Over the years I’ve accumulated quite a collection of hair products that made it no further than a storage bin in a closet or under a bed. Now that I know better I stick to a few staple products and typically only buy new products if they can be repurposed for other uses. If you’ve wasted money on products that ultimately went in the trash, these tips on how to turn your product dud into a keeper will surely come in handy.
1. Use Hair Products as Skin Products
One of the great things about a lot of natural hair care products is that the primary ingredients are not only beneficial to your hair but also for your skin. How can you tell which products have multiple uses? Well, some products are marketed as multi-use products. For the last few months I’ve used Oyin Handmade’s Whipped Pudding primarily as a body cream to combat dry skin during the cold weather. However, it can also be used as a great moisturizer for thick, dry hair. During the summer you may find that thick creams are too heavy for your hair and your skin, so you may opt for lighter products. I personally like to use water based hair spritzes on my hair and seal with a light oil or moisturizer in the summer. The same principle can apply to your skin. One of the best ways to seal in moisture for your skin is to apply oil or a light moisturizer to slightly damp skin. One of spritzes I’ve been using for the last few months is the Reviving Hair Tonic by Beautiful Curls. It’s aloe vera based so it can be used to moisturize skin before applying your oil of choice during the summer or even in colder months. Here’s a tip: If the first two lines of an ingredient list are natural there’s a good chance that the product will benefit your hair, as well as your skin.
2. When in Doubt “Conditionerize” It!
Right now, go to that forgotten stash of products and pull out two or three moisturizers or conditioners. It’s quite likely that you can repurpose that product by adding two or three ingredients, some you may already have in your cupboard or kitchen. Oil based moisturizers can be mixed with cheap deep conditioners (for example the $3-$5 deep conditioners like LeKair or Queen Helene) to add greater slip. Moisturizers that lack sufficient moisture can be combined with aloe vera and holding gel to create a moisturizing styling pudding. Add a few tablespoons of henna, bentonite or rhassoul clay to a lackluster leave-in to boost its conditioning properties.
When to Dump It
Unfortunately, not every product can be saved. So when is it time to finally let a product go? First, if the product has an ingredient that you have an allergic reaction to toss it. Second, if the smell of the product is bothersome. All the shine and moisture in the world won’t make up for a product you find nauseating. Third, if you try some of the methods mentioned above and the product is still ineffective then it’s probably time to let the product go. But before you throw it out, take note of the key ingredients so that you don’t purchase products with a similar make up in the future.
Have you ever tried a product you initially disliked but later found to be effective for your hair or skin? What changed your opinion of the product?