5 Ways to Use Low Cost Commercial Conditioners

Natural hair care businesses are constantly pushing us in the natural hair community to purchase their specialized lines of products, which typically start at $9.99 per bottle. And I am not talking about liter sized bottles either but rather a cup to 1.5 cups of product! Now I do understand that these products have quality ingredients and are generally free of the harsh chemicals usuaslly found in commerical hair products that have been reportedly linked to cancer. Because of this, Shea Moisture, Giovanni, and Kinky Curly will continue to have our support especially since they have worked well for our hair and are organic/natural (for the most part).

However, as much as I would like to fully support these companies and enjoy the benefits these targeted products bring to the unique characteristics of our natural hair, it is just not feasible for three reasons:

  • Budget: Just like many families, we are striving to balance our budget and save money when and where we can. I am all for using organic/natural conditioner on our hair, but using half a bottle of an expensive conditioner (or $5 in terms of money) to cowash two heads under 10 minutes is just not economically wise for our pockets.
  • Regimen: We use a quality shampoo because it is used sparingly (no more than twice a month) followed by a quality conditioner. We use a quality deep conditioner (bi-weekly) because it is designed to penetrate our hair shafts over a 30 minute time period. We use a quality leave-in because this is what sits on our hair over the course of the week to help keep our hair moisturized against outside elements. However, for certain techniques and routines established in our regimen that require regular usage of conditioner between two heads, we can go through expensive conditioners (and money) in no time.
  • Deals: It is hard for me to pass up a good deal on cheap commercial conditioners when I know these products can satisfy some of our natural hair care needs. Plus, I can use these products and not feel guilty using so much of it within in any given moment. Anything under $4 per bottle is a deal in my book. Hint: coupons!

So with these reasons stated, here are the ways we use our cheap conditioners:

  1. Pre-poo Treatment: If our hair is feeling really dry before shampooing, I apply cheap conditioner to help add back moisture and make the hair more manageable during cleansing.
  2. Detangler: What better use of a cheap conditioner than to detangle natural hair? Spritzing the hair with water and adding conditioner provides the slip I need to take down old braided hairstyles on Z's hair and detangle frizzy ends.
  3. Co-Wash: Between washing sessions, a quick co-wash can help restore moisture to our hair. Also, I like to co-wash after a hard workout session.
  4. Swimming Protection: Water + conditioner on your natural tresses can create an effective barrier against the chlorine and salt found in pool water while locking moisture inside. If you are an avid swimmer, a cheap conditioner is your best (and economical) friend.
  5. Shaving Cream: Isn't the hair on our legs natural as well? ::smiles:: Even some cheap conditioners are that bad that you refuse to use them anywhere near your head again. That does not mean you have to throw them out for good. Use the remainder as an alternative to shaving cream that will leave your legs feeling silky smooth.
I hope this helps those who feel pressured to buy lots of expensive hair conditioners to cover every single natural hair care need. In the end, you have to do what is right for your regimen AND budget. That is being a wise naturalista!

What other ways do you use cheap conditioners? What are some of your favorite low cost brands?

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