Anyway, first up is hair care. The nature of our hair often requires more hair products and higher quality hair products to maintain. Though, I will not dispute the fact that the more expensive products are often of higher quality, with greater concentrations of the key ingredients, there are still ways to save.
First, consider taking things into your hands… at least partly. If you add up how much you spend on salon visits, it can easily be a couple thousand dollars per year. I recommend leaving the chemicals to the professionals, however, you can learn how to wash and style your hair yourself. This can save you tons of the money in the long run and it can be very satisfying knowing that you are not dependent on a stylist for your hair care. If you can’t imagine only going to your stylist for relaxers and hair color, consider only going to the salon for every other wash. This will still result in a big savings.
Secondly, try looking at those cheapie conditioners in the grocery store with a new eye. Cheapies like Suave, VO5, and Tresemme are not only great straight out of the bottle for conditioner washes and leave-ins but, if you are willing to become your own kitchen chemist, you can turn these into great deep conditioners as well. Think of the conditioner as just a great base to work off of. Try adding oils like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil to your cheapie conditioners to give them more punch. Also, you can try adding an egg to a cup or so of your favorite cheapie to turn it into great protein conditioner.
Thirdly, know where to spend and where to skimp. If you do have a little extra money to spend, I would recommend spending your money on conditioners as these can have the greatest effect on your hair’s health. You can rotate your newly upgraded cheapie conditioner with your salon quality conditioner, to extend your buck even further. Where I might skimp would be on shampoos. The main issue with cheap shampoos is that they can be stripping to your hair; however, you can counteract this effect somewhat by doing a pre-shampoo treatment (prepoo). This will leave a coat on your hair that will provide a barrier against the harsh effects of the shampoo. You should also be sure not lather your hair until you get to that squeaky clean stage (this should be a must no matter what shampoo you choose); two lathers should be more than enough to cleanse your scalp. You can also try rotating your shampoo washes with conditioner washes (where you use a cheapie conditioner in lieu of a shampoo).
Lastly, know a hair care bargain when you see one. There are a lot of hair care gems out there that are both affordable and high quality.
Here are my all-stars:
1) Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner and Hair Mayonnaise– You guys already know I love the Replenishing Conditioner but the Hair Mayo is a wonderful protein treatment as well.
2) Giovanni 50/50 Balancing Conditioner and Smooth as Silk Conditioner – These are my favorite moisturizing conditioners for the latter weeks of my relaxer cycle. They leave my hair incredibly soft for days for about $6.99 at your local drugstore, ULTA, Target, or even grocery store. Look for this stuff on sale too. My local grocery store had these on sale for $5.99 yesterday. If you cannot find it in your local stores, try purchasing this online at Vitacost. It is ridiculously cheap there even after you factor in shipping. Vitacost has great prices on hair oils as well.