When I decided to stop chemically processing my hair 2 years ago, I ran through a good amount of products searching for “THE ONE” that would make my hair act right. Woe to the newly natural diva that is trying to find just the right product combination that makes her hair smell like roses, shine like glitter, render her tresses soft as cotton whilst giving her 4-day hair. It’s hard, I tell you. Very, very hard.
Enter the PJs…product junkie-ism.
When I finally found my most acceptable hair care combo, I took stock of what was on my shelves. I counted more than 50 products.
To find what products work for you, you do have to try a lot of stuff. But once you’ve settled on your go-tos, it’s time to reform the product junkie that you have become.
Since I haven’t met a beauty supply store or product aisle that I didn’t
like love, I’ve devised 10 simple rules for purchasing hair products on a whim.
- Set a time limit. It is easier to exercise restraint when you know that you only have 10-20 minutes to browse. The longer you wander, the more prone you are to dropping items in your basket.
- Always enter the store with a budget in mind and stick to it. This is easier said than done, but try. My rule: I don’t pay more than $2 per ounce for any hair product. If it’s an accessory, I don’t spend more than $10. I will modify this rule and reward myself if I have exercised restraint on previous trips or if I have mad money. Example: I had $40 to pay for my boys’ haircuts last week but they had their own money and paid for it themselves. So…I purchased Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding on a whim since I had the extra cash. Did I love it? Yes…and no. Details later.
- Don’t browse for products when you are out of your normal go-to stuff. If your standard products aren’t stocked on your shelf at home, you’ll get amnesia and rationalize why you NEED to try that new deep conditioner when you know good and well that your standard does the trick. You know the saying, “Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry?” Same rationale.
- Always visit the clearance or discontinued section, if one is available. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what you find most times and can end up getting more bang for your buck.
- Don’t discount the “cheapie” drug store brands or shy away from “cones” and other “bad” ingredients. My hair loves some of the “no-no” ingredients that a lot of naturals say you should ban. Conversely, I’ve purchased some all natural stuff that did nothing for me. Do you.
- Don’t purchase products that have ingredients that your hair does not like no matter what kind of recommendations you get from your girlfriends, message boards, you.tube videos, commercials or print ads. What’s my “no-no” ingredient you ask? Protein. My hair was feeling dry and wiry for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out why. I started reading the labels of all my “natural” products and quickly found a common denominator…protein. No matter how high or low on the product list if I see it listed, I don’t buy it. I tested my rule and bought something anyway because protein was daggone near the end of the list and I still got the dry, wiry hair.
- Do your research prior to entering the store. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by all of those choices. Browse and have fun, but having a little knowledge on some brands will assist you into easily picking them or passing them up. If you’re a stickler about 100% natural products, why are you looking at other stuff?
- Exercise buyer’s remorse BEFORE you buy. If you put a lot of stuff in your basket, 5 minutes before your allotted time is up, think rationally and start weeding things out. I’m generally an impulse shopper. I love throwing things in the basket. But take stock of everything you put in your basket right before you head to check out and consider the cost. Do you really need yet another decorative flower…in black?
- Don’t use a shopping basket. This limits how much you can carry and ultimately, limits how much you buy.
- Take a small child or pesky teenager along with you. If I’m at a store with my teenage boys or with my hungry niece, the minute they see me v-lining for the product aisle eyes begin to roll and deep sighs commence. Those gestures alone let me know that they’ll be nagging and complaining while I browse yet AGAIN and is usually the one thing that will make me scrap my plans and move on.