How does everyone feel about drugstore/lower cost products to get started?

Hello curlies!

So I've really been reading through the wealth of information on this site for past week, and have been taking notes from everyone on various products that work for people that have a similar hair type to mine. (I'm a 2b, normal porosity, APL, highlights and lowlights, fine hair, not sure on protein/moisture balance yet).

So far some items on my list that I'd love to try out are:

Low Poo - Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle, one of the Shea Moisture products (I think my Walgreens carries this?), Long Lovely Locks Great Tea Hair Cleanser (is this one still around?), Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream, maybe L'Oreal Evercurl Cleansing Cream

CoWash / Leave In (haven't been able to determine what to use as a cowash and what to use as leave in? I'm assuming the higher moisturizing conditioner would be my leave in?) - Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner, Vo5 Kiwi Lime, Yes to Carrots, Aubrey GPB Lavendar

Curl Enhancer - AG re:coil, Moroccan Oil Curl Mousse, Biotera Curl Cream, Jessicurl Confident Coils

Gel - Curl Junkie Curls, Curl Keeper or maybe a FSG?

SOTC - JCNS - if needed. Any other SOTC reccomendations?

I calculated that if I chose one product from each of those categories I'd be spending at least $100, so I'd like to get started CG from a few inexpensive products I can pick up locally. I have KMS products but I just realized a couple of days ago those are probably no-nos because of the sulfates :(

Any ideas on some inexpensive products that are good to get started? I have read the Curlies on a Budget post (here. At this point, anything I buy, whether its $3 or $20 is just a wild guess!
2b newbie as of 4/8/13
Fine hair, normal porosity. Still experimenting to determine moisture and protein preferences.

So far.....
Occasional Wash: SM Shea Butter Curl & Shine
Co-wash:Suave Naturals Coconut, VO5 Kiwi Lime

Plopping and diffusing


  • lucyprimroselucyprimrose Posts: 166Registered Users
    I'll let others suggest what local products you might get in stores as I'm not in the US so have different ones. But I think using drugstore/lower cost products is a very good idea, especially when you start. You'll be using so many new things and techniques that it is hard to work out which is the one swaying things for better or worse, and you can easily spend a lot of money on products without really knowing what they did for you. Also you can avoid wasting too much money on expensive stuff before you've established your hair's preferences, eg. low poo or co wash, protein or not etc.

    You can always factor in more pricey products one category at a time if you need too, or change your mind if things aren't working out. But it is worth giving the drugstore stuff a go, you may find some bargain favourites!
    UK based wavy :hello2:

    Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
    Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
    Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

    Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
    Trying out new things, still looking.
  • Laura LeeLaura Lee Posts: 1,828Registered Users
    The co-wash is the easiest place to save money. Pick up a bottle of Suave Tropical Coconut or a VO5 Moisture Milk. That should be less than $2.

    You might be able to get away with just using more of what you are co-washing with as a rinse out conditioner or as a leave in. Lots of people love Tresemme Naturals as a rinse out.

    I would skip the curl enhancer all together for now. When you cut out sulfates and silicones, you generally go through an adjustment period. I think it's better to keep things simple during that time, because you won't be able to be sure how your hair will react.

    Gel is probably going to be the thing that makes the most difference in how your hair looks aside from cutting out sulfates. I'd splurge and grab one of the Curl Junkie gels if I was going to splurge in one of the product categories you listed.

    I have always done just fine using my hands to scrunch out the crunch. I'd try that first, since hands are free.

    So to sum up, I'd pick up a low poo (any of the ones you listed would work fine), a cheapie cowash (suave or Vo5), a cheapie rinse out, and a gel. I'd leave playing with creams and enhancers and stuff until my hair had settled into the sulfate free lifestyle.
  • lenielenie Posts: 20Registered Users
    Thank you both!

    I like the idea of starting simple so I can better pinpoint my hair's reactions to different products. I bought some v05 kiwi, SN coconut & Shea moisture shampoo to start. :)

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using CurlTalk App
    2b newbie as of 4/8/13
    Fine hair, normal porosity. Still experimenting to determine moisture and protein preferences.

    So far.....
    Occasional Wash: SM Shea Butter Curl & Shine
    Co-wash:Suave Naturals Coconut, VO5 Kiwi Lime

    Plopping and diffusing
  • OhSunshinex3OhSunshinex3 Posts: 74Registered Users
    Suave Naturals makes a good co-wash. I have never used it as a rinse out but I'm sure it's do-able. I have tried it as a leave-in but it didn't make my curls as curly as they should have been so I don't like it use it for a leave-in. I used LA Looks Mega Mega Hold Gel (I think that's what it's called) the other day and it worked nicely. That's only about $2. Most people use the LA Looks Sports Gel though. Costs the same. All the other things I use are pretty expensive. I have tried Yes to Carrots and I liked that. It costs a little under $10 I think... Those are just the things I have used since going Curly Girl. I have yet to really experiment...

  • Jas76Jas76 Posts: 2,283Registered Users
    Drugstore products are all I use!!

    What are your hair properties?

    Oh stupid me!! Just saw!! Lol!!

    Ok, here's what I use:

    LALS, LALPS (LA looks sport and power spikes)

    Suave naturals coconut or clarifying for my co-wash

    Pretty much anything by Shea Moisture

    Organix Shea low poo

    I sometimes use Tresemme Naturals conditioner

    Mineral oil for sealing (sometimes jojoba oil instead)

    I use GBP conditioning balm, Ion effective care, and Cure Care condistioner, all from Sally's.

    I also do PT's with gelatin, and DT's by adding olive oil, honey, and some apple cider vinegar to my regular condish.

    2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

    Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
    clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
    Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
    RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
    LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
    Seal - MO or Jojoba
    DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
    PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
    Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
    Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 19,238Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    I started out using drug store products 9 years ago and am still using them today! Suave, VO5 conditioners. LA Looks Sport Gel. I try other things just for fun but these are my everyday hair products.
    --I'm located in Western PA.
    --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, started going grey in late 2005.
    --My hair is 3B with some 3A, texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
    --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
    --My CG and grey hair progress --
  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users
    That's all I use!!

    L'Oreal EverCreme shampoo

    Tresemme Naturals conditioner. (For now.)

    Long Aid activator..

    EcoStyler gel.

    Nice hair. :)