Even though I would like to hear your thoughts on this, I understand this is a question that I can only answer from a personal standpoint. I think the best way to answer it is with a simple comparison on how much I spent prior to going natural and now.
I don’t think it’s fair to ask a new natural this question because back when I just went natural I spent TONS of money on different products trying to find my holy grail. But now, I’m pretty content with my stash and can say I’m no longer looking for the perfect mix.
So here is my personal breakdown…
Washing – I know I spend about the same on washing my hair as when I was relaxed. I used about the same amount and even though I no longer use the same brands I can make my cleansing conditioner last just as long as my shampoo back in the day.
Conditioning – Ok, I think you already know the answer to this question. 1000% more money is being spent on conditioner as most naturals slather it on to help keep our hair tangle free and moisturized.
I finger detangle primarily and for my magic fingers to glide through my tresses without trouble they need some help and there is nothing like a great conditioner that has slip.
This is definitely where the majority of my money goes on my natural hair. I go through tons of conditioner and I do not buy the priciest ones around. I spend about $7 – $10 on an 8 oz bottle of conditioner and it may last me a week.
Coloring – I never really colored my hair that often but when I did I would have someone else do it. Going to a salon would be expensive but I know I would get the color I really wanted without worrying about over-processing my hair. This luxury is pricey and whether relaxed or natural since a salon visit is order either way, it does not factor in.
Cuts / Trims – I spend wayyyyy less money as I don’t have to go to the salon for my trims. I learned early on during this journey that many hairstylists can only trim or cut hair while straight.
That is a no no for many naturals as we know a real natural hairstylist can cut our hair while in it’s coily/kinky* state and that’s the only way to ensure enough is cut and that it is shaped correctly.
Chemical treatments – What do you think? No money spent for a natural in this area and we all know that relaxers are not cheap (for the good quality ones) and it’s a six to eight week expense that we do not incur. I am definitely saving on this one!
Styling products – I know I spend more on these as my natural hair needs assistance in staying moisturized and frizz-free. Gels (although, not all are expensive) and other stylers are necessary for most naturals. Even some butters* and oils* are necessary so I honestly can say that I spend more in this area.
It depends on who you ask but for ME I am spending less money overall. I used to hit the salon every six weeks for my relaxer touch-ups and the prices were steadily rising.
Even with all the conditioner and styling products I use now, the savings I am making still far outweigh what I spent on the pricey salon visits. So, how about you, Naturals, are you saving more money?