I sure do hope your weekend was what you needed! Mine was busy but fun..!
Now let's get to business: business in all sense of the word because this post is all about how to NOT break the bank as a naturalista. Truth is, many of us came to discover the joys of natural hair as students or as newly-earning young women. By virtue of this reality, we don't have all the money in the world to spend on our haircare, and quite frankly natural hair can be expensive for many reasons:
1. You might need to completely overhaul your product stash for healthier, greener organic goodies. Most of the brands that are producing goodies tailored to a health-conscious, self-loving, natural-haired woman - (yes booboo...just giving praise where it's due!) - are new and have only a few year's/month's experience in the market. As you can imagine, this means that their overheads might be expensive and as such their prices have to be a little inflated to cover costs.
2. A good number of publicized brands are currently based in the US so importing them to Kenya, South Africa, India, Germany or wherever you are, is a hustle! Individuals that are importing these products might be overcharging for them due to high demand or simply due the costs of importation.
So how might we minimize the costs of maintaining natural hair?
1. Stock up on the basics. This is ESSENTIAL. Trust me, after a good four years of natural haircare, I have come to realize that all I need in my product stash is:
Cheapie cleansing shampoo, Moisturizing Deep Conditioner, Protein Deep Conditioner and a Sealing Oil. That is it!
Don't be fooled honey - you don't need three different types of hair growth oils or four different types of shampoos for each week of the month! I've learnt to keep my stash simple and my hair has been sooo much happier. It isn't weighed down by 16 types of oils or a 27-step wash day process. Keep it simple. For the sake of your hair, and most importantly, your sanity!
2. Do It Yourself.
Lots of products that naturalistas claim to be at the core of their regimen, can easily be duplicated at home.
If you would like to have a leave in conditioner, you can make it at home by yourself:
1. Fill a 100ml spray bottle half way with plain water.
2. Add a teaspoon of your deep conditioner.
3. Add half a teaspoon of glycerin.
4. Add 1-2 tblspoon of rosewater.
TADA!!! There you have it - your very own leave-in conditioner. *Winning!*
Alternatively, instead of investing in a fancy bottle of elixer or pomade, head over to your kitchen and grab some sunflower, olive, avocado, sesame or coconut oil. These products are WAAYY better for your hair as they don't have artificial additives like silicone that can cause build up.
4. Buy local!
I have come across three Kenyan-based firms that are catering to the needs of natural women: Herbal Gardens (found at most Nakumatt outlets), AJANI handmade and Captivating Naturals. If you know of other brands that are producing excellent products for the local market, please leave me a note in the comments section. If you are based in any other part of the world, and know of any other brands that naturalistas in your local area might benefit from, please do leave a note below too.
3. Spread it out!
Now this has to be my favorite way of saving my products. According to the unspoken rules of natural haircare, one should deep condition their hair on a weekly basis. However, instead of having a 7-day cycle, stretch it over to a 10-day cycle. Instead of 53 wash days/year, now you have 36 wash days/year. Easy, simple mathematics and lots more product saved.
Treating our hair to that $50/bottle deep conditioner (DC) every week might be proving too expensive. In that case, it's totally okay to alternate. Feel free to use a cheaper conditioner as a DC on one week, and then to use your expensive higher-end DC then next.
5. Stick to the basics.
Remember, that at the end of the day, the goal of natural haircare is to keep your strands moisturized. That said, all you really need is WATER. I always remind myself that manufactured products are a recent invention, and for millennia, women have simply stuck to the basics: cleanse, moisturize, seal.
Now of course, for a couple of pictures that capture the budget struggle...! Hahaha!
What money-saving tips have you picked up along the way? I'd love to know!!
Hustle hard this week ei?