The vacation-filled days of summer are coming to an end, signaling a new season and a reality check on the damage done to your sun-scorched curls. Now is the time many curlies will head to the salon to renew their healthy hair vows. But this season, in a still-sputtering economy, you can’t help questioning every little beauty expense. Let’s face it, salon visits can be pricey and it’s not easy to justify much more than a haircut. Still, you don’t want to sacrifice your curls just because you have to tighten your budget. And you don’t have to.

With a little patience and just a little more effort, you can indeed have it all. Here are three whopping ways to rock your curls—and save hundreds of dollars in salon visits!

The Deep Treatment

Deep conditioning treatment

Moisture is critical for healthy hair, especially for curlies. At the end of a summer scorcher, one of the best ways to hydrate parched tresses is the deep-conditioning treatment. Nearly every salon offers this service, but in tough times it can be hard to justify the expense.

In the salon

A deep treatment can cost anywhere from $60 (in small towns”> to $100 (in major cities, like New York”>. Treating yourself to this salon service once a month = $720 to $1,200/year.

At home

Deep treatments are priced in the lower range of $9 (like Miss Jessie’s Rapid Recovery Treatment“> to the mid-range of $32 (such as Curlisto’s Deep Therapy Masque“> to the high-end of $72 (for Wen’s Re-Moist Hydrating Mask“>. If you use 1 ounce per deep treat, a standard 4-oz. product will provide four treats, lasting four months. If you follow a once-a-month treatment regimen, you’ll still only need to buy three products over time = $27 to $216/year.

Amount saved:

Nearly $700 to $1,000

Bonus tip

A deep treatment at a salon will likely be more thorough than doing it yourself at home, especially if you don’t have a lot of patience or you don’t take the time to apply the heat source that many products need to sink in. So, remember to take as much care with your hair as your stylist does to receive all the benefits of the deep treat.

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