Help! I'm poor but I want pretty hair

moonandtreemoonandtree Posts: 2Registered Users
Hello, I'm new here and am looking for some tips.

I just had a curly cut for the first time at this great place in Toronto called The Curl Ambassadors. I've always battled my hair, and didn't think it was curly - just big, wavy and stubborn. Now I wonder if it was really just always dried out, badly cut and secretly yearning to curl. I think I am a 2c - coarse, thick, frizzy hair that curls up with encouragement.

The hairstylist used all these great products and my hair looked AMAZING for three days. Unfortunately, I am living on a grad student budget, and the idea of spending $30 for each bottle of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in and gel gave me a heart attack. I got some samples but am cringing at what is going to happen when they run out. Looking around on here, I am overwhelmed by all the information: low-poo, no-poo, silicones, etc... it's gonna take some time to sort out.

So, I was wondering if anyone could recommend any cheaper alternatives (like drug store prices) to the products the hairstylist used. I know that there is a reason these expensive products are priced so high, but seriously, I'm gonna go back to a ponytail before I start spending $120+ a month on hair products. It's either gorgeous curly hair or food at this point, and I will pick the latter, unless someone has some tips:

Deva Low-poo (does the new L'Oreal Sulfate Free Shampoo equate?)
[buylink=]Mixed Chicks deep conditioner[/buylink] and leave-in conditioner
[buylink=]Deva Arc Angel[/buylink] gel (this stuff is amazing... sigh. I saw some people in another forum suggested making a gel using flax seeds - might give this a try)

Any cost-saving suggestions much appreciated!


  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It sounds like you are familiar with the curly girl (cg) method and plan to use it. If not, LMK and I'll give you a link to explain the curly girl method.

    cowash: vo5 or sauve naturals

    rinse out: I'd suggest starting with garnier fructis triple nutrition. It is moisturizing and high in oils. Coarse hair tends to like oils and butters

    gel: There are lots of drugstore gels. If you need a hard hold try LA looks sports or curls. Also Herbal essence set me up (hard) or totally twisted (medium)

    non sulfate shampoo (low poo): giovanni is at walmart and target. Target has travel sizes of giovanni. Walmart also has natures gate. They are about 8$. I read a post recently where a user was saying how much she love elasta qp shampoo (I think the creme shampoo) from beauty supply stores. She said it is around 4$.

    Curl enhancer: I'm not sure what the people with coarse hair use. You might like homemade flax seed gel or fruit of the earth aloe vera gel (by the sunscreens in walmart).
    Good luck (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a ( 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • DivinusLupusDivinusLupus Posts: 3Registered Users
    Suave Naturals is good for the price. I got it at my local grocery store for $0.98. I use it for co-washing. As far as styling products, I am not sure. I use Mane and Tail leave-in strengthener which I got for $4 or $5 at Sally's Beauty Supply. Organix Coconut Mousse was $6 or $7 at local drugstore. Hope some of this helps!
    New to CG!
    Current regimen:
    Aubrey Organics Calagula Fern Poo for scalp
    Ion Inspired by Nature Luxury Moisture Cond.
    Homemade Leave-In: AO Honeysuckle Moist, jojoba oil, avocado oil, distilled water.

    Type: 2Cciii

  • yuhwooyuhwoo Posts: 25Registered Users
    I think pedaheh hit most of the products that rotate around this board. You can also try Ecostyler (gel). It's super cheap, found in almost all drug stores and a lot of curlies swear by the stuff.

    If there's one near you, Trader Joe's also carries cg friendly shampoos and conditioners. They're really affordable too, around $3-4 for 16oz bottles.
    2a/b, medium texture/porosity/thickness
    currently using:
    co-wash or ro:
    sonoma soap company daily co, tj tea tree tingle, aogbp
    stylers: cj cccc, ssfhg
    pre-poo w/coconut oil 1x/wk

  • moonandtreemoonandtree Posts: 2Registered Users
    Thanks for the tips - I will look into these. Yeah, I'm in Canada, so might not be able to find some (or alot) of these brands, but I'll see what's at Wal-mart (no Target up here, unfortunately - that place is amazing!)
  • leonita poraleonita pora Posts: 175Registered Users
    I understand all about being poor - I'm a PhD student that really can't/shouldn't afford to be the product junkie that I am.:tongue3:

    I would suggest picking up some standard conditioner and shampoos that people here have suggested. Find out if there are certain ingredients your hair likes or dislikes. Once you figure those out, you can always take them out by switching products, or more easily put them back in by adding them into your routine. For instance, some people really like adding honey to their conditioner, or using coconut oil as a prewash. Doing these sorts of things may help you figure things out on a step by step basis, which will allow you some time to save for those expensive products that have exactly what your hair likes.

    Also, if it's not too much trouble, try making some flax seed gel. This is really inexpensive, and this is another great way to find out what works well for your hair, plus it's awesome b/c you can tailor your concoction especially for your hair needs. There are a lot of recipes around with suggestions for various additives. Try making the gel various ways and for various purposes - as a curl enhancer, make it not as thick and maybe add a very small amount of epsom salt, or as a styling gel - make it thicker and add honey or agave nectar for hold. Some people mix mix it will aloe also.

    A lot of the homemade stuff doesn't have to be expensive and if they don't work for your hair, they have other uses beyond haircare. Unfortunately, it does take some time and experimentation, but at least you are spending $5 on aloe vera gel that you could use on your skin if your hair doesn't like it instead of buying expensive products that get used up quickly.

    One more thing - kathymack is a poster that sells samples of products that she uses. That's another great way to try out stuff. I'm skeptical of things working for me once - I need to see it work several times, in different conditions before I buy it. Hair stylists have magic hands that I don't have, so I, myself, try to be very cautious before I go out and buy salon products.

    Good luck!
    Fia: 2b-2c/Fine-Medium/iii (Thick)
    Low-Poo: Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo, Shampoo bars
    Co-Wash: Trader Joe's Refresh, CJ Daily Fix, CFT Creamy Curl Cleanser
    Rinse-out: Trader Joe's Nourish, GFTN, Aubrey Organics GPB
    Leave-in/Curl Creme: Marie Dean Curly Styling Creme
    Gel: BRHG, homemade FSG, CJ Curl Queen, Deva AnGel
    Hair likes: Protein, FSG, high dewpoints
    Hair dislikes: coconut oil on dry hair
  • DEL2CDEL2C Posts: 6,418Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Discovered CG 2007

    2C Fia BSL/Thick/Med-Coarse/Low(crown)-Normal Porosity Protein and Oil Sensitive

    Link-Spritz & Condish Washing:glasses7:

    I'm aCurlJunkieJunky :love4:

    My hair LOVES Coconut DESPISES Soap Bars :tongue6:

    CJRehab or H&B Fix, Deva NO POO, EO Rose & Cham POO & Condish, CJ CurlFix, CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB, SS FHG, KCCC, BRHG, AG Mousse Gel, ACV Rinses,Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse.
  • kasdenkasden Posts: 1,045Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Once you find a few products you like, you can use things probably found in your kitchen to enhance them.

    Honey is great!!!! You can also find how to use several items on Tiffany's website, such as acv (apple cider vinegar), baking soda, and olive oil to name a few.

    I love almond oil to help seal the hair to prevent frizzies. I get it for about $4 and it lasts forever! Coconut oil is another one that a lot of curlies use - you can add it to your deep conditioning treatment as well as use it to SOTC.

    You can have pretty hair on a budget! And you deserve to have pretty hair!!! :flower:
    2c/3a, fine, low-med porosity, below BSL, mod CG since 9/09

    "I'm fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." - Leigh Standley

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