Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Natural Shopper

So yesterday I was minding my own businesses buying groceries at ShopRite when I somehow managed to wonder into the hair section (gee wonder how that happened lol). I was really excited to see that my two staple conditioners were on sale: RenPure Organics My Hair is Parched for $2.99 and Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Family Size at $1.79! Both of these items I had purchased before from CVS retailed at $7.99 and around $2.79 respectively and not including tax. And of course I was even happier to find out that regularly, RenPure is $5.99 at ShopRite. For both my conditioners, I spent $5.20! *does the happy natural dance*

Of course, I started thinking about fellow natural hair enthusiasts who love buying their products but also love having money for other important things. And as a natural who became a hair enthusiast during my last two years in college (and did not live at home, had an apartment, and recieved no money from the parentals) I wanted to share some tips that I used first for saving money while grocery shopping (which sounds funny I know) that I later applied to hair shopping:

*Shop for the best deal: coupons, circulars, online orders. Products for your hair are everywhere including in grocery stores so you're really not confined. There's always a deal on a product somewhere, you just have to look. And when there's a sale for your staple product(s) be sure to stock up!

*Ingredients check: if you know your hair well enough to know what it likes, then shopping for new products is a lot easier. Need a conditioner with good slip? Then make sure that something like Behentrimonium methosulfate is in the first 5 ingredients. Don't want any sulfates in your shampoo? Well that will narrow down your choices...

*Sample: and if  you aren't sure about what ingredients work for you, sample the product somehow. Ask a friend if they have some, ask the store for some samples (I know Aveda gives out samples, Ricky's has products you can try in the store) participate in online giveaways (hint hint, we have one coming soon!) and you can sometimes call the manufacturer and request samples from there. I especially like to sample if the product is expensive and I'm not completely won over but am curious.

*Research Before You Try: Everyone's hair is different so what works for Natural A may not work for Natural B, but maybe it will for Natural C. Also, please follow the directions as close as possible the first time you try a product. Learning how to use it first allows for experimentation later, especially if you don't know your hair that well. I cannot tell you how many products I am thinking of revisiting that I dismissed before simply because I didn't know how to use it.

*Jumping on Bandwagons: will make you broke, simply put lol. It's cool to try a product that another natural reccommends (I mean we ♥ product reviews) but it goes back to researching before hand. Someone says they love castor oil and so they say that mixing it in their conditioner is wonderous! Don't run out and buy castor oil without even knowing what it is. There are too many resources for us out here, there's no excuse!

*Always Have An Alternative: I mean this specifically when at times you cannot afford the usual product. There's always, I repeat, always an (cheaper?) alternative. For instance, I love my Kinky Curly Knot Today, but costing between 9-13 bucks doesn't always help my wallet. That's why I alternate with Sauve Naturals because it's cheaper and it works about the same for me. And there's always stuff from the kitchen that is the same, if not better, than commercial hair products and it turns out cheaper (I have personally mixed all sorts of things and I promise to share concoctions in future posts)

I could go on and site how each of these tips helps with grocery shopping, but that would make this post longer. I will give a small example. I'm trying to decide what to cook for a dinner party I'm hosting and I want it to be something really popular. Someone tells me I can't go wrong by cooking calimari. As it turns out, I loath the thought of eating squid and think omg what if there are leftovers? What am I going to do with them? Throw them out? I hate wasting food. I know it would be popular but I have an alternative that I wouldn't mind eating and having left overs from.

Happy shopping!

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