Sometimes, we have everything we need for our hair to thrive, and then some. We like to go all out and splurge on a new TGIN co-wash or some emu essential oil to add to our repertoire of hair products. Then, other times, and what this post is focusing on–times are HARD. Trust me, I know. I’ve put some questionable things in my hair, which has given me the insight to write this post. Sometimes you just don’t have a fancy nice butter with sumptuous ylang-ylang and a decadent acai berry scent to coat your thirsty strands! Well, damn, don’t worry cuz I got you! I’ve found some things that are next to nothing cheap you can keep in your hair pantry for those days.
1. Coconut Milk This can cost anywhere between $0.79 on sale to like $1.99 if you need to get bougie. Buy a couple cans and keep it in your pantry. I have thick hair to my shoulders (okay, if I boost and really stretch it) and a half can is one wash. The reason why this stuff is amazing is because it will lightly cleanse, moisturize and soften your hair and leave it shiny. Best used as a deep conditioner or in conjuction with a bit of condish you may have scraping at the bottom of your conditioner bottle. Put it together and voila…you’ve got a concoction that’s equal to the stuff in a $15 bottle! Thank me later!
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil If you are running low on many other items, heat this stuff up and rub it in your scalp and through your ends before you do a co-wash or a regular shampoo. Leave it in for 15 minutes and rinse. This will keep you going until you replenish your regular oils that are more costly like Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, jojoba oil or Jamaican castor oil, or Shea butter. Or what have you. Different strokes for different folks. But EVOO works in a pinch. Add it to the last remainders of your hair butters for a bit of longevity! (Also works for body creams and moisturizes excellently).
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Buy a bottle for $3 and keep it for those days you need to clean a dirty scalp or rid yourself of all that edge gel you got going on. I don’t buy shampoo that often because I don’t wash my hair with it unless I have tons of non-natural products in it like hairspray and gels. But ACV comes through, it’s cheap and you don’t need a lot. Just watch out for the sting in the eye. Gets me every time. Use this when you run out of your regular curly girl shampoo and aren’t about to go buy another $15 bottle for a week or two.
4. Black Soap This Ghana staple will cleanse your scalp gently and a bar of it costs $2-$4 and a container of liquid black soap is about $2.99. It’s all-natural and you probably have some on deck to wash your face with. Black soap is made from Shea, honey, oils, ash and other nutrient-packed content and if you aren’t already using it to wash your hair, well now you know somethign that will keep your hair clean! Shoot, you just may never go back to regular shampoo again!
5. Eggs or Mayonaise If you have nothing else, it’s uninspiring but mix this with that desperate bit of EVOO you have left and you have a great deep conditioner. Bonus if you have a banana or avocado to add to this.
6. Cheap condish – I like to use natural, Black-owned hair products and the prices of these are sometimes double that of conventional hair products aimed at Europeans, if not triple. Most of the time I can afford them but sometimes, my hydro bill rockets or there’s a dope jacket on sale and for those times, I keep a cheap $5-$7 bottle of conditioner on hand like Live Free or JASON. When I have them, I add a few drops of essential oils to ramp up the effects and leave it there in the back of my vanity cupboard. When I get desperate and start rummaging for cheap condish, knowing I’ve run out of my regular stuff, I find Old Faithful.
7.Tea bags Most people have tea on hand. If you don’t, you’re probably not the greatest hostess. Use whatever you got on hand–every tea is beneficial to some degree or another and right now we are not being picky, now are we? You can use chamomile, green, black, nettle, ginger (even using the root and boiling it), Hibiscus, rosemary (just boil some of the herbs, and you can also do this with thyme) and peppermint is particularly good for oily scalp as it controls sebum.
I’m sure if you rummage through your kitchen, your pantry and your beauty cabinets you will find a few items to hold you over until the next time you can run into the hair shop and come out with every new hair cream. Just don’t forget to stock up on that coconut milk first!