The intersection of self-care and frugality is where a lot of us fall off the wagon. Living well with less feels great but trying to budget beauty isn’t easy. Feeling good about yourself isn’t a luxury, after all. Confidence is one of the key ingredients of a happy, satisfying life, and many of us just feel better inside when we look good on the outside. Luckily, high quality hair care doesn’t have to be a budget buster even if your tresses are high maintenance. Here are six ways to save money while treating your hair to the kind of care it deserves.
Use less product
Before your next shampoo or styling session, read the instructions. Chances are that you – like most of us – are using more product than is recommended to wash and style your locks. Besides the fact that using a little less can leave hair feeling lighter, cleaner and bouncier, it can also be a great way to reduce the overall cost of your personal hair care regimen. Maybe you’ll save money on your favorite products or maybe using less will mean a chance to upgrade higher quality brands.
Find new favorites
Check labels, and you’ll find that many beauty products are made from the same ingredients regardless of the manufacturer – or even by the same manufacturer! While drugstore brands aren’t always equivalent to their department store counterparts, in some cases all you’re paying for is the name on the bottle.
Defend, don’t repair
A little protection can go a long way. Good tools like flat irons with multiple heat settings, and salon quality dryers cost more up front, but they’re less likely to damage hair. Lesser known brands such as Amway, actually carry quality protective serums which uses humectants, emollients and sunscreen to shield hair from damage caused by sun, heat and dry air. Also, giving yourself a monthly hair mask will rejuvenate and offer more powerful protection to keep your hair looking beautiful longer.
Find a good stylist
As tempted as you might be to go to a cheap chain, it actually pays to build a relationship with a stylist. Boutique salons aren’t much more expensive than chains, but the stylists are much more likely to treat your tresses with respect. A quality cut will be easier to care for and last longer than a quick walk-in trim so you can squeeze a few extra weeks (or even months) in between visits.
Rinse cold and air dry
Hot water can send conditioner right down the drain while cold water lets it stay on the hair shaft during your final rinse. By doing so, it also makes each strand smoother, for more polished looking hair. Air drying means a quick hit with the diffuser to smooth and set, and you’re all set to go!
Try coconut oil
Yes, it’s as good as its reputation! This go-to moisturizer is nature’s own hair balm, and a little goes a long way. Coconut oil might not be an all-purpose replacement for treating seriously damaged locks, but it does smooth out frizz and flyaways like a dream. The best part is, any drugstore brand coconut oil will work great too!
Trimming hair care costs should be a part of every smart saving strategy. Just remember, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to do it!
Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer from Southern California who loves finding ways technology can make life easier. She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks with readers. Follow her on Twitter.