Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Money Watch

Money Watch | Is Natural Hair More Expensive?

I was browsing the isles of a local beauty supply store, checking for oils, and new creams when I noticed something. Those prices!! I am a thrifty girl, who splurges once in a blue moon.

For the popular brands, the prices seem to be going up! I looked into the price bloat, and this is not just at the local Beauty Supply stores. At chain retailers, like Target, and Walmart, the larger size containers  are reaching prices as high as $40.00 for creams, and butters geared towards kinky hair shoppers. Terms such as “All Natural” are slapped across nearly every product, making it more difficult to discern what is natural, from lab made creations.  Companies seem to be re purposing old products, and adapting their marketing strategies, to fit the growing trend.
What was once curl activator, is now a curl defining spray. What was once a simple gel, is now a soufflĂ©, or glaze. What was once a relaxer, is now a texture manageability system. What is a curly girl to believe?! 

This begs me to ask, is natural hair more expensive? Are these companies trying to fool us? And what is “All Natural” anyway?

 My personal journey is working out cheaper than maintaining my relaxed strands at the salon. My Saturdays are mine once again, no longer spending hours waiting in a salon, to give away my hard earned cash. I now wash and twist my hair at home.  That money I spent on keeping my hair straight, is now spent on quality, raw ingredients. Mixing my own products keeps my product costs low. Although I’m still a product junkie, mixing my staple products allows me to cut costs. Not to mention my home made mixes are made in bulk, insuring that I have enough product, for the least amount of money.   Having natural hair can be more expensive if you allow it to be. Many thrifty curly girls coupon clip, sign up for newsletters direct from their favorite companies, or swap products with other curly girls in the effort to keep costs low.
Who are they fooling? The major hair care companies are smart. They follow the trends to stay in touch with the needs of their customers. Re purposing products is not a new strategies. Be sure to read the full label, including ingredients before purchasing anything. Many products may say “all natural” on the front, and have a long list of things you can’t pronounce on the back. Sadly,  the phrase “all natural” is not regulated. This means that phrase can be said about any product. Instead look for terms like “100% Coconut”. This lets your know that there is only one ingredient in your coconut oil, and not just a drop of coconut in a jar of mostly petroleum. With a weak economy, and natural hair becoming a booming business, curly girls still need to be mindful of their wallets, and how companies are marketing directly to them.

Here are some terms you should be familiar with! They are good for your hair, and are widely used in hair products: 

  • Glyceryl stearate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium lactate
  • Sodium PCA
 Fatty alcohols also known as "oily" condition your locks. Here's a tip: say yes, to the alcohols that start with "c" and "s."
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol