Happy Monday lovelies!
I hope you have had a tremendous start to your week! Today I'm going to post about something that is near and dear to my heart: hair care on a budget. When you're on a hair journey, it's extremely easy to become a product junkie. I mean you want to try EVERYTHING you hear about...or read about...or everything that happens to catch your eye. Product junkie-ism wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have shampoos and conditioners that cost 30+ bucks a pop. If you're like me, paying $15 per bottle of conditioner (knowing good and hell well your hair soaks up conditioner like a sponge) every few weeks can add up quickly. Or you may be new to your journey and you're hesitant to shell out so much money for a product that you may or may not use (or like). Or, better yet, you may be a student with a limited budget but still want to take great care of your hair.
So what do you do? Can you have great hair without breaking the bank?
I say you can, you just have to know what products to look for/use. While my list is by no means complete, I have found that you can take great care of your hair with products that don't try and stick you for your paper.
For the sake of keeping this post as succinct as possible, my list is only going to cover the basics for now (Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturizer, Styling Aids). I think budget friendly styling tools, relaxers, and all that jazz will come later.
Sulfate-free shampoo: Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo
If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know that this shampoo is a staple of mine. Aside from being great for my hair, this shampoo doesn't break the bank. I've typically been able to find it at my local BSS and an 8oz bottle costs a little over $3 (gotta factor taxes in to it!) while a 32 oz bottle will set you back $8!!
Personally, I purchase the 32oz bottle since I can get more washes out of that bottle. One 32oz bottle lasts me at least 3 months.
Sulfate Shampoo: Silk Elements Mega Silk Neutralizing Shampoo
Yes. I know it's a neutralizing shampoo but this shampoo multitasks as a regular old sulfate shampoo as well. Let me tell you that it is a good shampoo. It left my hair feeling moisturized with having that icky stripped feel. A 16oz bottle costs between $4 and $6 (depends on if there is a sale) at Sally Beauty Supply.
Here is were you can break the bank if you're not careful. However there are some budget friendly, exceptionally awesome conditioners.
Light Protein DC: ORS Replenishing Pak
This is a favorite of mine. ORS Replenishing is just a perfect DC for my hair. It has the right balance of protein and moisture...and truth be told, I can go months using this as my sole DC. One pack will run you about $1.12 at Wal-Mart and depending on how your hair responds to conditioner, this may be all you need. However, I prefer to use the larger 33.8oz bottle of this product. It sets me back $15 but I get more uses out of it. You can also get a 12oz bottle for $6-$7. Whichever size you choose, it is a great DC for the price!
Moisturizing DC: ORS Hair Repair Nourishing Conditioner.
I have done a review on this condish that you can see here. If you are in need of a pure moisturizing DC, this is the one to go to! In true ORS fashion, this product is only available in pack form and costs $1.12 at Wal-Mart.
Co-Wash Conditioners: Your call
So I say your call because co-wash conditioners are supposed to be the cheap conditioners. This includes Suave, Aussie, Herbal Essences, Tresseme, VO5, etc. So ultimately, it depends on what you are willing to pay for a conditioner that you will be using (and therefore, replacing), frequently. Some of you may not mind spending $5 for cowash conditioner....some of yall might.
Suave is the biggest budget friendly co-wash with prices ranging anywhere from .99 to $2. So if you co-wash frequently, this line may be the best way to go.
My personal favorite is Herbal Essences Hello Hydration. A 23oz bottle costs $5 at Walmart but it tends to last me a while since I primarily co-wash in the summer. Another option if you co-wash a lot is the 29oz bottle of Aussie Moist. It costs anywhere between $5-$6 (depending on your location) but may be a good deal since you are able to get more washes out of it.
Moisturizer: Elasta QP Mango Butter
Another gem from the Elasta QP line. I used this at the start of the my journey but moved on to different moisturizers as I progressed. It's very thick and is more suitable for colder months (in my opinion) but a solid product nonetheless. 8oz of product will set you back $4. Not bad!
Moisturizer: Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil
Love love LOVE this product. It is the perfectly light moisturizer for the summer (and has no petroleum/mineral oil!! I find that it lasts for a long time however, prices vary for 6oz of product. Some places have it for $5 while others have it for $7 or $8. It really depends on where you purchase it.
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil Gel
Sometimes, your edges need slicking down and that's where Ecostyler gel comes in. It gives great hold without being too hard or flaky. At my BSS, 8oz of gel is only $1.49 while a larger tub cost little more than that (between $2 and $3).
Also, don't forget you can supplement your hair stash with items from your kitchen? Have some honey? Add it to your DC for an extra moisture boost! Cook with extra virgin olive oil? Use it as a pre-poo or add to your DC. Eggs can be used as a protein treatment for your hair (Ok...Ive never tried it but I have friends who have...and they got positive results). These items can give you more bang for your buck hair wise.
If you must have salon quality items, I suggest going to your local Ulta, and determining when they have liter sales. You may be able to stretch your dollars that way as well.
ETA: I also wanted to add, if you must try the more pricey lines (Qhemet Biologics, Miss Jessie's, Bee Mine, etc.), try samples first! Some sites have free samples while others have a small fee (e.g.--$5.00 for 2 oz of product), it really just depends. However, by trying samples you can determine how a product works for your hair, how long it lasts, etc without wasting a lot of money. That way, if the product is a dud, you're only out a few bucks.
What budget friendly items/lines would you add to this list? I'd love to hear from you!