Why Natural Hair is No Cheaper to Maintain Than Relaxed

Looking to save some money? Going natural is not the way to do it. Some women swear they spend less after giving up relaxers, but I beg to differ. The natural hair care industry is thriving because caring for curls and kinks does not come cheap.

You don’t have to use the most expensive products, but let’s be real, a lot of you do.

In a world, where Carol’s Daughter shampoo is $18 and considered to be on the lower end of the spectrum, you are probably hardly saving money. Want some Mixed Chicks leave-in? That will cost you $16.99 for a 10 ounce bottle and $50.00 for a liter. If you want to drop some serious dough, you’ll invest in some Ms. Jessie’s.

I’m not going to lie and say I do not use products from all three brands, because I do. If you looked at my hair shelf right now you’d see Ms. Jessie’s curly creme (review to come later this week), Mixed Chicks leave-in, and Carol’s Daughter Tui oil and products from the macadamia line. All of which I love and use.

But you’ll also see shampoo and conditioner from Dark & Lovely, which I get for about $5 each at Sally’s, Dove mousse, and hair sheen from Motions.

When you factor in the cost that some naturals spend on salon visits for protective styling, that’s a whole lot of dough. You can pay upward of $200 for good braids in some places. If you want to get fancy and try something along the lines of tree braids, sister locks, or micros, that could cost you more. And remember, most of the time you have to pay for removal too.

When I was relaxed, I got touch-ups maybe two to three times per year. The biggest expense I had for hair was color, and that still never came close to $130.

Some do avoid higher costs by using “natural” products such as shea butter, aloe vera gel, olive oil, coconut oil, and other like products. However, these items often have to be ordered online. You may be paying shipping fees or simply have to deal with the inconvenience of not being able to run out and grab what you need. The same goes for Ms. Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks products. While some Targets and salons carry the two lines, they are often few and far between.

I want to challenge everyone to be conscious of your natural hair care spending. If you don’t like a product, don’t buy it again. When first trying a product, ask if a sample is available or buy the travel size. Also, look for similar products done by brands such as Motions, Luster’s or Cantu. All of those are still around for a reason.

Don’t let the high cost of some products made for curly and kinky hair get you down. There are plenty of ways to maintain your hair without going broke. At the same time, be realistic though. Healthy natural hair could come at the same, or a higher, cost as maintaining a relaxer.

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