For some women, going natural is a way to save time on hairstyling and embrace their natural beauty, but one of the least expected side effects of going chemical-free is the cost. Yes, you're no longer dropping $40 or $50 each week at the salon, but all those creams, detanglers and twist butters can really add up!
The good news is you don't have to empty your bank account in search of the perfect curls. Here are 12 tips from Tai and Tarin Perry, also known as the money-savvy, fro-rockin' Double Saving Divas, on how to go natural without going broke.
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Avoid Becoming A Product Junkie
It is very easy to buy a ton of products to help manage your hair, especially during transitioning. Before you toss a new conditioner into your Target shopping basket, ask yourself if you really need another conditioner. It’s also a good practice to use up one product before buying another similar one.
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Attend Natural Hair Meet-Ups
Many natural hair meet-ups allow you the chance to bring new or gently used products to swap with someone else. This helps you save money by not wasting a product you’ve never used. Meet-ups are also known for giving away free products in gift bags, which is always a win/win situation.
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Watch YouTube Tutorials
While it’s a great practice to leave your hair in the hands of a licensed professional, it’s okay to try the DIY route, too. Log on to YouTube and learn a few new hairstyles to try at home. You may be surprised of how nice the results turn out.
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Ask For Free Samples
Most of the hair products that we love were given to us as samples. Several hair companies send samples to salons and beauty supply stores. As the saying goes, “You have not because you ask not,” so don’t be afraid to speak up for a few freebies!
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Join a Natural Hair Forum
Forum members are always posting sales, deals and steals. Just recently, we were able to catch a great promotion for a popular hair brand’s BOGO (buy one get one free) sale with an additional $10 off and free shipping on a hair forum. You can also find people willing to mail you products that they’ve tried and didn’t like at little to no cost.
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Know Your Hair
Get acquainted with your texture and curl type so you can easily spot the products that will and won’t work for your hair. For example, if you know that your hair holds a lot of oil, avoid buying oil-based products to save time and money.
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Read the Ingredients
You can avoid a lot of money spent if you focus on the ingredients of a product instead of the description on the front of the package. Many hair product companies put enticing words on the front of their packaging to grab the consumer’s attention. However, if you read the ingredients, sometimes the main attention grabber is listed all the way towards the end of the ingredient description. That usually means that there is a very minimal amount of that ingredient in the product. Is it worth your money then?
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Use Only What You Need
If the manufacturer of a product instructs you to use a dime-sized amount to achieve the desired results, then that’s all you need. We often feel that we need to use the entire bottle on our hair for our hair to be at its best. This is a misconception. Following the instructions will keep you from constantly buying more products.
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Be Mindful of Return Policies
Some stores have a very generous return policy. If you are not completely 100 percent satisfied, you can return or exchange your product within a specified time. If you shop at a store that does, be sure to hold on to your receipt!
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Read the Manufacturer's Guarantee
Some manufacturers allow you to return the product to them for a full refund. This information is usually found towards the bottom of the product label on the back. They will give you full details and mailing instructions. We like to use this feature if the store where the product was purchased has a “no return” policy.
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Make Your Own Products
Sometimes, the best conditioners and moisturizers are right in your own kitchen. There are plenty of homemade recipes that do wonders for your hair. Do a quick Google search and you’ll be well on your way.
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Embrace Your Own Hair Journey
Instead of aiming to have hair like someone you’ve seen in a magazine, on television, or even YouTube, embrace your personal natural hair journey! You can buy all the products in the world and you will still not have someone else’s hair but you could end up a penny-less product junkie. Always remember that your hair is beautiful just as it is!
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