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5 Ways to Navigate the Hair Care Aisle without Wasting Money

Avatar • Jul 12, 2013

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We cannot ignore the competition in the market to sell us hair care products any more than we can ignore our desire to find the next product that works. The success of monthly subscription services for hair products confirms this. Words like ‘growth formula’, ‘more hold’, ‘moisturizing’, and ‘for strong shiny hair’ all tug at our heart strings don’t they? More often than not, we buy these products and experience great disappointment. Many of us still face hair that seems impossible to moisturize, lay flat, detangle, and style. The reality is that sometimes, we also play a role in our own disappointment because we aren’t able to recognize marketing hype.

Our hair can truly benefit from products so long as we are realistic and educated about choosing the right products for the characteristics of our hair. Here are ways to maximize your product usage.

1. Buy shampoos that best describe the default state of your hair
The categories of shampoo to choose from are color, dandruff, dry hair, normal, neutralizing and clarifying. And you should always pick a shampoo that best describes your hair. For example, if your hair is always oily, but the day you’re shopping for shampoo it’s dry, don’t purchase a moisturizing shampoo. Shampoos are designed to remove oil, debris and dirt, but moisturizing shampoos actually deposit ingredients, which will smooth the outer layer of your hair as well, making it easier to comb through. So if use the moisturizing shampoo, your hair will still feel oily and will also now feel coated. 

2. Use products as instructed
Let’s say that you purchase a deep conditioner because your hair is breaking and feels a bit dry and the instructions say “for the best results, let product sit for 15 minutes” and you’re trying to clean your hair in a rush before bedtime and you only leave the product on for 5 minutes. The chances of you seeing desirable results have now diminished drastically. Also, if the manufacturer suggests you rinse product out of your hair, it is not good practice to leave the product in.

3. Have patience
Once I purchased a detangler to help me remove individual twists that had been in for 2 weeks. Honestly, detanglers work best for small amount of tangles and knots, but I used it to remove over 2 weeks of shed hair on top of knots and tangles that were in each twist. I learned that FIRST, I had to let the spray sit on my hair so that it could penetrate any product or debris, THEN give it some time to smooth down my cuticle, which made detangling easy. Sure enough, the detangler was a big help, but no substitute for the patience and time for the product to have an effect, and how gently I still needed to detangle to prevent ripping out my hair. 

4. Using Holding agents with care
There are watery gels, thick gels, holding sprays ranging from light to super heavy, jams, holding custards and mousses. If your objective is to smooth your edges down for school or work and you don’t plan on wetting or washing your hair, then your best bet is a light holding spray, watery gel or even water. Some people uses the most aggressive hold for everyday uses and it ends up drying their hair or breaking their hair if they don’t wet it prior to combing. 

5. Sometimes all your hair needs is moisture and to be left alone
The reality is, many women have breakage in various areas of their hair and continue to choose styles that encourage breakage. When dealing with a section of hair that is breaking, it’s advisable to trim it evenly with shears, moisturize it with water or your favorite water based moisturizer and seal it with oil or butter depending on the density of your hair and thickness of your strands. In this scenario, less is best, so if you buy loads of products to help with the breakage, you may end up making your hair worse and disliking a brand of product based on your wrong product choice.

These tips will help you navigate the hair care aisle with much more understanding and purpose. Ladies, have you tried these tips? How do you avoid wasting money on products?

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7 years ago

[…] formula 15 Ways to Navigate the Hair Care Aisle without Wasting Money We cannot ignore the competition in the market to sell us hair care products any more than we can […]

stephanieb
stephanieb
7 years ago

Great advice, especially #5. I found that out the hard way. I have a spot near my neck that has been broken off for almost a whole year. Did the BC about a month and a half ago, have been wearing a wig, washing every two weeks with Morrocan oil shampoo/Nouritress Conditioner, doing DC, steaming, etc., using little heat, and sealing with water and argan oil and my hair is doing so much better. It’s a miracle to me how much better my hair is doing, it feels like it’s grown more in the past month and a half than… Read more »

Chachamusicgirl
7 years ago

I know for a fact I waste money on hair products. I am a definite product junkie. Most of my money goes towards shampoos and conditioners. I wash my hair every other day so I am always in need of more stuff. I find that spending the extra money to buy salon products works for me. Since the products are more concentrated, I can get away with using a few palmful a of Redken Smooth Lock Butter Silk vs a whole bottle of VO5 in one sitting. I also realize that sometimes ordering stuff online is cheaper than buying it… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago

1. My shampoos are for “dry, damaged hair” or “dry, itchy scalp”. My leave-in conditioner is “for dry or damaged natural and color treated hair”. My moisturizers are “for thick, curly hair”.  I pay more attention to ingredients and reviews but my experience is usually consistent with the labeling of the product. 2. I follow instructions for hair care products — within the constraints of my hair and how to works. I never “later, rinse, and repeat”, I use more than a “quarter-size amount” of conditioner, etc.  3. I am really patient when detangling my hair. Once a week, I gently… Read more »

Tisha
Tisha
7 years ago

I save by buying versatile products. My detangling conditionner is also my cowasher. It is also great as a DC. My leave-in conditionner can serve as a DC and cowashher. Basically, I only have one shampoo, one conditionner, a leave-in and an oil. As for following instructions,I use products the way I feel is best for my hair.I switch things up and experiment. At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is moisture.

D.K.
7 years ago

I have my staple products and then I do my research on things I want to try. This research can take days but it’s worth it in the long run. To compare ingredients, reviews, prices, and transportation time (time is the thing I most hate to waste), plus return policies, I don’t really have too big of an issue with products I purchase. Some I even water down to make less concentrated and last longer.

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property
7 years ago

Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

Air Curler
7 years ago

There seems to be a lot of different hair care products out there. Thanks for laying out the essentials. Great post.

RukiyatG
7 years ago

The reality is that sometimes, we also play a role in our own disappointment because we aren’t able to recognize marketing hype. Our hair can truly benefit from products so long as we are realistic and educated about choosing the right products for the characteristics of our hair.”

That is wisdom for the ages!! Truer words haven’t been spoken.

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