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How to Transform Your Ineffective Hair Products

Avatar • Feb 16, 2015
Super Stock Images

Super Stock Images

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?

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fancycoils
fancycoils
5 years ago

I generally try to purchase products from places that accept returns like Walgreens and Target. In the beginning, I had bad luck with a few Giovanni and SheaMoisture conditioners. They lacked the slip and moisture that my hair needs. I don’t like to waste products (money); so, I’ll apply the conditioner as heavily as possible (to get rid of it) , load my hair up with oil, cover in plastic and let it marinate overnight. That usually helps, but I don’t like the idea of having to add something to conditioner that already cost more than $1. I grew up… Read more »

jnello
jnello
5 years ago

I have a lot of barely or half-used hair products from my early natural days. Of course the impulse is to toss the lot of them, which I will do, but I recently learned that personal care/beauty products shouldn’t be going in our trash. I don’t know what programs are available in other countries but if you’re in British Columbia (where I live) or Ontario (where I used to live) there are recycling programs for these things. One hot google should bring up the centre nearest you. Consider dropping them off there so they can be disposed of properly…you know, instead… Read more »

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  jnello

Where I live, UK, you can’t give half used personal care/beauty products to any charity or other organisation. The bottles and jars go in landfill, so never end up in the water.

Reina Benoir
Reina Benoir
5 years ago

I’m not sure that I would toss an item because of the smell. I like Eden Bodywork’s jojoba and monoi deep conditioner but it smells awful. After mixing in some peppermint essential oil (and olive oil) it smells just fine and I use it with no problem. If it’s a deep conditioner that smells bad to you adding some essential oil may be able to counter it.

Adanne
Adanne
5 years ago

I use my conditioner as base for henna rinse, or I add plenty of oil for DC or add liquid Castile soap to make a cleansing conditioner.

mlank64
mlank64
5 years ago

I take my Knot Today conditioner and add marshmallow root and slippery elm to it along with some essential oils and it makes an awesome pre poo detangler. I also use it as a leave in for my wash n gos and henna glosses.

Shy
Shy
5 years ago

My hair hates Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave In Spray, but it smells amazing. So what I’ll do is ill take a different spray bottle, add the leave in for smell, another leave in for slip and coconut water for moisture. Voila! A new leave in that smells wonderful and doesn’t make my hair tacky and dry!

Nana
Nana
5 years ago

I sold mine on Ebay, that was the first and last impulse purchase (thanks to all the knowledge on net). I’m sticking to Cantu and Herbal essences.

Bigantic
Bigantic
5 years ago

Hair conditioners that I hate are automatically body washes. Spritzes that don’t work on my hair are now my mom’s property. The rest of the stuff is given away to friends of friends.

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