Frugal Hair Care
Frugal moms know there is nothing worse than a bad hair day. But finding the money to ensure everyone in the family has beautiful hair is challenging, to say the least. There are ways, though, to keep everyone well-trimmed and looking great without spending a fortune.
• Invest in an electric hair trimmer and learn to cut hair yourself, especially for the kids. You can easily find a book at the library on cutting hair that includes simple styles for you and your daughters. And if you have boys, simply shave their heads or use the trimmers on the lowest level.
• The flip side of that coin is to let your hair grow. This may not work as well for Dad or your sons, but letting your hair and your daughter’s hair grow long and straight requires the least amount of care and cutting.
• Ignore the directions on the shampoo bottle. If you wash your hair every day, or even every other day, there is rarely a need to lather it twice. That’s just a waste of shampoo when once will get your hair perfectly clean.
• Rinse your hair thoroughly. This one thing will do more to keep hair shining and help it stay clean longer than anything else you can do.
• Train the kids to use a dime size amount of shampoo and conditioner. Girls with long hair may need a little more, but kids are notorious for pouring out a “handful” of shampoo when they don’t need nearly that much to wash their hair.
• If you color your hair to cover the gray, do it at home rather than having it done at the salon. You can save a small fortune, and with a little practice will feel confident about the results.
• Rinsing your hair with a batch of strong tea will gradually erase gray hair. Just let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes then wet hair thoroughly and style as usual. It takes a few weeks to see a difference, but hair will eventually begin to turn a light natural brown.
• Thin shampoo with water to make it go twice as far. When you open a new bottle of shampoo, pour half into an empty recycled shampoo bottle and fill both of them with water. It is, of course, thinner but typically works just as well.
• Look for coupons on shampoo, conditioner and hair color. They’re easy to find and can make a huge difference in cost. Double store coupons by using them with manufacturer’s coupons and sale prices for the greatest savings. Or use CVS or Walgreens bonus points/bucks to get free products.
• Make your own detangler by combining one part conditioner to ten parts water in an empty spray bottle. Shake well and spray on wet hair to remove tangles at a fraction of the cost of similar commercial products.
• Let your stylist know up front that you can’t afford the expensive styling products the salons sell and that you prefer she not try to sell them to you. Often, your stylist will comply and will even recommend less expensive products that will do the same things as the high-priced items.
• Ask your stylist to recommend a long-lasting cut. She can help you find a cut that will let you go 8-10 weeks before needing a trim which will save you considerably.
• You can also ask your stylist to give you an easy maintenance cut, for yourself and the kids if you take them to a salon. Something that lets you shampoo and go rather than having to use a lot of styling products will save you money and time.
• While you may think a combination shampoo/conditioner saves money, it really doesn’t because it doesn’t do as good a job. Shampoo is, of course, designed to clean your hair, but adding conditioner before your hair is clean can make it oily. It’s better to use two separate products and only use the conditioner when you need it, rather than as a matter of course after you shampoo.
• Try washing your hair less frequently. Back in the 1940’s and ’50’s women washed their hair once a week. While that may not be enough, it’s unlikely–unless your hair is very oily–that you really need to wash your hair every day. Try every 2-3 days and see how it works. You can always go back to daily if you aren’t satisfied with the results.
• Donate a braid to Locks of Love once a year and get a free haircut. Ask your stylist for details. Many salons take part in the program.
• An easy way to trim bangs that look more natural than a straight-cut across the forehead, is to pull the bangs together in a small “ponytail” and snip the ends. The bangs feather better and look a little uneven which is how a stylist typically cuts them.
You can have beautiful hair without going broke. Just look for options to care for your hair and your children’s hair yourself and learn to use less, and less expensive, products. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to practice frugal hair care without looking like you need to see a stylist!