Sandra Ballentine realized she had a problem when a friend asked why there was no shampoo in her house. It was because Ballentine of New York City had her hair blown out up to three times a week, never needing shampoo to do it herself.
In a growing trend across the country, women are turning to blowout-exclusive salons, like Drybar, which has exploded to 30 U.S. locations from four in 2010. And at up to $80 a service, it can be a pricey habit.
"You're looking at between tips and taxes, that would be $250 dollars a week," Ballentine said on "Good Morning America" of her weekly trips to Orlo salon in New York.
That's an alarming number, something her friend, an editor at W magazine , realized. Which is why he issued a challenge to Ballentine: quit cold turkey from all heat treatments (blow-drying, straightening, curling, etc.) for three months and write about it for the magazine.
"I didn't think I could do it," Ballentine said. "And then I kind of got over myself. I was like, come on, who cares that much?"
Inspired by the challenge, Ballentine detailed her experience in the magazine. But for others, like Michal Rabinowitz, also of New York City, the thought is inconceivable.
"To me, it's not a pampering. It's kind of an everyday necessity," Rabinowitz said.
New York psychiatrist Dr. Sudeepta Varma said, "A lot of times, people who are very much addicted to looking a certain way are also perfectionists, so they're used to in every other aspect of their life. For them, this might be a natural extension of that."
Ballentine does not know whether she will continue forgoing her blowouts, but the payoff might be enough to convince her. Ballentine is using her savings toward buying a house.
"I'm using the money toward the property taxes," she said. "Seriously, yeah."