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We realize that many curly products are more expensive than products that appeal to the masses. With a greater focus on quality ingredients that are oftentimes organic and ethically produced, it is understandable that some brands need to charge a premium, but this can be prohibitive for many people who are caring for their hair on a budget.

One of our readers recently raised this same concern in our Curly Q&A section. Curly girl lfeomv  is a pre-teen and lives in an area where curly hair isn't prevalent, so she is up against some barriers and we wanted to help her out. But these tips are also relevant to anyone who is looking to cut costs when it comes to their hair.

Natural hair does not have to be expensive! With a little bit of creativity, you can achieve the moisture retention and hair health.

Question

How to take care of my 4c TWA (no/low budget), I’m only 12 years old. I did my BC 10 months ago, even though my mom didn't want me to go natural. Every week I wash my hair with shampoo (not sulfate-free). I don't use conditioner. Then I use (EVO (it ran out) and) a pudding by African pride and detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb. I rarely deep condition (DIY: Egg/Yoghurt/banana, Honey, olive oil). I moisturize my hair daily with water and seal it with EVO. I do just use what is at home. I don't get pocket money, so I can’t buy products. I live in Germany in a small town too, and there are no products for natural hair. Atm (at the moment) I protective style. I took my braids out one week ago and I will install a weave next month. My hair is naturally dry and I have a lot of breakage (I have never trimmed my ends in my whole life, my mom just don't know about it), but it grows anyway

I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

Answer

First off, congratulations on taking the plunge into wearing your natural hair. Secondly, there are a few things you need to do that shouldn’t cost you too much or at the very least cost the same when you trade them in for your protective style.

Make your own cleanser

Instead of buying shampoo, you can make your own cleanser using ingredients you probably have in the pantry already. The money you spent on weaves and braiding hair can also be used for ingredients at the grocery store to create your own hair care products.

Baking Soda Rinse

  • 2 cups warm water
  • ½ cup baking soda

Allow mixture to dissolve and make sure it is smooth and not gritty. Massage into hair and scalp to cleanse and rinse well after. Now you are ready to condition your hair.

You must use a conditioner!

Sorry but you cannot miss this important step and not using it is probably one of the primary reasons you are experiencing so much breakage. Conditioner is necessary to repair the hair from the damages your hair experiences and it makes hair soft and manageable. I have a few recipes below that you can try. Since you are using a shampoo with sulfates you must use those conditioners to replenish your moisture levels.

Honey EVO Conditioner

  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Mix the honey and olive oil before melting in microwave. Apply to head and cover with plastic cap for 15-30 minutes. Rinse out and style as usual. You can replace the olive oil with coconut oil and have a whole new deep conditioner.

Deep condition

Deep conditioning is a necessary step in keeping hair healthier from all the damage it incurs from the elements like sun, wind, and pollutants. Deep conditioners nourish the cuticle and some penetrate the hair shaft with longer lasting effects than daily conditioners. Deep treatments will keep hair soft and temporally fix the damaged areas. It is necessary to close the cuticle and rebuild cuticle after you shampoo.

Here is another recipe that will help you take care of your hair on a low (or no) budget. The conditioners and hair masks will help keep hair nourished and fight off that dryness you feel in your hair.

Banana hair mask for damaged hair

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Blender

Place the banana in the blender and grind into a smooth puree. Add the olive oil to the smooth banana and blend again until it turns into frothy and creamy. Use a mesh strainer to remove chunks. Make sure it is smooth, as you do not want lumps in your hair. Apply to freshly washed, wet hair and cover with a plastic cap, so it will capture the drippings. Keep the mixture and the cap on your head for 30 min. before rinsing well and style as usual.

Save up for a styler

See how these recipes work on your hair before trying a styler. You are not currently using one, so maybe you will see a huge difference and not need to try one just yet. The money you save on cleansers and conditioners may give you the chance to ask your mom for a curly styler if they are available at local stores or online. You can still braid your hair, put it in puffs, ponytails, or try twist-outs. If you want to use a protective style like braids or weaves, you will be protecting your hair with the proper foundation of washing and conditioning to keep your hair healthy under the styles. Remember to always care for your hair when in a protective style and that dryness and breakage should start going away.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet has a significant impact on your hair health, so make sure you are eating fruits, vegetables, and drinking plenty of water. Make sure you are paying attention to what you are eating and make sure to drink a lot of water to keep yourself and your hair hydrated.

Do you have low budget tips for caring for your hair? Tell us below!