Financial stress in college is real, and in those times your survival mode kicks in. College students can be some of the most creative people, they have to be. Hours spent studying while working a non-paid internship or minimum wage job mean you want to do spend your limited leisure time and coins the way you want to. I decided to go natural in college, and with quality products starting at $10, I was not willing to spend $30-$40 for a full hair care regimen complete with a cleanser, conditioner, moisturizer, and styler. So, what did I do? I focused on moisture, and with my frugal budget I managed to upgrade my regimen at no cost. Here are the ways I managed to change my hair care routine in college without spending an extra dime.


The next time you leave your dorm and head to the dining hall before class, take your conditioner! For what you ask? You notice that honey next to the biscuits station? Do you see where I’m going with this? Take the honey, pour it in a cup or small serving size bowl, head to your table (let’s keep this classy and discreet”>, and pour it in your conditioner. Honey is a humectant and will upgrade any daily conditioner to a deep conditioner. I know you’re thinking that honey is probably hard to apply and rinse out of your hair but that is not true. Honey becomes less viscous when it interacts with water, so rinsing will not be an issue. If you are feeling guilty do not forget that you paid for my meal plan and university dining halls discard hundreds of pounds of food every day, so why not salvage it? Think of it as helping them to not waste food…that you already paid for.

Salad bar

Now it’s 12:30pm and you are hungry. You are racing to the cafeteria faster than grandma in a tracksuit working out at the mall. After you charge to the pizza station and bypass the salad bar, make your way back around to the leafy green section. After you drizzle ranch dressing on your pizza (I know I was not the only one”>, ask for a to-go cup and fill it with olive oil. This will make for a great pre-poo while studying before you wash your hair. Oh, and if you want to add shine to your hair, go ahead and ask for another to-go condiment container for apple cider vinegar for your ACV rinse.

Grocery store

Making a grocery store run for snacks with your girlfriends? Don’t pass up this opportunity. While you are stocking up on Golden Oreos and Easy Mac, mosey over to the produce section, snatch a few plastic produce bags, and grab an apple while you’re there. These bags are perfect for deep conditioning. They are better than the plastic bags at the checkout line because you do not have to tie them and it is easier to keep the heat compact.

Your closet

Before you throw away your old sneakers and go thrift shopping, remove the laces from those shoes and give them a wash. If hair ties are too tight and you can’t seem to stop losing them, consider using your old shoe laces to create a puff. This is perfect when you are heading to the gym to burn off those five slices of pizza and the French fries you scarfed down. Using a shoe lace will allow you to adjust the puff to the size you want and it is perfect for all lengths. No one wants to exercise with hair falling in his or her face and this quick trick is the go-to for all of your twist-out fails. Keep one in your purse or backpack for the days you have to run to class and sweat your hair out.

How do you step your hair care game up for free? 

RELATED: 10 Amazing Conditioners Under $10

This article was originally published April 2015 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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