Wash Day on a Budget

Does anybody else have mixed feelings about wash day? Because I know I do.

On one hand, I finally get to unwind and enjoy some me time, but on the other, I feel like I lost an entire day of my life (because I kinda did unless I have something to do in between steps).

Regardless, wash day is that time where we naturals spend a lot of time and money giving our hair exactly what it needs to thrive. I know for me, this means a wash and condition with a bit more TLC than I give it through the rest of the week, but I don’t want to have to break the bank to do it.

So here’s how my typical wash day goes and how I save money doing it:


Step 1: Clarify

I usually start by clarifying my hair, and for a lot of naturals, this means breaking out that clarifying shampoo that we all love so much. For me, this means trying to find a way to clarify my hair while not having to spend that much money. My solution?

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is a cheap way to clarify your hair, and a little goes a LONG way. Because it can be so raw, harsh and smelly, it’s best to dilute it with water in either a spray bottle or applicator bottle. I’ve seen a ton of different ratios of vinegar to water, but I like to use a 1:4 ratio. I let it sit for about 20 minutes before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Condition and Detangle

I think every natural I see who detangles their hair with conditioner uses a different brand. Actually yeah… I have yet to see two naturals that I follow use the same conditioner for this step! They all seem to work great, but when I go to buy it for myself, my wallet and I end up shrinking away after seeing the price tag. Not only am I a minimalist by choice, I’m also kinda poor by college, so I became a penny pincher real fast.

Instead, I opt for Vo5 conditioner. Not the ones that are $12 and such. No, next time you go to the supermarket, go to the beauty aisle over where the shampoos and conditioners are. Now look down. See those bottles of Vo5 that are selling for like $.80? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

The way I see it, I really want to use this conditioner to safely detangle my hair while giving a bit of a boost. This conditioner has a lot of slip and is super cheap. It does the job just fine, and my wallet can breathe easy.

Step 3: Mask

I just recently got into Organix shampoos and conditioners, and boy are they amazing! I also see how they conveniently have different products to accompany them depending on the line you purchase. I’ve been so tempted to try the number of different masks and strengthening products they sell, but when I hear my debit card pleading for mercy, I try to opt for something else.

Instead of buying a tiny mask that will only give me about 3 uses, I started buying Bentonite Clay. This is a great mask for both your hair and your face, and has tons of minerals to increase the health of hair and skin. I get mine from Amazon, and it goes a long way! To be honest, I only started buying it starting at the beginning of the year, and I’m almost done with my second container. Yeah, I love you Organix, but your masks wouldn’t last me two months…

Step 4: Shampoo and Condition

As I mentioned previously, I use Organix shampoo and conditioner. I’ve always wanted to try to make my own shampoo with castile soap like I’ve seen on Pinterest, but just haven’t had the time to try it yet. If anyone else has tried making their shampoo, please let me know how it went for you!

Step 5: Deep Condition

I’m sure I mentioned this in a previous post, but my favorite deep conditioner of all time would have to be ORS Hair Mayonnaise. My mom used to use it on my hair when I was a little girl, and my hair has always loved it. Of course as time goes on, I see that it’s going up in price, which my wallet and I don’t like. Because it’s a staple in my hair care routine however, I can’t go without it. What’s a girl to do but to make it stretch.

Recently, I’ve been leaving my conditioner in my hair and applying the Hair Mayonnaise on the ends of my hair since they’re the weakest parts. This helps me to stretch one of my best products while still getting the benefit for my hair.

Step 6: Leave-in and Seal

My favorite leave in conditioner is by As I Am, hands down. I apply it while my hair is still soaking wet so as to use both it and the water as my moisturizer. However, if I find myself tight on cash, I find that Vo5 Conditioner mixed with a some water in a spray bottle makes a pretty good leave-in as well.

As far as a sealant goes, I know that there are tons on the market. The majority of them smell amazing and have a number of different benefits depending on what your hair needs are. For me, I notice that these butters and lotions come in awfully small bottles that are pretty pricey. Instead, I started focusing on what ingredients I needed instead of how to combine coupons. My main sealant became raw, organic shae butter. The reason I like it so much is because it can be used on its own; no perfumes, no dyes, no preservatives, and it isn’t expensive! Of course if I do want to get fancy, sometimes I like to whip some essential oil in it for the benefits and a little smell.


Wash day is already a process and there’s no reason we should have to give our bank accounts whiplash at the same time.

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