Hair Economics

Girl with blonde wet look hair
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 that the new year is upon us, it’s the perfect time to look at ways we can save money and still have great 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 dollar.
Overusing Products
Most people don’t realize that they use far more of their shampoo and conditioner than they need. The instruction on most shampoo bottles states 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 insufficient to clean the whole head of hair, try dipping your head under the shower to add water to the shampoo and continue massaging the shampoo and working up a lather. If the lather doesn’t build up to full, rich foam, you can rinse and use a second application.
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 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 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 along. Here’s a test: go to your bathroom (or wherever you style your hair) and look at the product collection you have there.
Do you have several different brands or formulas of products to do the same thing? Are there half-empty bottles of the same type of product gathering dust? Are there any product bottles in your collection that you have not used in more than a month? (This does not apply to products that are meant for monthly use.) If you answered “yes” to one of these questions, you may be wasting your money buying 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.
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, 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 cluttered hairdressing area, or a closet filled with products that never get used.
The real way to combat this particular issue is to make yourself stop and think carefully before you buy 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.