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Hair care on a budget

1 Mar

The blog singleafricanmothers asked me to do an article on pampering our hair on a budget.  They said they live such busy lives and sometimes face financial hardships that make looking after hair a luxury.  I decided to oblige.  The post will also touch on ways to simplify our hair regimen so that it doesn’t take over our lives.  Women today lead busy lives, spending hours (and lots of money) on our hair is not practical.

Saving Money

The best way to save money on our hair is to do our hair at home.  Salon visits are quite expensive, even for simple things like a wash and blow dry. Learn to wash, deep condition, moisturise and style your hair yourself.  I am now at a stage where I go the salon for relaxer retouches only.  At this same appointment I also ask my hairstylist to trim my hair.  I do everything else between relaxer retouches at home.

Buy in bulk – It is sometimes cheaper to buy in bulk.  Some brands will occasionally offer 25% or 33% more product for the same price.  If you come across these bargains for a product you like then purchase them while the offer lasts.

That being said limit your purchases to what you use.  Try not to buy products just because you saw someone with nice hair and they told you they use that product.  Develop a simple hair regimen and stick to it.  Use a product enough times to be able to decide whether it does or doesn’t work for your hair.  If you want to try a product ask the manufacturer or distributor for a sample so you can try it before you buy it.  I have done this before and the manufacturers / distributors always oblige.  Normally they will deliver a sample to a shop close to where I live and all I need to do is pick it up.

Choose a hairstyle that is easy to maintain and does not require frequent trips to the hair salon.  These styles can include braids, weaves and wigs.  Do not ignore your hair underneath the braid, weave or wig.  You still have to look after it even though it is hidden away.  If you are wearing your own hair choose a style that will evolve through the week between washes.  You may begin the week with a curly roller set and then mid week when the curls are beginning to look tired you can wrap your hair at night while you sleep and have a straight style for the last few days of the week.  Also invest in hair accessories that can help to jazz up a hairstyle.  These can be head bands, alice bands and clips.  Clip on hair pieces are also a good investment.  Buy 2 or 3 so you don’t get bored with them too soon.

We all love to pamper ourselves every now and then with expensive shampoos and conditioners, but sometimes high-end products don’t fit with our budget..  You can jazz up your shampoos and conditioners by adding essential oils as well as carrier oils.  A few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus added to shampoo works wonders.  You can also add oils to your deep conditioners eg coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil and jojoba oil.  There are so many oils to choose from.  Just choose an oil that will address the hair condition you want to tackle.  Other ingredients that can be added to conditioners are honey, egg (for a protein boost) and avocado among others.  Some of the best hair care products currently on the market have incorporated the benefits of natural ingredients and you can often get these in their raw natural form and just add them to a cheaper conditioner yourself.

If you like to wear weaves then you can invest in a flat iron so you can straighten the weave yourself at home.  Do not use the flat iron on your own hair too often though.  Excess heat can damage the hair.

Saving Time

To save time, wash your hair as you take a shower.  Wash your hair first, apply deep conditioner and a shower cap, then wash the rest of your body.  If you are doing a simple conditioner you can rinse your hair after you finish washing your body.  I find the easiest is to wash my hair just before bed in the shower, sleep with deep conditioner and a shower cap and rinse off in the morning.

If you can, learn to rollerset.  It takes a few attempts but you will get the gist of it.  As you get better at it, it will take a shorter time to do.  Rollersetting will save lots of time and money if you master it.  This is the style I opt for when I want my hair straight.  It is a much kinder alternative to the hair than using curling and flat irons. You can use roller setting to get curls in your hair or you can roller set it then wrap it for a straight style.  Use different size rollers to get different looks.  The smaller the rollers the tighter the curls will be.

 

Invest in a hooded dryer if you can.  This will greatly save on the time it takes to deep condition your hair.  Instead of spending hours with a shower cap on your head you just need about 30 minutes under the dryer and you are done.  There are different types of dryers available to suit all needs.  Some of them are table top so don’t take too much space.  Others are soft with portable bonnets.  While you are sitting under the dryer you can do other things like read, paint your nails, blog!

 

Commit to spend some time on your hair at least once a week and your hair will thank you for it.  Try it for a month and see the difference.

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2 Responses to “Hair care on a budget”

  1. Pattie 06 March, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    great post! i know it sounds crazy but i have friends that get their hair washed for them. I was shocked at first, cause it’s just money gone down the drain you know? I get my mom to relax my hair, and i do everything at home 🙂

    • Tendayi 06 March, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

      🙂 there are many ways we can save money on our hair. I guess the idea is to start one thing at a time.

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