Ever left the cash register at your favorite beauty or drug store and felt like you’ve just traded in a week’s worth of groceries for a couple days’ worth of hair products? We’ve all been there. You’re standing in the aisle, a bottle of conditioner in one hand and a styler in the other, with the price tags taunting you. You can either save your wallet and sacrifice good hair days for mediocre ones at best - or miserable ones at worst, or fork over your hard-earned cash and please the beast above by feeding its cravings for costly conditioners and curl creams. But what if you didn’t have to choose?
Here is a list of a few tricks and tips that can help save your wallet from unnecessary drought - and still leave your hair looking fabulous!
1. College Curlies: Utilize your resources!
College students have access to a variety of useful places for all of their academic and personal needs, and the cafeteria is one of them! Many goodies that we use to enhance our meals are also coincidentally beneficial for our hair. A few examples are honey and mayo - both of which are typically easily accessible in your local university cafeteria. And the best part? They’re free! Combine them for a simple, but helpful hair mask when you’re running low on funds, but your hair needs a quick boost.
2. Plop with a Top
Although those microfiber turbans made especially for drying curls may be cute, the price tag can leave you questioning whether it’s worth it for a process that can be done using only the sun. Another way to save a few bucks is by using an old tee shirt you might have lying around to plop with instead. Tuck it under to keep it from falling off or coming undone if you plop while you sleep. Here's a quick step-by-step guide on how to plop.
3. Turn Your Home into a Chemistry Lab!
Maybe you aren’t a college student with access to a cafeteria and all the glorious freebies within. But if you take a moment to examine your cabinets and refrigerator, you’ll find that you may already own many ingredients that can be used for DIY hair care. For example, you can combine eggs, mayonnaise, olive oil and honey to make a DIY hair mask, or use apple cider vinegar diluted with water as a clarifying rinse. Proof that college students aren’t the only ones who have access to affordable haircare!
4. Hydration Elation
Another way of preserving your hair products and making them last longer is to make sure your hair is wet properly. When you don’t use enough water, your hair can feel drier, prompting you to use more product than necessary. In turn, you run through products faster. To get the most usage possible out of your hair products, make sure your hair is soaked, or at least damp so that the water can work with your hair products to make your curls pop. This can also help with breakage issues, as water can help provide more slip.
5. Wrap it Up
If you’re like me, then you’ve been taught to store those plastic bags from grocery stores for various household uses. And if you’re like me, you’ve also got a storage space somewhere that is overflowing with those sad little white, grey or brown plastic bags. You could throw them away, or you can use them as shower caps, or wrap your hair in them for a deep conditioning sesh using the greenhouse effect or baggy methods.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Old Hair Products
One thing we curlies tend to be very familiar with is the frustration of trying a new product, only to find that it doesn’t work the way we need it to. Selling used products isn’t always easy, and more often than not, we end up tossing them out to make room for new products. One way to be resourceful with this costly habit is to recycle these old products and try to add ingredients to them that may fix what wasn’t working before. Need more shine? Add a little honey to your shampoo. Need some moisture or more attention to your scalp? Blend some avocado and mix it with your conditioner.
7. Let Others be the Guinea Pigs
Reading reviews is something that may be taken for granted, but could just be your saving grace! If you know basic details about your hair, like its porosity and density go online and read what other curlies with your hair type had to say about the products you are considering buying. Save money and heartache by reading reviews or watching YouTube videos of people using the products you’re interested in to help determine if they’re worth spending the money or not.
These are just a few tips to help keep you from breaking the bank while keeping your curls healthy and happy. Have any tips of your own to share?