Saving Money with Natural Hair: Conditioner

“Mixing conditioners?? That should  be a sin in the natural hair community!”

Well, it isn’t. Believe me, it isn’t.

It’s saved me loads of money and here’s how I do it:

  1. Replace
  2. Stretch
  3. Mix

CoWash Conditioner

I’ve seen a ton of brands start to catch on to what we naturals are doing with our hair and the precautions we take to make sure it gets what it needs. one product that I recently have seen spike is “co-washing conditioners”. Basically these are supposed to be conditioners for washing your hair in place of shampoo to save your strand from being completely stripped while still getting your scalp clean.

Y’all, it’s just conditioner.

There’s no law saying that you have to use a conditioner marked “co-wash” to get your hair clean. This stuff is not only expensive, but it’s probably what you already have in your bathroom; it’s just got a different container and label.

What I like to do is use VO5 conditioner specifically for my co-washes. If I wanted to use it as my staple conditioner, I would need to use about an entire bottle and let it sit in my hair for about an hour with heat. But as a co-washing conditioner, it gives me a great base for washing my hair and enough slip to do some detangling while I’m at it.

And did I mention you can get it at the supermarket for, like… $.80? Yeah, that’s all you need.

Leave-in Conditioner

I didn’t even know that leave-in was a thing for black women until I joined the natural hair movement. I figured that it was just another way that girls like to spend money to make them look all cute so they get chased by someone they had a crush on.

Little did I know, this stuff is pretty important.

Often, I see women buy a leave-in that comes in a small, skinny bottle (though I’ve never really seen it in a big bottle…) and use about a quarter size amount for sections of their hair; depending on how long their hair is.

Keep in mind that the purpose of a good leave-in is to keep your hair hydrated and can be a quick way to rehydrate it as well. I also see women use a spray bottle for their leave-in, and I do the same.

But what do you put in it?

The main things that I see that can hydrate our hair is water, leave-in, glycerin, and aloe vera. Natural hair care isn’t cheap, so honestly, kudos to the women who can squirt leave-in straight into their hair.

But for those that might need to stretch it until that next payday, mixing 1 part conditioner with 2-3 parts water is an easy way to make your leave-in last while still making sure your hair gets the moisture that it so desperately needs.

Deep Conditioner

This one I only recently started doing, and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. During my wash days, I usually use a deep conditioner to make sure that my hair gets all the strength and moisture that it can, and it’s the very last step to my routine.

Although I could make my own deep conditioner, I prefer to buy ORS hair mayonnaise. My mom used it on my hair for as long as I can remember, and my hair, whether it’s relaxed or natural, absolutely loves it.

Of course, I see that my favorite deep conditioner is steadily increasing in price, and I don’t quite trust other conditioners with my hair, so what’s a natural minimalist to do?

Mix it.

I’ve noticed that since I started taking better care of my hair, when it comes to deep conditioner, my ends are what need it most. So here’s what I do: I use my favorite conditioner (for me, that’s almost any conditioner made by Organix, but you do you) and I coat my entire fro. Next, I get my hair mayonnaise and and apply it, starting from my ends, to about 1/3 up the hair shaft.

This way, I’m not burning through my deep conditioner and my hair is still moisturized!

How about you guys? What’s your favorite brand of conditioner?


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