Hair Economics

Girl with blonde wet look hair
Photo: Istock
How to Save Money on Your Hair Care
Times are tough all over. Families and individuals are tightening their belts and making cutbacks in order to save money. Now is the perfect time to look at ways we can save money and still have great-looking hair. Some of the ideas have been around a long time, but get forgotten in our belief that "modern" is better.
So let's take a look at some of the biggest factors that spend your hair care money.
Overusing Products
Most people don't realize that they use far more of their shampoo and conditioner than they need. The instructions on most shampoo bottles state that you should use a "quarter-sized" amount of shampoo. This is geared toward hair that is just below shoulder-length. If your hair is shorter, you can use significantly less shampoo.
Many people mistakenly assume that using more shampoo will clean the hair faster or better. The truth is that the cleaning action of shampoo comes from the lather that is generated, not from the amount of shampoo used.
In order to combat this, try getting a small bottle with a pump dispenser and use a single pump for hair that is shoulder-length, a half-pump for hair that is shorter, and one and a half to two pumps for longer hair. If you feel that the shampoo is not enough to clean your whole head of hair, try submerging your head under the shower to add water to the shampoo and continue massaging the shampoo and creating a lather. If the lather doesn’t build up to full, rich foam, you can rinse and use a second application.
Shampoo bottle with pump dispenser
Using a pump is also a good idea for dispensing conditioner. Just remember to squeeze the excess water from rinsing the shampoo out of the hair. Spread your dollop of conditioner between your hands and fingers, then work it through the hair. Once again, you can use a splash of water on the hair to help spread the conditioner.
The overuse problem is also common with protective products like smoothing serum, or heat styling protectors that are applied to wet hair and worked through before blow-drying and heat styling. A good rule of thumb for all your hair products is to apply less of the product and use more manipulation to spread the product through the hair. With just a little attention paid to not overusing the products, you will be amazed at how much you can save.
Product Addiction
Okay, so it's not exactly what you think of when you think "addiction," but so many people feel compelled to buy and try every new product that comes out. Here's a test: Go to your bathroom (or wherever you style your hair) and look at the products you have there.
Do you have several different brands or formulas of products that do the same thing? Are there half-empty bottles of the same type of product collecting dust? Do you have any products in your collection that you haven't used in over a month? This does not include products that are meant to be used monthly. If you answered "yes" to one of these questions, you may be wasting your money by purchasing products that you don't need.
If you answered “yes” to more than one of these questions, you are very likely spending way too much on hair products you don’t really need.
Bottles with hair products
More people than you might realize have a habit of seeing a new product or brand in a store while they are shopping and simply grabbing it, even when they have a similar product at home. Or they see a "sale" on various products and purchase things on the premise that "if I need it I'll have it". The trouble with this is that you often end up with a clutteredhairdressing area, or a closet filled with products that never get used.
The true way to combat this issue is to make yourself pause and think carefully before purchasing a new product. When you see something new that you are tempted to buy, ask yourself if you have a similar product at home that is less than half used up.
If you have more than half a bottle left of a similar product, remind yourself that you can always get the new product when you’ve used up the old one. If you think the new product is better than the one you already have, ask yourself if it is worth replacing the old one given the cost of the new one AND the cost of the old product you will be effectively throwing away. If it is important to you to reduce waste, you should first use up the old product before purchasing a new one.
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