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Pictured: @ricciperfavore whose finger coiling technique is featured below

“But it’s so expensive!” is the response of many people when they are first introduced to a natural curly hair routine. Many products without silicones, sulfates and other nasties often come with a hefty price tag – often, but not always. You can find products that won’t break the bank, that are classed as curl friendly; some examples include So Good It’s Noughty, Cantu and Maui.

However, there are other ways you can save the pennies when getting started on your curl routine. Read on to find out how!

1. Skip the Co-Wash, Use Conditioner

Instead of buying expensive co-washes, you can use your conditioner. Especially in the early days while you’re trying to work out if co-washing is for you, use your conditioner and massage it into your scalp to loosen and remove dirt.

2. Clarify with ACV, Not Shampoo

Most people need to clarify at some point if they are co-washing and not using low-poo or shampoo. But instead of buying a range of clarifying and cleansing products, you can use something from your kitchen cupboard – Apple Cider Vinegar! As well as clarifying the hair of dirt and product build-up, ACV smooths the hair cuticle, and soothes the scalp, leaving you with soft, shiny, healthy curls. Be sure to dilute the ACV before applying and focus it on your scalp.  

3. DIY Your Deep Conditioner

You can stay in your kitchen for your deep conditioner. Shop-bought treatments often cost a bomb, but you can whip up some incredible homemade treatments using food items from your fridge. Try making DIY deep conditioners with avocado, honey or banana for super soft curls.

4. Style with Flaxseed Gel

Amazingly, you can even make your own styling products! Flax-seed gel is easy to make and, according to die-hard followers of the Curly Girl Method, the only styling product you really need. Flax-seed contains omega three fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium for a healthy boost to your hair. It leaves hair moisturised and has incredible hold without any nasty added ingredients.

Read next: The Best DIY Flax Seed Gel Ever

5. Finger Detangle

If you need to detangle your hair, there is a great free tool you can use for this – your fingers! Start from the bottom of the hair and work you way up towards the root, as gently as you can. We recommend detangling on dry hair for less breakage, as wet hair is more fragile. Here are 2 ways to finger detangle if this method is new to you.

6. Plop with a Long-Sleeved T-Shirt

For plopping or removing the initial moisture from hair after washing, you may have seen some curlies using expensive microfibre towels, wrap or turbans, but did you know a t-shirt will do? If you can get a t-shirt with long sleeves, even better as you can use them to wrap around your head and secure in place. 

7. Air Dry or Diffuse with a Strainer

Many people buy expensive diffusers to dry their hair, but you can simply air dry, if you don’t mind walking round with wet hair for a while. You can also create a diffuser using a colander or strainer and blowing cool air from your hair dryer through the holes; alternatively, cup your hair in your hand as a make-do diffuser cup!

8. Finger Coil Instead of Brush-Styling 

For super defined curls, you can finger coil or twist instead of using a brush to style. Take a section of hair and curl it around the fingers coiling it up towards your scalp, before pulling your finger out of the ringlet.

9. Satin Over Silk

Sleep protection doesn’t need to cost the earth; many people swear by silk, but you can get great results from satin pillowcases and scrunchies at a fraction of the cost!

10. Seal with Jojoba 

If you want to pre-poo, seal in moisture or scrunch-out-the-crunch with a hair oil, you don’t have to buy expensive blended oils; you can simply order a bottle of unprocessed jojoba or almond oil instead – or better yet, coconut or virgin olive oil from your kitchen!

So don’t let your budget put you off taking care of your curls. You can spend as much or as little as you like to get your curls back into a healthy, natural state!