror. As any highlight addict knows, there is nothing better than a full head – it lifts your spirits, makes you feel younger and in my case definitely thinner.

Yes, at £250 every 8 weeks it is a massive investment, but I swear a life changing one. It gives us the chance to change with the times, to be someone that we are not, to be on trend or off trend, to quite frankly make us look damn hot. I would never ever sacrifice this ritual visit to the hair dresser, and I spend many a day trying to encourage Merryn to try even one tiny little highlight, or even a lowlight…but no, it is quite simply not on her radar.

I know, she is probably investing it somewhere terribly sensibly, but this time for me it is definitely looks over cash….and honestly, who wants people to know when they are actually going grey? My peroxide will keep this covered for a long time to come, and that is worth a lot.


Merryn: (Signing loudly) There's a very simple way to look at this.

For the last 20 years Tabitha has been spending £1500 a year on her highlights. If she had instead saved this money – perhaps into a pension – and made a conservative 5% return on it, the magic of compounding would mean that she would now have £52,080 in savings.

She will now, I suspect, continue to spend £1500 a year for at least another 20 years. The total forgone in savings will then come to £190,250. That is well over 5 times what most people manage to save into a pension over a life time. And a phenomenal waste of money. Particularly, given  two things.

  1. Tabitha has no idea what her natural hair colour is any more
  2. There's really nothing wrong with grey hair…Those in doubt need only look to at the likes of Helen Mirren and all those wonderful women who age naturally

Worth it?

Absolutely not.


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