Monday, April 20, 2009

Recession Hair Care - Product Alternatives

Healthy hair isn't reserved for those who can spend, spend, spend. Despite whatever economic hardship you're experiencing, you can have it too. If buying that $15 salon-quality moisturizer or $22 organic conditioner will put a hole in your pocket, try mixing your own products for less. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of spending a portion of your check on pricey shampoos, opt for liquid Castile Soap instead. (About $8 for 32oz.) This soap is inexpensive and lasts a long time. Another alternative? Buy a box of baking soda for under $1, add a bit your conditioner, and then wash with the concoction.

Purchase 1lb of shea butter for around $10 and your favorite oil (coconut, safflower, olive, etc.) for under $10. Whip up your own creamy moisturizer from this combination, and have a product that lasts you a year or more -- longer than your commericial product option. Allergic to shea butter? Try another butter like mango or avocado.

* Add conditioner to your mix for another $1 (e.g., Suave, V05)

Save the $4 or more you spend on braid sprays or daily spritzes, because there's a cheaper option. Purchase a mini spray bottle for around $1 and a bottle of your favorite oil for under $10. Mix some water (FREE) and some drops of oil in the spray bottle. That's it! What happens if you run out of this concoction you just made? Just whip up some more. Your little use of oil should last you several months to a year, depending on the amount you purchased initially. This is another homemade product that is cheaper in the long run.

Buy a bottle of an inexpensive conditioner, such as V05 or Suave, for around $1. Purchase a mini spritz bottle for around $1. Mix some conditioner with water in the bottle, and for $2 you have a leave-in!

Shea butter and certain oils have conditioning properties. In many cases, the creamy moisturizer you mix can also be used as a deep conditioner. Just warm the mixture, apply it to your hair, put on a shower cap, wrap with a towel, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse it out and your hair will feel soft and moisturized. Another option? Opt for LustraSilk Cholesterol conditioner for under $2 ($3 in some places) and throw in your favorite oil.

Three products that are multi-purpose and will allow some to manage until times are not so rough: castile soap (~$8), shea butter (~$10 per lb), and coconut oil ($10). Need cleansing? Use castile soap. Need moisture or conditioning? Mix shea butter with coconut oil, or use them separately. For under $30, these products can last you up to a year.

Do you find yourself purchasing shower caps more often than you'd like? Well, keep that money in your pocket and use the grocery bags you're collecting for shower caps.

Sometimes, finding inexpensive alternatives is just a matter of shopping around. Check out Big Lots, Walmart, and Target instead of shopping at your local beauty supply store. Look at for cheap alternatives to Vitamin Shoppe.

Save the coins you're spending on soft drinks and chug down water instead. Water will do more for your hair (and body) healthwise than soft drinks.

- It is best to mix a small batch from the ingredients you purchase AND store the batch in the refridgerator until your next use. This minimizes spoilage.
- Don't start the habit of making homemade mixtures with the same tools you use prepare your food. Keep a separate stack of tools for each purpose.
- If you want oils and butters in their purest form, go for extra virgin and unrefined, respectively.
- Essential oils can add a natural fragrance to your mixtures. Some also have moisturizing and stimulation properties. Adding essential oils will cost you another $5+, but a little goes a long way so it may be well worth it. Beware of certain essential oils if you are pregnant or have other medical conditions.
-Other inexpensive items include honey (for conditioning), glycerin (for moisturizing or conditioning), etc.

Do Google and youtube searches


Curlstar said...

Cool ideas! LOVE IT! :-)

Anonymous said...

i love these ideas

Anonymous said...

This was an excellent post. Thank you :)

Copa-canary said...

Great post Loo! I still need to try adding conditioner to my whipped shea mix. I found that most good sealers had shea butter in them anyway so all I needed to do was add my favorite ingredients and voila, I have my own mix minus the extra cost. One thing I have been noticing lately is that I can't use regular conditioners as leave-ins. I think they over soften my hair. I go ahead and purchase separate leave-ins, but use them in my moisturizers and "curly puddings" so they become multi-purpose. Speaking of which, you forgot to add a cheap "curly pudding" alternative, lol! Lots of ppl. are spending a fortune on curly puddings when they can make their own. Simply add your favorite natural hair gel (aloe vera gel is good too), add your favorite oil, then your favorite leave-in conditioner. Whip it up and there you go, a curly pudding to use on twists, coils, wash n' go's or to set your twistouts/braidouts :-D

Loo said...

^^^ That thrifty curly pudding is a great idea!! How could I forget. LOL. Thanks mucho for the suggestion and recipe.