The first thing I look at when considering a hair product is the ingredients label of course. You can never really know all the ins and out that went into producing a product but the ingredients label by far is a great clue. There are many products that many naturals have found and love but they do sometimes have a price label that is not necessarily attractive.
Today, I am narrowing in on some of these popular products and giving you some substitutes that may work just as well based on their ingredients. Of course if you prefer the more expensive product and can afford to purchase it.….…..let this be a list to stoke the embers of your inner PJ, try one of the substitutes, and report back on how well it worked for you!
What it is : A water based moisturizer. Now I know some people do give a serious eye roll to the Miss Jessie’s range because of the extensive use of mineral oil. However, for some naturals, mineral oil actually does work well and this product marketed as a styling cream remains a popular must try or must buy in a sale product.
Hardest working Ingredients in the product: Water, mineral oil and glycerin — There are additional oils, proteins and even some jojoba thrown in to the mix but these top 3 ingredients are the key when looking for alternative products
What is the damage: $20 for 8oz
Rationale for the substitutes: It is not easy to find mineral oil containing products! I had to really look back into my relaxer days over 10 years ago to come up with something that may have similar ingredients and consistency. Hawaiian Silky is the closest match with all 3 key ingredients in Miss Jessies also in this product. Lusters Pink Lotion gets a mention here because it is a mineral oil based moisturizer but it is less likely to be a good match as it lacks the glycerin and may therefore be oilier.
What it is : A water and aloe vera based gel. KCCC is a very popular product and a staple for some naturals. However, it is not cheap at all especially if you live outside of USA e.g in UK where the product is sold at double the US price.
Hardest working Ingredients in the product: Water, aloe vera — ignore the extracts, these two ingredients are the hardest workers!
What is the damage: $20 for 8oz
Rationale for the substitutes: As KCCC is an aloe vera based gel, you can choose to buy pure aloe vera gel or even buy an aloe plant and use the gel directly. However lack of preservatives will mean that you will need to quickly use your stock or be prepared to throw it out. The substitutes were selected because they are commercial aloe vera gels with a high amount of aloe vera along with some preservatives and thickeners that will help them have a longer shelf life and have an easy to use consistency.
What it is : A pretty standard conditioner with emollients, silicones and behentrimonium chloride as a surfactant. This product is interesting to me because although silicones are often villified, Aveda damage remedy is usually reviewed quite positively.
Hardest working Ingredients in the product: Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearalkonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride
What is the damage: $40 for 7oz
Rationale for the substitutes: Both of the substitutes were selected as they contain all of the listed hard-working ingredients in the Aveda product. This does not mean that they will necessary work in the same way; as each conditioner will have its own formulation with the percentages of the ingredients varying. However, they serve as good substitutes because they share many overlapping ingredients
Substitute Cost: Nexxus Humectress — $8 for 5oz (Side note: There is a new version of this conditioner which has different ingredients, the 5oz bottle is the one with the overlapping ingredients), Sabino Stabilizing conditioner — $16 for 12oz (Both around a quarter the price for Aveda)
What it is : A water based conditioner that can be used as a leave in. KCKT is a staple for some naturals. There are many who do not use it as conditioner but as a leave in and can vouch for the fact that a little goes a long way so despite the price, the product could last long. However there are still cheaper substitutes!
Hardest working Ingredients in the product: Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate
What is the damage: $16 for 8oz
Substitute products : Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac Moisturizing Conditioner or Alba Botanica Leave in Conditioner
Rationale for the substitutes: Of the two substitutes, Tigi Bed Head is probably most similar to KCKT ingredient wise. Alba Botanica has a little more oil which may make it actually more/less appealing depending on where you lie in the coconut oil-loving spectrum. However, it is still on the substitute list as it has cetearyl alcohol and behentrimonium methosulfate as well as a similar consistency to KCKT
Substitute Cost: Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac Moisturizing Conditioner — $25 for 25oz or Alba Botanica Leave in Conditioner $8 for 7 oz (Both about half the price)
What are some of your go-to products that hold their own next to the more expensive brands?