As a blogger, I know that I’m lucky that I get to try a lot of products that brands send to me. But as a normal consumer, I also know that income isn’t always so ‘disposable’. It’s obviously a very real concern when it comes to your hair and beauty products. A lot of my followers have mentioned that natural hair products are just too expensive. My response to that is: not all of them. It really depends what your definition of expensive is, because affordability is subjective. Personally, I wouldn’t spend more than R300 on a product, and I’ll only spend that if I know it’s ah-mazing. It’s quite a bit of cash! And, if you multiply that by four products (shampoo, conditioner, sealant, styling product) it’s already more than R1000 you’re spending on just hair products.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile because I’m of the belief that just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t look cute. Don’t be scared to experiment. Go to hair events so you can get samples of products before you buy them. This is a great time to be a natural in SA, there’s so much variety and choice now. Don’t be bogged down and think that good products will cost you R350. Also, keep in mind that how your hair looks isn’t only dependent on the products. You also need to have good hair habits and a consistent routine that works. Let’s be real, products do play a big role. And if you can’t afford the ones that everyone’s always raving about, know that there are others out there that may be better for your wallet.
Here are three ranges of good products for your natural hair depending on your budget. As tested by me, and Fro.
Budget: Dark & Lovely Au Naturale
Price: R45 – R80 per product
This line was launched about two years ago. It’s different from the normal Dark & Lovely range and it’s specially formulated for women with natural hair. If you’re transitioning, you can also use this. I’ve used the majority of the range and they also have new products for braids and protective styles. The Anti-Shrinkage Shampoo is great, so is the Anti-Shrinkage Conditioner. The only let down for me is there aren’t many styling products. But this is a great range for newbie or budget-conscious naturals who are still experimenting with products. A massive bonus is the wide availability, you won’t have to look very far for them. Think about it, where isn’t Dark & Lovely?
Spend: ORS (formerly Organic Root Stimulator)
Price range R14 – R105 per product
Pretty much the entire ORS range is great. As you know, one of my staples is their Creamy Aloe Shampoo which I use as a clarifying shampoo. You get bang for your buck with that and this brand is also available everywhere, or at least in every Black hair and beauty store. If you can add a little more to your budget, I definitely suggest you try their Curls Unleashed range (R140 – R200) which is specifically targeted to us naturals – although you can still use products from their main collection. I’ve mentioned before that the Curls Unleashed shampoo is bomb. I’m not crazy about their gel though, it has mediocre hold and I’m not a fan of the scent. Other than that, it’s a nice middle of the range collection of products.
Splash: Shea Moisture
Price range R250 – R280 per product
Lastly, there’s Shea Moisture which is hands down my all-time favourite. There are very few products in this brand (that I’ve tried) that I’m not such a fan of, if any. The other thing I love about Shea Moisture is they have a whole bunch of different ranges. In SA, we currently have about 4 ranges available to us at Clicks and Dischem. But if you’re outside of SA you have access to more and they all cater to different hair types from curl patterns to porosity, which is great. I can vouch to say that one product will last you a good few months, with regular application. A little bit really goes a long way, so you don’t have to slap on the product to get your money’s worth. My fave products are the Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé and Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioner.
My current stash is very mixed. I have a mix of ORS and Shea Moisture. If you want to stick to one range, and you can afford it, these products work very well with each other. You can always mix and match. I usually prefer using products from the same range as I think they work better together. But at the same time, if you only have a certain amount of money, you can buy a decent shampoo, a decent conditioner and maybe splash on the styling product.
Some other products that deserve a mention, in case you haven’t read the rest of my 3 Affordable series; Dove hair masks are overlooked a lot by naturals but I love them, they help detangle my hair like nothing else. They retail for about R70 each. Tresemme Botanique is also a worthy mention and you get a lot for R80 a bottle. Both of these are brands typically classified ad ‘white’ hair products, but they work perfectly fine on our hair too. Isoplus has a really affordable hair gel for R30. I’ve used it a lot, especially when times were rough. If I’m broke or conscious of cash, this is where I’d spend my money.
I’m currently trying out a couple other inexpensive products and will update you as I go along. Let me know below of your favourite products, especially ones that you don’t have to spend a lot on.